Written Testimonies

“Our little group became like the apostles at Pentecost.”

“¡Gracias a Dios!”

Mulege, Mexico

Saint Paul Street Evangelization is an apostolate with international reach, with the goal of bringing the Gospel message of salvation and the truths of the Catholic faith “to all nations” (Mt 28:19). Sometimes when the Holy Spirit is gently calling a person to consider starting a SPSE team, it is helpful to have some time to let the calling “marinate” and to sit with it. Many of our evangelists have gone through such a period of discernment for weeks or months when faced with the opportunity to step out in faith and start a local team. Our Lord tells us to “consider the cost” (Lk 14:28) when it come to following him. Thankfully, many do heed the call and respond to the need, as we will see in this unique story from one of our new evangelists:

The following report comes from evangelist Cathy of the newly formed Mulege, Mexico SPSE team:

“In April of 2016, I attended St. Paul Street Evangelization training in Denver and enjoyed the the talks as well as the practice session at a park. There were no chapters in Oklahoma at that time and I didn’t feel called to start one. About the same time, my husband started spending 7 months a year in Mulege, Mexico and I would visit on and off for a few weeks at a time. 

About a year ago I read the story (below) about the first SPSE chapter in Mexico. I thought if in Tijuana, why not in Mulege, the site of once thriving mission built by Jesuits in 1705? My first step was to contact the SPEI office and learn the options for signage in Spanish. I ordered 500 Miraculous Medals and Holy Cards and 500 Gospel Holy Cards, all in Spanish. A rosary making apostolate in my diocese offered to give me 500 rosaries. My husband left in October with the goods. During my visits December through April I met multiple times with Norma, a devout woman and with the priest, Padre Francisco. He first “blessed” the concept and later blessed all the items. He serves 8 churches, none which have any Mass time signage, weekly bulletins, hymnals or missals. So, we made handouts with the weekly schedule of Masses and Adoration. My husband, as president of the Rotary, designs banners frequently so he made one with the Virgen of Guadalupe and had two copies printed. Fortunately, he is a woodworker so he also made a simple frame to hold the banners. 

Finally, everything came together on April 30th (my birthday). Norma, two others from our little church and I met in the town square. There was a steady stream of people crossing the square but the three ladies seemed hesitant. A 30’s something couple walked by and I approached them, offering rosaries. They were most friendly and interested, ignoring my challenges with Spanish. I gave them two of everything except the Mass schedule. Their enthusiasm was contagious and our little group became like the apostles at Pentecost. We spread out all over the square, each talking to different people. All of our experiences were very positive. The vendors in three taco stands across from us took turns coming over and talking. A young gal with a child said that she was protestant but ended up asking for one of each of the items we had. A grandmother came up to me, thanked me profusely, told me how great it was that we were doing this and how badly it needs to be done. After an hour and a half, our little group reconvened. Each one of us was thrilled at the many successful encounters we had. We were surprised that so many of our contacts were shocked to learn we were giving the items away free of charge. We only had a handful of polite rejections – all in their 20’s and 30’s. 

As I had hoped, the Virgin of Guadalupe is in the DNA here. It makes evangelization so easy! The little group wants to start going to each community – at the bus stop of one and the grocery store of another, whatever the hub is. They even wanted to start the next day! All three gave me huge hugs and thanked me over and over before we parted ways. It turned out to be an evening well worth the year in the making and a very memorable birthday…Gracias a Dios!

Please see attached photo of Norma, myself and Isabel. Reina was deep in conversation with someone when the photo was taken.”

Praised be Jesus Christ! When we step out in faith, God provides for our needs and sends us the grace to do the work. We are given the courage by virtue of our Confirmation to be witnesses to Christ like the apostles at Pentecost. Then whether in our own country or another, wherever we are called, we will respond, “Lord, I will go. Send me!” Join us!

Healing in the Name of Christ

Healing in the Name of Christ

Port Huron, Michigan

Healing miracles can be a powerful witness to the power of the Holy Name of Jesus. Our Lord says that even if we have faith the size of a mustard seed, we would be able to move mountains (Lk 17:6). In our apostolate we are seeing ordinary Catholics becoming equipped to do the work of evangelization in Healing Ministry. A healing by faith may be dramatic or it may be quiet, it could be physical or emotional. But at the heart of it, the Lord longs to heal us of the things that stand between us and belief. As we will see from this report, God uses ordinary people of faith to accomplish His work.

