Praise is our Breath,
Says Pope Francis
Pope Francis’ address to members of the Catholic Fraternity of Charismatic Covenant Communities and Fellowships, Rome, Oct. 31
Dear brothers and sisters,
Welcome! I thank you for your warm welcome and I greet you all with affection. I know that the Catholic Fraternity has already met with the executive and the council and that this afternoon you will open the Sixteenth International Conference with our beloved Father Raniero [Cantalamessa]. You have been kind enough to provide me with a programme and I see that each meeting begins with the words which I addressed to the Charismatic Renewal on the occasion of our meeting at the Olympic Stadium last June.
I wish first of all to congratulate each of you for having embarked upon something which was expressed as a desire at that meeting. For the last two months the Catholic Fraternity and the ICCRS (International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services) have worked together and shared office space in the Palazzo San Calisto, “Noah’s Ark”. I am aware that it may not have been easy to make this decision and I thank you sincerely for this witness to unity and grace which you offer to the entire world.
CATHOLICISM: UNITY IN DIVERSITY
I would like now to reflect upon some themes which I consider important. The first is unity in diversity. Uniformity is not Catholic, it is not Christian. Rather, unity in diversity. Catholic unity is different but it is one: this is curious! The cause of diversity is also the cause of unity: the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit does two things: he creates unity in diversity. Unity does not imply uniformity; it does not necessarily mean doing everything together or thinking in the same way. Nor does it signify a loss of identity. Unity in diversity is actually the opposite: it involves the joyful recognition and acceptance of the various gifts which the Holy Spirit gives to each one and the placing of these gifts at the service of all members of the Church. It means knowing how to listen, to accept differences, and having the freedom to think differently and express oneself with complete respect towards the other who is my brother or sister. Do not be afraid of differences! As I wrote in Evangelii Gaudium: “Our model is not the sphere, which is no greater than its parts, where every point is equidistant from the centre, and there are no differences between them. Instead, it is the polyhedron, which reflects the convergence of all its parts, each of which preserves its distinctiveness” (n. 236), but they form a unity.
I can see from the programme, where the names of the Communities are mentioned, that at the introduction you have inserted the phrase, “…to share the Baptism in the Holy Spirit with the whole Church”. The Church needs the Holy Spirit, how could it be otherwise! Every Christian in his or her life requires a heart open to the sanctifying action of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit, promised by the Father, is he who reveals Jesus Christ to us, who gives us the possibility of saying: Jesus! Without the Holy Spirit we cannot say this. The Holy Spirit reveals Jesus Christ, he leads us to a personal encounter with him, and in so doing, changes our life. A question for you: is this your experience? Share it with others! In order to share this experience, you must live it and witness to it!
PRAISE IS LIKE BREATHING
The theme which you have chosen for the Congress is “Praise and Worship for a New Evangelization.” Fr Raniero, a masterful guide in the ways of prayer, will speak on this theme. Praise is the “breath” which gives us life, because it is intimacy with God, an intimacy that grows through daily praise. Some time ago I heard an example of this which seems very appropriate: the way that people breathe. Breathing is made up of two stages: inhaling, the intake of air, and exhaling, the letting out of this air. The spiritual life is fed, nourished, by prayer and is expressed outwardly through mission: inhaling – prayer – and then exhaling. When we inhale, by prayer, we receive the fresh air of the Holy Spirit. When exhaling this air, we announce Jesus Christ risen by the same Spirit. No one can live without breathing. It is the same for the Christian: without praise and mission there is no Christian life. Praise, adoration are needed. When speaking of adoration, little is said. What do we do when praying? We ask something from God, we thank him, we intercede. But adoration, adoring God is part of a Christian’s breathing:
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Page 2 Spring 2015 B.C. Charismatic
‘We just need to have Jesus’
By RICHARD DUNSTAN
One of Father Richard McAlear’s favourite biblical characters is a donkey. It reminds him of where he stands in God’s scheme of things, especially in his healing ministry.
Remember Balaam in Numbers chapter 22? He was on a mission from God, but he got it messed up, and the donkey he was riding had to tell him off before he got it straightened out. Then Balaam spoke the word of God, bravely and truthfully.
“The Lord spoke to him through a donkey,” Father McAlear told the 2014 Vancouver Catholic Charismatic Conference. I find great consolation in that. We don’t need great education in [healing] techniques.
