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Minnetonka

Country: United States
State or province: Minnesota

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Denise Hirl
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The Holy Spirit Warms a Cold Day at UST

October 7, 2019


I wanted to share with you a quick updatte on our afternoon of evangelizing at the University of St. Thomas with Bishop Andrew Cozzens last Thursday, October 3. Even though the day was cold, our hearts were warm with care and compassion for those that stopped to talk to us, take a rosary or a medal, and receive prayer. Dozens of students stopped by to talk to us and we were able to share God’s love with them. Many expressed how happy they were that we were out on campus and wondered when we were coming again. Each one of the students from the St. John Vianney Seminary, Catholic Studies Leadership Interns, Campus Ministry and St. Paul's Outreach made a difference in someone’s life by being a witness to God’s saving love in their willingness to stand out in the cold and offer Jesus’ love to others. We never worry about how many people stop to talk to us because that is in the Lord’s hands, but we often feel that we are meant to be there that day for a particular person’s needs. Both groups had powerful encounters with those needing prayer and comfort. One young woman asked for prayer and was hesitant to share what the prayer was for. She told Deb that she had been free from cancer for 3 years, but that she often worries about it coming back. Deb and some students prayed for comfort and peace and complete restoration to health and she began to cry while we prayed. She told Deb afterward that she felt very peaceful and relieved after they prayed for her. Many students asked for prayer for their family and friends and we had so many great conversations about faith; it was wonderful. The team outside the Anderson Student Center was blessed to be joined by Bishop Andrew Cozzens. Many students were initially surprised by his presence, but Bishop Cozzens has a special way of making everyone feel at ease and valued. We gave away many medals and rosaries, and the Bishop answered several questions and offered many prayers. One encounter that stands out was with two young men, both of whom were raised Catholic, but only one of whom still goes to Mass. He is majoring in microbiology and when I asked him what he loved most about being Catholic, he agreed with the Bishop that the Eucharist was most important to him. His friend, Joe, isn’t really sure if God even exists, because we don’t have certain proof like we do in science. I was able to share with him my own struggles as a math and physics student and teacher with that very question, and how I came to the certainty of faith that God is real and his teachings are both reasonable and true and compatible with science. He took a crucifix and the Kerygma card and we prayed for him to be open to God in his search for the truth. We also listened to an amazing story of a young man whose life has been completely transformed by God. He came to St. Thomas to play football, but was devastated by a series of injuries that ended his football opportunities. Through his girlfriend and a lot of prayer, he now takes his zeal and passion for football and ministers to the other players in a Bible study and small group. We praised God in prayer for his conversion and gave him some medals and holy cards to share with his group. We also encouraged him to pray the Scripture passage from the gospel of John in which Jesus prays for unity, because this young man currently attends a non-denominational church. We challenged him to consider the Catholic Church as the one founded by Jesus and having the fullness of his truth.

We have a few upcoming events:

This Saturday, October 12 at Mears Park in St. Paul, 10 am to noon. It is forecast to be snowing and cold, so I am bringing some supplies to hand out to any homeless or needy people we might meet (wool socks, hats, mittens, food, water, toiletries and gift cards to fast food, along with our usual rosaries and blessed medals.) If you want to brave the cold and minister to those in need, please join me.

Saturday, October 26, at Thomas Beach in Minneapolis, 10 am to noon. This is our usual spot and time.

Saturday, November 30, at Sts. Peter and Paul Church, Loretto for the Christkindlmarkt, 9 am to 5:30 pm. Feel free to help out at the table for this first ever Advent event at Sts. Peter and Paul in Loretto. They are trying to bring Christ back into Christmas by having a traditional German Christkindlmarkt and invited us to help! You can come for just an hour or the whole day. I will be there all day, and my husband, Deacon Pat, will be arriving after the 4:30 pm Mass as St. Nicholas to hand out holy cards and medals and teach the children about the real St. Nicholas.

There are a few other possible indoor parish events that have not been finalized. I will send out an email and put them up on the calendar as I get more details. God bless you for your missionary discipleship!

 

 

 

 



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Parks, Festivals, Prayer and Healings!

September 24, 2019


Dear SPSE Twin Cities Team,

What a busy summer and early fall it has been! The Holy Spirit continues to move hearts to answer the call to share the Good News. I wanted to share with you a few of the stories we’ve encountered this summer on the street as well as the many talks and workshops Deb and I have been giving around the region. My summer really got into gear with our Basic Evangelization Training at the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis on July 13. Deb and I presented the SPSE mission and trained 65 eager Catholics to share their faith and the Good News. We’ve already seen the fruits in one  team forming out of that training. We are so grateful to Crystal Crocker, Susanna Parent, Enzo Randazzo and Hazel Jordan of the Office of Evangelization for hosting us and for the wonderful facility and lunch. After that amazing kick off, our team returned to the streets.

