Saint Patrick’s Old Cathedral, So Ho. The blustery wind of last night calmed. The afternoon was bright and sunny. And with the good weather, our encounters out on the corner seemed to extend and multiply. Although we had only 3 missionaries out there, and one in the back of the Church, business was relatively strong. In some cases, we fell back to just asking people to visit the newly renovated Church, and letting the missionary in the back and the Holy Spirit take it from there. One man, sent in to pray, was drawn to receive reconciliation. He told the missionary later a weight had been lifted from his heart, and she was a sign from heaven. An Irish tourist, not interested in confession, confessed an interest in the original St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Inside, she found God. A mother with her young son, come to the Church to pray, was thrilled to hear she could confess in Spanish, and so she did. Another older Spanish-speaking woman, who came to the corner with her son for her annual rosary, agreed to receive the sacrament; she returned a half hour later giving us a huge hug. Bob spent a long time with a man in his 50’s, on dialysis, who had a spotty history with the Church; he eventually went in to see a priest.
Still, much of our business last night remained “half-finished.” Lots of folks at a cross roads of sorts, deciding which way to turn. Promising to pray on it, and to return later in the week. Perhaps inspired by encounters we were having, Msgr. Sakano gave a brief homily at Mass later in the evening about people at crossroads. Peter and Judas, the two betrayers. Fallen, as we all are, both had a decision to make. One headed out “into the darkness”, another came back into the firelight. One died a suicide, unreconciled to Christ; another came back on his knees, cried tears so long they furrowed his cheeks, and went on to be the father of the Christ’s Church. Out in SoHo tonight, the Holy Spirit through the missionaries has put many people at a crossroads. Perhaps a life changing crossroads. Some, after a brief struggle, have headed off into the darkness. Others have come into the light, and emerged beaming. And many more are just thinking. Let’s see which way they turn.
Tomorrow, we have the seminarians from Cheshire. I’m betting on the light.