“We just need to have Jesus.”
Father McAlear, head of the Ministry of Hope and Healing, was a last-minute replacement for scheduled speaker Bob Canton at the conference at St. Matthew’s Church in Surrey. Canton, who leads a healing ministry based in Stockton, Calif., had to step down due to a family medical crisis. (Canton will speak at this year’s conference instead –see Page 8.)
“We just need to have Jesus” was the heart of Father McAlear’s message on healing. “Healing is a gift of love,” he said. “It’s faith in His love, not faith in faith. It’s not a magic transformation of energy. It’s not New Age technique. It’s not other gods.” Even laying hands on the people we pray for is optional, he said—a gesture of compassion, not a necessity. It’s all about Jesus.
“The fullness of divinity dwells in him in bodily form. He’s higher than cancer, he’s higher than Parkinson’s disease, he’s higher than infection.”
But Father McAlear said he didn’t fully grasp the importance of Jesus until he was baptised in the Holy Spirit in 1972, two years after his ordination to the priesthood and a full 12 years after he entered the Oblates of Mary Immaculate.
Not that he didn’t have a good Catholic background. He was born in Boston, of parents who were Irish and Italian—they met at church. “Everybody was Catholic,” he said. He wanted to be a missionary, but he got hepatitis and was told it left him too feeble for missionary work—a bit of a chuckle now, considering his speaking ministry takes him to 30 conferences a year.
He joined the Oblates in 1960, and in 1964 was sent to Rome for seven years of study. He actually spent a day at a session of the Second Vatican Council, thanks to a bishop who got a number of seminarians through the doors for the sake of the experience.
“I didn’t understand a thing that was said, but I was there,” he told the conference.
Ordained in 1970, he returned to the United States in 1971 to find everything changed in the wake of Vatican II. Both the country and the Church were full of discontent and confusion—even about Jesus. Father McAlear was no different from many others. At one point he went to his spiritual director to ask why he should preach the Gospel—“why should I say don’t do Buddha, do Jesus?” The director said “I don’t know,” and nobody else could give him an answer either.
Then the spiritual director he had had before he went to Rome got in touch with him and asked him how things were going. “Dry as dust, and very confusing,” he said. The former director told him he might want to check out the Catholic charismatic renewal, so off he went to a prayer meeting.
He could barely believe what he was seeing and hearing. Nuns in traditional habits hugging hippies, and vice-versa. A truck driver who talked about Jesus like he knew him. “I was mad,” Father McAlear said. “I was the one with the degree in theology.” But then he was offered baptism in the Spirit with the promise: you can have what they have. The group prayed over him. He didn’t speak in tongues, see visions, or get slain in the Spirit, “but I did have an overwhelming peace. All the problems in the country, all the problems in the Church—Jesus is in charge, not me.” And when he began to read his breviary, just as he had been doing for 14 years, “I’m reading the Psalm, and I’m thinking, who wrote this?” It was like the scales falling from Paul’s eyes, like going from black and white to Technicolor. “I [already] knew Jesus was Lord, but now Jesus was Lord.”
That answered his question about the difference between Jesus and Buddha or any other religious figure. The others were trying to point to God, but Jesus is God. “He’s the one they’re pointing to.
“You can only have one Most High. Everyone else is under his feet.”
Immediately he got involved in the prayer group. “Those were beautiful days,” he said. “Nobody knew anything, There were no books written [about the renewal]. The one who said ‘let’s start’ became the leader that night. The leaders would meet on another night and play a game called ‘what are we doing?’” He broke out in a sweat the first time he was asked to pray for healing, but in 1976 he entered the healing ministry, and he’s still at it.
For healing, he said, “all you need is to be sick—and that’s everybody.” We must also forgive: unforgiveness is “the number one obstacle to healing. God can’t put anything into your fist. You have to open your hand. That’s not always easy, because people have been hurt.”
We also need to get rid of our own sense of unworthiness. Nobody deserves healing—it’s a gift, available to all. God’s mercy triumphs over justice. Finally, we must recognize that Jesus is present, just as we see in the resurrection accounts in the gospels. ”Sometimes we see him and sometimes we don’t,” Father McAlear said. “But he’s always there. He’s present here now.”
Father McAlear also said he would love to see a Catholic parish—or many Catholic parishes—named “Jesus, friend of sinners.” And not only in name—the Church, and individual Catholics, need to imitate Jesus in that respect.
