BC Charismatic Spring Newsletter 2021

Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services of BC Newsletter Spring 2021

Still Gathering

John Connelly headlines OL Pentecost on Zoom Aug. 8-12

Our Lady of Pentecost Gathering in the Spirit is back on line for another year this August, and organizers are convinced they had more than the usual level of heavenly help with the planning.

The theme is Joy, Peace and Hope in Turbulent Times, which seems perfect for the pandemic that has shut down in-person gatherings two years in a row. But Gladys Miller, co-ordinator of the event, said the 2021 theme was discerned a year and a half ago, before anybody had heard of covid-19.

            “The Lord knew, and we believe He has a plan,” she said.

            John Connelly, a Catholic lay evangelist currently based in Saskatchewan, will be featured speaker at the gathering, to be held via Zoom Aug. 8-12 (Sunday-Thursday), 6-8 p.m.

            The gathering, presented by Nelson Diocesan Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services with the endorsement of Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services of B.C., is normally held at St. Elizabeth Seton House of Prayer in Kelowna, but was moved online last year due to the pandemic. About 80 people attended the event via Zoom in 2020.

            The two-hour sessions will feature praise and worship, talks by Connelly, and small group discussion of the talks. Cost is $25 per person. To register contact Maria McManus, untamedspirit@telus.net, 250-707-1423.

            Connelly said he plans to compare the needs of today’s Christians with Jesus’ parable of the wise and foolish virgins (Matthew 25:2-13)

            “The image of the Wise and Foolish Virgins is a key lesson for us all,” he said. “How do we make sure we are truly wise and filled with the oil of the Spirit? Together we will explore this amazing image and its ramifications for us all.

            “I will also tie in the teaching of St. Ignatius of Loyola on discernment of spirits – a practical and profound way of understanding how to grow in the Spirit.”

            Connelly has been active in lay ministry, parish missions, retreats and conferences for the past 30 years. He has been a diocesan youth director and diocesan director of evangelization and catechesis. His work includes Catholic radio, television, song writing and concerts, leadership formation for youth and adults, and writing for various Catholic publications.

            He is director of SaintPath, a multimedia ministry based in Bruno, Saskatchewan teaching the spiritual wisdom of Scripture and the saints. His wife, Tracy, is also active in the ministry. They have eight children.

            Gathering in the Spirit 2020, featuring Jim Murphy as guest speaker, was a success on Zoom, Miller said. Feedback was all positive.

“The organizing group was grateful to our Lord that things moved forward with ease,” she said. “I expect the Lord to care for us in 2021 equally well or perhaps even better because of having the experience of last year.

“Our format will be similar with praise and worship, speaker and breakout rooms each evening. 

“We have some ideas to add but we’re waiting on the covid situation to ascertain the possibility of implementation, so stay tuned to our website for updates if they come possible.”

Information is available at the Nelson website, https://www.holyspiritbaptizer.com/ .

As We Prayer Without Ceasing…

By LYNNE WILLIAMS, with Gladys Miller, Loree Renwick and Maureen Watson

Despite the onset of COVID 19 more than a year ago, Nelson Diocese Catholic Charismatic Renewal Service has kept active. Being unable to meet in person created a challenge for prayer groups, so a team of organizers courageously decided to offer prayer meetings on Zoom.

Since April 2020, a weekly prayer group has been offered to participants in Nelson diocese and beyond, 1:30 on Thursdays with occasional breaks. Attendance was usually around 35, from all over BC. Most meetings consisted of opening prayer, praise and worship music, prophecy, scripture, teaching, intercessory prayer and small group activity. Feedback has been strongly positive, with participants patiently accepting the use of this new technology.

In addition to the leadership team, many people participated in the multitude of tasks needed to have a successful meeting. Grateful thanks go out to all of them and to Father Obi Ibekwe, our sponsor. 

This fall, John Connelly, well known speaker, musician, Catholic evangelist, and originator of the website SaintPath, was invited as guest speaker. John’s two talks, the Gift of Tongues and 1 Hour Retreat, were terrific and are posted on the NDCCRS website. The 1 Hour Retreat is a prayer facilitation that may be experienced by visiting the NDCCRS web. (See link below.)

In December, a three-session Advent retreat, the 2020 Vigil Project, was offered, with attendance in the high 40s. The project featured video talks by Father Dave Pivonka, president of, Franciscan University of Steubenville, along with beautiful, original music and Advent reflections from the Vigil Project Team.

John Connelly returned in January, and Peter Herbeck of Renewal Ministries joined us for a Lenten retreat. Local organizers Lynne Williams and Roy MacIntyre gave talks in April. Most of the talks are available on our website, https://www.holyspiritbaptizer.com/.

Each week we have breakout rooms with a facilitator and two to four participants. Organizers or the guest speaker provide questions or directions to facilitators for prayer and preparation. Feedback from facilitators and participants has been positive.

A short way into the Zoom prayer gatherings it was discerned by the organizers that we needed a team to seek the will of God for the next session. Every decision has been made as a response to prayer: personal, Zoom core group (Roy MacIntyre, Loree Renwick, Maureen Watson, Gladys Miller, Lynne Williams), our diocesan intercessory prayer team (led by Flo Reid), and our discernment prayer group (led by Gladys). We have also been made aware of the need to pay close attention to the prophetic words received, and to meditate upon them.

            The team has received many positive comments. Here are just a few:

            “That was such a loving, peaceful experience…”

“I’m so pleased to be invited and be able to pray with your community. Praise God, alleluia!”

