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Philadelphia - Lower Bucks County, PACountry: United States
State or province: Pennsylvania
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January 18th 2020 Suburban Station Philadelphia
January 21, 2020
(NH) It was a frigid day with a bit of snow in the forecast, so we (Deacon Mark and Nancy) headed into Suburban Station. Knowing that we would likely meet many homeless and poor, we brought some clementines and apples, some granola bars, gloves and socks, nail clippers and small packages of wipes, along with ourselves and our prayer station, our rosaries and blessed medals, our Bibles and our books. As always, we found it a great privilege to be allowed to minister to God's poor. We heard of many personal struggles. We received great appreciation for giving little things to try and help out in a small way. We were blessed to get to lift the prayers of His little ones up with them, to our ever-loving Father in heaven. We were allowed many times to place a crucifix or a miraculous medal upon a stranger's neck, an intimate exchange, reminding us both of Jesus at work. We were built up by them thanking us profusely, frequently shedding tears. A hard part is leaving; we go away to our warm homes and full fridges and they still live on the street and in shelters. They still have long days ahead of them with nothing to do and no place to go except to try and get their human needs met. Dear God, please bless our Philadelphia poor, especially this winter.
Nancy spoke at length with Jill who told of the horrors of her childhood with a terribly abusive and uncaring mother and a kind mild father who left when he could not stand to be at home any longer. She was a middle child with four siblings but they all are scattered and disconnected. Her father had been Episcopalian and Jill recalled that they went to a church called St. Augustine for a little while as a child. She cried thinking about how things had once been sort of normal before they became awful. Jill spoke of having her things stolen so many times and not understanding how so many people can be so cruel. She told of how she likes to help others who are in need and if they would ask her she would try her best to help. I asked Jill if she ever tried going to the Hub of Hope in the station to ask for help to get shelter. She told me that it is always crowded with people and that she does not trust being around all of those people. I asked her to consider hanging out around the entrance, eyeing it up for when it was not too crowded, and going in for help. She said she might try. A little while after I first spoke with her, Jill called to me and asked me to teach her about the rosary. I gave her a purple rosary and showed her the pamphlet that tells what beads go with what prayers. I asked her if she knew the Lord’s Prayer and she did and we said it together, pointing out that the big beads that are for it. I also showed her the text for the Hail Mary and explained how we were quoting the conversation between the blessed mother and the angel Gabriel and then we were asking for Mary, our sweet Mother, to pray for us, just like Jill could ask me to pray for her, as a friend. I told her that even if she didn’t say the entire prayer on every bead that just saying the words “Hail Mary pray for us” or something like that would be a very good prayer to make. She was so thankful and she promised to pray for me and my kids and I promised to pray for her.
A fellow named Jerrold was talking at length with Deacon Mark. He was a giant of a man, to which we asked him if he played football back in high school. He said no that he was the musical type, not athletic. He told of how he once had a home but he had given in to great anger, feeling hate for a boarder at the house. In his hate he burned his home down and now was homeless. Jerrold told of how he had been raised a proper Christian but turned away from God and now realizes how far he fell away. He said he repented and was so very sorry and wanted nothing but God's mercy. We asked him if he was going to get himself to Mass or services the next day, Sunday, as it was the Lord's day. He told us that he played keyboard and was playing at a Pentecostal church the next day for their services. He said it was a nice job for him, that he got a little work and got to serve God altogether. Deacon Mark had to run to the lavatory and when I was speaking with Jerrold I asked if he prayed in tongues and would like to pray. Jerrold said "yes, but it's not like it is something that you can just command". No sooner had he said that then he said "oh, actually I do want to pray" and then he was praising God in tongues. I prayed my prayers with him too, yet tongues never seemed to come to me, but Jerrold's prayer and Hallelujahs and Amens in there were an amazing and surprising blessing! After a few minutes we opened our eyes and found our little prayer station surrounded by 5 people who all wanted rosaries and prayer cards. Jerrold exclaimed "look at that, as soon as we prayed all of those people came around". It really was astounding. We didn't have that many people around the whole time we were there, until Jerrold prayed in tongues. He remained with me and Deacon Mark for awhile longer. Jerrold said several times that this prayer was just what he needed and that he felt so good. He said he had seen us and felt strange coming up and speaking with us but he knew he needed to, and now he knew why. Praise God 🙂
We prayed with many people. Please remember these sweet souls and their intentions in your prayers:
- Jermaine - in a hurry; leaned in for a crucifix to be placed on his neck. He prays for God's protection.
- John - University of PA student, would like to join us for Mass sometime. We gave him our contact email and name of Assumption parish in Feasterville. He prays to grow closer to God.
- Rayford - prayers for his well being, finances, and to "get it together".
- Cecilly - prays for healing in her relationship with sons Malachi and Tyrone.
- Jill - prays for healing from wounds of her childhood and for peace with others.
- Shane (met him many times before) - prays for his property sale to go well.
- Tyrone - prayers for his life.
- Another Tyrone - prays for making good decisions and choices especially regarding friendships with others.
- Quintelle - (a Muslim woman) prays for her well being.
- Aaron - had no problems but lifts prayers for the praise of God (we talked about how we are born again by Baptism).
- Steven - young man, very faithful, loved to hear the story of St. Stephen the first martyr, he never heard this. Prayers for his well being and shelter. Was incredibly pleased to get nail clippers.
- Justin - prayers for his success as a musician to help him get off the streets; he plays in the station (country music and Christian music) frequently.
- Dante - he was half dressed and strung out. Prayers for him to get clean, off the streets, and friends who are good for / to him.
- Justin - also strung out; recognized miraculous medal and said "may I have one of the miraculous ones?" and told us he was raised Catholic. Prayers for him to get clean, off the streets and friends who are good for / to him.