St. Paul Street Evangelization

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In a positive, non-confrontational way, Catholics take the faith to the streets.
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Steve Dawson
Email Verified
Religion
Portland, Oregon
United States
4 Team Members

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Because we are asking for contributions for our apostolate, it is important to fully disclose who we are and what we do. If you are not interested in reading this entire page, at least scroll down through the pictures and read the descriptions to see what we do and why we need your help. If you are a faithful Catholic who cares about your faith, I am sure you will enjoy them.

When finished reading the page, we ask you to prayerfully consider making a donation, even if just a small one, to help us spread the true faith of Jesus Christ. Either way, please pray for us and our ministry. Don't forget to Like us on Facebook at the link at the bottom of the page.

Thank you and God bless!

Pitch

Modern pro-life activism, typified by 40 Days for Life, has a lot going for it. It's respectful, honest, engaging, non-confrontational, and it works. There's a certain logic behind this: When the truth is on your side, you don't need to show off. It's no wonder that Catholics involved in pro-life activism sometimes wonder: Why don't we have something like this for Catholic evangelization? 

Enter St. Paul Street Evangelization, a new lay apostalate dedicated to "less heat and more light." We are directly opposed to reading loudly from the Bible at nobody in particular, or pointing fingers at strangers, or shouting condemnations from a soapbox. Whether this approach of "sounding brass and tinkling cymbal" ever worked we aren't competent to say. What we can say is that this approach certainly doesn't work these days. In this noisy world of ours, only the quiet approaches are loud enough. 

This is not to hate on our fundamentalist brother on the street corner. While disagreeing with his version of Christian witness, we admire him for his unwavering committment to what he believes to be true, his steadfast determination to denounce falsehood. We want that same firmness, but without that unhelpful tone and with the fullness of truth. Just like our evangelical brother, we are in the strongest possible terms opposed to comprimising truth with any error. 

Therefore, this is our mission: St. Paul Street Evangelization equips Catholics with positive, low-key, non-confrontational, firmly Catholic means to “plant seeds” for the Kingdom. 

Our success so far: 

Folks from around the world have contacted us for information on getting involved in just these few short months since our inception. We currently have teams operating in Michigan, Oregon, and New York. We are working with teams in 15 other cities in the US, Canada, and the UK, which are all in various stages of taking the apostolate to the street. Check out the pictures and descriptions below from our Portland chapter to see us in action. 

This is Steve discussing the Church with a young couple that stated that they used to be Catholics "before they became Christians." Steve explained how Catholics were the first Christians, talked about Peter the Rock and the Keys to the Kingdom, Confession to a priest, the saints, Fatima, Guadalupe, and more. Pray for this couple, Steve is supposed to meet with them later about coming back into the Church.

This is Steve discussing the Church with a young couple that stated that they used to be Catholics "before they became Christians." Steve explained how Catholics were the first Christians, talked about Peter the Rock and the Keys to the Kingdom and its relation to Isaias 22:22, confession to a priest, the saints, Fatima, Guadalupe, and more. Pray for this couple; Steve is supposed to meet with them later about coming back into the Church. 

 

Here Brother Chris gives a little girl a rosary and explains how to pray with it.

Often, religious brothers and priests will come out and evangelize with us.  This Dominican brother is a convert from evangelical protestantism who engages Protestants, discussing his journey, the one which led him to the fullness of the truth in the Catholic faith. Here Brother Chris gives a little girl a rosary and explains how to pray with it.  

 

Here Fr. Francis is praying with two young adults who stopped by to chat. This man is a fallen away Catholic who had a very tough life. He was in a major car accident and was legally pronounced dead but miraculously survived. Steve gave him a miraculous medal and a rosary and discussed coming back to the faith with him. Fr. Francis, in his Dominican habit, was a visible sign that sparked many conversations. Once during our time out today, Father walked away from the group with a woman who walked up to talk to him. They talked for a good long while and the woman left. When father walked back he said just one word: "Confession!" Praise God.

Here Fr. Francis is praying with two young adults who stopped by to chat. This man is a fallen away Catholic who had a very tough life. He was in a major car accident and was legally pronounced dead but miraculously survived. Steve gave him a miraculous medal and a rosary and discussed coming back to the faith with him.

Fr. Francis, in his Dominican habit, was a visible sign that sparked many conversations. Once during our time out this day, Father walked away from the group with a woman who walked up to talk to him. They talked for a good long while and the woman left. When father walked back he said just one word: "Confession!" Praise God.

On the lighter side, here is Darth Vader ... riding a unicycle ... in his kilt ... holding his bagpipes. "Keep Portland Weird."

On the lighter side, here is Darth Vader ... riding a unicycle ... in a kilt ... holding his bagpipes. "Keep Portland Weird." 

