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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!