Sharing the Real Presence
This newsletter features a story from Robert showing the silent witness of Christ to those who have deceased relatives, a story from Griffin on boldly witnessing the gospel to those seemingly against the church. We also have a link to a blog post we were featured in from the Institute on Religious Life about our community. We Invite you to get involved in some of our 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
Silent Witness by Robert Pauly
Last month, the Missionaries of the Real Presence attended the Institute of Religious Life National Conference. Each speaker referenced how the Presence of Jesus is brought into the life of religious communities through each person's witness of the Gospel. These seemingly ordinary men and women renounce the world to follow and share Jesus' story in this era when people do not realize He is Present in the Tabernacle and given to us as true food and drink. How can Catholics announce the Gospel to the world when they do not recognize who becomes present at the Mass?
On the streets of Milwaukee, the neighbors witness something different in our words and actions than in their lives. They see God coming in their midst because His Light breaks into the hearts of the people who only know hurts (pain, suffering, abuse, etc.) They now see hope and compassion because missionaries prayed at a memorial for someone they do not know. The prayers were not said aloud, but silently so that the neighbors would not hear the words. That neighbor was inspired by our silent prayer, which allowed the person to plan on putting up new pictures of the family member because those have faded. They did not think anyone cared about him or the person on the memorial. We care deeply about the souls of our neighbors that the Holy Spirit compelled us to pray not only for the the living, but also for those who have passed away.
Give thanks to the Lord, invoke his name;
make known among the peoples his deeds!
Seek out the Lord and his might;
constantly seek his face. (Ps. 105:1, 4)
Give thanks to the Lord! He rose from the dead to forgive our sins and ascended into heaven so that we can partake of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and build a relationship with Him and our neighbors. Consider the Lord and his strength because of three things: 1) He uses and overcomes all human weakness; 2) He created us exactly for His purpose 3) He uses a sword that pierces each person’s heart perfectly with love, mercy, and compassion.
The Lord Jesus overcomes all human weakness by dying on the Cross and takes on all the sins and physical ailments of humanity. St. Paul put it in many letters: Jesus became sin so that sin can be destroyed. Jesus came to show us God the Father even though we are not perfect. Each person is created in the image and likeness of God (Gen. 1:26-27) so that we can love Him, serve Him, and be perfectly happy with him. Even though we mess up, Jesus gives us the perfect medicine to have a relationship with the Holy Trinity. He waits for us to approach Him with our vulnerabilities, pain, wounds, and sufferings.
Jesus makes us one with him by shedding light into our hidden places, weaknesses and vulnerabilities. This spiritual sword of light brightens area within each person to grow in holiness. For example, making judgments about something good can be corrupted by dwelling on the matter too much, which is scrupulosity. Something small gets magnified out of proportion to the world around us. The enemy wants us to get caught up in trivial matters to forget about the Love of God and our neighbors. By witnessing to this crisis of faith, the neighbor witnessed something beyond his comprehension, but saw the Lord working silently in the vineyard of St. Catherine's Parish.
Bold Witness by Griffin Rain
Growing up in Florida, I'm used to the type of Protestants that say if you're Catholic you're automatically going to hell and there's no hope for you. At that time in my life I was not yet living a fully integrated Catholic life and did not know how to respond to many objections to the faith. Now as a missionary on Milwaukee's north side, I interact with many people who come from the same background that were once telling me that Catholics cannot be saved. I have realized that an authentic witness of a yes to God is what is needed. As missionaries we dedicate our entire lives to Christ and preach Christ through both our words and actions in a way that no Christian would deny that we are living for Christ and can be saved. While we have not taken formal vows, we are living a life structured like that of religious life in total abandonment of self to the will of God. This boldness of the Gospel speaks to all people of the truth that is found in the Catholic faith.
After seeing such a witness to the faith, in the past month we have been invited to talk at two Protestant churches about very Catholic things. The first we were invited to was a former Catholic Church that was sold to the Protestants. We were able to stop by there on Good Friday as we were doing a public way of the Cross to 14 closed Catholic institutions on Milwaukee's north side and praying prayers of reparation at each as well as a station. For this we had a relic of the True Cross as well as other saints and were able to teach them about the early church, relics and why we as Christians need to take up the cross daily and follow Christ. They were all able to venerate the relics and had many good questions. I was amazed at how open they were to learning about specifically Catholic beliefs. Almost none of them knew anything about the Catholic Church and even the pastor and his wife were open to learning more as they haven't learned much about the Catholic Church, but were very interested in what the early church was doing and kept talking about being united into one church. That one church is the Catholic Church. Its a big dream, but we are praying that the former St Leo's Catholic Church is made Catholic again! It is also beautifully kept up and still has the high altar, side altars, pulpit, organ and the Catholic Church still owns the rectory next door. This whole experience reminds me of the quote of Pope St Paul VI in his apostolic exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi.
"Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses."
When we as Catholics boldly live out the gospel, people even those who are protesting you, realize something profound that they desire and cannot find anywhere else but in the Catholic Church. We need more Catholics to take up this call to give up everything and follow Christ to witness that his love is enough for us!
Missionary Associates - Join us this Thursday, May 18th for this month's 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 yard in front of the parish and have a feast day grill out. We start with breakfast at 9:30 am and games to follow. Upcoming feast days that we will be celebrating 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!
Meeting with Archbishop Listecki - Please keep the Missionaries in prayer as we have our first formal meeting with the Archbishop to discern our status on Wednesday May 24th
Please keep those who have expressed interest in learning more about Catholicism in prayer
Alexis, Esha, Flo, Nickolas, Tracey, Robert, Lucious, Ellie, Cortes, Lawrence, Antoine, Deshawn, Cornell, Edward, Michael, Timayah, Myricle, Stephanie, Christine, Tina, John, Queda, Sarah, Jonnie, Jordan, Tony, Ashley, Juan, Jahi, Sherice, Mario, Timisha, Charlos, 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, Sebastian, Colleen
Please keep those who have started individual catechism classes and are preparing to become Catholic in prayer
Shaela, Michael, Darien, Brintee, Deshawn, David, IC, Curtis, Antoine, Micah
Please keep those who have stopped classes or we have lost contact with in prayer.
Vershonda, Johnny, Ohmad, Lance, Tremon, Candy, Jamie, Taylor
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
Mary, Brandon Jordan, Ed, Theodore, Shantae, 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, Jennie, Ed, Arturo, John, John, Teresa
Please keep those who have recently returned to the Catholic Church and the Sacraments
Paul, Natalie, Tom, Terri
Those who are in special need of prayer
Candy, Jonnie, Jamie, Jake, 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 to be contemplative missionaries for Urban Evangelization. We are dedicated to prayer through daily recitation of the Liturgy of the Hours in the church open to the public and evangelization to the neighborhoods surrounding 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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