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Scott Lowry

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Summary for Evangelization Outing Saturday 22 June 2024

June 23, 2024

This evangelization event was our first for the Syracuse, New York St. Paul Street Evangelization team. The event took place in Hanover Square in downtown Syracuse. Please welcome our new evangelists: 

-Dave (Lay Carmelite from the Watertown SPSE team).  

-Jeramyah (Discerning a Dominican vocation). 

-Allison (Discerning a Dominican vocation).

Dave is a lifelong Catholic who is very educated in the faith and strong in his convictions. He teaches the faith in a way that is understandable, non-threatening, and friendly. He is a great asset to both teams. 

Jeramyah has a deep passion for the salvation of souls and the Catholic faith. He is a recent convert like me, and has a very unique story. From being raised a muslim, running with gangs and dangerous crowds (such as the occult), the Lord converted him and put His Holy Spirit upon him to take the gospel to the streets for the preaching of truth, even in places most do not wish to go. He has been doing this for some time before joining our team and is not afraid to proclaim the truth of the faith to hostile crowds, often at the sacrifice to his own safety. 

Allison also has a deep passion for the salvation of souls through sound teaching of the faith and doctrine. She is very caring and humble and willing to put herself out there in the streets for the edification of strangers who may someday come to the Lord. 

We are blessed to have these evangelists called to help others as it took some time standing up this team. We also had some roadblocks with city permitting, insurance needs, and finding a suitable site for such a ministry with adequate foot traffic that is not intrusive to local businesses. This downtown setting worked perfectly as a meeting place for those in the public to share ideas, such as the concrete steps that also provide seating around the park, stone tables and chairs setup with chess tables and many restaurants in the area with foot traffic for sidewalks. 

We will be planning more outings at this location in the future to build up rapport in the area. 

Anyone driving through Syracuse at any point will notice a homeless population. Our team planned for this by providing necessities to those we may encounter in need such as providing food and drink while also making available a community resource list for food pantries, shelters, parish information in the Syracuse area, and crisis hotlines. Furthermore, my wife Leanna, who will be entering the Lay Franciscan Order on 23 June 2024, made twelve loaves of homemade bread (what a great number) for our team to pass out to those in need. At the end of the day, all the bread was gone. What a very Franciscan thing of her to do!  

Now, I am very dedicated to the Church’s Liturgy of the Hours Morning and Evening prayers along with the office of readings from the Saints. Many times I have found what I needed in them depending on the situation I may be in at the moment, along with teachings, experiences, writings, and similar situations that collided with the design in my own faith life. On this day, it was the feast day of three important Saints: Bishop Paulinus of Nola, Bishop John Fisher (Martyr), and Thomas More (Martyr). After reading one of Bishop Paulinus’ letters from the proper of saints, I found some similarities to this day that weighed upon my heart:

-Paulinus talked about his cousin coming from Carthage to deliver a letter. Our street evangelist today Dave was coming from Carthage, New York to meet up with me for the drive down to Syracuse.

-Paulinus talks about how not long ago he was “led out of darkness and the shadow of death, and only recently began to breathe in the air of life,” as in the case with myself and Jeramyah (who explained to me how the Catholic faith changed him and given him a new lease on life). 

-Paulinus mentioned “only recently have I put my hand to the plough and taken up the cross of Christ,” so it was for us on this day putting ourselves out there for Lord Jesus Christ officially in a major city to preach the gospel.

-Finally, Paulinus mentioned in his letter “loaves of bread being a token of unity symbolizing the substance of the Holy Trinity,” along with our alms of bread to the needy to compliment our evangelization mission. 

I encourage all of you to make the Liturgy of the Hours part of your prayer life in conjunction with any action you take in matters of the faith because the unity of the world wide prayer of the One Holy and Apostolic Church has much power. This is just what I personally needed to get the day started.

Unfortunately, bad weather was scheduled for the entire Upstate New York area. Along the way from Watertown to Syracuse, we came across torrential rains, but we pushed through it anyway, for Dave and I concluded that the Lord died for our sins upon the cross, so it is no matter to us that we become soaking wet out in the square today. We were also praying the rosary from our respective vehicles during the trip. Fortunately, to our delight, once we got to Hanover Square, the sun came out and it stopped raining just in time.     

