By Judy Hilovsky
The Sooner Catholic
The Saint Gregory’s Abbey Church was near capacity as people gathered there on the eve of the beatification of Father Stanley Rother. Saint Gregory’s hosted an event, “Behold,” organized by Meg Hunter-Kilmer, an SGU campus missionary.
Hunter-Kilmer learned less than two weeks before that more than 100 students from the Diocese of Little Rock, who would attend Father Rother’s beatification, were seeking lodging at the university. So, she took the opportunity to evangelize with the youth by organizing praise, worship, speakers, adoration and confession.
Hunter-Kilmer introduced Cassidy Stinson, seminarian for the Diocese of Richmond, Va., who told the gathering he has a deep devotion to Father Rother. Stinson attends Theological College National Seminary at the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C.
“I think when we are telling people about the Eucharist, one of the most important things we can do is to tell them why we care, why we love it so much; why I love the Eucharist and why I love the Lord so much,” Stinson said.
Stinson told the story of his true transformation after attending a youth rally in Atlanta and taking part in adoration.
“I felt cold and dead inside. And, that scared me a little bit. One way or the other this is a big deal. It is either true that this is Jesus Christ, that it is God incarnate in front of me or its not and this is all a lie. It can’t be anything in between. I had to make a choice. I was sitting there, and I said, ‘God, if you are really there, I need to know.’ I have to feel something to know. There was silence in the room and all of a sudden there was a feeling inside me, like an electric shock or something. But, that wasn’t what surprised me. It was the love I felt.
“There were three facts that seared into my mind at that point: That I really hurt him with the wall I built around my heart, and God loved me anyway. The next day I went to confession and laid everything out. And, it felt like a hot shower. It kinda hurts, but feels awesome. That’s what that confession felt like. That’s when I started to fall in love with Jesus. God speaks to us in different ways, love, longing or peace. He will speak to you. He loves you.”
Hunter-Kilmer encouraged everyone to take part in adoration and to go to confession. She travels around the country as a self -described “hobo missionary,” after receiving her bachelor’s degree in theology and a master’s degree in systematic theology from the University of Notre Dame.
Judy Hilovsky is a freelance writer for the Sooner Catholic.