OremusMKE (And getting out of your Catholic bubble)

A group of young folks from Milwaukee (Anna, Shannon, Sam, Chad if you know them…) are putting together a sweet event this Milwaukee called OremusMKE. Oremus is Latin for ‘Let us Pray’ and MKE is the airport code for General Mitchell Airport, although this event has nothing to do with airplanes or the military. It also is the first part of the email address for the office of worship at the Archdiocese. Anyway, below is the information for Oremus and the flyer, along with a description from the flyer.

Click to download OremusMKE Flyer

JUNE 28 – Three Holy Women Parish
St. Hedwig Church – 1702 N Humboldt Ave 9:00pm-Midnight

The doors of our church will be open on June 28th from 9pm-midnight. We will invite passersby inside for a moment of peace in the midst of their night.

iA Church which ‘goes forth’ is a Church whose doors are open…Often it is better simply to slow down, to put aside our eagerness in order to see and listen to others, to stop rushing from one thing to another and to remain with someone who has faltered along the way.” Pope Francis Evangelii Gaudium

If you are interested in helping with this event, or have any questions, contact Chad Griesel grieselc@archmil.org

(I questioned one of the coordinators and below is the summary of our conversation along with some thoughts)


 

 

I asked one of the coordinators why they were having this night of prayer. They mentioned that they had attended a similar night in Chicago called Night Fever which seems to stem from an original event in Cologne, Germany during World Youth Day back in 2005. But, I said, we aren’t just doing this because someone else did it, to fit in with…Chicago?

Of course not, they responded; we are doing it  because in Milwaukee we have a lot events (most of them are good events by the way) just for Catholics; there are service events, social events, liturgical events,  but there is no bridge for inviting people outside of the Catholic circle to come to Catholic events. And even though most events in the church are open to everyone, how do we go about inviting people? Most people (including myself) get nervous when talking with a non-Catholic about our faith.  We get so stuck in our little Catholic world that we don’t take the time to invest in people who are not part of the Catholic church. We only invest in people who are already Catholic but don’t take the time to invite other people who are outside of the faith. It forces us outside of our comfort zone. Its safer to talk to Catholics.

But guess what; non Catholics find us intriguing. To a hipster a faithful Catholic might seem ‘anti-establishment’ or ‘going against the grain’ of culture. To a young person a faithful Catholic might look like someone who has a strong sense of identity, both personal and corporate. At the very least, an offer to come into a Catholic church to pray [for peace if thats what we ask for. its universal, its biblical, its something that people want] and feel like they are participating in something. Why into the church? Why not a prayer garden? Why can’t we just invite people into the prayer garden, or to the lakefront. Those places are good, but Catholics have something great we call ‘The Real Presence of Jesus Christ’ in every church. Perhaps nothing happens [to those who come into the church], but later on, when they are out at a ….bar…a party…they remember the moment of silence and peace and they realize for a just a moment that there is something more for them to do and…believe…but even if all they do is pray (unknowingly) before the Blessed Sacrament and the Sacrament (AKA Jesus, Real Presence) is present for them, is there for them, maybe this will prompt something for them. Maybe the Holy Spirit will work in their lives. What is the ultimate goal? To fill the pews; not really. To promote peace; maybe, to bring about peace; maybe. To bring people into union with Jesus, yes. To bring people before the Lord. Yes. It’s simple enough. Just open the door, and invite them in. 

 

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