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Helping fellow Catholics at local Heritage Day festival
September 27, 2022
Many Catholics stopped by the SPSE Pottsville team's display tent during the Schuylkill Haven Heritage Day festival on September 24th, 2022. It was a beautiful, cool autumnal day, and the Lord was reaching out to Catholics specifically, it seemed. Even those folks in the crowd who were approached by the team members were Catholic!
Many folks gladly accepted rosaries and miraculous medals, and when asked, were proud to proclaim they were practicing Catholics. Fallen away Catholics were welcoming of prayer for healing and the courage to return to the faith! The team ministered to a practicing Catholic who struggled with daily prayer and a personal relationship with Jesus, and women who were suffering from post-abortive trauma, guilt, and shame.
All team members gained valuable experience praying for others and proclaiming the gospel message.
Divine appointment in Reading, PA
July 11, 2022
The St. John's SPSE team from Pottsville, PA thought the outing on 7/9/22 at Reading was going to be another routine outing, but this turned out to be no ordinary outing! When the team arrived at N. 5th and Penn Streets, we were surprised to see a different Christian church on every street corner, holding signs to "pray for our city", "stop the violence", and to give "hope to the hopeless." The team prayed for several people and gave out rosaries and miraculous medals before being invited to unite and pray with them for the City of Reading and our nation. Being docile to The Holy Spirit, the team cheerfully obliged. But the surprises kept coming when the team was then approached by the local newspaper and TV station for comments. You can read the article here: https://www.readingeagle.com/2022/07/09/ministries-pray-for-reading/
This is what happens when you invite the Holy Spirit into everything, including your planning meetings!!
'Fallen Away Catholic Day' at the Farmer's Market
May 16, 2022
St. John the Baptist SPSE team kicked off the evangelization season with their first outing at the Farmer's Market in Schuylkill Haven, PA on May 15th, 2022. Almost immediately the team was greeted by a non-Catholic Christian who had issue with "praying to Mary". The Team leader gently and cheerfully admitted this was a common setback for many protestant denominations, explaining that we don't "worship" Mary, we "honor her" as our Mother, and the Mother of Jesus. He seemed disgruntled, but accepted the "What about Mary" pamphlet and went on his way before his Catholic sister-in-law felt she needed to apologize for her family member's manner. She was assured that this stumbling block is very common among non-Catholic Christians and we were very comfortable speaking about it. She was accepting of a metal, a new rosary, and prayer for healing.
The team then offered prayer for several passers who admitted to being Catholic, although not regular mass attenders. They were greeted with a warm, "Please come home, we miss you!!" and provided with the local church mass times. An invitation was extended to meet one young Catholic at mass, who genuinely seemed interested, but we were not able to close the deal with a firm commitment. 🙁 Despite this, however, the outing is still counted as a huge success, since team members are growing in their skills, and becoming more comfortable speaking to strangers about the faith, and utilizing the Listen-Befriend-Proclaim-Invite model.
The Spirit in the Summer Heat!
July 19, 2021
It was a hot July day which was calling for thunderstorms. Uncertainty over the date and time of the event plagued the thoughts of the St. John the Baptist team from Pottsville, PA. The last minute idea to offer free ice cold bottled water as another way to offer the love of Jesus entered our minds - so we went with it! Not a lot of foot traffic was expected at Stoyer's Dam local park that particular day, but once again, God had other plans! We were surprised to find on our arrival that an unadvertised craft show was going on, so with rosaries-on-arm, and free cold water to offer, it appeared to another divine set-up!
We set up our table and started to pray as a team, thanking God for the opportunity to serve Him, and asking to be filled with his Holy Spirit of Love. Not many seemed interested in approaching our table (despite our "FREE WATER" sign), so we spread out and spoke to whomever the Holy Spirit led to us. We began by praying the rosary together, but did not get far into 'The Creed' before we were in the midst of many townsfolk. Although some kindly declined a rosary and/or prayer invitation, most graciously accepted. One woman responded, "I'm not Catholic, but sure, I'll take a rosary". She was genuinely appreciative after learning "that anyone can pray the rosary, Mary is the Mother of us all, and praying the rosary is a powerful offering to Trinitarian God, through the intercession of Our Mother Mary". Another young couple walking with their beautiful baby girl was very accepting of the prayers for blessing over their young family, and also very excited to receive a free rosary.
