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The Word on the Street

November 8, 2017

By: Michael T. Norton, Vice President, Institutional Advancement, Malvern Retreat House

One of the Gospel acclamations at Mass that touched my heart this week read, “If you are insulted for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the spirit of God rests upon you.”

Our Lord instructs us to spread the Good Word, to be evangelists for Christ. Evangelization takes many forms.  Today, I want to introduce you to Ed Morris, Eddie Mo to his friends – A true evangelist.

Eddie Mo is spreading the Gospel in the “Bad Lands” in the Kensington area of Philadelphia.  The Bad Lands is the epicenter for the heroin epidemic in the City of Brotherly Love.  Eddie, a real estate developer, spends much of his time working with the young women who walk the streets looking to make enough money for their next fix. These are women from all walks of life, yet a surprising number are from the surrounding area’s affluent families.  This poison has taken all that is sacred in their lives, and has forced many to live on the streets.  Eddie puts it in very simple terms, “Heroin steals your soul.”

He offers help by talking with the women and offering them a Rosary Ring blessed by the Holy Father.  “I am constantly amazed by the reaction I receive when giving them a Rosary Ring. Through their sullen eyes, I can see a glimmer of hope.”  He tells the women that God loves them, forgives them, and that He is there to help them battle this demon.

Eddie has recruited members from his parish, Malvern Retreat House, and the Men’s Gospel Reflection group he attends every Friday morning in Chester. “The guys not only pray for the young women, many of them join me on the streets. Any success in getting a girl off the street, into rehab and back with her family is a shared success among God, the boys and the young girl.”

Success is not instant.  Ruby, pictured here with Eddie, spent another two years on the streets after she first met Eddie. “Now she is clean and back home with her family,” Eddie shares, “God is good.”

Eddie has become so well known that even the drug dealers have been willing to help him find an underage girl lost to the streets.  “I never thought a dealer would be willing to help. Jesus is very powerful,” he says.

Jesus is powerful.  Not all of us can go out on the streets and radically proclaim the Gospel, but we can share the Good Word with our family and friends.  Ask the Lord what he wants you to do.  You, too, will be amazed.

Sadly, this heroin epidemic knows no limits. It is killing our youth and destroying our families. People are searching for help.  Malvern Retreat House is committed to helping families impacted by the opioid and heroin crisis. In April of 2018, Malvern Retreat House is hosting a weekend retreat for those affected by this problem. For more information, contact Anne McGlone at (484)321-2577.

 

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