This report comes from SPSE evangelist John in Port Huron, Michigan:

“Beautiful day today at the St. Steven’s Parish Festival in Port Huron! 

I asked one woman who was looking at some holy cards if she wanted prayer for anything. She requested healing prayer because she’d been diagnosed with cancer of the brain a year and a half ago was given five years to live. I told her that I was on a healing prayer team and would be happy to pray with her. Myself and another SPSE minister prayed for her. We, as always, have faith that the Lord wants to heal her and that he will.

Another woman came up with tape and bandages wrapped all over her right forearm. I asked her what was up with her arm and she said she had torn ligaments from working with horses. She said her arm was in constant pain and she could not lift anything. My fellow prayer minister and I offered prayer. The woman reported she experienced a lot of warmth in her arm and she said it felt better. I asked her if she could test it out. She said she’d have to try to pick something up. We found a heavy duffel bag and she picked it up with ease saying that she could not do so before. Then we wanted to pick up something heavier so we found a wheel chair, which she was able to pick up with ease. We joked that someone should sit in it and let her try to pick it up. She was quite surprised that she was healed!

Next up a young lady (late teens) was looking at some of the medals and talking to one of the SPSE folks. I looked at her for some time felt that there was someone on her heart that she was thinking about and needed prayer for. I approached her and made some small talk. After a bit I said that I felt that the Lord had told me that there was someone who was weighing heavily on her mind and offered to pray with her for them. She started to tear up a bit and then began to tell us and I how her uncle had passed recently and they were very close. We prayed together for his soul and for consolation for her.

Next was a woman with a cane (I love people with canes!). She said she had constant pain and problems with her left side and sciatic nerve. I asked her what her pain level was on a scale of one to ten and she said “seven and a half”. I had her sit down, but this time I had a fellow prayer minister, who had never prayed for healing before, pray for her since God can (and does) use anyone to heal. I gave her suggestions on what to pray for and she took it and ran with it. The woman reported feeling a deep heat in her back and hip where my fellow prayer minister’s hand was. I asked her if there was anything she could do to try out the healing and she said she could can try to walk. I helped her up and we left the cane behind because I was holding her hand. We had walked about 25 yards and she seemed to be enjoying the stroll, but I didn’t know her or how much pain she was in so I asked her “how is it?” She said “Oh, I never could have walked this far this fast without a cane.” I asked her what her pain level was at and she said “zero”. She no longer needed a cane to walk.

Another woman came up who wanted prayer for her son who was an alcoholic. I told her how I used to do ministry at a rehab center so we talked about the problems he was facing and I gave her the name of an excellent rehab center and told about getting him a counselor, a sponsor and about insurance coverage for addiction – and of course we prayed for Jesus to intervene.

Another woman said her father had terminal cancer. We prayed for her father and, taking her hands in mine, I prayed for Jesus to impart healing into her hands and told her to go lay them on him and how to command healing in Jesus’ name (since I have done this in the past with some success). We both felt a lot of heat in our hands as we prayed.

Finally, I prayed over a man who had “lost his faith”. As he was a convert to Catholicism, I asked if he knew what “baptism in the Holy Spirit” was and if I could pray for him for this. “Yes, and yes – please”. Were his response. We prayed and he reported feeling a great amount of peace.”

Praised be Jesus Christ! What an amazing testament to God’s goodness and the power of faith in the work of healing. Jesus performed many miracles, as recounted in scripture, and he equipped his disciples to carry on his work of healing and proclamation. We are his disciples too, and are called to do the work even today! What a great gift and privilege, and what a good God we serve!

Ask the Bishop

“Ask The Bishop"

Winona, Minnesota

Although Saint Paul Street Evangelization is a primarily lay-run apostolate, the support of our bishops and priests is a huge blessing and vital to our work. That’s why we are always so blessed when our shepherds “hit the streets” with us in solidarity as we reach out to the flock with the Good News. As it says in Scripture, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mt 20:28). In following the model of our Lord, our spiritual fathers live their vocation as “servant leaders” and shepherds.