Jesus ate with sinners, he said. He was warm, comforting and attractive. Little children came and sat on his lap. When Zaccheus, like other sinners, came to him, Jesus responded in mercy—and then Zaccheus responded in faith.
“People are attracted by the holiness, but they aren’t blinded by it,” Father McAlear said. “The holiness passes through a filter of compassion and love.”
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B.C. Charismatic Spring 2015 Page 3
‘In the name of Jesus’ institute theme
Summer institute runs Aug. 9-14 in Seton House, Kelowna
In the Name of Jesus is the theme of the seventh annual Our Lady of Pentecost Summer Institute, to be held Aug. 9-14 in Kelowna.
Featured speaker is Fr. Bernie Black. All events of the week-long institute will be held at St. Elizabeth Seton House of Prayer.
The institute is sponsored by the Nelson Diocese Catholic Charismatic Renewal Service Committee, and is endorsed by the Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services of B.C.
The program will begin with Sunday evening Mass Aug. 9 and conclude Friday, Aug. 14, with lunch. Presentations and discussions will take place each day, with a healing Mass Monday evening and other worship events Tuesday and Thursday evening. Wednesday evening is free time.
Father Black is a retired priest of the Diocese of Calgary, currently ministering in Fort Smith, N.W.T, in the Mackenzie diocese. His work includes healing and deliverance from oppression.
Born and raised in southern Ontario, he was ordained in 1966 for the Diocese of Hamilton but later moved to Calgary, where he worked in aboriginal communities and served 20 years in hospital ministry.
The summer institute has been based at Seton House since its founding in 2009, but in the past most daily sessions have been held in parish churches elsewhere in the city. Due to space limitations, registration will be limited to 45 participants, with lodging at Seton House available for 30. Some billeting may also be available.
Cost until June 15 is $500 including lodging and all meals; $275 for the week for commuters; or $100 per day. Those fees increase to $550, $325 and $125 after June 15. Cancellations by Aug. 1 will receive a refund less $25 cancellation fee.
Clergy and religious may attend for free, but registration is required.
For registration, information, or billeting, call Maria, 250-707-1423. Full payment must accompany registration.
Light shines on Nelson day of renewal
By FLO REID
chair, CCRS of BC
Jesus, Light of the World, was the focus for our East and West Kootenay Day of Renewal held in Nelson at the Cathedral of Mary Immaculate on February 21, 2015. Father Bart van Roijen, pastor of Holy Trinity Parish in Trail, was the presenter.
The day began with praise and worship led by Johanna Tournemille and Gladys Miller of Grand Forks, followed by Mass celebrated by Fr. Bart. Hospitality for the day was provided by Nelson Trinity Prayer Community.
In his three talks, Father Bart began by referring to three significant scripture passages that speak of light. The first was from John 1: 1-5 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
Father Bart also referred to Genesis chapter 3, when God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light; God saw how good the light was. It was this light that caused the darkness to flee. He said that while there was both darkness and light, light and darkness; they were not equal, for the darkness could not overcome the light.
The third scripture quoted was from Isaiah 9: verse 1, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.”
Father Bart reminded us that light is the root of all creation. It dispels darkness and gloom. In the Old Testament, the prophets call us to the light, and John the Baptist in the New Testament testified of the true light that was coming. We were also reminded of the story of Nicodemus, who came to Jesus by night, and in his encounter with Jesus he learned that “whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.” (John 3:21) In speaking of this passage, Father Bart made the point that indeed our hidden deeds will be revealed. We were challenged by the question, “Are we willing to have Jesus’ light shine upon us?”
In his second talk, Father Bart spoke of the Seven Deadly Sins, and how these sins need to be examined in the light of Jesus. By addressing the root causes of our sin we allow Christ the opportunity to apply the remedy of his grace through the gift of his Spirit acting in and through his Church. We were exhorted to approach his gift of mercy with faith and hope knowing that the one who calls is the one who heals, forgives and sustains us.
In the final talk, Father Bart focused on the Remedy: the Light of Christ, the gift of his grace, his Spirit and the gift of himself. He said in reference to ‘You are the light of the world”, that we will become that light if we allow Jesus to be our light.
