Missionaries from the Institute of the Incarnate Word have been pounding the pavement this September to invite Brooklynites around St Teresa of Avila, Crown Heights, and Co-Cathedral of St Joseph’s, Prospect Heights, to church.
The group of 40 religious brothers and sisters, most of them students, came from the Washington D.C. area. They begin each day in Brooklyn with a Mass and spend most of their days walking the streets around the north end of Prospect Park to invite people to Mass.
Mother Maria Aeiparthenos of the Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará (SSVM), the sisters’ mistress of novices, said the missionaries initially went door to door, but after spending the first few days surveying the area, they decided it was better to encounter people on the streets.
Some sisters form a musical trio with guitar, violin and flute, taking the role of street performers, while others kick soccer balls and throw frisbees with children in the park, and others simply greet locals to engage them in conversation.