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  • Writer's pictureMissionaries of the Real Presence

Prepare & persevere

Sharing the Real Presence

This newsletter features two stories from the missionaries on the advent season and persevering with our encounters 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

  1. Care for the Soul

  2. Reflection on Advent Hymn

  3. Upcoming Events

  4. Prayer Intentions

Care for the Soul by Griffin Rain

There have been a lot of things that happened this last month. We had the Parish Visitors of Mary Immaculate visit us. They are a religious order of women that have a charism very similar to us. One of the quotes of their foundress Servant of God Mary Teresa Tallon was "make every soul count". I wanted to reflect on the care for souls and how important it is. Teri is a Catholic who just returned to the sacraments of the church last week. She was regularly attending our lunch for a while and stopped coming so we went to visit her at her house a few times and shared with her the importance of coming back to the sacrament of reconciliation. She knew that we cared for peoples material needs, but even more so about her salvation. She shared that the care for her soul and her salvation made the difference because she has never had anybody be persistent as we were and knew that most people without supernatural motive would have given up a long time ago with her. She thanked us and then she started coming back to the lunches, daily prayer and Mass and finally confession.

I believe that the care for souls shows the greatest love because it is helping someone to discover their God given purpose in life and how they are supposed to live for God and the things of heaven. St Thomas Aquinas says that to love is to will the good of another. People like Teri could see the love of God in our interactions with her and that God was calling her back after being away from the church for decades.

Reflection on Advent Hymn by Robert Pauly

How many times have we listened to a favorite song or hymn, but not taken time to listen to God’s Word coming from these? As Christmas Day comes closer, the hymn “O come, O come, Emmanuel” gives people many reasons to look back on previous experiences of pain, the present time for what is happening now, and what is to come. I began to explain the hymn to Jamie, a homeless man who wants to turn his life around by becoming Catholic and bring others to Christ.

What do you think of when hearing the word “Emmanuel”? It means God with us, which is the name revealed by the angel Gabriel to Mary and Joseph regarding their firstborn son who will come. (Matt 1:18-25; Lk 1:30-33) God wants to be present in our lives right now, but we have many things on our hearts that need to be released. For example, the people in the neighborhood are held captive by drugs, alcohol, and other situations that they cannot remove by themselves. As Missionaries, we offer to pray for these situations and work with them to avoid the near occasions of sin as we bring Christ to them through our witness of the Gospel.

And ransom captive Israel / That mourns in lonely exile here

The people feel abandoned by God because they despair in sorrow and pain that resulted from no clarity in preaching from their pastors, violence, and other experiences that make them think that God does not exist or care about their situations, but they are desperate for God’s presence and wisdom. Jamie struggles with many sins of the flesh and wants to get away from them because they hurt himself, others, and God. As he continues to battle these temptations, we have offered suggestions to help win him for Christ such as prayers (Hail Mary, Our Father etc.) and actions to avoid the near occasions of sin.

O come thou wisdom, from on high, / And order all things far and nigh;

To us the path of knowledge show,/ And teach us in her ways to go.

Wisdom comes from the Holy Spirit to sanctify us and help us recognize when we have done wrong. He pricks our conscience to lead us back to God in particular for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Even though the neighbors cannot receive the sacraments, they want to come into the Church because God has shown them that the Catholic Church is the way to go. As Missionaries, we build relationships with the neighbors so that they can see how we take the fruit of prayer to them.

O come thou rod of Jesse’s stem, / From every foe deliver them

That trust thy might power to save, / And give them victory over the grave.”

Jesse became the father of David, who then became the King of Israel. Jesus is the blossom of Jesse and David that falls into the ground and dies, but grows in the field of the Church. This field has many seeds that become weeds, rocks, and others that do not belong, but could tempt us away from Jesus and the Church. We ask Jesus to give us the grace “to deliver us from evil” through prayer. We must have patience and trust in God to work through us and save us even though we struggle with sin.

O come thou Key of David, come, / And open wide our heavenly home

Make safe the way that leads on high, / That we no more have cause to sigh.

Many of our neighbors say they believe in Jesus, but they do not use the tools Jesus gave to bring us to heaven through the Church. The safest way to heaven is to follow the path that Jesus has laid out for us instead of trying to make our own way. Jesus gave Peter, one of his Apostles, received the Keys of the Kingdom, which is the foundation of the Catholic Church. In Isaiah, a King of Israel appointed a new master of the palace, who would assist him with administering the King and his household. (Is 22:15-25) In the same way, the Catholic Church has the Bishop of Rome, the successor of Peter to help teach the Church, which Jesus established. The Apostles continue to hand on the faith through the Bishops who cultivate the teachings over many years and help bring souls into heaven.

O come thou Dayspring from on high, / And cheer us by thy dawning nigh …

O come Desire of nations bind

Jesus is the Dayspring who comes from heaven, the Sun of Justice and returns to heaven. The saints and angels cheer us on as we live on earth serving God through each person. We listen to people’s stories and invite them to the Church so that they have reprieve from their broken homes and lives. Through our witness of the Gospel, many neighbors want to become Catholic upon seeing how joyful we are by giving up everything to follow Jesus more closely.

Hymns and songs like “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” praise God using our eyes, mouths, and ears to understand his mysterious presence. God uses singing or speaking to teach us how to interpret and see how He makes Himself known in those words such as the Psalms, or favorite songs or hymns. Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Upcoming Events

Come and See Discernment Week - We are hosting a come and see discernment week Monday January 9th through Sunday Jan 15th. This will be open to men and will be a great opportunity to pray, work and experience the life of the Missionaries of the Real Presence, especially for those who are in college and on their Christmas break. Please email to register or if you have questions.

Visitation House closed while at SEEK conference - The Missionaries are going to the SEEK conference in Saint Louis, MO January 2-6. We will be having a table there and encouraging men from across the country to come and join us in our mission. Our activities at the Visitation House will be cancelled for January 2nd through January 7th as well as our public prayers at St Catherine's. That week there will be no Liturgy of the Hours, public Rosary, Eucharistic Adoration or Thursday and Saturday Daily Mass. The Tuesday and Friday Mass will continue as normal. Please pray for Vocations to the Missionaries of the Real Presence while we attend.

Missionary Associates - Join us Thursday December 15th 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.

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 have games set up in the Visitation House community room. We start with breakfast at 9:30 am and games to follow. Upcoming feast days may be found here

Prayer Intentions

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

Edward, Michael, Timayah, Myricle, Stephanie, Christine, Tina, John, Queda, Sarah, Jonnie, Jordan, Tony, Ashley, Juan, Jahi, Sherice, Mario, Timisha, Charlos, Candy, Johnny, Jerry , Jordan, Lance, 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

Matthew, Candy, Darien, Ohmad, David, IC, 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

Storm, Treesha, Max, Wilson, Blessing, Terrie, Johanne, Ken, O, Jack, Deja, Dolly, Alicia, Jennie, Ed, Bob, Ken, Tom, Jenny, Jack, Anthony, Deja, Catherine, Mary, Jodee, Jerry, Diana, Georgia, Thorne, Mike, Johanne, Lisa, Joyce, Dawn, Wayne, Tracy, Fae, Lettie, Terri, Joe, Thorne, Jennie, Ed, Arturo, John, John, Teresa

Please keep those who have recently returned to the Catholic Church and the Sacraments

Tom, Terri

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 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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