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Detroit - St. Leo Soup Kitchen

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State or province: Michigan

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Patti Connors
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Recent Outings at Shelby Twp. SVDP and St. Leo's Soup Kitchen in Detroit

June 15, 2024


Our team members participated in some wonderful and memorable experiences in the last couple of evangelizing opportunities in the past week.  One was at SVDP in Shelby Twp.  The staff always makes us feel welcome when we setup outside the thrift store. This time, many customers just stopped by to show appreciation for us coming out to be there to talk to others about our faith.  One lady, in particular, left a smile our hearts.   She was from Pakistan but her, her husband and three sons had lived in the US for the past seven years.  At first, she just stood next to our table and continued to smile. She told us that she still had family in Pakistan and needed our prayers.  We reassured her that would happen and asked her to sign up for our church to continue prayers for her family.  She explained that in Pakistan you are not allowed to practice or even speak about Christian beliefs for fear of being persecuted.  She loved how we were able to stand there and speak freely about Catholicism and Jesus Christ.  She was presently, attending a Lutheran church but wanted to know more about the church we attended.  We gave her a hand-out of local Catholic churches, circled ours and wrote down the mass times.  We told her that we would love to see her there!  She told us that she would love to do what we were doing and help our church any way that she could.  She left s her telephone number and told us that she would love to have us for dinner some time.  She accepted a couple of religious items and prayed with us.  Before we parted she said that she believed Jesus put us there so we could meet.  We are certain that she is correct!  We will be in touch.  Praise be to Jesus Christ!

This past week, we were at St. Leo's Soup Kitchen in Detroit.  The staff there is always so happy to see us!  We always need to have an abundance of religious items as many people enjoy and treasure them. These folks also enjoy sitting down with us for sincere prayer.  This time, many patrons, upon entering the lunch line and noticing that we were present, pointed at the crucifix  and/or miraculous medal they were wearing with a proud smile and thumbs up. A case worker came down to talk to us and asked if we could bring some extra rosaries the next time we were there as clients were asking for them.  Our response, of course, was a big YES and told them we would also bring them our simplified hand-out on how to say the rosary.  How Blessed are all of us!!!



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Recent Outings at Shelby Twp. SVDP and St. Leo's Soup Kitchen in Detroit

June 15, 2024


Our team members participated in some wonderful and memorable experiences in the last couple of evangelizing opportunities in the past week.  One was at SVDP in Shelby Twp.  The staff always makes us feel welcome when we setup outside the thrift store. This time, many customers just stopped by to show appreciation for us coming out to be there to talk to others about our faith.  One lady, in particular, left a smile our hearts.   She was from Pakistan but her, her husband and three sons had lived in the US for the past seven years.  At first, she just stood next to our table and continued to smile. She told us that she still had family in Pakistan and needed our prayers.  We reassured her that would happen and asked her to sign up for our church to continue prayers for her family.  She explained that in Pakistan you are not allowed to practice or even speak about Christian beliefs for fear of being persecuted.  She loved how we were able to stand there and speak freely about Catholicism and Jesus Christ.  She was presently, attending a Lutheran church but wanted to know more about the church we attended.  We gave her a hand-out of local Catholic churches, circled ours and wrote down the mass times.  We told her that we would love to see her there!  She told us that she would love to do what we were doing and help our church any way that she could.  She left s her telephone number and told us that she would love to have us for dinner some time.  She accepted a couple of religious items and prayed with us.  Before we parted she said that she believed Jesus put us there so we could meet.  We are certain that she is correct!  We will be in touch.  Praise be to Jesus Christ!

This past week, we were at St. Leo's Soup Kitchen in Detroit.  The staff there is always so happy to see us!  We always need to have an abundance of religious items as many people enjoy and treasure them. These folks also enjoy sitting down with us for sincere prayer.  This time, many patrons, upon entering the lunch line and noticing that we were present, pointed at the crucifix  and/or miraculous medal they were wearing with a proud smile and thumbs up. A case worker came down to talk to us and asked if we could bring some extra rosaries the next time we were there as clients were asking for them.  Our response, of course, was a big YES and told them we would also bring them our simplified hand-out on how to say the rosary.  How Blessed are all of us!!!