The following report comes from SPSE evangelist Deb in Winona, Minnesota: 

“We have been so blessed that Bishop Quinn has been able to go out multiple times with our teams to evangelize at the corner of Winona State University. Yesterday, the rain was threatening, but held off while we were out sharing the Good News and ministering in prayer to the students going to and from classes. The students seemed to be especially in a hurry yesterday, but many stopped to receive a blessing, be prayed over, or take a medal or rosary. Just by chance (more likely Providence) most of the rosaries we had with were purple and white, which were the Winona State school colors, so many students wanted one of those. 

One young married man asked for prayers from the Bishop for his wife’s grandfather, who lives in another country, who had pneumonia – after we prayed, he said that we had made his day. We even had several cars stop at the corner to find out what was going on and thank us for being out evangelizing. Right as we were packing up a woman in her car stopped, thinking she recognized one of our evangelists, but it wasn’t the person she thought it was. I explained what we were doing, and she pointed at Bishop Quinn and asked who he was, and I told her he was the Bishop. She said, “I used to be Catholic” and I said “Hmmm, I am thinking you drove by today because God wants to send you a message to come home”. 

After we finished the Bishop lifted up the needs of all those we talked to and all the students on campus who needed prayer. He asked us what we thought the greatest graces of the day were and we shared our thoughts about the interaction with those needing prayer, the presence of the Holy Spirit, open conversations about faith, the lack of any hostility, the joy we were all filled with, and the witness we gave to others by being in public sharing our love of the Lord. 

We’ve been so appreciative of the Bishop’s support and his taking the time to be out with our teams that our National Office even developed a sign for our outings called “Ask the Bishop” with his picture and name. It was great for those stopping to know who he was. Bishop Quinn truly enjoyed receiving the sign and plans to take it with him as he travels throughout the diocese.”

Praised be Jesus Christ! The support of our Bishops goes a long way in buoying the resolve and work of our evangelists. Their participation is a visible witness as well to the world of the Christ who goes out to seek the lost and gather them in (Mt 23:37). We must always pray for our Holy Father, and all bishops and priests. Lord, remember your Church!

He Became Catholic

“Follow the Truth...Wherever It Leads”

Denton, Texas

Thomas Jefferson had once said, “We are not afraid to follow the truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it.” This has some interesting elements in it as it pertains to Catholics coming into the Church: For one, Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life–to pursue Truth is to find Christ; secondly, the Church is protected from error by the Holy Spirit in issues of faith and morals; thirdly, the Church is not opposed to reason, but faith and reason are “the two wings which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth” (St. John Paul II, Fides et Ratio). 

Being witnesses to the truth of the Catholic faith is an important part of our work, and our evangelists in the following story give some watertight reasons for those they encounter to consider becoming Catholic.

This report comes from our Fort Worth/Dallas SPSE teams:

“On Friday four SPSE evangelists evangelized at Denton County Courthouse Square from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Two evangelists were from the Forth Worth SPSE team and two evangelists were from the Dallas SPSE team. Thank you, Paul and Mark (Dallas Team) for working with us and helping us to have another successful event in Denton. 

I engaged two young women. One had some exposure to the Catholic Faith when she was young, but had not been active in the Faith since her childhood. She is currently shopping around for a church. I encouraged her to consider returning to the Catholic Church and gave her some reasons to return. The conversation focused on the fullness of Truth, Christian history, and the Sacraments. She took a Rosary and literature. 

I had a long conversation with a young man. He was examining many different religions, but was inclined toward Protestant Christianity. I encouraged him to consider the Catholic Faith. I gave him reasons why he should join the Church, which we discussed. We also discussed Our Blessed Mother. He was interested in and drawn to her. He took a Rosary and literature.

Larry and I engaged a non-denominational woman. We encouraged her to seek the Truth and look into the Catholic Church. Interestingly, her son is Catholic. She encouraged him to find his truth, and he became Catholic. She took a Rosary and said she appreciated what we were doing. 