While at Como Park, Scott talked with a man who believed in God, but didn’t like to label himself a Christian. Through a series of gentle but challenging questions, Scott was able to lead the man to admit with a chuckle that his reluctance to call himself a Christian really didn’t reflect his actions, and perhaps he should reconsider his walk with Christ because Christ was calling him to get closer. Daryl and I were able to pray with a woman who was wearing the Miraculous Medal she received from us previously, for her new intentions. She mentioned she was hoping we would be at Como Park again because she needed prayer! The seeds God planted in her heart through us are sprouting and growing!

At Thomas Beach a few weeks later, we met a man who needed prayer for his wife who was just diagnosed with cancer. He identified himself as a disgruntled former Catholic who now attended a local non-denominational mega-church. Although he had educated his children in Catholic schools, he did not feel he could support the Church anymore because of the mismanagement and damage done in the abuse scandal. I shared with him the hurt I too felt from the scandal, and then was able to share with him my own story of reversion. I told him that I left the Church looking for holier people too, and after searching long and hard, I realized that no human institution is exempt from fallen human behavior. We all are sinners. Once I realized that, my search brought me back to the Catholic Church as the only place I could find the truth, beauty and goodness I longed for. Then I gave him my one good reason for staying: the power of the Eucharist. His eyes opened wide and he said, “I did not think of that. You know, I really miss going to Communion.” I joyfully told him he could come back just by going to Confession. We gave him two Miraculous Medals, one for him and one for his wife, and then prayed with him for his wife’s healing. Praise God he lets us be his hands and feet and lips.

In September we were out at the Transfiguration Parish Festival, and despite the rain, Mark, Risa, Scott, Daryl, Neil and I had some great encounters. One woman questioned Mark about why Catholics worship statues because it clearly states in the Bible that we are not to worship idols. Mark was able to talk with her about where she learned this, and help her see that Catholics don’t worship idols, but use sacred art to lift our hearts to God, whom we do worship. He shared with her the “Common Objections” pamphlet to help her understand Catholicism better. We pray a seed was planted in her heart. Another Protestant sister, Janet, said she needed prayer for her ear problems. She had ringing in her ears, dizziness and lots of pain. I asked her if she believed that Jesus wanted to heal her ear and she said yes. Then I put my hand over her ear and prayed in the name of Jesus for it to be healed. She got a big smile on her face and said she felt power and heat in her ear, and that the pain and ringing were gone! I praised God with her in more prayer, and then asked her if she would consider finding out about the Catholic Church. She said she would and took a Miraculous Medal as a reminder of Jesus’ healing and his love and mercy in her life. I pointed her toward the pastor who was walking the festival as the person she could talk to about becoming Catholic.

The next week we were out for two days at the huge Nativity of Our Lord County Fair. Bill has been awesome in arranging for us to have a table for the past four years at the County Fair. We always have lots of kids stop by to get our free medals and rosaries, since Nativity has a large Catholic school. This year, we had small packets with a crucifix or Miraculous Medal and holy cards, and for each medal the kids took, we challenged them to take a packet and give it away to someone they knew who needed to know the love of Jesus. We had them share with us why Jesus died on the cross for us (to pay for our sins, open heaven so we could be there with him and to show us his love), and then encouraged them to share that message with whomever they shared the packet. It was a huge success! Lots of parents and other students came by to get a free medal or prayer because of those packets. Those kids were our hands and feet! One young lady stopped by with her mom, Jenny. The young girl asked if we knew which saint was in charge of worried people. I asked if she was worried about someone and she said, yes, that her mom was going to start chemotherapy for cancer. I gave her a St. Jude medal and holy card, and asked if we could pray right then for Jenny. After our prayer, they both had smiles on their faces, took Miraculous Medals and said they felt much less worried about Jenny’s upcoming treatment. One of the carnival workers, Tara, came by on her break to see what we were doing. She took a St. Christopher medal for travelers and we prayed a short prayer for her protection and she went back to work. About an hour later, she stopped by again, and said, “I had to come back and tell you that I have had a terrible migraine since yesterday. I took all the medication I could but it wouldn’t go away. After I put this medal on my migraine is gone. I’m never taking it off!” I shared her joy, prayed in thanksgiving to Jesus for her healing, and then asked her about her faith life. She goes to a Bible church in Virginia near her home. I asked if she would be willing to read our pamphlet “Why Be Catholic” and she said she absolutely would.

