This past Saturday may have been a particularly hot and treacherous day to choose to spend on the streets of Detroit, but it is exactly where a group of prayerful folks from St. Thecla Parish and the Divine Mercy Center were led. In preparation for the upcoming Door to Door evangelization collaboration, Fr. Brian Cokonougher, Deacon John Carlin, St. Thecla parishioners, The Women of Jesus’ Merciful Passion, Prayer Minister Susan Hughes, and Evangelization Coordinator Barbara Adragna accepted an invitation to be trained by St. Augustine St. Monica parish in Detroit. All were gently taken under the wings of Evangelization Coordinator, Genevieve Kocourek, and her parish team of Tyrone and Sacred Heart Major Seminarians Nick, Tommy, and Kevin.
Here are some of their observations:
What I noticed is that when people get a chance to tell their story – talk about where they are from, how many people are in their family, how long they have lived in the neighborhood – they really get excited. Also, anyone we offered to pray with happily joined in.
-Fr. Brian Cokonougher
We were only out for a short time but were able to pray with some people in the neighborhood and talk with them about things that really mattered. It’s funny – I often think that I am the one going out, seeking to bring Christ to those who do not know Him, but I always end up meeting Him on the way and realize that Christ was actually seeking me the whole time!
-Deacon John Carlin
I was encouraged by the seminarians and Father Brian to talk about Jesus to the people. It was amazing learning about evangelization and being able to put it into practice.
Going door to door to evangelize was like taking the time to walk down the street to say hello, and meet a new neighbor at times. Some people are open and friendly and enjoy meeting you too. Others may politely let you know they’re not interested. Many aren’t home. But the only way to meet someone, to know our neighbor, is to knock at their door. As we do our part in faith, we can trust God will open the doors before us.
We only made it about half of a block to speak with residents and half of them did not answer the door. On our last visit we spoke with a Muslim woman for about thirty minutes, she shared her story with us and was very excited to see young people out in the streets sharing the love of God with others and seeking to grow in their faith. God is good.
When Tyrone took us out to visit families in the neighborhood, Charlene and I were pleasantly surprised to see how receptive people were to opening their doors and hear what our church was doing so near to them. A personal invite is the best way to draw people in.
I was truly blessed by the experience of going out into the neighborhood to help evangelize. Meeting people from different backgrounds and being able to share with believers and non-believers helped to strengthen me in sharing the “Good News”, my faith, and love of God.
It was great to go out into the community and see how familiar the people are with the outreach. Everyone we met were friendly and most open to hear what we had to say.
This experience touched me in many ways, but what surprised me most was an overwhelming awareness of my freedom. I found my prayers to be keenly focused on those throughout the world who risk and lose their lives to do the same. I thanked the Lord for giving me the courage to exercise this freedom, remembering these words of Pope St. John Paul II, “Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought.”
You are invited to be a part of this too!
Door to Door Evangelists
In response to the next phase of Unleash the Gospel, “Sent on Mission”, and in coordination with St. Thecla Parish, The Servants of Jesus of The Divine Mercy are going door to door to invite our neighbors to attend our Family Fun Day and Second Annual Open House at the Divine Mercy Center and St. Thecla’s Fall Festival. Join us!
Training & Door to Door Dates (Light Meal Included):
Sunday, July 21st: 12-30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. at St. Thecla
Monday, July 22nd: 6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. at St. Thecla
Wednesday, July 24th: 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. at The Divine Mercy Center
*While all are welcome to attend all sessions, only one session is needed to become a fully equipped door to door evangelist. We need you!