Today, September 12, 2015, residents residing in the neighborhoods surrounding SS. Rose and Clement parish in Warwick, Rhode Island were visited by volunteers participating in this year’s "day of evangelization." Hundreds of homes were visited in the area during which volunteers shared the love of Christ, and extended invitations to all who desire to join our parish family in exploring and experiencing the richness of the Catholic Faith. Among those visited were many Catholics whom for whatever reason became inactive in the practice of their Faith, many of whom were very receptive and grateful for our presence and invitation to return Home to the Faith.
Being my first, this year‘s Day of Evangelization was special for me, and so I wanted to share my experience with those whom have ever contemplated participating in such a mission. I’d like to start by saying that we all make plans, but many times God has another, better plan in mind for us.
I have never before participated in our Day of Evangelization efforts. Today I intended to assist by spending time in prayer while our evangelization teams took to the streets. This initial plan was foiled when I was approached by a member of the evangelization ministry who informed me that they were one team member short and asked if I would consider filling the position. I quickly realized that this was God’s plan for me today and agreed to step up to the plate, knowing full well that God had blessings in store for me. I must say that those blessings were abundant!
After working all night, my original plan was to spend a couple of hours in prayer to support those taking to the streets and then go home to rest. Instead I accepted the request to take part in visiting homes in the neighborhood, and I must say that it resulted in the perfect ending to a perfect day, a day that began perfectly with communal prayer of the Rosary and Mass.
My evangelization partner and I had great encounters and conversations with many neighbors,
many of whom were raised in the Catholic Faith but admittedly and regretfully wandered from the practice of their Faith. It was exciting to see by the look in their eyes and the manner in which they responded to us, that our visit seemed to ignite a spark in their souls which seemed to say, ‘it’s time to go Home.’
There are so many homesick Catholics out there just waiting for an invitation to return Home. Many were so glad to see us! I am extremely grateful for the privilege of having had this opportunity to join my brothers and sisters in extending invitations Home to those whom have been away, and to have been granted the privilege of being able to share the faith with those whose hearts are restless and long to be filled with the knowledge of His love and mercy!