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Turn to Jesus (Article)

Miracles in Real Time
Mission Youth volunteers kept a play-by-play blog of their mission on the streets of New York.

missionaries by the cross
"In all, through the course of the week, we estimate we greeted 40,000 people from virtually all over the world as well as the parish, found 4,000 Catholics among them who were invited to services, and helped the Holy Spirit bring 400 to 600 of them to the sacrament of reconciliation."

April 25, 2011. New York, NY. Since missions tend to unfold in a blur of busyness and action, keeping track of the small miracles in writing is a great way of remembering the Holy Spirit´s presence through it all. This year´s group of Mission Youth´s Manhattan missionaries did just that with the "Love Your Mission" blog (, written day by day as the mission unfolded.

The blog captures several "God moments" during the mission, especially on Wednesday of Holy Week, when three special "helpers" pushed different people to confession. A missionary named Evelyn described the scenes:

There were three instances where we saw "helpers"  today.  One was a little boy, who pushed his mother to go to reconciliation when she hesitated and promised to come back tomorrow.  The son said, "Ma, this is a good time, now".  What prompted this young boy, not quite at the age of reason to encourage his mother?  The second instance is a non-Catholic girlfriend who did the same thing to the hesitant Catholic boyfriend, urging him to go, as she promised to keep him company while he waited his turn at the confessional!  Was the boyfriend using the girlfriend as an excuse to leave? 
street missionary
By Holy Thursday, 100 missionaries set out for SoHo, Little Italy, the Bowery, and Greenwich Village.
How did the girlfriend come to the sense that the sacrament of reconciliation was important for the boyfriend?

The third is the most intriguing.  A man came by the Church with a large dog.  Sisters Adele & Pia bravely stopped him, handed him the schedule of liturgical services this week, and asked if perhaps he would like to go to confession?  The man smiled and readily admitted that his last confession was when he was 8 years old! (It sounds like it may have been his first communion?)  But, he said he must go home, and yes, he has to take  care of his dog.  This beautiful 120 lb. dog sat down on the pavement and refused to move!  He pulled and he tugged at the dog´s leash to no avail.  The man turned to Adele & Pia and sheepishly said, "perhaps this is a sign that I should go to confession".   He handed the leash to Adele and in he went to the Church!

To read more about the Manhattan missions and to see pictures of the missionaries in action, visit the Love Your Mission blog here.



Related links

Helping Hands Medical Missions
St Rafael Guizar y Valencia Missionary Center

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