Evangelization Encounter:

EE#1.) As Dave and I were setting up in the square, a Bosnian lady by the name of Cynthia (I could only make out the first part of her long name) came up to greet us and ask us about our table. We handed her a rosary and information on the faith, along with a miraculous medal, books I wrote on Christian apologetics, and some food and water. She was very kind and accepted all of this, while also telling us some things about her own country. She then walked to the top of the steps in the square with the stuff we gave her. Then, she decided to sit down on a bench in the grassy area under a tree behind us with her back facing us where she resided to feed the pigeons that flocked to her feet.

Dave and I continued setting up our table with street evangelization items we would be passing out when she returned to us at the backside of our table crouching at the top of the concrete steps which towered over us. She handed us back the Rosary and miraculous medals we gave her, as she tore them to pieces. She then demanded that we sell the “jewelry” we gave her. We couldn’t do this because they are blessed objects. She then held up the crucifix from the Rosary that she tore off, and began to instruct us saying, “this is not the correct crucifix.” She then proceeded to turn it upside down and boldly proclaimed, “this is the correct crucifix, you give me the wrong one!”

Me and Dave stared at her for a moment in disbelief. Once I snapped out of it, I plainly told her in a stern voice that Christ Jesus was crucified upright, and that the upside down crucifix is a false satanic mockery of the Christian faith. Furthermore, the Apostle Peter chose to be crucified upside down so he could “run to Heaven” upon death and in that he felt that he was not worthy to die in the same manner Christ did. Cynthia began to challenge me in this, but I interrupted her and asked her about generational curses and occult activity in her family. She told me in an aggressive voice/tone that her mother practiced witchcraft. From there I pulled out holy water and began sprinkling it. From there, she began to cuss and swear at me and Dave. We reminded her that we would pray for her.

Throughout the day, she would leave and come back to observe us. One of our evangelists attempted to talk to her without knowing what happened earlier. When I tried to shut down the conversation, she would respond with the waving up of her middle finger and profane language. 

Please pray for Cynthia’s conversion and for her spiritual protection.  

EE#2.) Chris Jr. approached our table. He is an older gentleman and decided not to wear a shirt today because of the heat. As he was flexing and showing us his “guns,” he told us a little bit about his situation being homeless and how he is going through a rough patch taking care of his family members, teaching them faith, and not being able to afford some necessities. Luckily, he managed to be held up in a city “tiny housing” program until he gets back on his feet again. He also mentioned his service in the military. After we gave him some food, water, and sacramentals from our table, he thanked us and began praising the Lord out loud. Me and Dave reminded him that God was with him and will never leave him and how Christ was also poor and the first Christian prisoner. 

Before Chris went on his way, he mentioned that he was going to tell his friends about us, because this is exactly what he needed. He also told us that he was grieving the recent loss of his father, Chris Senior. Me and Dave prayed with Chris for the Lord to help him in his current housing situation, for him to remain strong in faith and to protect him on the streets, and for the Lord to to comfort his deceased father and to let him shine in the perpetual light of the Lord forever, and for God to bring comfort and peace to him and his family. Chris began crying after this. I reminded Chris that his father isn’t truly dead, for even though the body dies, the spirit still lives, and he will see his dad again, although he does right by mourning. 

Please pray for Chris, his family members in the faith, and for the soul of his father.

EE#3.) Christine and her young son came up to our table. After some discussion, she informed us that she works for the Diocese of Syracuse. We gave her son a miraculous medal that he specifically wanted to wear around his neck. He also wanted many sacramental items, but his mother wouldn’t let him take it all. However, we did try to encourage him, that if he was going to use it, he should try to evangelize his school buddies. Christine was very nice to us and expressed interest in Saint Paul Street Evangelization. We gave her an information pamphlet on the organization. Later on in the day, she came back offering us a donation and we directed her to the organization’s website      

Please pray for Christine’s important work in the Diocese of Syracuse and for her son to be strong in the faith. 

