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Quiet, Holy Night
U. S. A. | NEWS | NEWS
Missionary shares experiences during Advent Mission in lower Manhattan

Manhattan Missionaries
Steve Auth, B.J. Agugliaro and Gabrielle Gomez are among the missionaries working the Advent Mission in lower Manhattan.

In the lower Manhattan area of New York City, Regnum Christi members have been involved in their annual indoor/outdoor Advent mission through St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral.  Below is a testimony from one of the men participating. For more testimonies, go to 

It is a cold, windy night.  A quiet night.  A joyful night. A holy night.   

We are a small band of 12 -- four priests, four brothers, four missionaries.  Lacking anyone to man the store and Church, we decided to use the brothers for this duty, leaving our perimeter unprotected except by the Spirit.  Later, the Mission Corps members arrived, and we began manning some of the outer stations.  Although traffic, and "business" was relatively light all night, Christmas and Christ were in the air, and most people we met were in a joyful mood, and were interactive. 

A couple walked by carrying a CHRISTmas tree, and when we suggested they might therefore be CHRISTians, they asserted happily that they were "atheists and proud of it!" As they dragged the tree off into the darkness, we hailed "God bless you!" and could only pray that the light of Christ would be with them in His tree. 

We had several stories during the night, fairly usual now, of friends helping friends get to Reconciliation.  One group of young women, dressed for a night on the town, initially passed us giddily, seemingly uninterested.  Eventually one of them confessed to being Catholic, and then turned in the other three. Half a block of walking and talking later, all four headed into the Church for confession.  In another case, a reluctant husband was finally pushed over the top and went inside, when his wife declared simply, "I´m taking you in!"

The Mission Corps members, once stationed out in the perimeter, began sending in people, some who had only grabbed a pamphlet and moved on, until they got closer to the Church, and then went in.  A family of tourists went in en masse; a young woman arrived with a pamphlet, seemingly distressed, and was later spotted at the evening Mass, calm and joyful. 

One of our missionaries was hailing down the usual bike messengers, while another approached a flower delivery boy, who promised to return after his shift.  This is part of another familiar theme -- "seeds planted, and fruits harvested." We received the response "I´ll be back” three times for every "I´m going in." We are praying that the Spirit guides these souls home.

We asked one man if he would like a rosary, and he responded, "No thank you!  I´m still praying on the one you guys gave me last year!"

One of the sidewalk vendors we talked with last Holy Week looked very happy this time to see us, and instantly launched into a vigorous discussion of God and religion.  His cheerful wife confided, "He only talks about this stuff with you guys."

Later that night, one of us was entirely alone with the Lord, late in the Eucharistic Hour in the main church.  It was a quiet, holy moment.  During his night vigil, the missionary came to a deeper sense of just how deeply the Lord loves us, and how vulnerable He has made himself by coming to earth to save us, and how vulnerable in some forms, such as in the Eucharist, He continues to make himself, solely out of love for us.  Do we love like this? 

A quiet night. A holy night.



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