Deb and I have been giving lots of “10 Great Ways to Share Your Faith” talks, prayer talks, and introductions to SPSE this fall. We’ve been all over the diocese of New Ulm, met with Bishop Kettler in St. Cloud and have been helping write the lessons for the New Live School of Evangelization that is being piloted this fall in Detroit. I did manage to find two more Saturdays this fall to go out as a team before the weather gets more difficult. They are both on the team calendar: Saturday, October 12 at Mears Park in St. Paul and October 26 at Thomas Beach in Minneapolis. We also have two parish Advent events I am working on, so check the calendar for those in a few weeks. One is in November and one in December.

Please continue to pray for our team, for our apostolate and especially for all of those intentions we received from the many people who courageously shared their needs with us. God bless your autumn!

P.S. If your parish is having an Advent, Christmas or Lenten activity this winter, be sure to ask your pastor if we can sezzzt up an SPSE table at the event. We have some of our most amazing encounters at parish events. We already have several on the calendar and would love to work with your parish!

God bless you! Denise

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This Saturday, join us at the BET instead of the Team Outing

September 24, 2019


Were you planning on heading out to evangelize with us at Thomas Beach? Join us instead at the Archdiocesan Basic Evangelization Training at the Chancery in St. Paul! Already trained? Join us afterwards with the newly trained evangelists as they head out to their live lab. Contact me if you would like to accompany them on their first outing! Our next team event is July 27, Saturday, at Como Park.



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Weather Cancellation Guidelines

September 24, 2019


Dear Team Members,

Now that we are back out in the parks, I wanted to give you some guidelines about how I decide to go out or not. If the forecast is for more than 50% rain, or for thunderstorms or other dangerous weather, I will cancel the event the evening before the event, post it on this team website’s calendar (the link to the calendar is in the upper right of this page), and send an email to all those on the team email list. If the chance of rain is 50% or less, I will only cancel the event if it is actively raining an hour before the event at the event location, (usually 9 am.) In our experience, few people are out and willing to stop and talk if it is raining, and we will never go out if we put ourselves at risk. Of course you can always call me and ask if we are still on. That said, tomorrow’s outing at Thomas Beach in Lake Calhoun Park is cancelled. Pray for better weather in two weeks! God bless you!

It has been a long winter for most of us here in Minnesota, but the Lord does not leave us to pity ourselves or to be idle. Deb and I have been busy networking, growing in our own formation, and bringing teams together to do what we do best – share the Good News of Jesus Christ and his Church in a joyful way to anyone the Lord brings to us. Here is a brief updatte of the past few months, and the upcoming events we have scheduled:

December: The Maplewood team hosted a holy day Mass, breakfast and outing to Mears Park in St. Paul. Despite the frigid temps, we were able to share hot drinks, the word of God and his love to several people that day. And we were able to enjoy our community of evangelists together. Thanks, Roger and Terry!

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January: Deb and I headed to Toledo for the Encounter Ministries Conference on healing in evangelization and it was POWERFUL! We are praying and discerning about bringing Encounter Ministries to the Twin Cities in the future!

February: The Twin Cities team ministered at St. Pius X Catholic Church for their Winter Fest. Parish festivals are a great place to meet a lot of people who need prayer and information about the faith. We returned in March for their amazing fish fry where they serve over 700 people and we were able to pray with many people and introduce them to the love Jesus has for them.

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March: Deb and I were able to share the news about SPSE at both the WINE conference and the Men’s conference! Many people showed interest in our apostolate and we pray some of them will join us in spreading the Good News as dedicated evangelists.

SPSE Team Photo

April: We kicked off the month with an outing in Mears Park with Bishop Cozzens. He was so pastoral and loving to all the people we met, especially the homeless who spend their days in the park waiting for the nearby shelters to open. Later in the month we presented two conferences to the seniors of St. John Vianney College Seminary. What an enthusiastic group of young men! We will be taking them out to evangelize on the campus of the University of St. Thomas in the next few weeks. Please pray that God bless their courage and willingness to step out and share their faith with their peers.

SPSE Team PhotoSPSE Team Photo

The new calendar is up (see the link above). To get detailed information, navigate the calendar as follows:

If you click on the title of the event on the calendar, a window will pop up with all of the details of the event, including an address and scheduled times. If you click on the blue arrows on the upper left of the calendar, it will change the month showing. I have the entire season (April through October) on the website, so you can plan ahead of time. I also have other SPSE related events, like the Basic Evangelization Training event at the Archdiocese this summer, on the calendar, with links to register.

Speaking of the summer, the Archdiocese Office of Evangelization is hosting a Basic Evangelization Training in July! Registration is open and limited. Please share this event with anyone who might be interested and consider coming with a friend. Deb and I will present the training and then take the participants out for a live lab near the Chancery. Here is the link to register:

Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis BET

Please email me or call if you have any questions about any of our upcoming events. May God bless your days especially in this holy season of Lent and Easter!