EE#4.) A group of young adults approached our table. Jeramyah  had a long fruitful discussion with them about the faith, and they were very motivated to learn more about salvation and the Catholic Church. They accepted various pamphlets on the faith from the Catholic perspective, including the topic “sexual purity,” along with rosaries and miraculous medals. We also prayed together as a group to foster fellowship. They seemed hungry for God and the hope of something higher, probably something they have not received in their own lives from older adults they were surrounded by growing up. 

Please for these young adults to grow in the faith and draw closer to Lord Jesus Christ. 

EE#5.) Anthony approached our table (he is featured in this photo). He is battling throat cancer, and was very grateful to receive information on the faith, sacramentals, and food items. Jeramyah led us in prayer over him with holy water for his healing and spiritual growth. He also accepted a Saint Anthony medal. 

Please pray for the Lord to heal his cancer.  

EE#6.) Two young ladies were walking along the sidewalk, and Jeramyah approached them with sacramentals and food. He had a long discussion with them about the faith and invited them back to our table where they had a discussion with the group about finding God in their lives. Jeramyah led us in prayer with them for God to become more active in their lives and for the healing of one of the lady’s grandmother who is dying. She was very hurt about this but enjoyed the prayer. At the end, both ladies allowed me to do the sign of the cross in holy water over their foreheads. 

Please pray for these women to have the Lord become more active in their lives and for the healing of their grandmother. 

EE#7.) An older lady approached our table. She declared that she was from the Saint Paul Episcopalian Church in Syracuse and asked us, “who are you?” We explained that we are a Catholic Evangelization organization. In confusion, she must have thought we were representing her church in some way. Once we cleared that part up, in response, the woman said, “we are pretty much the same then, we just don’t have a Pope and have less rules.”

Before I could respond to this, I had to answer a phone call, so Allison, Dave, and Jeramyah stepped in to talk about the Catholic faith with her. Nancy, our Syracuse Lay Dominican formations director pulled up to Hanover Square in her car to check up on us to see how we were doing. While on the phone with her, I directed her to a parking spot. To our delight, she got out and joined us for a little while in the square. Allison and Jeramyah know her because she is doing their Lay Dominican formation. She also recently completed mine and is a very good teacher. 

When I returned to the table, before the lady from Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church was about to leave, I asked her if she wanted any information on the Catholic faith. She was not interested. I then proceeded to ask, “Can I give you one good reason why I became Catholic?” She agreed and I briefly explained my conversion and what led me to the Church. She was not impressed, and in response she said, “I believe in women Priests and homosexuality, and that I should love everybody, so I can never become Catholic,” as she began walking away. 

I thanked her for her time and told her I would pray for her and asked her to pray for me. 

Please pray for this woman to be drawn into the fullness of worship and to someday accept the hard teachings and truths of the Christian faith. 

Now, Allison, Jeramyah, and Dave talked to many people; homeless, those in distress, young people coming from the polish festival just across the street, families, and people coming from the LGBTQIA pride parade that was a few miles away from our location. Some of those we greeted responded with, “Happy Pride!” However, most of the people we encountered were very friendly, some were indifferent, and others seemed a bit cautious or defensive. Even one gentleman turned out to be high on drugs, and began chewing on a cross we gave him. When we realized someone was intoxicated or dealing with an altered state of mind, we did not engage them for our safety and theirs.

I concluded this event with a story about how I received my two prayer cards I always keep on me (photos featured in this posting) and by saying the prayers on them as a group, in thanksgiving to the Lord for giving us the opportunity to serve His people:

The story began about a year ago, around this time of year after I was brought into the Lay Dominican Order. The Lord was stirring me at night often, and I was trying to figure out the best way to go about preaching on the streets in the city of Syracuse, because I heard from someone in the faith around the time of my conversion that demons were all about this city. Now, I knew evil spirits hated the Rosary, and how I knew about this was through my experiences with my own mother - who cried out in pain to the prayer of the Rosary - so I knew like Saint Dominic I needed to preach the rosary to others, but I did not know how to do this or in what format I should do this. For one, I was thinking about walking up and down the streets shouting out all the mysteries, or coming up with some different format to proclaim the mysteries (which is also the gospel message). Keep in mind, this was all before I discovered St. Paul Street Evangelization through some very holy people who were active in it and from some who knew of it. Anyways, what I was thinking about doing was very different, and probably wouldn’t have turned out well for me (and others), so, being the good Lay Dominican formation director Nancy is, we were driving around Syracuse during this time talking about how to go about this.

