25 April 2006. (From Catholic Heradl) "They’re Catholic missionaries?" was
a common question heard by teens during a Holy Week
door-to-door ministry. People answering the doors assumed that any faith-inspired
person knocking on their door would be Mormon.
teens traveled to the Arlington Diocese last week for the
Youth for the Third Millennium Mega Mission, an outreach
of Regnum Christi. The teens were sponsored by five
parishes — St. John Parish, McLean; St. Catherine of Siena,
Great Falls; St. Louis, Alexandria; St. Anthony of Padua, Falls
Church; and St. Mary of Sorrows, Fairfax.
The mission’s main focus
was door-to-door evangelization. According to Brother Michael Maciborski, LC a
member of the Legionaries of Christ, this isn’t something
just Mormons do. Catholics have a job to evangelize the
Gospel as well.
St. Mary of Sorrows hosted nearly 30 young
men for the mission. Many of the participants came from
Maryland or Washington and were joined by members of the
local youth ministry groups.
The participants went door-to-door several times throughout
the Wednesday-Saturday retreat. They explained that they were Catholic missionaries
and invited people to attend Holy Week activities at the
parish, including a Living Stations of the Cross, performed by
youths from St. Mary of Sorrows.
“There are people who want
to know about faith,” said Brother Maciborski.
The teens returned with
stories. Some people had welcomed them into their homes and
listened to what they had to say. They met people
who didn’t know how to return to the Church or
didn’t realize they were welcome back.
Patrick Jacobeen, a member of
St. Timothy Parish in Chantilly, met a man who had
taken the name Christopher as his confirmation saint only to
discover that Christopher is “no longer considered a saint.” He
thought this because St. Christopher’s feast day isn’t celebrated anymore
as part of the Church calendar.
Jacobeen explained to
him that much of Christopher’s life was legend, so he
was taken off the calendar — but he is still
The teens offered to pray for any intentions the
man had. He said that there had only been three
times in his life when someone had offered to pray
for him and this was one of them.
Arturo Guerra, a
Spanish-speaking consecrated member of Regnum Christi, traveled with the
teens. One man had been raised Catholic in El Salvador
but had fallen away when he moved to America. He
was open to hearing more about the Faith.
Some of the
teens’ stories were not positive. Many had doors slammed in
their faces. One man accused the Church of trying to
take over the world. He blamed the Church for the
immigration crisis, AIDS in Africa and failed marriages. He also
claimed that there are five Supreme Court Justices in a
secret Catholic society, said Steve Rohr, a teen from Hagerstown,
“At the end, we gave him the flier,” Rohr said.
“Then he shut the door in our face.”
His group also
met an Episcopal man who welcomed them in. They invited
him to the Living Stations, and he attended.
Along with the
door-to-door mission, the teens participated in service projects for their
host parish. They performed a walking Stations of the Cross,
carrying a tall wooden cross around the block.
Benjamin Windfuhr Lewis
didn’t think carrying the cross would be that difficult, but
he was wrong.
“Crosses are heavy, and there’s no comfortable way
to carry it,” he said.
On the main highways, people honked
their horns in support. At the intersection of Route 123
and Braddock Road, the group stopped to say several stations.
In those 15 minutes, Windfuhr Lewis guessed that maybe 1,000
cars drove by and saw them standing with the cross
“You never know how many people you’re going to touch,”
he said. “People may go home and tell their families