FSSP Minneapolis and NET Ministries Take It to the Streets
by Karen Hastreiter
On Monday, October 30, 2017, All Saints Parish and a local team from NET Ministries collaborated in bringing the Gospel to the residents of Minneapolis. NET (National Evangelization Teams) is a Minnesota-based group that sends teams of young Catholics across the U.S. to assist other young Catholics in studying and living their Faith and to equip them with the skills they need for evangelization. With the approval and blessing of All Saints’ pastor Fr. Peter Bauknecht, Dan Driver, a parishioner of All Saints and also the national NET Team Retreat Coordinator, brought a team of about 10 young adult missionaries to the parish for the whole day.
Fr. Bauknecht assigned the parochial vicar, Fr. Alex Stewart, as the chaplain for the day’s activities. Fr. Stewart, who was ordained this past June at the FSSP’s parish in Warrington, England, gave talks to the young missionaries on various topics, including the liturgy, and was present for their spiritual needs. Fr. Bauknecht offered a High Mass at 4:30pm for the spiritual endeavor that the missionaries would be embarking upon. At 7:00pm, these confident, enthusiastic young men and women went, two by two, out into the secular Minneapolis residential neighborhood, knocking on doors and inviting anyone they encountered to “come light a candle in church”.
The idea was formulated in the hopes that there would be less resistance to the idea of lighting a candle than engaging in an intellectual discussion on religion, in which many people are not interested.
From 7pm until 9:30pm there was Exposition and Adoration of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament in the church while volunteer choir members from the parish sang beautiful sacred hymns interspersed with moments of silence. Confessions were heard as well.
During this time the young lay missionaries were out in the cold streets of Minneapolis talking with those whom they met, some of whom accepted the invitation to “come light a candle in church”. There were those who admitted they felt “lost”, and one man even came back into the church after he had left, saying that there was some peace he sensed there that he had never had. The faithful in church offered their prayers for the conversion of hearts and minds, not only on this cold night in a Minneapolis neighborhood, but also for all those whom God is calling to Himself.
The missionaries and the visitors who came to light a candle.
November 16, 2017