That is when she told me to stop the car we were driving in at random (we happened to be on Salinas Street right down the street from Hanover Square) and for me to get out of the car and start preaching out loud up and down the street to see whether or not it was for me. So, I followed her orders; however, not exactly. Once I got out of the car I began walking down the street (between Epicuse Food Market and Parthenon Books by the Landmark Theatre). But for some reason, I didn’t understand what she wanted me to do fully. So I started walking down the street until I came across a homeless man stopped in the middle of the sidewalk in my path who began staring at me. I approached him and gave him money with the Apostle Paul prayer card (it's the name I took at my baptism because of my conversion). We prayed the “Our Father” together. He did not say a word to me, but looked at me intently and then walked away. So, I kept walking up Salinas Street. Moments later, a younger gentleman approached me and asked, “Do you have any money?” So, I gave him some money, along with the other prayer card of Saint Patrick (this is the name I took when I entered the Lay Dominican Order because of a dream I had about Saint Patrick’s purgatory around the time of my conversion) I had in my pocket. After I gave him this, the man asked, “what’s your name?” I replied, “Scott.” Then the man paused for a second in silence, like he was expecting me to say something else, then I corrected myself  and added, “Paul-Patrick.”

I also told him if he was ever feeling down or in any trouble to look at the prayer on the card. He nodded and walked off. As I did my loop around the block, I was walking along the stores observing the neon lights in front of the windows. Suddenly, I decided to glance back over my shoulder. The man whom I had given the Saint Patrick prayer card to was across the street walking along with me with his hands in his pockets observing me. I did not think anything of it and went about my business. When I returned to the driver's seat of my car where Nancy was, she asked me “why didn’t you do what I asked?” That is when I remembered what she told me to do. I explained to her how I got distracted and gave up my Paul and Patrick cards. I was also kind of saddened by this because I always had those prayer cards on me and didn’t know how I would get them again because they aren’t easy to find. Being the kind person Nancy is, she ordered me to drive over to the Catholic Gift shop in Syracuse and that she would get me new ones. While we were discussing this, the man whom I gave the Saint Paul prayer card to came back across the street in front of us with a hot coffee in his hand and began acting crazy, even though I knew he wasn’t crazy. He was pulling trash out of a garbage can and tossing it at some driver who was sitting in his car on his phone trying to ignore him. The man with my Paul card and the hot coffee was definitely acting, for he was definitely of a sound mind. 

So, we drove to the Catholic gift shop in Syracuse. Nancy bought me new Paul and Patrick cards and they looked much different from the original ones I had. They also had more applicable prayers to what I intended to do, while also having Saint Patrick’s famous breastplate prayer. 

Later that night, after we parted ways, alone in prayer, I realized something and began to giggle in disbelief as I was staring at these prayer cards. The exact two men I saw on the street near Hanover Square looked just like the two men standing in the new Paul and Patrick cards Nancy got for me at the Catholic Gift shop in Syracuse. And here are those prayers on them:

Novena to St. Paul

O St. Paul, great Apostle of the Gentiles, intercede for us to God. You are God’s special vessel of election. Through your intercession we hope to receive from Him this special grace (here make your request.)

O St. Paul, glorious disciple of Christ, with great zeal you spent yourself to proclaim the Truth of the Gospel to a pagan world. Move hearts to conversion as you were so powerfully moved so that they will spread light instead of darkness.

May we never contribute to or be part of any communication that is contrary to our Faith. May we seek, instead, to promote, read, hear and view only those materials whose beneficial contents will bring greater glory to God, the exaltation of His Church or the salvation of souls. Amen. 

St Patrick’s Breastplate

Christ with me,

Christ before me, 

Christ behind me,

Christ in me,

Christ beneath me,

Christ above me,

Christ on my right,

Christ on my left,

Christ when I lie down,

Christ when I sit down,

Christ when I arise,

Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,

Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,

Christ in every eye that sees me,

Christ in every ear that hears me. 

Please pray for these souls and their deceased loved ones we encountered today. Thank you!


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