Emissary Evangelization Stories

Emissaries showcase Augustine Institute resources:
Emissaries at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Northglenn, CO hosted an Evangelization Weekend after masses Sunday February 12, 2017. Parishioners were invited to learn more about the Lighthouse Talks and Books on the Kiosk, the Hearts Afire Parish-based Programs including 33 Days to Morning Glory and to sign up and receive an account on FORMED.

Emissaries offer Prayers for Evangelization
Emissaries at St. Raphael Catholic Church in St. Petersburg, FL gathered for a Rosary Walk January 19, 2017 to pray for parishioners, friends, family and all those in the Augustine Institute.


Hearts really are Afire with Emissaries by Bernadette in PA
Over the last couple of years, a fellow parishioner and dear friend, Chris Yeschke and I have co-facilitated Stage 1 of the Hearts Afire Parish-based Programs (HAPP) within our parish, St. Catherine of Sweden.  When Pope Francis announced the Jubilee Year of Mercy, we knew in our hearts this was an incredible opportunity to open wide the doors of the HAPP studies.  Late summer 2015, we met with our pastor, Fr. Steve Neff and pastoral associate, Deacon Cliff Homer to discuss our plans for the Jubilee Year of Mercy.  We indicated that we had now done stage 1 of HAPP and felt it was time for more.  Chris and I laid out a plan, which was accepted, to complete Stage 1 and Stage 2 of HAPP within the parish during the Jubilee Year of Mercy.   With the advent of technological offerings, we could now also reach out to our home bound parishioners as well as encourage small group studies in homes within the parish as we have a parish subscription to FORMED.  As a result, we offered the program in the following ways:
Chris and I co-facilitated 33 Days to Morning Glory during Advent 2015 with our consecration on January 1, 2016.  We had several home bound parishioners, a couple of at home small group studies, individual parishioners, and an onsite small group at the parish complete the study.  On January 1, there were approximately 50 people, including Fr. Steve, who made their consecration!  Our consecration took place during one of the Holy Day Masses as a witness to the parish of the work being done and the impact the Lord was having on our lives.
We then co-facilitated Consoling the Heart of Jesus during Lent 2016 with similar numbers of participants.  During this study, word had spread to local parishes of our work, and we had representation from 9 local parishes at this study!  We had our consoler celebration during one of the Masses on Divine Mercy Sunday as a testimony to the impact of the message of Divine Mercy had on our lives.  At 3 p.m. on Divine Mercy Sunday, those in the study as well as several parishioners gathered to sing the Divine Mercy Chaplet followed by Benediction.  About 6 from the study, as well as Fr. Steve, heard about and read 33 Days to Merciful Love and made our consecration during this service.
Finally, beginning in mid-August 2016, we began The Wisdom and Works of Mercy study.  We gathered at one of the Masses on the Feast of Christ the King to publicly make our commitment to uphold all that we learned about the Holy Trinity during The Wisdom portion of the study and to go out into the world engaging in Works of Mercy.
We are now making plans to offer Fr. Gaitley’s 33 Days to Merciful Love study parish wide during the Lent of 2017.  We look forward to embracing new ways to share the message of the Gospel in all that we do.

As a side note, in late August 2016 while making a pilgrimage to the National Shrine of Divine Mercy, Chris and I had the blessing and honor of spending and afternoon and evening with Fr. Michael Gaitley and the Marian Missionaries of Divine Mercy thanks to your coordination and those at the Marian Helpers Center.  It was an experience we will never forget – thank you for your part in making that meeting happen!  In those few hours, it was unquestionable that the message of Divine Mercy as well as us drawing closer to Christ through Mary, our spiritual mother, is a message we want to continue to spread wherever we go.  We have shared the impact these studies have had on our lives during a parish retreat.  We have also traveled north of Pittsburgh to present an overview of Divine Mercy to The Neumann Group at Grove City College.  Last but certainly not least, we continue to share the message of Divine Mercy as we visit homebound parishoners and take the Eucharist to them.  Most recently, we both have submitted our commitment forms to join the Marian Missionaries of Divine Mercy.
Leading Marian Consecration by Amy from PA
My evangelization story has 3 parts:
1) prayer - you can never dismiss the power and necessity of prayer
2) patience - we tried to get FORMED and do the Marian Consecration 2 years ago, but that was not God's timing for our parish
3) knowing how and to whom to present an idea is key

Amy is on the left
I proposed the 33 Days to Morning Glory Retreat in the past and it wasn't the right time for our parish. Recently, I proposed it again and this time, I had the help of the Parochial Vicar. I explained that I felt called to do this consecration with the Parish. He said that he had the same thing laid on his heart. The other night at an evening talk that he was giving on Mary, he called me up and I told the group how I believe that Mary placed this on my heart to share the 33 Days retreat with all of them and exactly what I was offering to do to lead the retreat at the parish. It was received extremely well and some registrations have already been dropped off at the rectory!

I'm offering several sessions at our parish (Monday morning, Monday evening, Sunday online group and encouraging home/family groups with our parish FORMED subscription.) I want to reach as many people as we can, in the way they want to be reached. All will then be welcomed to join together to Consecrate on our Consecration Day.

If God wills something, there will be a way!

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