I had previously mentioned that I joined a local group of St Paul Street Evangelization. On April 1st our first outing as a group was to Jacksonville Beach, Fl.
The parish sponsoring us is St Paul’s and is only two blocks from the public access to the beach. This can be confusing referring to St. Paul’s St Paul Street Evangelization. Our local team though is made up of a variety of people from multiple parishes in the Diocese of St. Augustine.
The things I do for Christ, like spending part of the day at the beach on an absolutely beautiful and sunny afternoon.
I compare this to the travails of St. Paul (that name is coming up a lot).
Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked. I spent a night and a day in the open sea.
So as an introvert I certainly had trepidations about evangelizing in the way of St Paul Street Evangelization, although their approach makes it easier. People there were actually very decent about getting offers for a free Rosary. Even the ones not interested at all were polite about it. I think a saw a rather confused face from one man wearing an obviously Evangelical t-shirt, but he was still pleasant in his refusal.
We should have had EMT’s out with us for anybody fainting from seeing Catholics evangelizing. For the most part I hung back while more extroverted members of the team approached people. Giving me a change to pray for those being interacted with. Plus I could enter conversations at times regarding areas I was confident talking about. Having listened to thousands of hours of Catholic radio I can finally make use of that. It was all very enjoyable and even relaxing. Time went pretty quick for the three hours we were out there.
It was great getting to know some of the other members of the team. Quite varied in experience and thankfully many of them are very outgoing approaching people with seeming ease. Especially impressed with Deacon Ed who leads the team. It is just great seeing Catholics out there doing this and I can hardly believe I am one of them.
If you are thinking you want to do more to evangelize in a non-pressure way – I highly recommend St Paul Street Evangelization. In the five short years they have been around they have really grown.
(I’m the guy second over from the left)
There are additional pictures at the Jacksonville Beach St Paul Street Evangelization blog for our team.
By the way, today is my anniversary as a Catholic. Where have those 18 years gone? So when do I start the part about growing in holiness?
“You have no idea how much nastier I would be if I was not Catholic. Without supernatural aid I would hardly be a human being.” – Evelyn Waugh