Missionaries of the Real Presence
Being Present like Christ
Sharing the Real Presence
This newsletter features two stories from the missionaries on being present to those we encounter in our ministry, some upcoming events and those who you can keep in prayer. Please continue keeping us and those we are ministering to in your prayers. We hope these newsletters can encourage you and our readers to grow in faith and in zeal for the work of the salvation of souls that is so needed in our church.
In this newsletter
Being Present to the Person
Reflection on Encountering Sarah
Being Present to the Person by Griffin Rain
One thing that I have noticed since the beginning of the pandemic is the proliferation of yard signs. As we walk and travel around our neighborhood, we see them everywhere, when we go across town they are there. Most of them try to address a particular social issue. I believe the yard signs have grown in popularity, because people have been less connected to those around them and instead of actually talking with their neighbors, they believe placing a sign so people are aware of what they believe. People who put signs out want conversion to their side, but signs don't convert people. Conversion happens when someone's beliefs are challenged. Signs don't challenge us. The love of God surely challenges us. We see in the gospels, Jesus calls individuals and draws him close to himself. He doesn't leave a big sign where people will see it, but he calls and then walks with the person to be reconciled to God the Father through Him. As Catholics, we can't be satisfied with making statements of our faith to the general public and think that will bring more people into the church. We need to encounter people where they are at, show the love of God and help them to see that a life with Christ is something necessary and good for their life. As missionaries, our ministry is one of presence, being with those who are lonely and abandoned.
Recently there was a homeless man sleeping on the steps as I was opening up the church for our 6:30am Morning Prayer. I talked to him briefly and invited him in to pray with us. He came in and within a few minutes was asleep for the next 2 and half hours until all of our morning prayers and Mass was over. I then went to wake him up and invited him to join us for prayer and lunch later that day and he asked if he could continue sleeping so we let him sleep in our community room on the couch while we prepared lunch and did other house chores. I would stop in every so often and check on him and one visit he was up and so we had a long conversation about his life, faith and his cocain addiction he was trying to fight. He shared that he has been homeless for 10 years and every place he has gone to to seek help has treated him like he was just a number. He shared how even though they were charitable organizations, he did not feel loved at any of them including churches. It was a breath of fresh air to be treated with respect and just being present to him.
As I reflect on this, it is clear that many organizations are doing work to help those struggling, but often will only focus on the problem at hand and not the bigger picture. The person in front of them has a lot going on and is ultimately looking for God, but feel as they are talking to a robot. Our interactions with someone should be personal and allow them to know God's love through our actions and experience His real presence!
Reflection on Encountering Sarah by Robert Pauly
In July, We met Sarah who lives in an apartment building across the street. With her permission, we brought some lunch to her and learned that she is married and lives with a small dog; they have several children and grandchildren who live around Milwaukee. She goes through dialysis treatments several times each week, which takes a lot of time in the mornings. As soon as she comes back from the appointments, she walks across the street to eat with us. She and her grandchildren usually walk over to the picnic tables to eat lunch with us.
Now that school is in session, she gets rather lonely, in which her grandchildren brighten the day. Even though they do not attend schools in the neighborhood, she prays for their safety and welfare. How many times have we felt too busy to visit family until we hear that something terrible happened to that loved one? One of her sons doesn't visit very often even though he lives down the street. She loves him deeply, just like Mary, the Mother of Jesus loves him and prayed for him while traveling throughout Judea and Galilee.
Oftentimes her family is very busy with their own things and so they don't get to visit with her. Living a celibate life, I will not have a family of my own, however, I am able to devote my time in a way that people like Sarah are my spiritual family. I can visit those who have nobody to visit them and be christ to them. Being celibate truly frees someone to devote their entire life to living out the gospel, where others have obligations to other task that keep them from visiting those in need. When Sarah comes for lunch, we are able to feed the hungry, but much more give comfort to the afflicted. As Catholics, we see the world is very much in need of God’s mercy. People can see God through our interactions with them and if we are merciful, our hope is they may soon ask for God’s mercy. I can see the importance of presence to those around us through our ministry and how much of an impact it has on people.
Missionary Associates - Join us Thursday October 20 for the second meeting of the Missionary Associates. This is for people who volunteer with the missionaries or are interested in volunteering/supporting our work. We hope that this continues building up the community around the missionaries, get to know others and energize more people to start working for the salvation of souls here in Milwaukee. This occurs on the 3rd Thursday of every month.
The schedule for the event is as follows:
Evening Prayer 5:30pm - 5:45 pm
Short talk by one of the missionaries 5:50 pm - 6:10 pm
Dinner and socializing 6:15 pm onward
Feast Day Celebrations -Every feast day or solemnity that falls on a Monday through Saturday, we will be grilling out from around 10 am onward with games set up in the church yard. If weather does not permit grilling, we will have games set up in the Visitation House community room. With the weather getting colder, it is looking like this will be the case more often. Upcoming feast days may be found here
We would encourage our readers to pray for those who we have been working with in our outreach ministry. There is much fruit happening with the missionaries and we need your prayers!
Please keep those who have expressed interest in learning more about Catholicism in prayer
Timisha, Charlos, Candy, Johnny, Jerry , Jordan, Lance, IC, Curtis, Matthew, David, Jerry, Valerie, Nicholas, Elijah, Kelly, Charlos, Erica, Amanda, Gail, Annie, Monique, Christopher, Eve, Christopher, Page, Kevin, Roshawnda, Clenzo, Keter, Howard, Marquez, Cathy, Janett, Debarla, Anthony, Lance, Sebastian, Colleen
Please keep those who have started individual catechism classes and are preparing to become Catholic in prayer
Jaime, Curtis, Antoine, Taylor, Micah
Please keep those who are fallen away Catholics that we have met and those who have expressed desire to come back to confession and church in prayer
Blessing, Terrie, Johanne, Ken, O, Jack, Deja, Dolly, Tom, Alicia, Jennie, Ed, Bob, Ken, Tom, Dolly, Jenny, Jack, Anthony, Deja, Terri, Catherine, Mary, Jodee, Jerry, Diana, Georgia, Thorne, Mike, Johanne, Lisa, Joyce, Dawn, Wayne, Tracey, Fae, Lettie
Those who are in special need of prayer
Bud, Deshawn, Anthony
Please pray for any men who are discerning becoming a missionary
Click Here to pray for those who we met in our first year while at St Rose of Lima Parish
About the Missionaries of the Real Presence
The Missionaries of the Real Presence are a group of lay men who live in common at the Visitation House next to St. Catherine Catholic Parish in Milwaukee, Wisconsin as they discern a charism for a new religious community. We are dedicated to prayer through daily recitation of the Liturgy of the Hours in the church open to the public, Evangelization to the neighborhoods surrounding our parish and running a hospitality center next to our parish.
Support the Mission, Join the Mission
If you appreciate the work we are doing, consider supporting our mission financially Here.
Volunteer with us with our street ministry and with the Visitation House Here
If reading about some of our vocation stories inspires you, come and see what life as a missionary is like and visit us for a day or longer for prayer and ministry as you discern Here.
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