Advent Mission Soho
Be bold! Be Catholic! Be a joyful missionary!
|December 17th, 2019|
|St Patrick’s Old Cathedral in Soho (Meet at 32 Prince St)|
||4:30 to 7:30 Street Evangelization
|Street Evangelization||Bring your faith to all the people|
From the Mission Director…
Dear Fellow Missionaries in Christ:
Tonight will be a cold one in SoHo! So as we prepare ourselves mentally and spiritually for the trials ahead, please focus on our theme for this evening, which is “Bethlehem.”
“In those days, a decree went out from Caeser Augustus that the whole world should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment when Quirinius was governor of Syria. So all went to be enrolled, each to his town. And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them at the inn.” Luke 2:1-7 As
Christmas nears, many of us have already set up our idyllic manger scenes, complete with cozy looking straw, shepherds, kings, and angels all present to adore the Christ child. With this imagery, it is sometimes challenging to conjure just how tough the journey to and from Bethlehem was. Mary was several months pregnant, by a mysterious cause. The weather was cold. Soldiers were looking for the Christ child, with orders to kill on sight. The roads were full of travelers seeking to register for the census, and robbers seeking to prey on them. No room at the inns, Joseph had to do the best he could to make Mary and young Jesus comfortable, while at the same time following orders from Caeser but more importantly from the angels appearing regularly in his dreams. Bethlehem was tough, far more challenging than whatever we will face tonight. Let’s draw inspiration from the Holy Family’s trip to Bethlehem, and specifically focus on three points:
1. Love. Enduring hardships and sufferings are never easy. A common method many of us employ for doing so is the “white knuckle method”: grit your teeth, tough it out. For missions, this can sometimes work, though, by the time you finally find the soul out in SoHo that you’ve been called to find tonight, the odds are high that you will be so miserable you won’t have a successful encounter. Instead, think about the pure, self-sacrificing love of Joseph, who willingly gave up a comfortable life in Nazareth to follow the crazy-sounding request of an angel that appeared to him in a dream. He could not have taken this on without a heart overfilling with the love of God, love of Mary, and the love of Jesus. Tonight, we do it for love.
2. Perseverance. With wind chills promised in the teens, each of us will be tempted to “take a break,” abandoning our post for a short time, a long time, or even permanently– it’s a slippery slope. Don’t. Instead, persevere. In my many years of doing this, I have become convinced that each of us, on any given evening, is there for perhaps one lost soul, whom we have the unique background and personality to attract back to Jesus. But to find our soul, we need first and foremost to be there when he or she comes by. The Devil knows this too, and too frequently, his temptations to “take a break” come just as our soul is heading towards us. So tonight, when the going gets tough, persevere as Mary and Joseph did. Faithfully follow the voice of the angel inside you, to Bethlehem.
3. Joy. As tough as conditions in Bethlehem were, why is Christmas today an almost universal symbol of Joy? Of course, for what it represents– the coming of our Savior. As we learned yesterday in the reading from Paul’s letter to the Philippians, “Rejoice in the Lord always! Rejoice!… The lord is near.” (Ph 4:4-5) Mary and Joseph had the confident faith to know this, and that knowledge that confidence is what gave them the deep, confident Joy that emanated from them through all trials and difficulties. This is the “Joy of the Gospel” that Pope Francis is calling on us to witness. This is the Christian Joy that the lost souls in SoHo will see tonight, emanating confidently from us, through the cold and wind and the dark night. This is the Joy of Bethlehem. This the joy that will cause the people we meet tonight to think, “Give me some of that!”
We will see you tonight on Prince and Mott.
NYC Missions- READ blog
Questions? firstname.lastname@example.org or call 914 244 3685
New Yorkers constantly hurry past Old St. Patrick Church in Soho. Many seem happy, others look solemn, occupied, unmindful of their surroundings. Happy or occupied, many of them are souls hungering for love, thirsting for warmth, yearning for peace. They have braved the city that never sleeps, have given much to be on top of the heap. Souls in pain… Who would know what’s in their hearts? Who feels their pain? Who understands their desires?
Come to New York! Be a joyful presence on the street, a witness to Christ’s love! Come and be the voice of the One who knows what’s in their hearts…….the One who hears their sobbing and knows what they need. With the Holy Spirit, be the loving arms to lead them back home to where Christ’s mercy will restore them…..To the Lord whose unfailing love will rescue them. Come! Be the happy Christian face that will brighten the day!
St Patrick’s Old Cathedral in Soho 263 Mulberry St, corner of Prince and Mott
Street missionaries: man a street corner in SoHo/Little Italy, paired with one to three other missionaries. Greet passerbys, hand out a flyer with information on the Holy Week services and, if they appear interested, describe the services available, including the sacrament of Confession.
Street missionary helper: walk with people the street missionaries have identified and who want to go to Confession, help them find the Church courtyard and introduce them to one of the greeters in the courtyard.
Mission coordinator: man Mission HQ, greet missionaries as they come in and, using a predetermined map of missionary locations, give them their assignments. Give the missionaries a short explanation of the job, how things are going so far, and if possible, a short meditation to inspire them.
Runner: work with the Mission Coordinator in HQ, checking in on the missionary stations in the neighborhood, making sure people are where they need to be and that they are properly supplied.
Church greeter: is stationed in the courtyard outside the Church, greeting people who have been sent in by the missionaries or wandered in on their own. There will be “Guide to Confession” cards to pass out, and answer questions as needed for those seeking help preparing for Confession. Guide people to the various Confession stations in the Church and ensure none of the lines is getting too long.
Mission store: man the mission store at Mission HQ, handing out equipment and taking in contributions.