Frequently Asked Questions
Those Catholics who agree to our SPSE Code of Conduct form are eligable. You do not have to be a member of SPSE to join the HRC. See the member page for the requirements of each membership level.
When acting as a representative of St. Paul Street Evangelization I hereby affirm that:
- I am a Catholic in good standing;
- I am 18 years of age or older;
- In word and witness, I will promote active assent to all the teachings of the Church, as declared by the current Catechism of the Catholic Church;
- I do not formally cooperate with groups promoting active or passive dissent from the teachings of the Catholic Church, nor will I promote active or passive dissent from the teachings of the Catholic Church;
- My lifestyle does not constitute grave, manifest scandal; and
- I will cooperate with all legal and canonical authorities.
St. Paul Street Evangelization Policy on the Participation of Minors
To participate in St. Paul Street Evangelization activities, you must:
- Be at least 18 years old, or
- Be at an officially sanctioned Catholic school or parish SPSE event. In the case of an officially sanctioned Catholic school or parish SPSE event, participating persons under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an officially approved adult chaperone sanctioned by the appropriate Catholic school or parish to act as a chaperone.
All teams must have at least two adult members present when evangelizing as an official SPSE team.
Holy rivalries have been a part of Catholic culture for hundreds of years. This excellent article by Brother Irenaeus Dunlevy, O.P. explains that a holy rivalry does not lead to strife, war, and contention as worldly rivalry does: “many have cheated, slandered, sabotaged, or plundered for the sake of some trophy, medal, laurel, or seat.” In a worldly rivalry someone else must lose something for you to gain something.
Instead, like Saints Basil and Gregory of Nazianzus, a holy rivalry is the pursuit of a life ordered towards God, our complete conversion to God and development of the interior life, and His will for our lives. This extends to our duty to evangelize. The Holy Rivalry Club seeks to help Christians keep each other accountable and encourage one another in the work of evangelization so we do not allow fear or cowardice keep us from advancing forward as the Holy Spirit prompts us to do so.
In a holy rivalry, we seek the good of the other person, not our own good. That is what the HRC is all about. As an extension of St. Paul Street Evangelization, it is our desire to grow in holiness as brothers and sisters in Christ by encouraging and building one another up. Each victory is celebrated together as the Lord’s doing and each setback is met with prayer.
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Well, I do not run aimlessly, I do not box as one beating the air; but I pommel my body and subdue it, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
From St. Maximilian Kolbe:
- “Do not allow anyone to surpass you in procuring the glory of God.” – writings, November 15
- “May the Lord grant them a noble rivalry in the maximum degree.” Letter 439
- “The secular priests can freely collaborate in the cause of the Militia of the Immaculate, even in the places where our friars are present: may a noble rivalry urge us on so as not to remain behind them.” Letter 930
By the nature of our baptisms every Catholic has an obligation to share in the missionary mandate of the Church to go and make disciples. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “Service of and witness to the faith are necessary for salvation: ‘So every one who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven; but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.'” (CCC 1816)
Evangelization always includes a proclamation of the Gospel. The Gospel, in its most basic form, is to “repent and believe” (Mark 1:15). Making a proclamation invites a person to faith in which they reorder their life and submit both their will and intellect to God. A person only fulfills their obligation when they perform some specific act that engages the person. It would be enough to give a person a miraculous medal, or even a holy card of Jesus, but simply wearing a crucifix would not be considered an act of evangelization for our purposes.
Examples of acts of evangelization might include: giving someone a tangible reminder of God’s love for them (a rosary, miraculous medal, crucifix, holy card, or a Bible), offering to pray out loud with someone, inviting someone to an event at church, explaining the Gospel, asking someone if they have ever considered becoming Catholic, giving your own testimony of your faith in God, or completing a corporal or spiritual work of mercy. Saying “God bless you” to someone would not count, but saying “God bless you and remember that Jesus loves you” would count.
Examples that would not be acts of evangelization in and of themselves include: acts of charity that have no Christian connection (raising money for the boy scouts, helping habitat for humanity, or leaving your waiter or waitress a big tip), acts of right living (living according to the 10 commandments and precepts of the Church), proselytizing in such a way that it drives others away from the church, organized protests, political activities, or putting on deodorant (but we do thank you for that).
If you offer someone a miraculous medal and they refuse it, that would not count. If you follow up by saying, “God bless you and remember, Jesus loves you”, that would count.
Fr. Ignatius has committed himself to sharing his faith with at least two people a day. Below is one of his stories:
“I’ve made the commitment to enter into the Holy Rivalry, so I will not make a trip out of the friary without approaching at least one soul. One day, I am headed to a pharmacy. I pull in, get out of the car and start heading to the entrance. Before I get to the automatic doors leading in, I ask an elderly woman coming through the parking lot if she would like a free Miraculous Medal. “No thank you.” Okay. I move on into the store to get my things.
I’m finished and leaving the store, and although I’ve already fulfilled my Holy Rivalry quota, having already approached someone on the way in, I start to get another Miraculous Medal ready because I’ve somewhat personally committed myself to approaching at least two people every time I leave the friary because I secretly want to actually win this Holy Rivalry thing. We’ll find out in eternity who has evangelized the most.
The medal is ready and the first person walks by, “Excuse me Ma’am, would you like a free Miraculous Medal?”
- She pleasantly responds, “Sure.”
- “Do you know what the Miraculous Medal is?”
- Hesitantly she says, “No.”
- “Well, in 1830…”
- Smiling she says, “Well thank you!”
- “Do you go to church around here?”
- Hesitantly again she says, “No”, while gently shaking her head. “I go at home. I’m not from here.”
- “Are you Catholic?”
- “No” she says kindly.
- “Did you ever think about becoming Catholic?”
- “Not really.”
- “Did you know that Jesus founded the Catholic Church?”
- “Yes, I did.”
- Smiling, I say, “Then why would you not become Catholic?!”
- She says rather light-heartedly, “Well, I’ve just never gotten around to it or thought about it too much.”
- “It’s the will of Jesus that everyone belong to His Church. At the last supper, He prayed that we all may be one, as He is one with the Father, so that the world may see and believe. Have you heard of Martin Luther?”
- “Well he was actually a Catholic priest, etc., etc….today there are over 30,000 denominations all teaching a different brand of Christianity. That’s not the will of Jesus.”
- She smiles and nods in agreement. “Alright, I’ll give it some thought…”
- “And what about the Eucharist?” I add. “Jesus said, ‘This is My Body. This is My Blood. He who eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood has eternal life. Whoever does not eat My Flesh and drink My Blood has no life in him.”
By smiling and nodding again she indicates that she is familiar with what I am saying and, per se, has no real objections.I get the sense that I’ve done what Our Lady has wanted me to do and I kindly finish by encouraging her one more time to pray about this and consider becoming Catholic. Finally, I give her my name and contact info and tell her she will be in my prayers. If anyone is encountering more than two people every time they go out, please let me know.”
Thanks, Father Ignatius!
Your donation is above and beyond your normal tithe. You make that decision according to the promise you made when you became a member. What if you have committed to evangelize 1 person a day, and you do not go into town on a day, do you need to drive into town to fulfill your obligation? No, a day only counts when you go into town.
You can use our forums to ask other members for guidance. You can give to any Catholic charity, but preference should be given to those that focus on evangelization such as St. Paul Street Evangelization, FOCUS, St. Pauls Outreach, Net Ministries, Renewal Ministries, or the Legion of Mary.
A note regarding religious: Members of religious communities may opt to do an additional act of penance instead of the usual monetary donation. We suggest a Rosary or chaplet of Divine Mercy in lieu of a financial gift.