Steve talked to two Mormons today. One was a Mormon man who left Christianity. The man was surprised to learn that Steve knew so much about Mormonism and its teachings. Steve was able to spend about a half hour with him going through the bible to discuss the Trinity and other docrines that Mormans do not believe in. The discussion was excellent and the man left with a book and a handful of literature on the Church that he promised to read. The other conversation that he had was with a former Morman that left that sect recently. Catholicism always interested her and Steve had no problem discussing the proofs of the Truth of the Church established by Christ. The woman left with a bunch of literature and a rosary which she promised to start praying after Steve got done showing her how. She has promised to call Steve to discuss it further when she is done reading the literature that he provided.

On this day, Steve talked to two Mormons. One was a Mormon man who left Christianity. The man was surprised to learn that Steve knew so much about Mormonism and its teachings. Steve was able to spend about a half hour with him going through the Bible to discuss the Trinity and other doctrines that Mormans do not believe.

The discussion was excellent and the man left with a book and a handful of literature on the Church that he promised to read. The other conversation that he had, seen here, was with a former Morman that had recently left her faith. She told us that Catholicism had always interested her and Steve had no problem discussing the proofs of that the Church was established by Christ. The woman left with a handful of literature and a rosary, which she promised to start praying after Steve got done showing her how. She has promised to call Steve to discuss it further when she is done reading the literature that he provided. 

As Father Francis looks on, Steve is busy conversing with this gentleman who stopped by to talk. The conversation lasted about 45 minutes and many spiritual truths were discussed. This man is a self proclaimed Gnostic. Steve tried to show him where his beliefs differed from the Church and why the Church should be believed. In the end, the man was not converted, although he did take a Miraculous Medal, a Rosary and a pamphlet on how to pray it. What may be best of all, he promised to pray to Our Lady the Memorare whenever he remembered. When a person calls for the help of the Lords mother, she will respond. Pray for this man on his journey towards eternity.
As Father Francis looks on, Steve is busy conversing with this gentleman who stopped by to talk. The conversation lasted about 45 minutes and many spiritual truths, and errors, were discussed. This man is a self proclaimed Gnostic. Steve tried to show him where his beliefs differed from the Church and why the Church should be believed.

In the end, the man was not converted, although he did take a Miraculous Medal, a Rosary and a pamphlet on how to pray it. What may be best of all, he promised to pray to Our Lady the Memorare whenever he remembered. When a person calls for the help of the Lord's mother, she will respond. Pray for this man on his journey towards eternity.


Here Steve is talking to a protestant man who had questions about the faith. Steve was able to answer a good number of questions for him and asked him if he ever considered joining the Catholic Church. The man said he had thought about it but was unsure how he could go about doing that. Steve explained the RCIA process to the man and gave him a card with different parishes in the area that had good RCIA programs starting up next month. The man said he would follow up with one of these churches and call Steve if he had any further questions to help him on his journey.
Here Steve is talking to a Protestant man who had questions about the faith. Steve was able to answer a good number of questions for him and asked him if he ever considered joining the Catholic Church. The man said he had thought about it but was unsure how he could go about doing that.

Steve explained the RCIA process to the man and gave him a card with different parishes in the area that had good RCIA programs starting up next month. The man said he would follow up with one of these churches and call Steve if he had any further questions to help him on his journey. 

Nick and Josh discuss the Catholic Church with a pair of Mormons. Peter and the Keys were discussed along with Jesus' promise that the Gates of Hell would not prevail against the Church. They left with a CD, Peter Kreeft's "7 Reasons to Become a Catholic."

Here Nick and Josh discuss the Catholic Church with a pair of Mormon missionaries. Peter and the Keys were discussed along with Jesus' promise that the Gates of Hell would not prevail against the Church (Mathew 16:18). They went from there to discuss other aspects of the faith and how these differed from what Mormonism teaches. They left with a CD, Peter Kreeft's "7 Reasons to Become a Catholic." Pray for them on their journey.

Here is Steve defending the Catholic faith against a protestant evangelist. This protestant passes out literature with a group that goes out to the waterfront every weekend. We often run into these protestant Christians that are out on the street evangelizing and they often have a dangerous message for Catholics. They tell Catholics that they do not need to belong to the Catholic Church. They tell them that the teachings of the Church are false. They tell them that all they need to do to be "saved" is to believe in Jesus. Every day we lose Catholics to Protestantism because of tactics like these. Catholics who know the faith need to take it to the streets to counter these false messages that are so deadly to the souls of the Catholic Laity.

Here is Steve defending the Catholic faith against a Protestant evangelist. This Protestant passes out literature with a group that goes out to the waterfront every weekend. We often run into these protestant Christians that are out on the street evangelizing and they often have a dangerous message for Catholics. They tell Catholics that they do not need to belong to the Catholic Church. They tell them that the teachings of the Church are false. They tell them that all they need to do to be "saved" is to believe in Jesus and that nothing they do can cause them to lose their salvation.

Every day we lose Catholics to Protestantism because of tactics like these. Catholics who know the faith need to take it to the streets to counter these false messages that are so deadly to the souls of the Catholic laity. 