This outing was big for St. John the Baptist team members, as this was the first scheduled outing together (as a team) following our training which completed in June. They were excited to put it all together and get their feet wet in street evangelization. Prior to ending the outing, we discussed our impressions, thoughts, ideas and suggestions on how to improve next time. We finished by offering a prayer of praise, thanksgiving, and intercession for personal intentions.
'Next Steps' for the team are to continue to grow the team by providing training to another local parish, and to approach all the local Catholic churches to educate them on the St Paul Street Evangelization apostolate. We are excited about upcoming outing and display table at St. Mary Parish in Hamburg, PA at their annual Harvest Festival on October 1-2, 2021.
Additional outings will also be scheduled soon.
June 26, 2021
St. John the Baptist Team has completed it's first Intro to Evangelization training course on June 20th. The course ran 8 weeks and was held at St. John the Baptist in Pottsville, PA. Those who participated were: Sandy Frinzi, Miriam Tirjan, Debbie Sterner, Michelle Ambrose, Joyce Minehan (Co-Team Leader), and Josette Peckman (Team Leader). The team will now focus on advanced training: heading out to the streets under the guidance and supervision of the Holy Spirit! Additional training will be held for anyone interested, and is planned in the near future. We are planning on expanding the team to include representation of all parishes in the region! A warm "thank you" to St. Paul Street Evangelization for making it so easy for Catholics to grow in the gift of evangelization!
God is on the move in Schuylkill County!
May 16, 2021
Today we had our 2nd outing at our local farmer's market. At the beginning, both St.Paul Street Evangelization team members felt it....the sting of the enemy, manifested through irritation, anger, bitterness, resentment, and a lack of desire to love others. When we honestly and humbly admitted our feelings, we confirmed and recognized it as a possible attack from the enemy. Shortly after prayer involving repentance, renunciation, and faith, we were able to see that God had His own (mightier) plans in store for us this day!
It began with an answer to the team's prayer for more team members. We specifically asked for God to lead laborers to us. A team member was shown a face, it was someone the team member knew but had not seen in a long time, and did not have her contact information. Today, God brought that very person to us as soon as we arrived. We were able to explain to her St. Paul Street Evangelization and that we are in need of team members, (oh, and no pressure or anything, but God told us YOU would come!). The new member accepted our invitation, and said she will love to attend the next training session we had scheduled, which happened to be that very night!
Then, God led a woman (we will call her Pam) who sheepishly approached our table and confessed that she "is in need of some direction". Once we introduced ourselves, and reassured her that she had come to the right place at the right time, she quickly and tearfully admitted that she has not been living a good life, but has been praying for God to help her get her life back in order. We prayed for the Holy Spirit to come into Pam's heart and the team members sensed that God wanted to remind Pam she was a beloved daughter, to remind her of the gospel message, to forgive those who hurt her, and invite her to reconsecrate her life to Him (she was a baptized Christian). Pam advised she was short on time, but was open to prayer, so the team shared the gospel in 3 minutes, led her in a prayer of forgiveness, and invited the Holy Spirit to come into her heart and continue to lead and guide her. She was given a "Good News" pamphlet (and shown the prayer of consecration to pray at a later time), a miraculous medal, a rosary, and a "How to Pray the Rosary" pamphlet. She promised she would stop by in the future and let us know how she was doing. By the end of the encounter, her countenance had changed, she appeared calmer, more hopeful, and joyful.
This is why we love sharing the gospel and doing this work. We get to take part in God's plan for others and the world. There is nothing more rewarding than to realize you and Jesus are walking hand in hand and recovering lost ground from the enemy. We pray for all those we encountered today, and we pray that God continues a good work in us to make us better evangelists.
St. John's team is now up and running!
May 4, 2021
St. John the Baptist team is now official!! We had our first outing and have taken flight! Now the team will focus on training using the "Intro to Evangelization" training course offered by SPSE and future outings to be scheduled in the very near future! Thanks for stopping by and please check back again soon!