Engaging new people
Sharing the Real Presence
This newsletter features two articles from the Missionaries on engaging those who often want nothing to do with us or the faith and those crying out for help. We invite you to get involved in some of our upcoming events. We will also be including items and ways that you can financially help with the mission at the bottom of future newsletters. 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
How to Engage Those Who Want Nothing to do With the Faith
Rescued from Distress
How to engage those who want nothing to do with the faith by Griffin Rain
We are coming up to Thanksgiving and I know often times we have divided families when it comes to religion and so some of what we learned from the streets may help with families. Recently we have begun evangelizing in different areas of the city on different days of the week. I have noticed that how we need to approach people is different in each part. On the northside, where we have been for the last two and a half years, people are much more receptive to the gospel, to church and starting a conversation about faith is as easy as asking someone if they attend any church. Now with us evangelizing on the East side of Milwaukee twice a week on Tuesdays and Saturdays, it is like stepping into another world. Many people we encounter have a repulsion to faith because of past trauma with the church, family or other Christians not living up to the ideals that the faith teaches. I have begun to see that very few people are actually atheist and many more of them are just angry at God and the people who they know who try to follow God. The first day we went to the Riverwest neighborhood, we were cursed out by four people in the first hour being there. I believe that God wants us there and the devil was trying to scare us away. Since then we have not had as many of these kind of interactions. When in this area, we have learned that we have to take a different approach to get to a genuine conversation about faith. We learned that asking someone if they attend a church can be seen as a threatening statement because they don't and they have often been judged by family members in the past because they are outside of the church. It shuts down the conversation instead of opening it up. The initial question needs to be more outside of the person if they have purposely distanced themselves from the faith. We have found that asking for any prayer intentions is a good way to start a conversation because we sincerely want to pray for the people we encounter in charity and they are free to reject the offer and it is outside of them. If they say yes, then it is a person open to prayer and faith, but if they say no than often the person is closed off to faith. We will often follow up with a question like, "why do you not want someone to pray for you." and often times, they will say how it has not worked in the past or open up about some family trauma. Once it gets to this point, it is pretty similar to how we have approached things on the northside with asking people questions about where they are at with things and listening to them to see where they are at with things. In this area, we tend to be standing in the place of Christ that people have felt hurt by through those in their lives, bearing the wrongs patiently and being present to them as Christ would. Christ bore many insults and died on the cross for sinners and so we know that when we stand there and comfort the afflicted and bear wrongs patiently, it can be an encounter of Christ that they need to heal from these wounds. So when it comes to engaging those who hate the faith, I think it so important for them to see Catholics practicing the spiritual works of mercy with them. In many of these conversations with those who are antagonistic to the faith we have the opportunity to engage in every one of the spiritual works of mercy and this can help them to see Christ. The Spiritual Works of Mercy are counseling the doubtful, instructing the ignorant, admonishing the sinner, comforting the sorrowful, forgiving injuries, bearing wrongs patiently, praying for the living and the dead.
Rescued from Distress by Robert Pauly
“O give thanks to the Lord for he is good,
For his love endures forever.”
Then they cried out to the Lord in their need
And he rescued them from their distress
And he led them along the right way,
To reach a city they could dwell in. (Psalm 107)
We met a man at a bus stop who had many tattoos of Catholic symbols, the most noticeable was the Rosary on his neck. When we asked what Church he belonged to, he left the Christian faith because it was scamming people of their hard-earned money, not saving their souls. After that, he opened up regarding having been raised Catholic, but did not understand the reasons for the sacraments and attending Mass on Sunday. I remembered that there was a pamphlet on the “Problem of Suffering” that we had. I offered it to him to help him understand why he went through that faith crisis about giving money to the church in order to offer it to Jesus in prayer. He accepted the pamphlet and got on the bus.
This man saw men of faith and witnessed their joy and love of the faith. Offering that handout answered questions and experiences he went through and showed God’s love for him. In the man’s need, God rescued him from the distress and began leading him to understand his suffering and that he was not alone.
We met a man who had been drinking at the Open Doors Cafe, who sought a way to get to a detox center. He knew that alcohol was only a part of the problem, in which his faith and openness to the Lord led directly to the Missionaries. When his cry for help was heard by the Lord, he got a pull beyond expectation. He thought we would drive him only to the detox center. We had to stop by the church which was at the same location as the food pantry he helped at a few times. After praying with him and discussing the faith, he got right with the Lord in the sacramental life. After going to confession, he shared stories of his family upbringing, difficulties living in areas with other groups of people, and told many stories from the Scriptures. While waiting at the detox center to check in, other people got into rooms before him. As he waited impatiently, he continued to release the anger that had been welled in his heart for many decades. In impatience, he went to the desk to see how long it would take to get checked in or if he would be thrown to the curb. A few hours later, he got checked into a room.
I stayed with him to listen and intercede to the Lord on his behalf. I could have explained the phrase, “many who are first will be last, and the last will be first,” (Mt. 19:30) but that was not what Christ wanted me to talk about. The man needed Christ’s presence to help release him this torrent of emotions and stories, which the alcohol expressed in his distress. He needed someone to help fight the battle.
Missionary Associates - Join us this Thursday November 16th for this months 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. It Occurs at St Anthony Catholic Church at 1711 S 9th St. Milwaukee, WI 53204.
The schedule for the event is as follows:
Evening Prayer in the Church 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
Many people have been asking what kind of items that we are in need of to support us in a specific way. We will now have at the bottom of our monthly newsletter some items that we are in need of as well as some specific things we will need funding for.
Copy Paper, Legal and Letter
thick glossy paper for inkjet printer for vocations trifolds (Click here)
Confession A little Book for the Reluctant 100 copies from TAN Books
Metal Baking sheets
Heavy wool socks
spanish bibles and catechisms
Seek Young Adult Catholic Conference - We will have a table set up to promote vocations to MRP ($2700)
About the Missionaries of the Real Presence
The Missionaries of the Real Presence are a group of lay men who live in common at St Anthony Parish in Milwaukee, Wisconsin as they discern a charism for a new religious community to be contemplative missionaries for Urban Evangelization. We are dedicated to prayer through daily chanted Liturgy of the Hours in the church open to the public and evangelization to the neighborhoods surrounding the parishes we serve in.
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 house visits Here
If reading about some of our 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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