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Keeping Up with the Holy Spirit!

September 24, 2019


The team and I have been busy sharing rosaries, medals, and mostly prayer with lots of folks over the last few months at Como Park, Lake Calhoun and parish festivals. In addition, Deb McManimon, our regional director and I, have also been on the road a lot, training Catholics from all over the area to joyfully share their faith and invite people to take the next step in their relationship with Christ. Here are some of the stories we’ve shared with people on our outings.

Daryl and I were at the Nativity of Our Lord County Fair in September, and shared a table with Rachel and Julie from the Catholic Advocacy Network for the Minnesota Catholic Conference. We described ourselves as the personal and public arms of evangelization. During the fair, we prayed over Nate, who was experiencing fear and anxiety after attending a marriage retreat with his wife. He experienced some relief from his anxiety after we prayed. We encouraged him to seek out an Unbound prayer team in the area. We also prayed over Nanette, recently confirmed into the Catholic faith, who witnessed and experienced much tragedy in her childhood, which she described as a “darkness” weighing on her soul. After praying over her, she also experienced some relief from the tightness in her chest and jaw, and some lifting of the darkness she sensed. We encouraged her to meet with an Unbound prayer team as well.

SPSE Team Photo

On our outing to Lake Calhoun, we met Oksanna and her 4th grade son. Daryl and Marjorie prayed for healing of Oksanna’s husband who is bipolar and not receiving treatment right now. Oksanna attends a local Catholic parish, and was so excited to see us out evangelizing, that after prayer, she joined us in handing out medals and rosaries! Her enthusiasm was infectious!

SPSE Team PhotoSPSE Team Photo

Deb and I presented a shortened Basic Evangelization Training during Discipleship Day in the Diocese of New Ulm. We were joined by 2 priests, 3 deacons, 4 Handmaids of Heart of Jesus sisters and Bishop Levoir! The change among the 50+ attendants was tangible. They started out being very quiet and reserved. By the end, we had people praying together for healing, gathering up bags of rosaries, medals and pamphlets to share with others, and witnessing to God’s work in their lives in a joyful, enthusiastic way, as if they had been doing it all of their lives. The Holy Spirit showed up in a crazy, powerful way!

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We have just 2 more outings left this season. Won’t you join us? Email me at denhirl@gmail.com with questions or to let me know you are coming.



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Lord, Hear our Prayers

September 24, 2019


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The Twin Cities Team has been hitting the streets twice a month this summer, greeting people at Como Park and Thomas Beach with a smile, offering rosaries and Miraculous Medals, and most importantly, praying with people. The seeds that are planted when we listen to another person’s story and offer to bring that story and those needs to God, right then and there, are seeds that will bear fruit for sure. Jesus promised that when we gather and pray in His name, he answers our prayers. These are just some of the prayer requests we received over the last two outings:

Jennifer needs a new apartment, a dependable car, and healing from the rejection of her neighbors at her current apartment

Maria and her family from Mexico need healing for the ill people in their family

Josh, just relocated from Long Island to Brainerd for a new job, needs some peace and a faith community

10 men, members of MN Teen and Adult Challenge, an addiction recovery program, each asked for healing, stronger faith, continued perseverance in their treatment program and forgiveness. They offered to pray for us as well!

Millie and her mom Jennifer, originally from Kenya, stopped by again and asked for healing and strength of Millie’s marriage, that her citizenship process move forward, and for Jennifer’s continued health

Jamie and his dad, Jim, also returned and asked for a safe pilgrimage to Lourdes for Jamie. Jamie is confined to a wheel chair and we prayed for his healing of pain a month ago.

A woman who did not give her name, asked for healing for her uncle from cancer, but wasn’t sure she should ask because she was an atheist. We assured her that God hears everyone’s prayers. We encouraged her to consider rethinking her atheism.

A Baptist family visiting from Thailand all took rosaries and asked for safety and good family relations.

Shaylee would like a good start to high school in the fall, and then she and her mom brought us all waters on a hot Saturday!

Nikki needs healing from cancer.

A group of moms and young elementary kids from a local Catholic grade school were on their way to the zoo when the kids recognized the rosaries. We asked them if they had anything they would like to pray for and we all prayed together for those intentions. Then we explained we would take those intentions to adoration. When they didn’t know what adoration was, we were able to teach them about it, and encourage the moms to share this beautiful place of prayer with their kids.

If these stories have touched your heart, Jesus is calling you to join us! Contact me. I would love to share this amazing ministry with you!



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A Fruitful Summer!!!

