Following a successful model he crafted at Holy Spirit Parish in Fremont three years ago, Rev. Mathew Vellankal has brought drive-through prayer to his new parish, St. Bonaventure in Concord.
“Pope Francis has said we should go to the peripheries” to reach people, Father Vellankal said, and people seek spirituality.
“People might be sick, have lost a job, have someone who is gravely ill, and they don’t know where to go,” Father Vellankal said.
The program is geared to catch commuters on their way home; they can turn off Clayton Road into the church driveway, where they are directed by teams of volunteers to others who’ll help the driver with a short prayer.
“You don’t have to get out of your car. It’s fast — God on the go,” Father Vellankal said.
The drive-through prayer runs from 5-6 p.m. Monday-Friday; prayers are limited to no more than three minutes; no names are given, and no details. The prayers aren’t formal; they’re spontaneous.
“I’ve been waiting for something like this to happen,” said volunteer coordinator Kathy Geyerman, a St. Bonaventure parishioner for 33 years. “I just close my eyes and let the Holy Spirit fill my lips.”
About 30 cars came through in one hour on the program’s first, rainy night Nov. 13. Father had little trouble getting about 25 adults and 25 young people to volunteer for the program.
Full story at The Catholic Voice.
Maybe some of the drivers will return Sunday for more formal prayer.
OK, so they feel all warm and fuzzy because someone prayed for them, now what? People are responsible for practicing, nurturing, and growing in their faith. If they can’t even be bothered to get out of the car, how meaningful is it anyway?
Cynical much? For crying out loud. It’s an outreach. It’s not the end of a faith journey, but it just might be the beginning. So sorry that the people driving in for prayer and maybe the people praying with them aren’t as “perfect” a Christian as you.
Ah Sarcastic Romulus. Perhaps you would enjoy organizing the participation trophies for these drive thru folks. You could probably even get a grant from the diocese.
Love your name, Romulus disgustedus, but I do enjoy getting out of my car, as Kristin recommended, when in Fremont and going inside to pray at Holy Spirit (mentioned above too). It is open until about 4 pm and has clean restrooms in the vestbule of the church. The altar is in the middle of pews in the round, and shrines to various saints are in the back where one enters from the parking lot. I have been to Mass there once which took place when I dropped in.
I posted my last post because I thought it is good for Catholic pilgrims to know decent places where they can stop and pray and refresh themselves while traveling through other cities. Please, though, whoever stops there, keep the churches as clean as you found them. Then all can enjoy.
Holy Spirit has had some renovations done since the last time I was there, so it might be somewhat different inside now.
The Anonymous posts about Holy Spirit are mine — Anne TE.
And by the way, can they get fries with that?
Just think, if televised Mass fulfilled the Sunday obligation, you wouldn’t have to get out of bed. Now there’s the Spirit.
This outreach I think will help some people. Often we deparage too quickly others’ attempt to reach out, but the Good Lord knows our hearts. I have been helped before by dial a prayer, Masses said on television or online while ill, inspirational e-mails send to me or just something written in a book I opened in a store. Driving is stressful, and it could be that just saying a prayer with someone will make that person’s day brighter .
But I did love Kristen’s remark about the fries.
and Hymie’s too. We all need a good laugh after we have walloped each other over the head. Hope everyone had a great Thankgiving, including Trent, Ethan and Camila. I hope you did not get too wet that day, but we can all thank God for the much needed rain, and pray there are no floods where they are not wanted.