Blessing All the Neighborhood

Linda Buskirk writes at Vital Practices about Holy Trinity Church in South Bend, Indiana:

Through open listening sessions, the people of Holy Trinity learned that what neighbors wanted most was relationship — to be in community with the church. Current priest-in-charge, Mother Terri Bays, says the process helped the congregation “become more attuned to the blessings of the neighborhood.”

… On Rogation Days, instead of praying for the work inside the church, Holy Trinity processes down sidewalks, stopping to pray for people who work in the neighborhood. Mother Terri explains the church asked store owners in advance for permission to come on their property and pray. She then wrote special prayers for each place.

“We started with our own community garden, then the convenience store across the street, then we kept going. Along the route was a business that washes cars out front, but was suspected of selling drugs out back. We noticed a group of people sitting out in front of the business, and they were watching us. We went into a gas station where people thanked us for our prayers, and we kept walking. Suddenly one of the people from the group watching us came running up to us. I left the front of the procession and circled back to meet him. As the man approached he asked, ‘Are you praying only for the good people? Aren’t we good enough?’”

Mother Terri showed him a bulletin which stated that yes, the car wash was on the list of stops. The procession would be heading back that way after they prayed at the Fire Station. Unexpectedly, the man joined them in prayer for the firefighters. When the procession got back to the car wash, all those sitting in front stood up and prayed.

Read the rest.

Image of the Garden of St. Therese from Holy Trinity’s website

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