September 16, 2019


Greetings, fellow Catholic Evangelists!

Happy Feast of St. James the Apostle! Here is an u​pdate of our grace-filled encounters this summer. We will be heading out this Saturday, July 28, to Thomas Beach, Lake Calhoun, from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon. Come join us!

The Twin Cities St. Paul Street Evangelization Team has been out several times this summer, at Thomas Beach at Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis, and at Como Park in St. Paul. Each time we’ve been able to listen and befriend approximately 10-20 people, offering them a free rosary or blessed medal, and most importantly, prayer. Here are some of the stories from our encounters:

At Thomas Beach a man saw our sign offering prayer, stopped on his bike, and asked for prayer for his brother who was dying. He was so grateful we were there, and seemed noticeably relieved after we prayed for his brother’s healing, peace and strength. When he mentioned he used to be Catholic but hadn’t been to church in a while, we encouraged him to find more of the peace he just received by getting back to Mass and confession. We met a Muslim man who is in the process of becoming sober, and he accepted prayer and a rosary, saying he had a great devotion to the Blessed Mother. We also prayed with a Pentecostal woman and her niece, finding common ground in our love of the Lord, and praying for healing of her family relationships. They both took rosaries and pamphlets on how to pray them. We met several Catholics who were surprised to see us, but very supportive, including Jamie and his dad, who we prayed with, for healing of all Jamie’s pain and suffering from being in a wheel chair. Another young man stopped by on his bike, and Scott, Daryl and Marjorie prayed quite a while for his many intentions, and answered his questions. They are all fantastic evangelists!

A week and a half later, we were outside Como Town, the free amusement park in Como Park, St. Paul. It was a great place to be on a hot day; I only wish we could have handed out water to all the families and young people we met. Again, we met several young Catholics who were surprised and excited to see us, accepting rosaries and prayer, and an invitation to join us! I spoke with one mom and her daughter who declined the rosary and medals I offered, because they were non-denominational Christians and did not pray to icons. After asking a few questions, I understood that they meant praying to idols, and I was able to explain that rosaries, medals, statues and all other sacramentals are not idols we pray to, but similar to the T-shirt she was wearing that had a Bible quote on it. We use these physical things to help us keep our minds, hearts and souls focused on God, and ask the saints to pray for us, just like she and her daughter pray for each other. They still wouldn’t take anything, but they accepted a prayer of thanksgiving for our belief in Jesus and his salvation. Another young mom and three girls stopped by, very intrigued by what we were doing. They attend a non-denominational church regularly, but had never seen Catholics out sharing the faith. After visiting several minutes, we learned that one of the girls, Kylie, was a foster daughter, and wanted prayers for her dad, Calvin, who was in jail. She looked so old when we had started talking, carrying the weight of the world on her 10 year old shoulders. After we prayed, her smile returned, and she was eager to send the rosary, pamphlet and St. Michael medal to her dad. Her foster mom and sisters were amazing witnesses of what God’s love can do in a tragic situation such as Kylie and her dad are living. The mom said they would read the holy cards and pamphlets while they had their ice cream later, and pray for Kylie’s dad. God is so good!

The highlight of that week was returning to Como Park, again outside the amusement park, to evangelize with Archbishop Bernard Hebda of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. The Blessed Mother came through on the weather just in time; it stopped storming 20 minutes before we were scheduled to start. We had enough evangelists to cover three of the four corners of the intersection outside the park. We prayed with about 25 Mennonites from Sauk Centre, MN and they were very gracious and supportive. A youth group from an Evangelical church in North Minneapolis stopped by several times, eager to take all we were giving away. When I asked them if they needed any prayers, they pointed to their friend, Christy, who got caught shoplifting. Christy did not want to join us, and sat on a bench away from the crowd. We prayed for healing of Christy’s heart, for her to know that God loves her and forgives her, and that she can make better choices in the future. Later on in the day, one of her friends came back, and asked for more medals and a rosary for Christy. We had a wonderful talk, in which I found out she is Catholic, but goes to the youth events with her friend at the Evangelical church. Her mom takes her to Mass every Sunday and she was very excited to see the Archbishop across the street, but too shy to get her picture taken with him. I asked her if she would be a special friend to Christy, and pray for her change of heart every day and help her to change her life. She promised to do so. A young woman and her sister, Samantha and Amelia, passed by and declined a rosary or medal. Then I saw the Christian “ichthys” (fish) symbol tattooed on her arm and aske if she was Christian and if she needed prayers for anything. Her eyes filled with tears, and she shared with me that she and her sister were at the park trying to forget that their brother had committed suicide 3 years ago, at the age of 13 on that very date. I offered again to pray for Ethan, and for Samantha and Amelia, and we prayed a long time for healing of their sorrow, and that they could trust in our loving and merciful God. When we had finished, I assured them I would keep praying for all three of them, and their family. Samantha then said, “I saw you earlier but didn’t want to come over. I now know God put you here today just for us, for me. I can’t thank you enough.” If I never evangelize another person, I know God is still blessing our apostolate, because of my meeting these two sisters.

