This is how the New Evangelization gets done: one on one, interpersonal contact with live human beings.
St Paul Street Evangelization – Made in Detroit
ROYAL OAK — Just three years ago, Steve Dawson took an idea and ran with it.
It was a simple idea, based on a simple concept: Spread the Gospel by going out and talking to people about it.
It was so simple, in fact, it was brilliant.
In just three short years, St. Paul Street Evangelization has gone from a seed of an idea to a multi-national evangelization apostolate with teams in more than 40 states and the District of Columbia, as well as Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom and even the Philippines. Their mission? Spread the Gospel through non-confrontational, face-to-face contact, usually with passers-by on a street corner.
“It wasn’t a plan to start a big apostolate, but we have 190 teams now around the world,” Dawson said in an interview with The Michigan Catholic, which will be broadcast on the Catholic Television Network of Detroit. “I just wanted to do some evangelization, and now we’re all over the place. It wasn’t really a plan, but here we are.”
In the past year, the Royal Oak-headquartered apostolate estimates it has reached more than 25,000 people, explicitly sharing the message of Jesus Christ was (sic) approximately 5,500. Of those, 1,650 have prayed to consecrate their lives to Christ or made a commitment to consider the Catholic Church, and 750 have entered RCIA or returned to the Church as a direct or indirect result of their encounter with the street missionaries. To put it into perspective, that’s nearly the same number of Catholics who entered the Church in all of Metro Detroit this year during the Easter Vigil.
Read the rest here.
I love this. I was told that Archbishop Vigneron, in not only granting the apostolate “formal recognition as a de facto association of Christ’s faithful” (per the article), also had accepted an invitation to join an evangelism team one day. Out on the street. Amongst the sheep. And he loved it. How cool is that?
And here’s what’s interesting: the juxtaposition of St Paul Street’s style vs another Michigan-based apostolate, ChurchMilitantTV. I get it – they’re not in competition with each other. Their goals are the same: to save souls and bring people to the Truth. Their methods differ. But I dunno – just last week, CMTV produced a Vortex about how Detroit is a spiritual cesspool – while covering the story of a satanic group’s plan to ‘dedicate’ a statue of Bahomet in downtown Detroit. They highlighted many of the past and current crises centered around here – like Call-to-Action’s inauguration back in ’76 – and made it sound like the Archdiocese is fighting a losing battle against all the forces of evil.
Then I read this story, and think, um, sorry but I gotta call bullshit on that.
As Scripture says, where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more.
Are there problems in Detroit? Yep – just as there are in any other diocese in the West. However, focusing on the problems won’t solve the problems. Awareness of reputed lies and falsehoods isn’t enough. It seems to me, that St Paul Street’s approach in spreading the Good News of Jesus face-to-face, rather than spreading the Bad News of The Church computer-to-computer, will be much more effective in the long run. What St Paul Street Evangization is doing is more powerful, more dynamic, more compelling. It’s doing what the Apostles did.
God bless Steve Dawson and his apostolate. I think you’re going to hear much, much more about them in the future.
Don’t miss anything from Acts of the Apostasy – like AoftheA’s Facebook page!