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Christmas Celebration at St. Leo's Soup Kitchen

December 31, 2023


A few of our Team members went down for our annual Christmas Celebration around mid-December.  Each year we bring each client a bag filled with a few useful items.  This year we packed over 100 bags filled with a nice, warm scarf, hand warmers, a Christmas prayer card, a small pad with a cross on it and a pen with a bible verse and ,of course, a candy cane! Our parish, St. Therese of Lisieux, is very generous with donations to these client bags of goodies and we are most appreciative! Our parishioners also donated many gift cards to be used at St. Leos and Malta, the dental clinic above the soup kitchen.

In addition, we gave out our usual rosary, medals, etc.  Many people were eager for prayer.  One gal spoke tearfully of the verbal abuse she was experiencing from her boyfriend.  We assured her that God loved her and was there for her.  She was given a list of nearby Catholic churches and encouraged to walk into one...Jesus was waiting.  She agreed to go.  We also took her to the front desk where she could set a time to speak to someone about her abusive problem.  She eagerly took a rosary and a medal and gave many thanks.  We hope to follow up with the next time we come down.  Thank you Jesus.  Among many others who stopped to pray, another lady, living on the streets, came in with all of her belongings, in a couple of bags.  She  asked for a second scarf to help keep her warm and, of course was given another one.  She was also given a list of churches that perhaps could help her find a place to stay.  She was given a Miraculous Medal and was tearfully thankful and said she had heard about these medals and wanted one all her life!  We will continue to pray for all of these folks and we thank the Holy Spirit for helping us to bring the "right" words to us as we carry on the wonderful mission of SPSE!

Below is a beautiful, new painting hung at the soup kitchen.

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His Door is Always Open

September 20, 2023


Our team has been evangelizing at two different places: St. Leo"s Soup Kitchen in Detroit and SVDP in Utica.  Last week we were at SVDP, outdoors on a beautiful Saturday morning.  A new evangelizer, Michelle,  joined us.  She is on our Evangelization Commission at our church. She was skeptical, at first, about evangelizing with SPSE.  I am happy to report that at the end of our session she said that she was happy she came and would like to do this again:-).We had a good number of people stop by that took rosaries, medals, etc. and several that accepted prayer.  One gal in particular looked somewhat distressed as she walked up to the table.  We asked if she would like a rosary, etc. She replied she wasn't Catholic and wasn't even sure that she was a Christian.  We relied to her that our Lord's door is always open.  She lingered and we asked if she would like to pray about something.  After a while she said she would like a prayer for her mom.  We sat down and talked a while about the situation with her mom and then we prayed. We offered her a rosary and an explanation sheet on how to say the rosary.  She thanked us and  also took a Miraculous medal.  I reminded her to "Knock on His door" and that He was waiting for her. For the first time, she had a smile on her face.  Praise be to Jesus Christ!!SPSE Team PhotoSPSE Team Photo



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St. Leos Soup Kitchen is Growing!!

July 23, 2023


We are always welcomed with open arms when we come here.  Some memorable events happened this time...

The day before we go down, I always bring out my suitcase that is filled with the items that we will need while we evangelize.  This time, as I brought it out,  from the corner of my eye, I saw a flash on my phone of either a new text or email.  When I glanced at my phone I saw a message from someone from SPSE(I think Tim), that said something like, here was some spiritual music they thought I would enjoy.  It certainly made me smile to know that the Holy Spirit was already lending a hand!  I played it while I got rosaries and medals, etc ready for the visit...what a blessing!