A young woman walked by and declined a Rosary saying, “I’m a non-denominational Christian.” I asked her if she had ever considered becoming Catholic, as she was walking away. That question engaged her, and we had a long conversation. We talked about Christian history, the fullness of Truth, the Sacraments, the difference between being a “good person” and the holiness and self sacrificial love we are called to in the Christian life. It was an engaging conversation. She asked for literature and said she was open to considering it. She also took a Rosary. 

Two young women walked by Larry and I. Larry asked if they wanted to Rosaries. One of them hesitatingly said yes. When asked if they had ever considered becoming Catholic, the one who had said yes said she was considering it and studying it. She had previously dated a Catholic man, and had some exposure to the Catholic Faith through him. When we asked if she had any questions, her nonverbals indicated she had a lot of big questions. She said she had questions about the Eucharist. We discussed that at length. We discussed John 6 in detail. We discussed the parallels with Exodus. We discussed the historicity of the belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. We discussed the difference between the symbolic nature of Protestant communion and the Real Presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. I often make the point to Protestants that they can be closer to Christ in the Catholic Church by virtue of the Sacraments. We really dug into the point with them, highlighting the difference between the natural virtue of love (being a good person) and the supernatural virtue of Charity, which we are called to and which can only come from God. Both young women had good questions throughout the conversation. It was an engaging and good conversation in which all four people were actively involved. The young woman considering the Catholic Faith took a Rosary and literature.” 

Praised be Jesus Christ! Many people have come to the doors of the Catholic Church almost against their will after being open to following the Truth and were surprised where they ended up. Don’t be afraid to seek after Truth, because Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and His Church contains its fullness!

Flint Mission

"Set On Fire"
Flint, Michigan, USA

When Jesus sent the disciples out to preach and heal, he sent them “two by two” (Lk 10:1). Today we have that same calling to go out and spread the Good News by virtue of our baptism, and we find people responding, intentionally and with enthusiasm, to that calling. This includes all of our lay evangelists setting up stations on the street, and also more recently, those who have accepted the call to be religious brothers with the St. Paul Society of Evangelists.

The following report comes from John Nguyen, a brother with the newly formed St. Paul Society of Evangelists:

“The brothers from the St. Paul Society of Evangelists attended “The Mission: Flint Summer Work Camp” during the week of July 22-27 at St. Mary Queen of Angels in Swartz Creek. There were over 100 youth and young adults from different parishes in the diocese of Lansing who were assigned to various community service projects, one group of which was assigned to do street evangelization. The brothers gave a training conference on Monday which was based on the Basic Evangelization Training days given by SPSE, but with the fun factor kicked up a notch for the teens. Topics included the importance of prayer, how to approach and engage others in conversation, how to hand out Miraculous Medals and Rosaries, how to pray with people for their intentions – especially for physical and spiritual healing, and how to give the Gospel message and encourage them to take the next step in their journey to God.

Eager to set the world on fire, the group of 15 high school students, several young adult leaders, and the three brothers set out after Mass on Tuesday morning to the Flint courthouse. Two were stationed at an SPSE table while the rest were locked and loaded with pockets full of medals and Rosaries. After a prayer they broke up into teams of 2’s and 3’s and were sent to evangelize on the main street and surrounding area. What happened next surprised us all.

Teams began to come back to the SPSE table to refill their hands and pockets with more Miraculous Medals, Rosaries, Crucifixes, cards, pamphlets, and whatever else they were inspired to give away. Reports of fruitful conversations, inspired prayers, and confidence among the students began to increase, especially those who were street evangelizing for the very first time. As the day passed, reports of people having personal encounters with Jesus increased. People were receiving spiritual healing while others were being healed completely of their physical pains. The Gospel seed was increasingly being sewn into hearts.

Returning back to base camp, marvelous testimonies were shared and the enthusiasm of the teens was growing in their hearts and on their shining faces. After being fed with dinner, edifying and funny skits, powerful music in praise of God, and encouraging talks, we were fed with the presence of God in powerful Eucharistic adoration and thanked Him for all the graces being given on the streets that day.”

Praise be Jesus Christ! Have you ever felt a deeper calling to do something “more?” Do you want to “go beyond Sunday” to be on fire as a “24/7 Catholic?” Are you attracted to the religious life? Maybe God is calling you to consider the St. Paul Society of Evangelists!