The Archbishop was able to share his faith and prayers with several people, including a Burundi family of 12 on vacation from their home in Fargo, ND. They all wanted rosaries, and then asked the Archbishop to pray the Hail Mary with their family. The smiles on their faces says it all.

Deb and I were in Duluth this month presenting a Basic Evangelization Training to 33 enthusiastic Catholics from 4 different parishes, including one priest and 2 permanent deacons. They ranged in age from 12 to 85, and worked hard to absorb all the information we presented. Afterwards, we took several of them out to two locations in Duluth, the Rose Garden and Canal Park. Even though a few of them went along “just to watch”, by the end of the day, they all were joyful handing out rosaries, encountering people and praying with them. When we returned to the parish for a debrief, I felt like I was at the campfire after Jesus sent out his disciples for the first time. The stories were astounding, hope-filled and joyful. One man even wondered if we had “planted” a person at the Rose Garden so they would be encouraged by a positive encounter. We ensured him we did not; it was all God’s doing. He was even more amazed.

God has been so full of graces for our team this summer. Please help us pray for all the people we encountered and will encounter. And consider joining us! God bless you all. Denise

SPSE Team PhotoSPSE Team Photo

A week and a half later, we were outside Como Town, the free amusement park in Como Park, St. Paul. It was a great place to be on a hot day; I only wish we could have handed out water to all the families and young people we met. Again, we met several young Catholics who were surprised and excited to see us, accepting rosaries and prayer, and an invitation to join us! I spoke with one mom and her daughter who declined the rosary and medals I offered, because they were non-denominational Christians and did not pray to icons. After asking a few questions, I understood that they meant praying to idols, and I was able to explain that rosaries, medals, statues and all other sacramentals are not idols we pray to, but similar to the T-shirt she was wearing that had a Bible quote on it. We use these physical things to help us keep our minds, hearts and souls focused on God, and ask the saints to pray for us, just like she and her daughter pray for each other. They still wouldn’t take anything, but they accepted a prayer of thanksgiving for our belief in Jesus and his salvation. Another young mom and three girls stopped by, very intrigued by what we were doing. They attend a non-denominational church regularly, but had never seen Catholics out sharing the faith. After visiting several minutes, we learned that one of the girls, Kylie, was a foster daughter, and wanted prayers for her dad, Calvin, who was in jail. She looked so old when we had started talking, carrying the weight of the world on her 10 year old shoulders. After we prayed, her smile returned, and she was eager to send the rosary, pamphlet and St. Michael medal to her dad. Her foster mom and sisters were amazing witnesses of what God’s love can do in a tragic situation such as Kylie and her dad are living. The mom said they would read the holy cards and pamphlets while they had their ice cream later, and pray for Kylie’s dad. God is so good!

SPSE Team PhotoSPSE Team Photo

The highlight of that week was returning to Como Park, again outside the amusement park, to evangelize with Archbishop Bernard Hebda of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. The Blessed Mother came through on the weather just in time; it stopped storming 20 minutes before we were scheduled to start. We had enough evangelists to cover three of the four corners of the intersection outside the park. We prayed with about 25 Mennonites from Sauk Centre, MN and they were very gracious and supportive. A youth group from an Evangelical church in North Minneapolis stopped by several times, eager to take all we were giving away. When I asked them if they needed any prayers, they pointed to their friend, Christy, who got caught shoplifting. Christy did not want to join us, and sat on a bench away from the crowd. We prayed for healing of Christy’s heart, for her to know that God loves her and forgives her, and that she can make better choices in the future. Later on in the day, one of her friends came back, and asked for more medals and a rosary for Christy. We had a wonderful talk, in which I found out she is Catholic, but goes to the youth events with her friend at the Evangelical church. Her mom takes her to Mass every Sunday and she was very excited to see the Archbishop across the street, but too shy to get her picture taken with him. I asked her if she would be a special friend to Christy, and pray for her change of heart every day and help her to change her life. She promised to do so. A young woman and her sister, Samantha and Amelia, passed by and declined a rosary or medal. Then I saw the Christian “ichthys” (fish) symbol tattooed on her arm and aske if she was Christian and if she needed prayers for anything. Her eyes filled with tears, and she shared with me that she and her sister were at the park trying to forget that their brother had committed suicide 3 years ago, at the age of 13 on that very date. I offered again to pray for Ethan, and for Samantha and Amelia, and we prayed a long time for healing of their sorrow, and that they could trust in our loving and merciful God. When we had finished, I assured them I would keep praying for all three of them, and their family. Samantha then said, “I saw you earlier but didn’t want to come over. I now know God put you here today just for us, for me. I can’t thank you enough.” If I never evangelize another person, I know God is still blessing our apostolate, because of my meeting these two sisters.