We were reminded of the Beatitudes from Matthew 5 where Jesus climbed the mountain and spoke to the people. This calls us to leave our old way of life, to disregard judgement, to look forward. Do we have the courage to climb this mountain? Do we recognize God’s grace, call and desire for us? Are we open to the will of God? Are we prepared to empty ourselves, recognize our poverty and follow Jesus? Do we hunger and thirst for righteousness? Do we know the both the giver and the gift? Are we willing to receive?
In conclusion, Father Bart told us that we are blessed, as in the Beatitudes! We are called to be salt, be light, rejoice and bring light. To do so we must take our eyes off ourselves and put them squarely on Jesus.
Page 4 Spring 2015 B.C. Charismatic
Obituary: Fr. Don Wilson
‘He loved the Lord more than life itself’
By RICHARD DUNSTAN
Fr. Don Wilson, the father of the Catholic charismatic renewal in B.C., died in Kelowna April 15 following a seven-month illness. He was 80.
Father Don’s baptism in the Holy Spirit in a Vancouver bookstore in 1968 was the key moment in the establishment of the renewal in Vancouver, throughout B.C., and especially in his home diocese of Nelson.
In his nearly five decades as a charismatic, Fr. Don spent 11 years as chair of Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services of B.C., the provincial service committee, and many more years as a member of the committee, its spiritual adviser, and provincial bishops’ liaison to the renewal.
In the Nelson diocese, he was a long-time member of the diocesan service committee, founded or co-founded numerous prayer groups, and travelled widely conducting Life in the Spirit Seminars, days of renewal, healing Masses, and other events. He was a co-founder of the annual Our Lady of Pentecost Summer Institute in Kelowna.
He was also administrator-chaplain at St. Elizabeth Seton House of Prayer in Kelowna until his retirement last year, and for many years drove the length and breadth of the enormous Nelson diocese as weekend relief pastor in parishes from Kelowna to Princeton to Cranbrook to Golden, clocking as much as 1,200 km in a weekend.
“To know him was to love him and trust him,” said Gladys Miller, chair of Nelson Diocese Charismatic Renewal Services and one of his closest co-workers. “He loved the Lord more than life itself, and lived out that love in a charismatic enthusiasm. We depended on his guidance in life and we seek his intercession in death.”
Born Nov. 2, 1934 near Windsor, Ont., Father Don attended Notre Dame College in Nelson and St. Peter’s Seminary in London, Ont. He was ordained in London May 28, 1960, for the Nelson diocese, and spent his entire priesthood in B.C.
He was on loan from Nelson to the Vancouver archdiocese in 1968 when Mary Kelly, who led a Catholic prayer and study group at a downtown religious goods store, asked him to check a book on the then-new Catholic charismatic renewal for doctrinal orthodoxy. Father Don had hit a low point in his priesthood, frustrated by ritualism and the lack of power in his ministry; as he read the book—Catholic Pentecostals by Kevin and Dorothy Ranaghan—he was not only satisfied of the book’s orthodoxy but excited at the prospect of unleashing the power of the Holy Spirit in the lives of Catholics.
At the time there were a few interdenominational charismatic prayer groups meeting in Vancouver, with some Catholic participation, but no Catholic groups as such. After getting a good report from Father Don, Kelly called a meeting of eight or 10 people and invited a visiting charismatic nun, Sister Barbara Ann Chase of Seattle, to lead a prayer meeting. Father Don was the only priest present. The group was baptized in the Spirit, complete with the gift of tongues. He returned to his car after the meeting and collapsed over the steering wheel, weeping with joy and relief.
“It was an answer to the question that so many of us had: ‘is that all there is?’” he remembered later. Clearly, the Lord had more to offer.
On his return to the Nelson diocese, Father Don, with Sister Benedicta Stangl, Sister Grace Salmon, and other helpers, founded prayer groups in Kelowna, Penticton, Oliver, and other communities. These in turn established still more groups, and today the diocese has a long list of prayer groups, an active service committee, and numerous charismatic events and activities.
“My experience of Father Don has been and always wiĺl be a profound example of God’s unlimited love for his people,” Flo Reid, chair of CCRS of B.C. and a long-time Nelson diocesan committee member, said in a statement. “Father Don wore with such graciousness the mantle of the love of God. He knew he was the beloved of God, and he spoke with such fervor calling us each to be more aware that we, too, are the beloved of God. As our spiritual director in the CCRS of BC, he was our father in faith. His wisdom, understanding and integrity guided us in our decisions. He always sought the guidance of the Holy Spirit and placed the needs of the community at the forefront.