This time I brought my 17 year old granddaughter with me. She really enjoyed the pleasant atmosphere and willingness of folks to accept rosaries, medals, etc.  She befriended a young gal about 10 years old who came with her mom and 2 younger sisters. Together with the simplified sheet we have made up, she showed her how to say the rosary and helped her to read every prayer so that she could continue doing this at home. It was beautiful to watch two young ladies from such opposite walks of life interact so beautifully!   A Christian pastor, the cousin of the head cook, came in and chatted with me.  We enjoyed sharing our similarities about our love for Jesus Christ and prayed together.  Because the kitchen has grown so much in the past few months, MANY more religious item are needed each time we come to evangelize. The patrons are so eager to pray that some times a "prayer line" is formed! WHAT A GREAT CIRCUMSTANCE TO BE IN! Praise be to Jesus Christ!

 

St. Leos Soup Kitchen has grown tremendously...they now serve over 100 patrons wonderful meal Tues.-Fri.  It is part of Catholic Charities of Michigan: Center for Works of Mercy.  It is located at 8642 Woodward in Detroit.  They also provide health and dental services to those in need though the works of MALTA.

 

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St. Leo's is up and running

February 14, 2023


Good News!! Patrons are now able to have lunch at the newly established St. Leo's Soup Kitchen Tuesday-Friday. It is located in the building called the Catholic Center for Works of Mercy in Detroit...8642 Woodward. It has so much available for the people in need: a food pantry, a very nice clothing area, and even a medical facility MALTA, for the uninsured that serves their dental, physical and mental health needs, beside a nice hot lunch! The cafeteria is smaller than before but very well-organized and appreciated. We have gone down there a few times now and the staff and patrons are always happy to see us. Of course we offer rosaries, medals, etc. but our offer of prayer is the most appreciated. We set aside a couple of chairs, as you can see in the pictures so that there is a little privacy when we pray. Even some of the staff likes to come a pray with us:-).
Whenever, someone chooses a rosary, we ask if they knew how to say it and we hand them sheet with a simplified version of how to say it (pictured). We also have a sheet that shows them locations of nearby Catholic churches.
At Christmas time we brought many items for the patrons as little gifts: Hats, scarves, socks, hand warmers and many personal needs, also pictured.

Right now, there is only room for a couple of evangelists but when the weather is warmer, we can have more outside. If you have any interest, please contact me. Thanks to the guidance of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, and the Holy Spirit for this beautiful, heartwarming and fulfilling experience!

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Evangelizing at the SVDP new location (while St. Leos is still being "rebuilt" in a new location)

August 7, 2022


Hopefully this fall the new St. Leos in Detroit will be up and running. The location is still in Detroit at the Catholic Charity Works of Mercy.

But meanwhile a very nice new SVDP store in Utica has opened its door to us and very appreciative to have us there.  My team partner, Karen and I went there about a week ago to set up.  We felt so welcomed by the store management!  Many people stopped by for Rosaries, medals, holy cards, but most importantly so open to prayer.  We also keep a list on our table that they can sign to receive continued prayer at our parish.  A sweet little girl picked out a pink rosary and wanted to take a picture with me:-).

As I was packing up, a staff member came out and very tearfully came up to me.  I said I was so sorry that I had packed up but I could certainly get something out for her.  She said all she needed was prayer.  She said she had an argument with her daughter and her daughter said she didn't want to see her any more.  We prayed together and found her a miraculous medal.  She hugged me, thanked me, and put it on immediately.  She said she would treasure it forever.  Praise be to Jesus!!!  Hopefully a reconciliation is soon to follow!SPSE Team PhotoSPSE Team Photo



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Tangled Rosaries Bring Evangelizing to the Beach