Many people we talk to are mad at the Church for abuses and scandal caused by her members. We try to explain to people that Jesus gave us an example of scandal in the Church with Judas. We explain how sinners in the Church do not invalidate the truth she contains.

Many people we talk to are upset at the Church for abuses and scandal caused by her members. We try to explain to people that Jesus gave us an example of scandal in the Church with Judas. We explain how Jesus told us that the enemy would plant evil seeds in the Church and that the weeds would grow with the wheat.  While we emphasize that any wrongdoing by any member of the Church should be punished, we also stress that sinners in the Church do not invalidate the truth she contains. 

 

These are just a few of the amazing encounters that we experience each and every time we take the Faith to the streets. When we started this apostolate, we figured that we would just be planting seeds and probably never see any fruit from it. We were wrong. God is clearly showing us how he is sending His Holy Spirit upon the people that we talk to. Every day we never cease being amazed by His power. If you enjoyed looking at these pictures and the descriptions, we have more than a hundred more just like it in our Facebook album (opens in a new window).

If you like what we do, we need your help.

What We Need: 

Even though the setup that each local group uses seems modest, there many expenses to keep it going.  To get started, each local group has a startup cost ranging between $300 and $500 which pays for signs, literature, rosaries, miraculous medals, business cards, picnic blankets, books, etc. To run the operation can cost up to $30 per day per station to restock the materials that we hand out for free.  Here is a list of our most commonly used literature and the costs: 

Our Sunday Visitor Pamphlets: $12 per 50 pack

How to Pray the Rosary  - English/Spanish– 500 per month

Top 10 Questions Catholics Are Asked- English/Spanish – 150/ month

Top 10 Reasons to Come Back to the Catholic Church- English/Spanish– 150/ month

Sex and Contraception (bundled with various tracts)- English/Spanish – 25 month

Are You Saved? – 150 month

Catholic Answers:

Pillar of Fire- English/Spanish – 10 per day per station ($1.00 each)

Apologetic tracts – 20 per day per station ($12 per 50)

Chastity: Cohabitation – 10 month per station ($12 per 50)

Chastity: Homosexuality – 20 month per station ($12 per 50)

New Hope Publications ($15 per 100)

A primer for confession- English/Spanish

In search of truth and certainty

Never to live laugh or love (abortion) (bundled)

Sexual Sobriety (bundled)

Miscellaneous Items:

Made For More Book: 4 per day per station  ($3.75 each book)

Miraculous Medals- 25 per day per station ($25 for 100)

Rosaries 50-100 per day per station – Usually FREE from rosary groups.

Business Cards – 25  per day per station (.10 each)

Signs ($130 for large sign/ $50 for small sign) – We are expanding so more signs will be needed.

 

As you can see, these costs can add up rather quickly, especially since our Portland location usually runs at least two and up to four stations simultaneously, at least twice a week.   

 

Website

However helpful and booming our apostolate can be in person and on Facebook, to really engage the culture, and to organize more widely and effectively, we need a strong Web site. Just as 40 Days for Life provides Web hosting for local chapters, St. Paul Street Evangelization needs a Web site to help chapters get going, recruit, and organize events. This will be a free service for as long as we can manage it. 

Here's the thing: Free service or not, there are bills to pay. The Web site is costing us around $2,500 --- it's in development, so pictures are to come --- and there's the question of paying for web hosting and tech support. 

Don't be dismayed by the apparent success or not of this pitch, at least for now. This is one of a few places online we're accepting donations, and our generous local donors locally have already given a great deal. It would be nice to give them a break, though, and it'd be something of a crime to expect them to be able to keep on giving. So now we turn to you. 

We all are called to help bring about the Kingdom of God in our world. Now, more than ever, we need to do everything possible to make this happen, or society as we know it may be doomed. If we don't act know, with all our might, we may not get another chance. We ask you to prayfully consider supporting us, either by joining us out on the streets or starting a location of your own, or at least through your financial contributions.  

St. Paul Street Evangelization is consecrated to the Blessed Mother and is under spiritual direction by a Franciscan priest, Friar of the Immaculate. If you would like to discuss this ministry with him or see an accounting of how we are spending the money that we recieve, contact us at the email below.

St. Paul Street Evangelization is a non-profit corporation but is not a 501c3. If you would like to make a donation of more than $500, and would like it to be tax deductible, please contact us at the email below and for instructions on how to arrange it.

As a friendly incentive to this critical work, check out the backer rewards on the sidebar!

In short: 

Money that doesn't go to backer rewards or IndieGogo's modest service fees will go straight to these uses:

1. Literature and Resources for the primary chapter in Portland.

2. The Web site.

3. Getting efforts off the ground in other cities.

 

Thank you for your time!

To find out how to start a chapter in your area, feel free to contact us on Facebook or shoot us an e-mail

To view other recent news on St. Paul Street Evangelization check out:

Brandon Vogt's Blog

Leah Libresco Interview Part 1

Leah Libresco Interview Part 2 

First Things

Thank you for your prayers and contributions. God bless.

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