SPSE Team PhotoSPSE Team Photo

The Archbishop was able to share his faith and prayers with several people, including a Burundi family of 12 on vacation from their home in Fargo, ND. They all wanted rosaries, and then asked the Archbishop to pray the Hail Mary with their family. The smiles on their faces says it all.

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We are heading out, finally!!!!

September 16, 2019


Dear friends in Christ,
Praised be Jesus Christ now and forever! After several interruptions and challenges to getting the team out this summer, including having to navigate the St. Paul and Minneapolis park ordinances with the help of the cities’ attorneys, I am so excited to finally post this schedule for our team evangelization outings through October.

A few details:
I will be at the location each day about 15-30 minutes before we are scheduled to start.
If rain or other threatening weather is occurring, assume the event is cancelled. You can always email me or call me on my cell phone.
If you are able, please send me an email letting me know you are coming so I can keep an eye out for you. However, if your plans change, just come join us!
Please pray for our protection while out in the parks, for the conversion of the people God will bring to us to chat, and for the Twin Cities evangelization efforts to bear fruit.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask! Hope to see many of you this summer! God bless you!

St. Paul Street Evangelization Twin Cities Team Outings

Date Time Location Notes
Saturday, June 30, 2018 10:00 am – 12:00 pm Thomas Beach, Lake Calhoun Park, 3700 Thomas Ave. S
Minneapolis, MN 55410
Wednesday, July 11, 2018 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm Como Town, 1301 Midway Pkwy, St Paul, MN 55103
Friday, July 13, 2018 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm Como Town, 1301 Midway Pkwy, St Paul, MN 55103 With Archbishop Hebda
Saturday, July 28, 2018 10:00 am – 12:00 pm Thomas Beach, Lake Calhoun Park, 3700 Thomas Ave. S
Minneapolis, MN 55410
Saturday, August 11, 2018 10:00 am – 12:00 pm Como Town, 1301 Midway Pkwy, St Paul, MN 55103
Saturday, August 25, 2018 10:00 am – 12:00 pm Thomas Beach, Lake Calhoun Park, 3700 Thomas Ave. S
Minneapolis, MN 55410
Thursday, September 6, 2018 9:30 am – 10:30 am Bishop Quinn’s Residence, Winona, MN With Bishop Quinn
Saturday, September 8, 2018 10:00 am – 12:00 pm Como Town, 1301 Midway Pkwy, St Paul, MN 55103
Saturday, September 22, 2018 10:00 am – 12:00 pm Thomas Beach, Lake Calhoun Park, 3700 Thomas Ave. S
Minneapolis, MN 55410
Friday, September 28, 2018 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm Como Town, 1301 Midway Pkwy, St Paul, MN 55103 With Bishop Cozzens
Saturday, October 6, 2018 10:00 am – 12:00 pm Como Town, 1301 Midway Pkwy, St Paul, MN 55103
Saturday, October 20, 2018 10:00 am – 12:00 pm Thomas Beach, Lake Calhoun Park, 3700 Thomas Ave. S
Minneapolis, MN 55410

 



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It’s Time to Hit the Streets!

September 16, 2019


Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Spring has FINALLY arrived to Minnesota, and with it comes prime evangelization time. People will be out and about in parks, at farmers’ markets, and on the trails, and we will be out with them, inviting them to take the next step in their journey with Christ. If you would like to join us this summer, please join us at a team kick off meeting on Sunday, May 20th, at St. Hubert’s Catholic Church, (ST. HUBERT CATHOLIC COMMUNITY, 8201 MAIN STREET, CHANHASSEN, MN 55317, UNITED STATES(952) 934-9106), from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm. Deb McManimon and I will be presenting basic evangelization skills, discussing dates, time and locations, and answering your questions and fears. Won’t you join us?



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The Holy Spirit on the Move in MN

September 16, 2019


Deb and I have been busy this fall and winter, taking the message and resources of St. Paul Street Evangelization to lots of groups around the state. Since becoming a regional missionary in September, 2017, I have been blessed to share this message with several parishes, (parish and stewardship councils, Catechists Inservice Days, Youth Retreats), at the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis Office of Evangelization events, at the annual WINE and Men’s conferences, and with lots of people in the pews. In all these conversations and presentations, my prayer for a Church renewed in her missionary zeal is being answered. If you would like Deb or me (or both of us) to come to your parish or group, please contact me. I would love to get you started on building a culture of evangelization in our local Church. I can email you a list of talks and trainings we can provide. Keep checking back as the weather warms up. My plan is get out a few times each month and I would love to add you to the team.