April 15, 2022


 This is the second year that I have taken my rosaries to the beautiful waters of Fort Myers Beach representing St. Paul Street Evangelization. I am always a bit apprehensive at first, wondering what my encounters will be like as I evangelize. I say a little prayer to the Holy Spirit before I begin and He never lets me down! Instead, He gives me the courage to smile, give confident, direct eye contact and as an opening, offer a free rosary. My husband brought down a little beach table to the ocean shore, where I laid my bag of rosaries. I began to open the bag and within seconds five people who were walking the beach noticed that I was trying, desperately to untangle them. They asked very graciously if they could help untangle the bundle and wonderful conversations followed! I asked the first lady if she would like a rosary and she asked if she could have four, one for each member of her family. They each chose their favorite color. She thanked me for doing this and thought it was a great idea. She asked if she could take a picture and send it to Grandma and said she was sure she would love this as this was something she had never seen!!

A young girl, who had been walking with her mom also started to help untangle rosaries. I thanked her and told her she should continue her beach walk. She told me she would rather do this because she didn’t like to take walks…LOL. After a while I told her this was a special time with her mom and share God’s beauty, she smiled as she walked away with a rosary.

As the wind blew, so did the rosaries. I had been talking to a young couple who told me they thought, ‚Äúthis was such a nice gesture‚ÄĚ but they didn‚Äôt need one. At that moment several rosaries blew over onto the sand. As they ran to pick them up, the young man said, ‚ÄúI think this is a sign that I need this one!‚ÄĚ Thank you Holy Spirit-I think I saw Him give me a wink:-).

Another gentle man who took a rosary offered a donation, which, of course, we never accept. He asked why I do this and I answered because Jesus wants us to…his smile told me that he understood. His wife later told me that she couldn’t believe he had come home with a rosary because she had recently heard that her favorite aunt passed away a few days ago and she had loved making rosaries for her church. I saw the gentleman a few days later who said he knew they would have a safe trip home because he had a rosary.

Someone told me that they didn’t know how to say the rosary . I usually have an explanation sheet with me but it was too windy to put them out. I decided to explain but it seemed too complicated so I told them to just hold the rosary close to their heart and offer a prayer on each bead for some one who needed help and also to give thanks for all their gifts.

Lots more positive comments, prayers and thumbs up were sent my way. Some even offered to pray for me.

Thank you Jesus for a most enjoyable day!

In addition to Evangelizing on the beach, I took a walk on Good Friday and hung rosaries on the fence along the way.  This is a simple way to spread the Good News!

An another note, I have heard that St. Leo's Soup Kitchen will be in full operation sometime in May...fingers crossed.

SVDP store in Utica will also be moving this summer.  I will update when I know more!

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St. Leo's Soup Kitchen Update and new location for Evangelization

October 28, 2021


St. Leo's Soup Kitchen had to close its doors this summer due to a flood.  There is a possibility that it may reopen sometime in 2022 at a new location but that has not been determined as of yet.  I will update when I hear that this is going to take place.

Meanwhile, I have found  a new place to Evangelize:-).  It is located at the St. Vincent De Paul Thrift Store in Utica: 45550 Van Dyke 48317.  We went there for the 1st time last Friday, Oct. 22nd.  The staff welcomed us and had us set up right inside the store.  About 25 people stopped to chat and inquire who we are and what we represent.  Many were happy to accept rosaries, medals and a few stayed to pray.  One lady in particular, named Donna, stands out.  She told us about her mom who was ill and recently diagnosed with cancer.  We asked her if she would like a miraculous medal, which she gladly accepted and gave her the Holy Card that explains the story behind it.   She couldn't believe it was free!  She asked if she could have one for herself,  as well, and thought her mom would love the idea that they would both be reminded to pray together to our Holy Mother for recovery.  We chatted a bit more and she told us that she had not been to church in a while so I gave her a sheet I have of Catholic churches in the nearby area. With tears in her eyes, she walked away with a smile and thanked us many times for our generosity .  I told her that Jesus had led her to us that day.  Thanks be to Jesus!

