Catholic Charismatics: Current of grace overflows
“Current of grace” in the church and for the church – a phrase used by Pope Francis to describe the Catholic Charismatic Renewal – was the theme for the Golden Jubilee Conference of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal March 31-April 2 in Metairie.
Dr. Mary Healy, professor of Scripture at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit and author of “Healing,” used Scripture and personal anecdotes to show how ordinary people can pray for and expect healing in the name of Jesus.
Emphasizing how important forgiveness is in healing, Healy said faith could be spelled “R-I-S-K” – letting go and allowing the Holy Spirit to direct your life.
After a time of praise and prayer in tongues, Healy asked those present to come forward and share what they sensed the Lord wanted to heal. In the prayer that followed, many reported instantaneous healings. One woman took out her hearing aids and continued to hear well after the conference ended. Another person with a sprained ankle was immediately relieved of pain.
On Sunday, Healy offered five keys to living and walking with Christ: intimacy with Jesus; knowing your identity in him; getting God’s heart for the lost; asking, seeking and knocking; and following the Blessed Mother’s instruction: “Do whatever he tells you.”
The conference, which attracted nearly 1,000 people from the Gulf South, opened with a welcome from Archbishop Gregory Aymond.
In his Friday night address, Vincentian Father Kevin Scallon shared what baptism in the Holy Spirit has meant in his life. Father Scallon said his first charismatic prayer meeting did not sit well with his Irish Catholic upbringing, but his life changed shortly thereafter. Praying before the tabernacle in a chapel, he had a vision of Jesus giving him a look of intense love.
Father Scallon said his suspicion of the Charismatic Renewal dissolved, and he felt a strong conviction that the Lord wanted him to bring renewal to the priesthood. For more than 40 years Father Scallon and Sister of St. Clare Briege McKenna, who could not attend the conference due a medical issue, have ministered to priests across the world.
There at the beginning
Patti Gallagher Mansfield gave her Golden Jubilee testimony during the conference. She recounted how she had been present 50 years ago at the retreat – the Duquesne Weekend at The Ark and The Dove Retreat House – when the Catholic Charismatic Renewal began.
During the weekend of praying for the Holy Spirit, Mansfield said she wrote on the retreat house’s bulletin board: “I want a miracle!” That night, she experienced what is described in Scripture as the “baptism in the Holy Spirit.” One of the professors on that retreat asked, “What is the bishop going to say when he hears that all these kids have been baptized in the Holy Spirit?”
In fact, the documents of Vatican II and the teachings of every recent pope have encouraged Catholics to rediscover the beauty of being baptized in the Holy Spirit. More than 120 million Catholics worldwide have been moving in this “current of grace” and rediscovering the power of the sacraments of baptism and confirmation.
Johnny Bertucci shared the amazing story of how The Ark and The Dove Retreat House had been purchased on behalf of the worldwide Charismatic Renewal.
The conference also included a family track with a talk by Jeff and Char Young, a Late Night Worship featuring eucharistic adoration and music by Leslie Bertucci and NoLoudRocks and a workshop given by Deacon Larry and Andi Oney on “Walking in Your Supernatural Anointing.” The Golden Jubilee celebration concluded with a eucharistic healing service and Mass celebrated by Father Scallon.