“And They Recognized Him in the Breaking of the Bread.” -Luke 24:31

While it is essential to know more ‘about’ Jesus concerning the many Gospel details of His life, passion, death, and resurrection, the individual pursuit of such biographical knowledge alone doesn’t necessarily mean that we will intuitively know at once who Jesus ‘is’ in our lives.

Really getting to know Jesus exacts something more intimate from us, something much deeper which strikes at the core of our inner most being. Getting to know who Jesus is involves a personal and yet communal relationship in which we are willing to bare ourselves in total surrender recognizing our sinful nature so that we might allow Jesus to transform our individual brokenness into the ‘broken wholeness’ of His Mystical Body, the Church.

So how might we pursue such a life transforming relationship?

The challenging answer is found in Jesus’ breaking of the bread. The Sacrament of the Eucharist allows us as a community of believers to know Jesus so that He might unite our brokenness in the breaking of the bread. Such a communal recognition of who Jesus is asks each of us to join and center ourselves in Him so that we might experience His presence and grace to transform us together into His image and likeness.

In other words, our individual Eucharistic spirituality leads us necessarily to its communal expression ever seeking to recreate ourselves and the world through Jesus’ presence in the Eucharist. Only when we decide to face ourselves in the stark mirror of our individual vulnerability can we then begin to know who Christ truly is in our lives as we admit our brokenness and total dependence upon Him.

The most certain way in which we can know Jesus is in the unity of Communion. Communion draws us out of ourselves into closer unity with Jesus and thus with all our fellow Catholics. We though many become one Body completely joined into a single existence in Christ.

When we offer and join ourselves to Jesus’ ‘broken wholeness’ in the sacrifice at the Eucharistic table, we come to know Him most intimately. Without the broken body of Jesus in the Eucharist, we could never be made whole because only He can heal our brokenness and restore us to new life through His redemptive death. Truly Jesus is the greatest creator of life, but even more so, He is an even greater restorer of that same life.

So let us in all our brokenness most intimately know who Jesus is by recognizing His presence, and our own, in the breaking of the bread at Communion so that He might heal and sanctify us as He transforms us together into His own image and likeness as members of His Mystical Body, the Church. Amen.

-Kevin Wright, LAMP missionary and deacon

[above] Kevin is pictured at right, where he serves full-time at a materially poor parish in NYC.

Holy Saturday

It was a Saturday
A springtime Sabbath Saturday
When the stifling silence
Made it hard to breathe.

The dear woman was alone
With her thoughts and memories
In a new household
One day old.

In the quiet time
She recited psalms
And sang hymns
To keep her courage up.

She stirred up the treasures
Of her heart
And remembered
What He had told her.

She believed and waited,
Unable to control
Yesterday’s images
But digging deep
For His promises
And repeating them
Over and over again.

As evening replaced day
She knew what to do,
Setting the table simple
With a plate of flat bread
And a cup of wine.

Sleep was out of the question for her
And the night hours slow passing
Wed the silence to the darkness
In a strange and powerful way.

At last, at long last,
A hint of dawn,
And suddenly in the room
He appeared
Changed, yet recognizable
To her mother’s eyes.

The joy, the light of His body
Banished Friday’s sorrow
As she feasted on His adorable face,
As she drank in His living Presence.
Mother and Son
Sat at table
Giving thanks together
While He broke the bread
And blessed the cup
Of His body and blood
Of the new and never-ending life.

-Marybeth Greene, Easter 2013

Peace of Jesus’ Risen Beating Heart and Happy Easter from LAMP Catholic Ministries!

Some of the LAMP missionaries gathered together to celebrate Easter

I Call You Friends

Friendship is a theme that has been running through our ministry of late.

As we gather together the start of each new week, we give glory to God by sharing how He has been working in each of our various ministries. Whether it’s a shelter for families, our food truck parked on the street, a nursing home, a parish, a Sunday-school class or places inbetween, the Lord has been greeting us as friends.

