Hitting the Streets With St. Paul

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About this Episode

(00:03) Narrator sets the scene of what a typical St. Paul Street Evangelization outing may look like at Comerica Park in downtown Detroit.

(01:00) Listeners are introduced to Steve Dawson, founder of St. Paul Street Evangelization, a Detroit-based grassroots nonprofit that focuses on evangelization and meeting people where they are — literally.

(03:43) Steve explains how in 2012, he and his wife were noticing a lack of Catholic evangelists in Portland, Ore., where they lived, and wanted to do something about that.

(04:51) The narrator describes those first days of evangelizing in Portland, and the reaction he received evangelizing in what might be the “least religious city in America.”

(06:13) Listeners learn about Steve’s youth. Raised without any religion at all, Steve got in a lot of trouble. He doesn’t even remember how many times he’s been arrested, he said.

(07:44) Steve talks about how his mother re-verted to the Catholic faith, but he wasn’t interested in the Church.

(08:20) Steve describes his conversion to the faith, how God “gave him a supernatural grace to have the desire to search for Him.” That grace led to his desire to share God’s grace with the world.

(11:07) Steve discusses those first evangelization opportunities, handing out Miraculous Medals and having conversations with random people about the faith, and how St. Paul Street Evangelization took off from those simple early conversations to form an apostolate spread across four countries.

(15:02) Listeners are introduced to Bob Wilson, present-day director of St. Paul Street Evangelization, who describes his first evangelization outing at a “Noel Night” in downtown Detroit.

(17:03) Evangelist Carol LaPalm describes how she got involved in street evangelization in Royal Oak. Evangelists rarely get the chance to follow up with the people they encounter with on the streets, the rest left in God’s hands.

(19:59) Donna Spivey describes how she came into the faith because of the witness of St. Paul Street Evangelization. Donna describes how the interaction sparked something in her: a desire to explore the Catholic faith.

(22:32) Donna describes previous experiences that turned her off to the Church, but adds how St. Paul Street Evangelization helped her feel welcome, explaining the faith in a way that is warm, inviting and enticing.

(24:53) Donna says how much St. Paul Street Evangelization changed her life, her family’s life, and what it means to find faith in Jesus and wanting to share Jesus with others.

(25:46) Steve and Bob talk about the great urgency for Catholics to evangelize, with God guiding each and every Catholic to proclaim the Gospel and further the Kingdom of God.

Reporting by Daniel Meloy; narration and production by Ron Pangborn; script by Casey McCorry

Listen to ‘Detroit Stories’ on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or Fireside. Podcasts also will be posted biweekly on DetroitCatholic.com.