In whatever our capacity, we are called to share the Good News with others. But there are exciting new opportunities on this “new frontier” of being a Catholic Christian in today’s world. Check us out, pray, and consider supporting our ministry with your time, talent, and treasure. You never know where the Lord may lead you when you “come and see!”

She Was Healed

“These signs will accompany those who believe…”
Bloomington, IN.

Praised be Jesus Christ! A team of evangelists visited the local Farmer’s Market to share the Gospel on a recent Saturday. There were a handful of remarkable encounters on this outing, but one of them, in particular, stands out. One of the team’s evangelists met a young couple. They were Protestants striving to live their lives for Christ, but not strongly committed to one denomination. The evangelist gave them “One good reason” why he chooses to be a Catholic: That Jesus Christ founded the Catholic Church, and promised to remain with it until the end of time. As he explained this to them from the Scriptures, the couple were very responsive, and truly interested in discovering the truth of this for themselves. They accepted the tract, “Pillar of Fire, Pillar of Truth,” and the books “Rome Sweet Home” and “Made for More,” and promised to read them. They also exchanged contact information with the evangelist, planning to meet him on another day for lunch.

As they were walking away, the evangelist had a thought, “I should pray with them!”, and he ran to catch up with them, asking if they would like to receive prayer. They accepted, and he prayed that the Holy Spirit draw near and fill them all. The couple was visibly moved by the prayer. Now, this evangelist had discerned in the past that he had been given a gift for prayers of healing, so he asked the couple if they needed prayer for any physical ailments. The young woman said that yes, indeed, she suffered from lymphedema, an incurable condition effecting the lymphatic system. She said that her pain-level was currently “20 out of 10,” and that her ankles were swollen.

The evangelist asked the Holy Spirit to come and heal her from the condition, and commanded the pain to leave and the condition to be healed in the Name of Jesus Christ. The woman stood up, and was amazed, saying that the pain was 100% gone! She started crying as she wiggled her ankles which were no longer swollen!

Praised be Jesus Christ! Please give thanks to God for His kindness to this young woman and her boyfriend, and pray for them and for the evangelist, as he follows up with them.

Soup Kitchen

A Couple at the Soup Kitchen
Detroit, MI

This story comes from Anne:

This couple, married 57 years, stopped by our SPSE table at All Saints Soup kitchen today. The layout of this Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan run soup kitchen has our evangelists near the entrance. As patrons check in, they can see our table. Our evangelists greet them as they wait in line. Following check in, patrons can enter the dining area by passing directly in front of our table or by another route. This gives our evangelists the opportunity to evangelize or perhaps simply to make eye contact with as many that enter as possible.

An elderly Hispanic couple walked up to our table and immediately expressed faith! The husband shared that soon after waking up, asks God what He wants him to do that day! How beautiful! After a brief conversation, this man said he would accept our offer to pray for him and his wife. After the couple enjoyed a hearty meal, we sat down for prayer. They shared many issues with which they were dealing , including the recent loss of all the husband’s teeth making eating very painful. The wife also major dental issues. They were grateful that they found a good local dentist. They also asked for prayer for one of their grandsons who was recently released from prison. And for a recently divorced adult daughter and for another daughter with stomach issues; she is under the care of doctor who is trying to diagnose the problem. Two sons were brought up, one who drinks to excess. The wife’s right arthritic hand and the husband’s overall health (along with the dental issues, he had two heart attacks and a recent stroke) were discussed at length. The wife’s hand was an issue as she wanted and needed to serve her family and grandchildren by preparing meals. We asked God for help for all of these issues, mentioning them individually, including the wife’s hand. We prayed for her hand at the end of our prayer; the evangelist asked if she could place her hands over the wife’s hand and asked the husband to join her. When we concluded, our evangelist asked the wife to try out her hand by opening and closing it. She said it was moving a little more smoothly. It was suggested that both of them continue to pray for the full healing of her hand and thank God for this healing throughout the day and fr the next few days. We parted ways and began to greet other patrons. About five minutes later, the wife came out of the restroom with her hand held high and a big smile on her face. As she walked up to our table, she exclaimed,

I washed it and it feels good.” She was opening and closing her hand repeatedly. Praise Be to God!