“There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.” – St. Thomas Aquinas

God became man in the person of Christ Jesus, and showed us His Love in the flesh. He came to show us the path back to eternal life in Him. He came to reveal to us His Face, a Face of Mercy, and restore us back to friendship with himself.

Each day, we are privileged to be a friend and be shown friendship in return with those we serve. The Heartbeat of Jesus has truly been present in the simplest of ways this week: laughter, spending extra time with people, building trust, conversing with non-spiritual persons, insight in prayer how to love, a hug, a smile, a “You are Precious in God’s eyes” card.

“Friendship brings out the best in a person through forgetfulness of self.” – St. Thomas Aquinas

In the Gospel of John, one of many lasting sayings Christ leaves with us is, “I no longer call you slaves, but friends.” To be friends with all, and live in the fullness of live with Him: friendship restored. In our friendships, they must ultimately lead us to the truest and trustiest friend, Jesus Christ. Thanks be to God, Our Father, who is restoring His friendship with us one day at a time, one person at a time.

-LAMP Missionary Marta Stangl

Sidewalk Pro-Life Outreach

The Heart of Jesus Beats With Compassion For Pregnant Mothers and the Unborn

In 2014, LAMP initiated a new outreach on 149th St. in the South Bronx called “A LAMP for Life.” Two or more LAMP Missionaries prayerfully walk to this bustling street area, where an unmarked Planned Parenthood performs abortions. One stands quietly on the sidewalk, visibly but silently praying the rosary, while the other LAMP Missionary offers a resource brochure on where pregnant women can receive help, and seeks to begin conversations on the value of life. There are opportunities to direct women to get a free ultrasound or other support, and to pray with women and with men.  To any who have already suffered from an abortion experience, LAMP Missionaries offer words of mercy, encouraging the individual to contact groups that provide post-abortion healing.

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“Seeing with the eyes of Christ, I can give to others much more than their outward necessities; I can give them the look of love which they crave.” (Deus Caritas Est, Pope Benedict XVI)

LAMP’s approach is non-judgmental, caring, and prayerful. LAMP Missionaries seek to support pregnant women who think they have no choice but to abort their babies. Through prayer, compassionate listening and loving dialogue, many of these mothers choose to give their babies life.

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A LAMP missionary (far right) hands out rosaries, encouraging each recipient to pray especially for vulnerable pregnant mothers and their unborn children.

94% of abortion centers are located in poor neighborhoods. The abortion industry draws on the vulnerabilities of the poor and their temptation to think that life has very little value. In always trying to find the poorest, the weakest, those frequently outside the reach of the Catholic Church, LAMP is making an effort to bring its mission of evangelization among the materially poor to those struggling with life issues.

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A LAMP missionary (far left) spreads the culture of life – one person at a time.

Sharing Food and Faith with the Poor

The Heart of Jesus Beats With Compassion For the Hungry/Homeless

While the name ‘LAMPCafé’ may suggest a quiet coffee shop located someplace far removed from the realities of inner-city life, it is actually just the opposite.  The LAMPCafé is a special street ministry that uses a canteen truck to bring different areas of New York City not only food, but also Scripture readings, rosaries, and opportunities to pray with LAMP Missionaries and Volunteers.

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The people line up for physical and spiritual food.
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LAMP Missionary offers a smile, friendly conversation, and availability to pray and read the Scriptures together.

“The poor need not only bread but the Word of God.”

Verbum Domini, Par. 99

Visiting the Poor in the Streets

The Heart of Jesus Beats With Compassion For Those on the Street

When Saint John Paul II visited North America, he exhorted all Catholics to “have the courage to bear witness to the Gospel in the streets and squares”.  The vision of LAMP, founded in and by the love of Christ Jesus, impels LAMP Missionaries to literally reach out to the poor on the streets; to those who need to know the Lord has not forgotten them, and that the local Catholic parish wants to be of service to them.

