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Tampa Riverwalk - 3/20/21
April 13, 2021
Another beautiful day to evangelize in Tampa, FL. I am inspired by the teams from up north that have to brave the weather, but mostly I'm glad we don't. Our team had a lot going on so many regulars couldn't make it. We were down to just three, Stacia, Bob and I, but what we lacked in quantity, we made up in quality. Judge for yourself with our many interactions:
- First off as I just finished setting up Deacon Mike stops by from my Parish (St. Stephen). He just happened to be visiting the Riverwalk with his wife, and it was nice to be able to show him what we do.
- Carol stopped by and thanked me for the rosary I gave her last year at this same spot. She still uses it. If you do this long enough you get these often.
- A young lady named Jolene came forward with an amazed look on her face. She said she had not been practicing her faith lately. Then she had a dream last night of mother Mary and this morning she sees our stand with all the rosaries laid out. That was enough of a sign for her. I told her about daily confession at Sacred Heart up the street a few blocks and off she went.
- I'll bet all street evangelists will tell you this is the response they hear most often when offering a rosary or medal, "No thanks, I'm good." Well I got one of them from an African American fellow as he walked by. He went out of sight about 100 yards away before I noticed he was walking back towards our table. He said the picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe reminded him of the Black Madonna that he used to have a devotion over. He too had fallen away, but he was eager to get reacquainted with our Blessed Mother and took a rosary. I guess he wasn't "good" without it.
- The Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team was playing the Chicago Blackhawks that afternoon. Many people had on jerseys from both teams. One young man named Landon stopped by while drinking a beer. (A good sign to convince someone to be Catholic.) He told us he was discerning the Catholic faith. He was Methodist and felt his faith had recently gone astray. As he told us his story he got emotional. We could tell he was searching. Stacia spoke of her love for the Eucharist, and I addressed his concerns about flip-flopping doctrine not being an issue because of the Holy Spirit's guidance of the Magisterium. We promised to get him in touch with my favorite Chicago evangelist, Mark.
- Finally, there was a mother, June, who wanted a medal for her daughter who was trying to get pregnant. I offered, Jesus Divine Mercy... No, St. Christopher... No, St. Joseph... No, Miraculous Medal... maybe..., my last offering: St. Teresa BINGO! She started to cry because that was her daughter's name.
Once again, please join us if you can. E-mail me at email@example.com. If you cannot, please pray for us. That's just as important.