“Father Don’s delight in promoting the growth of charismatic renewal is a gift to all of us. He has left us a rich legacy for which we are profoundly grateful.”
Alex Lim, chair of Vancouver Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services and a member of the provincial committee, said “all of us in the renewal in the Archdiocese of Vancouver mourn your passing, but rejoice in the realization that you are in a far, far better place where there are no tears, no pain but only everlasting joy in Jesus’ presence. For some of us who have the opportunity to meet you and work with you, we thank our God. The fruits of your leadership can be seen all around us in Vancouver renewal circles and I am sure in B.C. as well. God sends many people in our life’s path and now and then, one person who would offer us lasting impressions, and you are such a person. Rest now in the arms of Jesus. We are sure He welcomes you with His Words, “well done, my good and faithful friend.” One day, we will meet again and will sing joyful praises right in the presence of the One whom we all serve.”
Father Don’s prayer vigil and funeral Mass were celebrated at Immaculate Conception Church in Kelowna.
B.C. Charismatic Spring 2015 Page 5
Pentecost of the Nations
By KIM CATHERINE-MARIE KOLLINS
ICCRS announces with great joy the continuing journey of the world-wide Pentecost of the Nations project to be held during the Pentecost Novena, 15 – 24 May 2015 and on Pentecost Day, 24 May, 2015. It is a two-part project – Operation Upper Room and Pentecost Day Celebration / Together We Pray and Together We Celebrate, which touches many countries in all continents, involving tens of thousands of individuals.
Pentecost of the Nations, phase II, is an integral component of journeying towards the CCR Golden Jubilee, “a New Pentecost for a New Evangelization”. The 2014-2015 theme for stage 2 is ‘Fanning the Flame’, 2 Tim 1:6-7 (see www.iccrs.org). At the 2013, Solemnity of Pentecost Holy Mass with the Ecclesial Movements, Pope Francis stated: “The Holy Spirit is the soul of mission. The events that took place in Jerusalem almost two thousand years ago are not something far removed from us; they are events which affect us and become a lived experience in each of us. The Pentecost of the Upper Room in Jerusalem is the beginning, a beginning which endures”.
Looking Backward – Going Forward
Deep wells of grace! In 1895, on the promptings of Bl. Elena Guerra, Pope Leo XIII asked all the faithful to celebrate a solemn novena (9 days of prayer) perpetually between Ascension and Pentecost for the unity of Christianity. For this, Leo XIII suggested a special formula of prayer to be included: Send forth your Spirit and renew the face of Earth. Another strategic moment in our journey was the Apostolic Letter of Pope John Paul II in 2001, Novo Millennio Ineunte, “At the beginning of the new millennium”. This letter brings to us a key phrase, Duc in Altum – Cast your nets out into the deep. (Lk 5.4) Again to the CCR John Paul II declared, I pray most fervently that your communities and the entire Charismatic Renewal will “put out into the deep” of prayer in order to “put out into the deep of mission”.
Phase I of Pentecost of the Nations was a three-year journey. The first and second steps were taken at Pentecost 2008 and 2009. The third step culminated on Pentecost Day, May 2010 in Assisi at the ICCRS International Intercession Event, The Road to Pentecost. However that was not the end of our journey, it was only a beginning. Phase II of Pentecost of the Nations began a seven year journey that will end with the 50th anniversary celebration of the CCR in 2017, only to start another beginning which endures. Pentecost of the Nations is built on solid ground at the heart of the Church.
Pentecost of the Nations – Together We Pray and Together We Celebrate
It is a project for All Nations – In Your Nation. It is one answer that the worldwide CCR offers since 2008, in response to the desire expressed by Popes’ John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis that the spirituality of Pentecost will spread for a new Culture of Pentecost in the Church for New Evangelization (JPII, May 2004 – Benedict XVI, Sept 2005, Francis, May 2013).
Together we pray – Part 1: 15 – 24 May, 2015 – Operation Upper Room
You can be part of this vision for the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in every nation to unite in prayer. Let us weave a dense global “net” of prayer which will be continuous, night and day, during the nine days before Pentecost forming a great Pentecost Novena. It’s an invitation of return to the “Upper Room of Jerusalem”, waiting in one heart and in constant prayer (Acts 1: 12-14), becoming “burning bushes” in adoration and intercession. (Leo XIII, E. Guerra 1895-1897).
