Registered: 2 years, 5 months ago
• New Orleans - Metro Team Leader • Started with SPSE 2013 I've been a Director of Religious Education in the Archdiocese of New Orleans for 32 years. The last 12 years at St. Stephen Church in New Orleans. I was born and raised in New Orleans (except for a 5 year stint in Aurora, Ill for 5 years as a child). Archbishop Fulton is responsible for lighting the fire in my heart to embrace Christ fully after college. I'm also a consecrated Marian Catechist. My Dad was from Italy and my Mom right here in New Orleans. I thank them for bringing us up in the Catholic Faith. I have an older brother and sister who also help me with SPSE. Describe your St. Paul Street Evangelization Team We have a great team of six. We all live in the New Orleans area. We go out twice a month to evangelize in different areas of the city. We've evangelized mostly in front of St. Louis Cathedral but have also evangelized Saints football games and Mardi Gras parades. Pastors have asked us to come to their parish fairs in the hopes of reaching fallen away Catholics walking around their fair. Sometimes seminarians have joined us from the Archdiocese. We usually meet over lunch to plan our next outing. Our team consists of three Directors of Religious Education and three parish leaders. How has God worked in and through your SPSE team? God has worked through us by sending souls to us for evangelization, to explain the Faith, to heal past wounds and to get rid of false conceptions people may have about the Faith. Before we go out, we pray together and ask the Lord to guide us so we might bring His love to the souls He sends us. We are humbled that Our Lord has sent so many souls our way so that we may be of service to Him in His Mystical Body. What motivates you to evangelize? or What led you to SPSE? Love of God and the desire to spread His Truth with love. We got tired of "talk" of evangelizing and just decided to get out and evangelize! It is also love of neighbor to bring that love and joy of Christ into their hearts. You teach the truth with love. We want our neighbor to feel the great joy we have as Catholics being able to receive Christ in Holy Communion, the great consolation of having our sins forgiven in the Sacrament of Penance, and the great love of God by giving us His Mother to be our Mother in the order of grace. Out of love we want to share theses graces with our brothers and sisters! SPSE came along for us right at that time to point the way to evangelize. It was a sign for us to get moving! What is the relationship between evangelization and your spiritual life (prayer)? They are deeply interconnected! To deepen my love of Christ through learning the Faith and then sharing that Faith with others. My evangelization is an extension of my prayer life. The first time we went to evangelize we were scared a bit as to what to expect. We realized we had not prayed yet. After our decade of the Rosary together and prayer to the Holy Spirit, that fear was completely gone! It has never come back. Being in prayer before Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament strengthens us to bring His Gospel to all those who would listen! Our Lady leads the way! My spiritual life and evangelization are inseparable. Is there a scripture passage that you turn to often, or a favorite part of mass? Matthew 28:18-20 "All authority in Heaven and in earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and behold I am with you all days, to the end of the earth." For the Mass, the very end, to "go in peace." We have just received the Body and Blood of Christ in Holy Communion, we heard the Gospel, now go out into the world and bring the Gospel to it. The Gospel is to be brought out beyond the walls of the Church. Is there an obstacle you have overcome while leading your team? (tell me about it.) Yes. The devil tries to get in the way by throwing obstacles the day of evangelization. Car problems, things that come up, etc. We just pray more to St. Michael and St. Joseph to watch over us. Can you share an "elevator speech" version of your testimony of God's work in your life? God chooses us not because of who we are but because of what we can become. For me He chose the poorest of vessels. I'm clay in His hands to be molded throughout life. I can't do anything by myself but can do all things in Christ! If I can do it, anyone can.
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