Come and Kneel Before Him Now
You have to see this on this Corpus Christi weekend.
In February, two Franciscan Capuchins held a Eucharistic Adoration Flash Mob in front of a busy mall in Preston, UK. They read out a powerful list of Jesus's atttributes in each book of the Bible and then call passers-by to "Come and Kneel Before Him Now". And slowly, one by one, they do. Then they begin to clap before him.
The comments on the You tube page add this information:
A small team of Catholic evangelists mingled with the crowd to hand out cards and explain what was going on. Here are some of the reactions....
"What is this about? What is happening? What is this about?"
One young girl said: "I've not seen anything like this since Church."
"Are they doing this all day? ... Will they be doing it again? ... Are they doing this any where else?"
Two young women asked: "Why does God allow hurt and pain in the world?" They agreed it was not God's fault but ours. Then they asked: "Why doesn't Jesus come again?" We explained that He is here in the form of bread, but would come again and we invited them to think about Him now.
"Is it religious? What is inside that thing?"
A man said: "What is that guy doing?" An old woman with him replied: "That's Jesus. Show respect."
"This is so moving! It is the first time I have seen it done outside. I can't wait to tell my parish priest!"
And a poignant side note for those familiar with English Catholic history:
The Capuchin Friars, Brs Mark, Prins & John, return to Preston after 467 years, following the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539, to take responsibility for the Catholic Chaplaincy at the University of central Lancashire. The new Chaplaincy is on the site of the Leper Hospital of St. Mary Magdalen, founded c.1177. In about 1525 the hospital was transferred to the Franciscan Friars who left at the Dissolution in 1539.
It seems that the Franciscans aren't going to wait for students to come to them. It puts a new twist on the popular (if never said by St. Francis) adage: "Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words."
I found the website of their Catholic Chaplaincy and noticed something really interesting. Adoration every morning and evening, M-F, and on Saturday & Sunday mornings. And - and this is the first time I have ever seen this in a Catholic setting - a "seeker service" at 11 am on Sunday (described as a "special Mass" for those seeking God). I have no idea how that would vary from a standard parish Mass but it is very interesting.
Obviously this community has a deeply missional focus.
H/T to Catherine of Siena Institute