Happy Easter!

Denise M. Hirl, SPSE Regional Missionary, Twin Cities

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Christ is calling YOU!!!

September 16, 2019


We had a Holy Spirit filled weekend at the Hopkins Raspberry Festival. We shared our faith with several people from all walks of life, and had two new evangelizers join us! Please pray for Cheryl, who has been searching for a faith community for a long time, and been hurt deeply by some people in the name of religion. Please pray for a woman and her granddaughter who are Wiccan, but open to considering the existence of one God and his plan for their lives. And please pray for more joy filled people to join us as we take our faith to the people who most need to hear of God’s love for them.

Our next event will be the St. Gabriel’s Parish Festival.

Saturday, September 9th, 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM at the St. John Campus of St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church, 6 Interlachen Road, Hopkins, MN

Sunday, September 10th, 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM at the St. Joseph Campus of St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church, 1310 Mainstreet, Hopkins MN

Even if you just want to observe, you are welcome! Is God calling you to take the next step?



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Come join us as we hit the Hopkins streets!

September 16, 2019


Have you been wondering if street evangelization is something you could do? Do you want to see what it is? How do you talk joyfully about your Catholic faith with strangers? Get all your questions answered and have a wonderful, grace-filled time! We will have a table set up on the front lawn of St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church on Saturday, July 15th and Sunday July 16th, 2017. Come for a short time or a longer shift. We will be out from 10 AM to 5 PM on Saturday, and 11 PM to 4 PM on Sunday. We welcome watchers, prayer warriors and experienced and first time evangelists. Anyone who is interested, please contact Denise Hirl for more information or to let us know you are coming. Can’t join us? Please pray for us and for all those people we will meet on the street!



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It’s Prime Evangelization Time!

September 16, 2019


It’s prime evangelization time with all the parish festivals happening around the Twin Cities this fall. Please join us as we take our Catholic faith to the streets at one of the events below. Sign up is easy and evangelization is fun! Click on one of the buttons below to sign up for a shift at St. Gabriel the Archangel Fall Festival in Hopkins, MN on Sept. 10 or 11, or at the Nativity of Our Lord County Fair in St. Paul, MN on Sept. 17 and 18. If you are able, sign up for more than one shift!

St. Gabriel the Archangel Fall Festival in Hopkins Click to View Volunteer Opportunities on SignUp.com

Nativity of Our Lord County Fair in St. Paul Click to View Volunteer Opportunities on SignUp.com



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How do you evangelize? Read this book!

September 16, 2019


I just finished reading the most helpful book about evangelization I have come across, and believe me, I have shelves of books on evangelization! Jared Dees’ To Heal, Proclaim and Teach is a practical, easy – to – read handbook covering real life evangelization. It is written for Church ministers and educators, but everything is easily applied to street evangelization. If you would like a jumpstart on the ins and outs of evangelization and a motivating summer read, consider this book. To Heal, Proclaim and Teach on Amazon

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The Presence of Jesus in Evangelization

September 16, 2019


Praised be to Jesus Christ! The Twin Cities SPSE team spent two days (16 hours) evangelizing at the Hopkins, MN Raspberry Festival on July 16 and 17. Both days were glorious Minnesota summer days; the Virgin Mary came through with blue skies and a gentle breeze even though the forecast was for thunderstorms. She even arranged for our table to be next to the 1981 DeLorean in the car show, drawing lots of people our way! Thirteen first time evangelists from all over the Twin Cities joined me for the festival.

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Twin Cities SPSE Team Event!

September 16, 2019


Twin Cities St. Paul Street Evangelization Team is hitting the road! We will be at the 2016 Hopkins Raspberry Festival in Hopkins, MN on July 16th and July 17th. Sign up for a 60 – 90 minute shift to spread the Good News of the Gospel and share your Catholic faith! Here are the details:

Saturday, July 16, 2016 from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm on the front lawn of St. Gabriel the Archangel Catholic Church, 1310 Mainstreet, Hopkins, MN, 55345; 90 minute shifts. You can sign up for more than one shift if you are able.

Sunday, July 17, 2016 from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm on the front lawn of St. Gabriel the Archangel Catholic Church, 1310 Mainstreet, Hopkins, MN 55345; 60 minute shifts. You can sign up for more than one shift if you are able.

To sign up, click on the link below. Questions? Please email me at denhirl@gmail.com



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