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A Prayerful, Exhilarating and Heartfelt Christmas Event @ St. Leo's Soup Kitchen

December 15, 2020


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Last Thursday several of us went down to St. Leo's for a wonderful Christmas event with the guests. It took us about a half-hour to unload our van to bring them a little Christmas joy...as it turned out, we received just as much JOY from the guests. This was, indeed, a joint effort. Our 7th and 8th grade religious education students put together several hundred "Blessing Bags" filled with toiletries, things to eat and other personal items. They donated the amount we needed (80) to the SPSE cause at St. Leo's. The parishioners at St. Therese of Lisieux supplied us with many Gift Card donations from the Giving Tree at our church for me to purchase hats, scarves, gloves and socks for each of the men, women and children who attended. A gift card to a restaurant for each was also added. My grandchildren helped me to organize and ready everything to be loaded on the van. This was a true "Team Event"!

The guests were so appreciative and thankful! After they picked up their lunch and items, prayer was offered to each of them and about 50-60 (I lost count), thankfully accepted without hesitation. Together, we gave Praise and Glory to our Lord. Many rosaries were also taken that day. We thank you Lord,Jesus for this beautiful opportunity! We were definitely led by the Holy Spirit!

Merry Christmas everyone and enjoy Evangelizing in the New Year!



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The Holy Spirit Came in with the Wind!

October 9, 2020


My partner and I were able to spend time at St. Leo's Soup Kitchen a couple of days ago.  The weather report looked like a perfect, sunny fall afternoon...until the 20-25 mph gusts of wind came in and headed our way! After our SPSE flyers and other items, literally, flew through the air, we searched for rocks and bricks in the area to secure our items we had set out on the table.  The St. Leo's guests were kind enough to locate some of our flying objects and returned them to us.  It was truly a laughable matter that put a smile on everyone's face:-)!

On a more serious matter, once again many guests accepted rosaries, medals, etc.  But more importantly, many prayed with us..  As one man prayed with me, tears rolled down from his eyes.  I could see that he was touched by the Holy Spirit.

Another man, named Pedro smiled as he told me his name,  his thought was...I'll bet you never met a black man named Pedro...his thought was correct and we both grinned from ear to ear. He was very interested in the rosary and after I explained how and why we say the rosary, he said, "Oh. I get it; Jesus' mom is a great person to pray to.  She must know him better then anyone!"  He confided in me that he had been incarcerated for three years, was residing with his brother and was ready for a new path.  He told he had tried a different Christian church but it wasn't for him and thought he wanted to become a Catholic.  I gave him a hand-out that I keep with me of Catholic churches in the area.  He thought that St. Aloysius was the one closest to his brother's apartment.  We found the telephone number for him and the pastor's name. He expressed great joy and said he was going to make a visit.  Thank you Lord Jesus!!

 

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Great to be Back!

August 4, 2020


It was wonderful to be back evangelizing at St. Leo's Kitchen!  My partners were not able to join me so Beth, kindly offered to be my partner.  Some of the guests were people that I have prayed with before and some were knew faces.  In almost all situations, people accepted our invitation to receive and join in prayer and, very willingly came to the table to choose a medal, a rosary, etc.  Each guest had their own story and cross to bear.  More importantly, they realized that we need to give thanks to Jesus Christ for the Bessings we have as we knock on His door.

We always feel so welcomed by the staff, who also enjoy praying with us, willingly accept precious gifts of medals, rosaries. etc and believe in the power of prayer.

I felt we were able to keep it safe, considering the new parameters with which we have to work.  Firstly, we evangelized outdoors (rather than in the building as we normally do), which was a most refreshing experience.  All people were asked to wear their masks, we had hand sanitizer available, we kept our social distance, and all items were placed in small plastic bags.

Thanks to the Holy Spirit for answering our prayers to find a workable way to continue this valuable experience of bringing the Word of Jesus Christ to more people! We will return some time in August, the date has yet to be determined.

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Great to be Back!