Jesus & the Poor

He was denied help
Owatonna Team

Sometimes God sends people your way when you expect it, but most of the time he sends people unexpectedly and we just need to remember to Listen, Befriend, Proclaim, and Invite. When we are open to listening and asking questions, we can touch hearts through our love of God and our neighbor.

Last week we talked to a young man, Jose, who was living in his truck. He had a job, but with no GED, he didn’t earn enough for affordable housing. He had really been struggling to find a sense of dignity through his circumstances. In fact, he had just gotten enough courage to meet with a government group for assistance and when he didn’t understand how to fill out the forms, he was denied help. He felt pretty worthless at the moment. We were able to connect him with a local St. Vincent de Paul group for financial assistance,

We then asked him about his relationship with God and if he went to church. He said that he had grown up Catholic but had drifted away from the church. He couldn’t even remember why, he just stopped going. He told us that sometimes, he just walked into the local Catholic Church when no one was there because it gave him a sense of peace.

We shared with him that being in relationship with God and following his plan for our lives can bring us that sense of peace always and that God wants to be part of our lives. God created the church so that we would be part of his body and we would live in community with each other. We prayed for his needs and gave him a Miraculous Medal. We talked to him about how much God loved him and his face lit up. We were able to connect him to our contact person at the church to begin the process of accompaniment back to full relationship.

When one member of the body of Christ falls away, it is a loss for us all. How many people are out there that need this same kind of love and conversation to help restore their relationship with the Lord and His Church? You can be the hands and feet of Christ. Come and partner with one of our teams or start one in your own community.

Healing Broken Hearts

“When the Holy Spirit is working, watch out!”
Philadelphia, PA.

Doing street evangelization we encounter many people with many problems. We live in a post-Christian, pagan culture, broken by sin and weighed down by misfortune for many. We need more fools for Christ! The Holy Spirit gives you courage to be a fool for Christ. Any ordinary Catholic can do it, you just have to ask for the grace and He gives you the words. We are merely getting out there and planting seeds, the Lord makes it grow if it is His will; He is the Harvestmaster!

This story comes from evangelist Rob:

I joined up with the Lower Bucks County team for the day. Since there were four of us we split into two teams; Nancy and Don set up shop near the cathedral on the Parkway, and Deacon Mark and I set up outside the children’s hospital.

Our first encounter was with a young Catholic nurse from the West Indies who moved here from Ohio, who listened thoughtfully and said she had been thinking of going back to church. I gave her a rosary and St. Michael medal, and encouraged her to go to Mass and to Confession. She seemed to really take it to heart. Her name is Ima, please pray for her.

In another encounter, I walked over to a woman who seemed troubled, and sat down next to her and introduced myself. She was Catholic but non-practicing; her daughter was in the hospital we were set up in front of, and she also had a relative who committed suicide recently. She seemed generally touched that someone would pray for and listen to her, and considered it God’s doing. I gave her a Miraculous Medal, saying how much it has changed our lives, and also a rosary with instructions on how to pray it. Her name is Kristen, and her daughter in the hospital is Savannah. Pray for her.

Lastly, I asked a man if we could pray with/for him and he was very suspicious because we were Catholics and said, “You are a stranger, and it’s not good.” He was a big man. But then he seemed to have a change of heart and said, “sure.” So I prayed with him. Then he asked if he could pray for me and I said sure, which he did. Then we chatted and I smiled at him the whole time and it seemed to disarm him. He agreed we have a fight on our hands, but I told him it is not with each other, it is with the culture. Then we hugged. He even left, then came back and gave us $5, which we will use to buy more holy medals! His name is Jeff, he is a Baptist minister, please pray for him as well.

Praised be Jesus Christ! Like Saint Paul, even if we can “save some” or at the very least pray and be a comfort for those who need it, we are doing the Lord’s work and being his hands and feet. Nothing gets done without the Holy Spirit. But when He is there, watch out!

Praying at the Hospital

"In the Face of Awful Hardship...Joy"
Philadelphia, PA.

This story comes from Nancy of the Philadelphia – Lower Bucks County team.

