Missionaries of the Real Presence
Sharing the Real Presence
This newsletter features two stories from the missionaries on our community lunch and generosity. We have also added an upcoming events section to our newsletters to keep you up to date of events. 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
Reflection on our Community Meal
Generosity by Steven Kehoe
Throughout the variety of encounters I make with people, there are sometimes complaints that arise in my head which quickly become indictments of my own activity. One such complaint I had recently was how closed off some of the people I interacted with were. Then I even noticed it in those who were more open to our invitation to participate at St Catherine's but they still only received very little. I have so much to tell them, so much to teach them, so much to share about God and they are so stingy with their reception of it. It is truly frustrating to want to offer so much to others for no other reason than to help them become a better them and for them to receive so little of it. Imagine if a person would allow themselves to be molded completely! How quickly would they give up sin, how quickly would they pursue sanctity, how quickly would they find the true source of their joy which lies in God alone instead of all the substitutes they run to day after day!
But such an imagining is only an imagining, for even with myself I cannot bring myself to surrender to God who has given so much, shown so much, and who I have sought to serve completely. Truly tragic, is it not? If only we would let ourselves receive what God has to offer us, wouldn't we quickly find our sole delight in Him? And what delight would await us! Yet we are so stingy in our receptivity. We won't let others do things for us, we don't receive others' generosity, and this becomes true of our receptivity toward God. He sends us His grace and we receive so little. He sends so much grace that it left Paul with little else to say but to exclaim: how immeasurably generous is God's favor toward us!
He is the living water springing up into eternal life. Yet we are like broken cisterns that hold no water. Think about that, throughout your day there are not just streams of this water, not just waterfalls of it, but torrents gushing torrents with an ocean as a reservoir. Yet we don't take the time to be recollected enough to notice these everyday opportunities, like the missionary meeting you on the sidewalk. The distractions we dwell on in prayer, instead of uniting our soul to the loving motion of the Trinity with whom we are praying. The infinitude of grace we receive in Holy Communion, which was enough to make Bl. Imelda Lambertini die of delight. The crosses sent in our daily burdens that we never take on with the joy that should come with such frequent sharing of our beloved's sufferings. Oh, if only we would drink of the milk of his comfort!
Should we not resolve to be more welcoming of God's will for us? Should we not mean it when we say along with the psalmist: your will is my delight? So let us pick up our drooping hands and revive our failing knees and habituate ourselves to be receptive.
Let others help you when they offer to, or better yet, seek out others help even when not needed, bear with patience things out of your control that affect you, pray through reading or silent contemplation, give up those conveniences that make you independent, give alms because few things make you more reliant on God like an empty wallet. The old have to learn these virtues when they become infirm; imagine what good gifts God wants to give and can give by your learned receptivity before such trials afflict you. As for me, I shall eventually learn to love the coldness of those who refuse my generosity because it is a sharing in the cross of Christ, and perhaps then, I might truly be able to mourn their stony hearts and long for them to be set ablaze as Christ did when He said: I have come to set the world ablaze and how I wish it were already so!
Reflection on Our Community Meal by Robert Pauly
In June, the Missionaries began offering lunches Monday through Saturday after daytime prayer. At first, very few people attended for a couple weeks so we decided to bring picnic tables outside to the front lawn so that people walking by could see what we were eating and make our presence known. After we finished the prayers a couple times, people showed up at the front door expecting us to have the meal ready. We met Antoine and Curtis, two brothers who live nearby and they love cooking and know most of their neighbors. They have assisted us since then in cooking most mornings and have invited many people to join us for prayer and the meal. Now one missionary is the assigned cook each week and can manage the kitchen while the other missionaries go out to the neighborhood.
One experience at the beginning that has impacted me was, when I made some pancakes for the missionaries and Curtis and Antoine, then the guys came back later to make and serve lunch. The next day after we had finished eating breakfast, Antonie and Curtis showed up with many friends to eat breakfast so I made three dozen pancakes to feed the dozen people who showed up unexpectedly. Imagine Martha and Mary cooking breakfast for fifteen uninvited guests practically everyday. We realized that it was not sustainable to prepare breakfast and lunch daily for people and there must be more ground rules. Now, we serve lunch daily for anybody and our breakfast and dinner is just for missionaries and invited guests. They understood that we needed time and have still continued to help out.
Most days there are now 15 to 25 people who join us for the meal and some of them join for the daytime prayer before the meal. Everyone joins in for the meal prayer and gets to hear about the lives of the saints or Catholic beliefs. We decided to read the life of a Saint each day of the church calendar or the gospel for the day with a short explanation of it before our meal. This has helped many experience the depth of the liturgical calendar of the Catholic Church and help build Catholic culture around the event. It has helped start many conversations about faith and sparked the interest to learn more about Catholicism from many who have been joining for the meals.
Many of those at the meals have now expressed their interest in becoming Catholic and becoming involved in the church. It has helped many people find good community around the church and they feel much more welcome at the church now.
Missionary Associates - Join us Thursday September 15th for the first meeting of the Missionary Associates. This will be a meeting for anyone who is already volunteering with the missionaries or interested in volunteering/supporting our work. We hope that this can build 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 will occur 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 - 6:00 pm
Dinner and socializing 6:00 pm onward
If people are still around until 9:00pm, they may join the missionaries for Night Prayer
Feast day grill out - 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. 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
IC, Curtis, Matthew, David, Jerry, Valerie, Nicholas, Elijah, Kelly, Charlos, Erica, Amanda, Gail, Annie, Monique, Christopher, Eve, Christopher, Page, Kevin, Roshawnda, Clenzo, Keter, Howard, Mark que, Cathy, Janett, Debarla, Anthony, Lance, Sebastian, Colleen
Please keep those who have started individual catechism classes and are preparing to become Catholic in prayer
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
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
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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