My name is Robert and I became a member of the Missionaries of the Real Presence after seeing how open people who have had rough times or without much money are to Jesus’ message especially in the inner city, such as Milwaukee after several visits over a year ago. Coming from a decent size family, we donated excess clothing and other things to St. Vincent de Paul or GoodWill to help others who cannot afford to buy their own. When deciding to interview before becoming a Missionary, my vehicle was stolen outside the Church, which helped me understand what true poverty looks like and that I needed to take a lot of possessions to Saint Vincent so that it would have a better home for those in greater need. The incident gave me an opportunity to pray before walking to work and become more dependent on God.
A few months before joining the Missionaries, I helped them prepare for the Liturgy of the Hours by ringing the bell or setting up the books so that people could follow along. Praying with music by singing and playing the piano is an amazing way to bring God's presence into someone's life because it helped me memorize and then effectively use the passage(s) to help others with issues or explain the Catholic faith further. When praying the Liturgy of the Hours, it utilizes the Book of Psalms, which incorporates canticles from the Old and New Testaments to praise God throughout the day. Praying the Mass brings Jesus into our lives by consuming the consecrated host in order to pray before encountering people on the streets more effectively.
I enjoy listening to people explaining their stories of how they came to Milwaukee or their faith journey (or lack of) in Jesus. At first, I defended the faith and attempted to teach it at the moment. Later on, God showed me that people want to share their story or grievances about the faith before teaching so that I could see their perspective. That’s why you’ll see me observing the conversation more than speaking, particularly when people have pent up anger that needs to be released. Praying the Hail Mary immediately after that confrontation allows me to gently lift that cross up to Christ like Simon of Cyrene did when Jesus carried His Cross to Calvary.