Walking out of the Children’s hospital parking garage on a chilly but sunny day of December, Deacon Mark, Don and Nancy immediately happened upon Thomas on the sidewalk leading down to the street. This poor man, catching a smoke, was obviously in great anguish, given away by the pain in his eyes. Our little team had been walking and chattering from the car ride and seemed to most unexpectedly meet up with Thomas. Noticing Thomas by himself, and upset, we asked if we could pray with him. There was no hesitation in this man, he seemed to have no doubt of needing prayer, no strangeness that these people passing by asked to pray with him; it seemed like he knew just why we were passing him by at that time.

Thomas’ little six-year-old daughter Anisa is in the Children’s Hospital and has suffered and continues to suffer with multiple brain tumors. Thomas, a strong tall man, stood in tears and fear for his little girl and his dear family. The poor man beseeches Our Lord to hear and answer prayers for Anisa. We pray for good diagnosis, appropriate and effective treatment and full healing of Anisa and we pray for strength, hope, peace and love of Our Savior to fill Thomas, his wife Rebecca, and little Anisa this advent particularly, and always.

Following our prayers with Thomas, we walked on down to Civic Center Boulevard and up 34th street to setup our prayer station between the hospitals. Just on our way out from Mass earlier about an hour before, we had requested prayers from a couple of longtime parishioners, Al and Ann, at OLGC who promised to pray for us. They thanked us for doing this ministry and hugged us, saying they would indeed pray to God to place people in our path who need help with knowing Christ’s love for them and pray for us to have the words that are pleasing to Our Lord that these people need to hear.

In answer to their prayers and ours, we met many people on our two hour mission. One thing that is always striking about doing St. Paul street evangelization in front of the hospitals is how many people on what seem like normal sunny days are suffering with tremendous burdens in their lives. It is an honor and a privilege to be allowed by them and by Our Lord to minister to them in their time of great need. Thinking on how one person’s normal day is another person’s upside-down day is reminiscent of all the recent Gospel readings leading up to advent, not knowing the time or the place, but knowing one day we all shall see the face of God. Until then, being reminded by others of His constant working in our lives is where a person in the face of awful hardship can have hope, peace and hopefully even glimpses of joy in knowing they are never alone, but God is always with them, and that this life is not all there is, and that God sends His body of Christ, us, to minister to those in need.

After praying with and for many, listed below in intentions, our little team packed it up to leave. Walking down the street to head back to the car, we saw a couple of laundry bags on the wall. We asked a man standing near if he would like a blessed medal. He told us indeed he did want one, and prayers also. His name was Bradford and he was waiting for his wife Lucy to pull up her car to get the laundry. The clothes were Amanda’s, Bradford’s 26-year-old daughter who was dying in the hospital from pulmonary hypertension. Bradford told us that he saw us and thought of coming up and asking for prayer, but felt he could not, feeling unworthy and weak to do so. He remarked how glad he was that we passed by him and asked. He was so thankful to pray with us, remarking on how his daughter always told him what a strong girl she was but that now her time had come. Bradford had great concern for his daughter to be received into heaven when she passes. We prayed the Fatima prayer at the end of our prayers with him: “Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell; lead all souls to heaven, especially Amanda and all those in most need of Thy mercy.” The dear man cried and told us what a blessing we were, thanking us greatly for being there for him and the many others there.

Praise be to God for He is great and His mercy endures forever! Praised be Jesus Christ!

Lastly, I asked a man if we could pray with/for him and he was very suspicious because we were Catholics and said, “You are a stranger, and it’s not good.” He was a big man. But then he seemed to have a change of heart and said, “sure.” So I prayed with him. Then he asked if he could pray for me and I said sure, which he did. Then we chatted and I smiled at him the whole time and it seemed to disarm him. He agreed we have a fight on our hands, but I told him it is not with each other, it is with the culture. Then we hugged. He even left, then came back and gave us $5, which we will use to buy more holy medals! His name is Jeff, he is a Baptist minister, please pray for him as well.

Praised be Jesus Christ! Like Saint Paul, even if we can “save some” or at the very least pray and be a comfort for those who need it, we are doing the Lord’s work and being his hands and feet. Nothing gets done without the Holy Spirit. But when He is there, watch out!