Participate in these 9 days with a Pentecost Novena: city-wide, regional, community, NSCs events, a prayer group or individual, i.e. a Pentecost Night and Day Novena in an Upper Room Cenacle, a Novena Prayer Net or an individual Pentecost Novena, etc.
Together we celebrate – Part 2: May 24, 2015 – Pentecost Day Celebrations
You can participate in events that are being planned to celebrate the great feast of Pentecost in your nation, city, community or group. [Note: Pentecost celebrations are planned in Surrey May 23 for the Archdiocese of Vancouver, and in Victoria May 24 for the Diocese of Victoria—see Page 8]
It’s an invitation to respond to the call for New Evangelization so the “spirituality of Pentecost” will spread in the Church in the power of the Holy Spirit. Organize Pentecost celebration events, which can consist of charismatic prayer, short teachings, testimonies, and a solemn invocation of the Holy Spirit and possibly a concert to glorify God.
Imagine… Oh, if only…unanimous and fervent prayers could be raised to heaven in every part of Christendom, as they were one in the Cenacle (upper room) of Jerusalem for a rekindling of the Divine Spirit! (Bl. Elena Guerra)
Imagine… What would happen if “unanimous and fervent prayers” were raised in every time zone in the world for nine days?
Imagine… What would happen if we witnessed to the power of the Holy Spirit in every part of the world throughout Pentecost?
Imagine… What God could do if we united in prayer and celebration for fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit on our world?
Plan to join the Pentecost for the Nations experience:
All can join in a united ICCRS CCR Pentecost for the Nations effort – Consider yourselves bridge-builders in conveying and promoting Pentecost of the Nations – 15 – 24 May 2015, to the various CCR realities in your areas/regions encouraging them to link together, in an atmosphere of communion, thereby forging stronger links into global Pentecost of the Nations prayer and celebration experiences.
Page 6 Spring 2015 B.C. Charismatic
ECUMENISM OF BLOOD UNITES CHRISTIANS, SAYS POPE
(continued from Page 1)
praise and adoration.
The Charismatic Renewal has reminded the Church of the necessity and importance of the prayer of praise. When we speak of the prayer of praise in the Church, Charismatics come to mind. When I spoke of the prayer of praise during a homily at Mass in Santa Martha, I said it is not only the prayer of Charismatics but of the entire Church! It is the recognition of the Lordship of God over us and over all creation expressed through dance, music and song.
I would like to revisit with you a few passages from that homily: “The prayer of praise is a Christian prayer, for all of us. In the Mass, every day, when we sing the ‘Holy, Holy, Holy’, this is a prayer of praise: we praise God for his greatness because he is great. And we address him with beautiful words because it pleases us to do this. The prayer of praise bears fruit in us. Sarah danced as she celebrated her fertility – at the age of ninety! This fruitfulness gives praise to God. Men and women who praise the Lord, who pray praising the Lord – and who are happy to do so – rejoice in singing the Sanctus at Mass and they bear fruit. Let us consider how beautiful it is to offer the prayer of praise to God. This should be our prayer and, as we offer it up to God, we ought to say to ourselves, “Arise, O heart, because you are standing before the King of Glory” (Holy Mass at Domus Sanctae Marthae, 28 January 2014).
Together with the prayer of praise, the prayer of intercession is, in these days, a cry to the Father for our Christian brothers and sisters who are persecuted and murdered, and for the cause of peace in our turbulent world. Praise the Lord at all times, never cease to do so, praise him more and more, unceasingly. I have been told of Charismatic prayer groups in which they pray the Rosary. Prayer to the Mother of God must never be excluded, never! But when you assemble for prayer, praise the Lord!
I see that you have among you a very dear friend, Pastor Giovanni Traettino, whom I visited recently. Catholic Fraternity, do not forget your origins, do not forget that the Charismatic Renewal is, by its very nature, ecumenical. Blessed Paul VI commented on this in the magnificent Apostolic Exhortation on evangelization which is highly relevant in our own day: “The power of evangelization will find itself considerably diminished if those who proclaim the Gospel are divided among themselves in all sorts of ways. Is this not perhaps one of the great sicknesses of evangelization today? The Lord’s spiritual testament tells us that unity among his followers is not only the proof that we are his but also the proof that he is sent by the Father. It is the test of the credibility of Christians and of Christ himself. Yes, the destiny of evangelization is certainly bound up with the witness of unity given by the Church. This is a source of responsibility and also of comfort” (Evangelii Nuntiandi, 77). These words are of Blessed Paul VI.
