BY SUZANNAH EVANS
“There’s a reason Franciscan is in Steubenville,” said Melissa Longua, an intent for Illuminata Pace. “We are meant to do something.”
Inspired and lead by the Holy Spirit, members of Illuminata Pace and others are revamping Pater Noster’s Street Evangelization program.
The mission’s co-leader, Sydney Ford said, “There is such a sadness and despair in Steubenville. Street Evangelization hopes to give people a message of hope, they’re something more, and they are worth love.”
With the demise of the once bustling steel industry, Steubenville not only lost her livelihood, but her hope as well.
“The culture became so tied in to the steel mills,” said Blair Gordy, “at that time, when things got really bad, the Bishop tried to revamp the Catholic culture by building the University. If we really want to bring the Catholic identity to the people of Steubenville, it’s our responsibility. We have to go out and give to them. It’s a hard call, it’s really needed. We should give – it’s not for us, it’s for the world.”
While the mission definitely reaches out to the homeless, it will also reach out to the prostitutes, the children of the projects, even the elderly out for a walk. Pace sisters and others want to reach out – they want to help people realize their self-worth and their God-given dignity.
“I’d say hope is the core of the mission”, said Angela Richardson. “Everyone needs Christ, needs that message. … You’re worth more than that and you’re beautiful. We are your brothers and sisters. We are here to help you.”
Greatly aided by the prayers of St. Francis and the TOR Sisters, Richardson and Ford have set out to help their fellow students and household members reach past the safety and comfort of the hill and expose Christ to those in great need of their Heavenly Father.
This mission, though still in the works, is open to the campus and public.
“[Anyone] who is friendly, someone who is willing to walk up to people….and bring them Christ,” said Richardson, speaking about those needed to take part in the mission.
An information meeting will be held on Sept. 23 at 7:00 p.m. in the Fireside Lounge. The mission is for everybody, it is not an exclusively Pace event. Participants will meet on Tuesday nights from 7 to 9 to evangelize downtown Steubenville.