August 4, 2020


It was wonderful to be back evangelizing at St. Leo's Kitchen!  My partners were not able to join me so Beth, kindly offered to be my partner.  Some of the guests were people that I have prayed with before and some were knew faces.  In almost all situations, people accepted our invitation to receive and join in prayer and, very willingly came to the table to choose a medal, a rosary, etc.  Each guest had their own story and cross to bear.  More importantly, they realized that we need to give thanks to Jesus Christ for the Bessings we have as we knock on His door.

We always feel so welcomed by the staff, who also enjoy praying with us, willingly accept precious gifts of medals, rosaries. etc and believe in the power of prayer.

I felt we were able to keep it safe, considering the new parameters with which we have to work.  Firstly, we evangelized outdoors (rather than in the building as we normally do), which was a most refreshing experience.  All people were asked to wear their masks, we had hand sanitizer available, we kept our social distance, and all items were placed in small plastic bags.

Thanks to the Holy Spirit for answering our prayers to find a workable way to continue this valuable experience of bringing the Word of Jesus Christ to more people! We will return some time in August, the date has yet to be determined.

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A Simple Act of Kindness

April 14, 2020


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Sadly, we are not able to go to St. Leo's kitchen at this time, until the"social distancing"  order is lifted .  I have let them know that we are still praying for them, but we miss coming there and praying with them and we will return as soon as possible!  On Good Friday I was trying to think of how I might pass on the "Word".  So...on our daily "fresh air walk" of the day, I took some rosaries with me and fastened them on a fence that is near an Edison corridor.  When we returned on Easter Sunday, they were all gone!  Alleluia...Praise be to Jesus Christ!



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January 8, 2020 visit to St. Leo's Kitchen

January 13, 2020


As I walked into the kitchen, Lyon came running up to me, he had arms open and ready for a BIG hug while he announced , "It's not cancer!".  Last month Lyon had prayed with me, after accepting a rosary and a crucifix medal from us.  Lyon and his doctors were concerned that tests he was scheduled to have would show that he had liver cancer.  The tests proved that he did not.  He was certain that prayer played a big part in the happy results.  He wanted to give credit to me for praying with him but I assured him that this is the work of his Savior, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.  I told him how pleased the Lord was that he came to Him in prayer and asked him to continue to do that every day.  After a few more happy hugs, he assured me that he would continue his prayers.  We sat down together and prayed, once again...God is good!

Many of the patrons, came up to our table for rosaries, medals, and most importantly prayer.  Several of them came up with a smile to show that they were still wearing the medals they received from us in the last couple of months:-).  Praise be to Jesus Christ!



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Giving Spiritual Nourishment at the Soup Kitchen

December 13, 2019


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Our first experience at St. Leo’s Soup Kitchen was absolutely wonderful! Liz and I feel so blessed to have experienced this day. We started by introducing ourselves and telling the people we were happy they were there for a nice warm meal, and that we were also there to nourish them but in a different way: with prayer and with the love of Jesus. We had 25 to 30 people wanting to pray with us and even more coming to get rosaries, medals etc. Everyone was so gracious and wonderful, filled with so many stories, and so appreciative of us being there. Many had tears in their eyes as they thanked us.

Interestingly when we were setting up, we were a little bit nervous about this being our first time on our own. One of the clients came up and told us she was so happy we were here and wanted to hear all about Saint Paul Street Evangelization. She gave us encouragement and made us feel more relaxed, assuring us that we would be very welcome there. We were there to provide comfort and support, but SHE was the one who put US at ease!

Then when we were leaving one of the managers of the food service came up to us and asked us when we were coming back. He said we were welcome there as often as we wanted to come and thought that this was a wonderful addition to the soup kitchen. He ended saying, ‚Äúwhere ever there is prayer it‚Äôs never bad‚ÄĚ.

Praised be Jesus Christ! A warm welcome to our new team at St. Leo’s in Detroit. May they reach many souls for Our Lord during their time at the soup kitchen!



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