FIRST, WE ARE CHRISTIANS
Spiritual ecumenism is praying and proclaiming together that Jesus is Lord, and coming together to help the poor in all their poverty. This must be done while never forgetting in our day that the blood of Jesus, poured out by many Christian martyrs in various parts of the world, calls us and compels us towards the goal of unity. For persecutors, we are not divided, we are not Lutherans, Orthodox, Evangelicals, Catholics… No! We are one in their eyes! For persecutors we are Christians! They are not interested in anything else. This is the ecumenism of blood that we experience today.
Remember: seek the unity which is the work of the Holy Spirit and do not be afraid of diversity. The breathing of Christians draws in the new air of the Holy Spirit and then exhales it upon the world: it is the prayer of praise and missionary outreach. Share baptism in the Holy Spirit with everyone in the Church. Spiritual ecumenism and the ecumenism of blood. The unity of the Body of Christ. Prepare the Bride for the Bridegroom who comes! One Bride only! All (Rev 22: 17).
Finally, in addition to my thanks, I would especially like to mention these young musicians from northern Brazil who have played at the beginning; I hope they play a little more. They have welcomed me with much affection, singing “Long live Jesus my Saviour.” I know that you have prepared something else and so I invite everyone to listen to them before I say farewell. Thank you!
(reprinted from ICCRS Newsletter)
B.C. Charismatic Spring 2015 Page 7
Pope Francis and ecumenism
By DEACON CHRISTOF HEMBERGER
ICCRS representative, Germany
In his moving speech at the Olympic Stadium in Rome, Pope Francis addressed several topics he considers important for the Charismatic Renewal in the Catholic Church. One of the more delicate topics he entrusted us with was his request to live a “spiritual ecumenism”. He told us, “To remain united in the love that the Lord Jesus asks us to have for all people, and in prayer to the Holy Spirit for the attainment of this unity which is necessary for evangelization in the name of Jesus. Remember that the Charismatic Renewal is de facto ecumenical in nature… The Catholic Renewal rejoices in what the Holy Spirit is accomplishing in the other Churches” (1 Malines 5,3).
Since he took office, Francis has surprised the world in various ways. It is not about all his “novel teachings” that make him so special but his simple, humble way of living the teachings of Holy Scripture in a consistent manner. He keeps defying conventions and traditions because he is simply not able to do otherwise. He not only speaks about loving those living at the margins but he kisses them and focuses on them in public. The same is true for the topic of “lived ecumenism”, Francis not only speaks about the fact that the others are our brothers and sisters in the faith, he sends them greetings, meets with their representatives and does not shy away from asking them for forgiveness for the deeds inflicted upon them in Church history in the name of Catholics.
So what exactly does it mean when the Pope calls us as the CCR to a “spiritual ecumenism?” Firstly, it certainly means that he is calling us to follow his example recognizing “the others” as our brothers and sisters in the Lord. What unites us is so much more than what separates us. Over and over again, Pope Francis sets an example of what this can look like in everyday life. He does not brush over the differences existing between the churches. And he does not fool himself into believing that unity would exist in all areas. But he uses the interspaces that certainly exist in order to live out unity in any possible way. Friendliness rather than rejection. Relationship rather than marginalisation. Praying together rather than talking about each other. A handshake and a smile rather than a slap in the face…
In his address to the CCR, the Holy Father emphasizes the significance of the Malines Documents for the Charismatic Renewal. There it says: “The Charismatic Renewal is de facto ecumenical in nature.” We are indeed the only movement in the whole world in which all denominational realities exist: We have charismatic brothers and sisters in all denominations! What a treasure can be found in this fact! What a gift of unity despite our differences.
In some regions of the world, the CCR can already look back on lived experiences in this area. At times, there are shared worship services, days of intercession or even conferences. Here, it is essential to respect and value the other in his ‘otherness’ – and to seek and celebrate the Lord together full of joy about all that unites us. In other parts of the world, this still seems to be quite difficult. There, the orientation of the CCR has been rather unecumenical for a long time, partly due to attacks and assaults by brothers and sisters in the Lord… Here it is important to look to our past of the CCR and to rediscover our roots: The CCR is ecumenical in nature – and to reject this would mean to reject the grace that God has given us as a movement.
