Ecumenical ‘Pulse’ hopes to draw Catholics May 18

| May 1, 2018 | 0 Comments

An ecumenical movement championed by Pope Francis is coming to U.S. Bank Stadium May 18.

PULSE Twin Cities, a large-scale ecumenical evangelization event, will bring together Christians from around the metro. In 2016, Pope Francis encouraged attendance via video for a PULSE event, Together, in Washington, D.C.

“Jesus is waiting for you,” Pope Francis said in Spanish in the video with English captions. “He is the one who planted seeds of restlessness in your heart. Give it a try! You don’t have anything to lose!”

Nick Hall, the founder of PULSE, will speak at Pulse Twin Cities May 18. The ecumenical event, which Catholics are encouraged to participate in, seeks to connect people with Jesus and with their respective local churches, including Catholic parishes. Courtesy Pulse

PULSE founder Nick Hall met Pope Francis before the 2016 event and gave him a Together T-shirt, which the pontiff held up in the video. While PULSE Twin Cities won’t include a message from Pope Francis, the Minneapolis-based nonprofit hopes to have a Catholic presence at U.S. Bank Stadium.

“We really just believe that we’re stronger together,” said Hall, an evangelical Christian. “We’re on the same team.”

Hall founded the PULSE movement while attending North Dakota State University in 2006. Its first event drew 5,000 at the Bison Sports Arena in Fargo. Three years later, Pulse opened a national office to spread its events beyond the upper Midwest.

Brotherhood of Hope Brother Ken Apuzzo, the campus minister for St. Lawrence Newman Center at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, has attended a Pulse event at Mariucci Arena. The venue hosted PULSE in 2015 and 2016.

“I could see that they were really trying to pray together and encourage each other and build bridges across our different Christian traditions,” Brother Apuzzo said.

He sees PULSE Twin Cities as an opportunity that the local Church should seize. The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis’ Office of Evangelization is also encouraging Catholics to participate.

“We’re the mother church of Christianity, and this is going to be a major spiritual moment of God working in the Twin Cities,” said Brother Apuzzo, who was featured in a video promoting PULSE 2018.

The lead-up to PULSE began with pastors’ summits in September and February. Those drew leaders from almost 2,000 churches in the Twin Cities area. PULSE also held evangelization training at Protestant churches around the metro to equip people to share the Gospel and invite people to PULSE. St. Lawrence collaborated with the Office of Evangelization to hold a training session April 7.

They May 18 PULSE event will include music from Grammy award-winning artist Lecrae, Hillsong Young and Free, and a presentation from Hall.

“We just think it’s an opportunity to come together around what unites us and again, just looking at the Gospel and who Jesus is and looking at the hope we have and being able to pray together,” Hall said. “I love the road to Emmaus picture of Jesus just meeting us on our way, and I think that’s what we hope to happen on May 18.”

Pulse provides follow-up resources to connect people with churches via digital resources and phone calls. That includes connecting Catholics to Catholic parishes.

Brother Apuzzo said the PULSE movement doesn’t “try to pull Catholics away from the Catholic Church. In fact, what they’re really trying to do [is] anybody who comes to this event, they just want them to have a deeper encounter with the love of God and then actually bring that love back to their home church.”

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Category: Local News