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Evangelization in front of the local parish in Times Square in New York City: LAMP Missionaries visit with a woman who is interested in the Catholic materials we have displayed.
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LAMP Missionaries share the Good News with those we meet, finding Christ in every face.
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“It is the love of Christ that fills our hearts and impels us to evangelize. Today as in the past, he sends us through the highways of the world to proclaim his Gospel to all the peoples of the earth.” (Porta Fidei, Pope Benedict XVI)

“Do not turn your face away from any of the poor, and God’s face will not be turned away from you.” – Tobit 4:5-7

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has chosen me to bring good news to the poor.” – Luke 4:18

Visiting Homeless Families

The Heart of Jesus Beats with Compassion For Homeless Families

As of January 2019 there were 63,839 homeless people in NYC. That includes 15,492 homeless families with 22,938 homeless children sleeping each night in the New York City municipal shelter system. Families make up three quarters of the homeless shelter population. A typical homeless child is under five years old, very poor, and living with a sibling and a single mother.  The numbers are staggering:

  • One in 45 children experience homelessness in America each year. That’s over 1.6 million children.
  • 42% of children in homeless families are under age six.
  • There is evidence that homeless children have more health problems, hospitalizations, and developmental delays than poor children who have never been homeless.
  • Children who experience homelessness are also more likely to become homeless as adults

A number of LAMP Missionaries are going out two by two, visiting shelters for homeless families around the city, bringing them the compassionate love of Jesus.  The LAMP Missionaries share the love of Jesus through reading the Scriptures with and praying with those caught in the web of homelessness.

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Two LAMP Missionaries knock on the door of a “motel” that is now housing homeless families.
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A LAMP Missionary visits with a woman living in a shelter. After listening to her plight, she invites the woman to visit the local parish to pray before the Blessed Sacrament.

“This rather is the fasting that I wish:

Releasing those bound unjustly,

Sharing your bread with the hungry,

Sheltering the oppressed and the homeless…

Then your light shall break forth like the dawn…”

Isaiah 58: 6a, 7a, 8a

Visiting the Poor in Hospitals and Nursing Homes

The Heart of Jesus Beats With Compassion For the Sick and Elderly

LAMP Missionaries visit with the sick and elderly poor in hospitals and nursing homes in areas of poverty, who are often abandoned by their families and friends, to bring them comfort, to share the Word of God with them, and to bring Holy Communion to those who are Catholic and unable to go to Church for whatever reason.

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Sharing the Gospel with a woman residing in a nursing home in Brooklyn, who needs to know that God has not abandoned her.

“Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40).

Being Gratefully and Faithfully Catholic

The Heart of Jesus Beats With Compassion For His Church

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2010: Timothy Cardinal Dolan celebrated Mass for LAMP Missionaries and exhorted them as “men and women of the Church.”
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Timothy Cardinal Dolan outside the LAMP Center; pictured here with LAMP’ Founders/Directors (right) and Pastoral Directors (left)

Decree of Canonical Recognition

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Cardinal O’Connor reading the letter of canonical recognition, with Tom & Lyn Scheuring, Ph.D.s, LAMP Founders/Directors, and Marybeth & Ed Greene, Pastoral Directors.

In 1999, LAMP Ministries received the Canon Law status of “Private Association of Christian Faithful,” through Cardinal John O’Connor of the Archdiocese of New York, thus approving LAMP as a recognized Catholic Missionary Association and an authentic way of holiness.

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Auxiliary Bishop William J. McCormick, national director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, joined his many brother priests to celebrate the Holy Mass for LAMP’s 25th anniversary
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Celebrating LAMP’s 25th Anniversary at the Holy Eucharist – the center of LAMP’s spirituality and deepest possible expression of our thanksgiving

Welcome

Welcome to the website of LAMP Catholic Ministries! We are currently in the process of updating our website, and this page is currently under development. To learn more about us and our ministries, please use the links on the menu and homepage.

May God bless you, and Mary intercede for you,

LAMP Catholic Ministries