Wouldn’t it be time now to discover the brother and the sister in them just as Pope Francis is modelling? Maybe it is too early for common projects and meetings. But it is not too early for prayer! I encourage you to intercede for your brothers and sisters in the Lord. Do it in love and respect, not in presumption, “they should become like us…” Take steps toward them! Invite the leaders of the charismatics in the other denominations to get to know each other and pray together! Forgive them and also ask them for forgiveness if this should be necessary. The Lord will bless these steps towards each other! If we take seriously and put into practice what Francis is telling us, we will be an example for the world which is full of division, disunity and exclusion. We will make a difference – and this is what Jesus had in mind when he prayed: “Father, make us one that the world may believe that you sent me!” (John 17:21).
(from ICCRS Newsletter)
‘fall in love with Jesus’
(continued from Page 2)
“I eat with sinners all the time. There’s nobody else to share with.”
Father McAlear also led a healing service, and the conference concluded with Mass celebrated by Archbishop Michael Miller.
In his homily, Archbishop Miller said a personal relationship with Jesus is the core of the Gospel.
He said a third of Catholics believe—wrongly—that God is an impersonal force, and many see the Church as “an institution with a host of rules to keep some sort of order.” But Christianity is an encounter with an event and a person that gives life an eternal dimension and a sense of direction.
“People come to the Lord, not because they first hear clear teaching,” he said. “They obey the commandments because they’ve fallen in love.”
“We have to believe that life is always better with Jesus.”
|April 24-25||Nelson Diocesan Conference||Kelowna|
|with John Connelly and Fr. Jack Michalchuk||St. Charles Garnier parish|
|contact Gladys Miller 250-442-8589|
|9 a.m.-4 p.m.||Joy of the Gospel, with Peter Thompson||Sacred Heart parish|
|9:30 a.m.||Fr. Bart van Roijen, celebrant||Holy Trinity church|
|contact Therese Colquhon 250-367-6268|
|May 22-23||Life in the Spirit Seminar||Penticton|
|contact Bernadette Barry 250-809-2524||St. John Vianney church|
|10 a.m.-||with potluck lunch||St. Matthew’s parish|
|1 p.m.||contact email@example.com 604-597-8227|
|2-4:30p.m.||praise, worship, teaching, fellowship, food||Sacred Heart parish|
|contact David MacIntyre firstname.lastname@example.org 250-383-9955|
|June 5-6||Life in the Spirit Seminar||Kimberley|
|contact Maureen Watson 250-427-5836||Sacred Heart Church|
|June 6 – July 22||Life in the Spirit Seminar||Vancouver|
|seven Wednesdays||Holy Rosary Cathedral|
|contact Lennie David email@example.com 604-597-8227|
|Aug. 9-14||Our Lady of Pentecost Summer Institute (see Page 3)||Kelowna|
|Fr. Bernie Black, featured speaker||Seton House|
|contact Maria McManus, 250-707-1423|
|Sept. 18-19||Vancouver archdiocesan conference||Surrey|
|Bob Canton and Fr. Jerry Thompson||Chandos Pattison auditorium|
|contact firstname.lastname@example.org 604-597-8227|
|To include your Life in the Spirit Seminar, prayer breakfast, Healing Mass,|
|or other charismatic event in this listing, email email@example.com|
|Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services of B.C.|
|Flo Reid (Nelson diocese), chair|
|826-14th St. South, Cranbrook, BC V1C 1X9|
|phone 250-426-7570 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Fr. John Brioux, spiritual adviser, 604-984-6709|
|Lennie David, Vancouver archdiocese 604-594-7296|
|Richard Dunstan, Victoria diocese, newsletter editor 250-477-4700|
|Alex Lim, Vancouver archdiocese, 604-435-9134|
|David MacIntyre, Victoria diocese, 250-383-9955|
|Flo (chair) and Jim Reid, Nelson diocese 250-426-7570|
|Jocelyn Rochard, Vancouver archdiocese, treasurer 604-469-0713|
|Lindael Rolstone, Kamloops diocese, secretary|
|CCRS of BC newsletter|
|published spring and fall|
|editor Richard Dunstan|
|308-225 Belleville St.|
|Victoria BC V8V 4T9|
|fax: on request|
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