On Saturday, July 11, in Philadelphia, PA, Jack's Yacs (Young Adult Catholics) Group organized a "Light the City" event modeled on the one in the Washington, DC, Archdiocese. "Light the City" is a street evangelizing effort. After a Mass celebrated by our brother Tom Betz, OFM Cap., the Blessed Sacrament was exposed for adoration.
There were at least 75 volunteers helping in the music ministry and in street evangelization where they went out to meet and greet passersby along the way. The mission of the disciples to go out two-by-two just happened to be the weekend's Sunday Gospel . . . which was hardly a coincidence.
Our traveling band of brothers (Brs. Chris Johnson, Saul Soriano, Akolla Etuge and Ross Henley) were joined by Brs. Tage Danielson, Diogo Escudero and Matt Hindelang for the event. Friars ministering at St. John's (John Daya, OFM Cap., and Roger White, OFM Cap.) and a local diocesan priest were on hand to hear confessions.
Br. Matt writes: "We would encounter people on the streets and invite them to take some time out of their evening to come to the Church and say a prayer for peace. As you can imagine, there were a variety of responses. Those that didn't immediately brush us off were at least open to talking a bit. Even if they didn't come into the church, we have to trust that we made some impact on their lives, if only for a minute. Others who didn't come to the church were asked to take a candle with them and say a prayer at home. We prayed with many of them on the street or in the church itself."
Over 100 people made their way to the church at some point, and more than 400 candles were distributed. A few families also came into the church to light a candle and pray -- and at least one individual was of the Jewish faith and another of the Muslim faith.