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Catholics in Washington “Light the City” to Spread the Gospel


Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 06/01/16

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A great idea, via the Catholic Standard:

The call to go out and spread the gospel was answered on May 21 at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle during Light the City, an evening of prayer, reflection, and evangelization in Washington. People of all ages came and participated in this special evening of welcoming, as they traveled outside of the cathedral and into the streets to invite those walking around near the church to come inside to pray. The evening began with exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament, presided over by Cardinal Donald Wuerl. Cardinal Wuerl urged those participating in the event to use gifts of the Holy Spirit as they shared the Gospel with others. He said that spreading the Good News is as simple as asking the question, “Would you like to come?” “Each of us brings light,” said Cardinal Wuerl, explaining that the invitation to pray, light a candle, and possibly confess bears witness to the Good News of the Lord. Light the City was adapted from an event started at World Youth Day in 2005 called Nightfever. Stemming from the same initiative to welcome all into the church, Light the City invites everyone to come into the church for prayer and reflection. Both Nightfever and Light the City are conducted around the world. Before exiting the cathedral, street evangelizers gathered around the baptismal fount as a reminder of their calling since Baptism to be witnesses of Christ to the world. Mike Owens, coordinator of evangelization initiatives for the Archdiocese of Washington, explained that evenings like Light the City invite people to encounter the Lord. “It is our Baptismal identity to share the Gospel and invite people to know the Lord,” said Owens. “Faith isn’t private.” The first Light the City in Washington took place in February, 2015. It has been held three times since then, continuing the mission that Pope Francis frequently: go and evangelize. Sarah Strenio shared her experience of first participating in, and now organizing the evening as an intern in the archdiocesan evangelization office. She said the first time she participated this past February was a service to herself. “It is important to keep saying ‘yes’ to Jesus … you never know what’s going to happen,” Strenio said.

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