“Today’s meeting was really special indeed. Feel so blessed to be part of it.Thank you for all you all of you do to make it possible for people like me to receive the gift of this blessing.”

“Lovely meeting. Just what I needed today.”

“It’s been a privilege for me to know some of you and to be involved in the group. Awesome talk by John on Thursday. So blessed to have the opportunity to listen to it!”

“Thank you, everyone, for making this such a beautiful, spiritual journey of faith. My heart is touched and my soul has been enriched.”

 “We wanted to let you know how much we appreciate being able to attend your Zoom events, and how helpful and uplifting it is to have the sharing time.”

It is gratifying to know that what our small group has set out to do has touch so many, including ourselves. We are still learning how to make the meeting a better experience for all. The presence of the Lord is indeed felt each week, the Holy Spirit is able to reach out to each member and brings unity to each meeting. Nothing is impossible for our God.

The current schedule of meetings will continue through May 20. After that the committee will be busy with planning for Our Lady of Pentecost Gathering in the Spirit Aug. 8-12 (see front page), and decisions on meetings for the fall will be made after the gathering.

To join us, check our website. If you have participated in a NDCCRS Zoom prayer meeting, you are on our contact list and will receive an announcement and invitation for the winter session. If you would like to be added to our contact/invitation list, please contact Lynne Williams lynnedwilliams50@hotmail.com with the subject line Zoom Prayer Meeting.


From fall session:

“In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.”John 16:33

“Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.”John 14:7

“By waiting and by calm you shall be saved; in quiet and in trust your strength lies.” Isaiah30:15

“I will listen for what God, the LORD, has to say; surely He will speak of peace to His people and to His faithful.” Psalm 85

“Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?”

“My people, I am calling you in these days to a deep stillness, to a deep quiet, to come into My presence, to rest in My presence and behold My beauty.”

From Advent session:

“Come spend time with Me and I will fill your hearts, I will empower you, I will give you all that you need. Just come! Come, My people, come!”

“I will rejoice heartily in the LORD, my being exults in my God; For he has clothed me with garments of salvation, and wrapped me in a robe of justice.” Isaiah 61:10

Image of Jesus standing at the door knocking, asking us to clear the clutter so there is room for Him.

“In union with Christ and through our faith in Him we have the boldness to go into God’s

presence with all confidence.”

From January session:

“To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God.”

“My ways are not your ways, My thoughts are not your thoughts.”

“You shall seek the LORD with all your heart and you will find me, I will let you find me.”

“It shall come to pass in the last days that I will pour out My spirit on all mankind But I will leave among you a humble and lowly people, and they will take refuge in the name of the LORD.”

“We must consider how to rouse one another to love and good works. We should not stay away for the assembly but encourage one another.”

From Lenten session: “ ‘Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, so that we may no longer be a reproach!’ They replied, ‘Let us begin building!’”

“For He will be like a refiner’s fire. Embrace the fire of My love, don’t fear it.”

“All who take refuge in You will be glad and forever shout for joy.”

“Bless the Lord, you who are holy and humble in heart; sing praise to Him and highly exalt Him forever.”

“Let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.” Hebrews 4:16.

God helps with everything—even music by Zoom!


When the Nelson diocesan service committee began online prayer meetings last year, we knew little of online media for prayer meetings. But God supplied. The music ministry was challenged, God blessed us, and I hope this article may help anyone else planning online praise and worship.

It isn’t easy to have music ministry online because the Internet only allows one-way communication; if two people in different locations are speaking at the same time, at best you will only hear one. At worst, both voices will be garbled and unrecognizable.

God provided my wife, Bev, and me a new camera/microphone just before our first online prayer meeting, a whole month ahead of the scheduled delivery. We also ordered two six-foot USB cable extensions (costing only slightly more than one). The video was great, but the sound was very inconsistent.  

Our Lady of Pentecost Gathering in the Spirit was also held online. Fortunately, we were able to assemble a group in a church for our music ministry. The four of us, Bernadette Barry, Maria McManus, Bev and I were able to manage with Covid-19 two-metre distancing. The camera could be positioned to include us all— as noted, God provided USB extensions. The church, St. John Vianney in Penticton, also had a mixer which allowed our mics and guitar to be plugged into the same sound source. This was better, but still somewhat inconsistent.

At a provincial service committee meeting, Peter Herbeck suggested we get a mixer board for our Zoom meetings. We got a deal on a mixer and wireless microphones, and our praise and worship have been greatly improved. All glory to God, who, step by step, has helped us improve our praise and worship transmissions.

Worldwide Pentecost vigil

For the second year in a row, CHARIS, the international service of communion for the Catholic charismatic renewal, will celebrate the vigil of Pentecost with an online gathering.

            Beginning at noon Pacific Daylight Time (9 p.m. Rome time) Saturday, May 22, the fully ecumenical celebration will be streamed from four locations:

            –Rome, headquarters of CHARIS;

            –Topeka, Kansas, where the first baptism in the Holy Spirit of the modern Pentecostal revival took place Jan. 1, 1901;

            –Buenos Aires, Argentina, home of CRECES, a Lutheran-Catholic group with which Pope Francis (then Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio) was associated before his election as Pope;

            –Jerusalem, location of the first Pentecost as recorded in Acts chapter 2. The Jerusalem celebration will include Messianic Jews.

            Leading up to the celebration, a week of prayer will be held beginning Sunday May 16.

Links and additional details will be available on the CHARIS website (charis.international), and its Youtube, Facebook and Instagram pages, in a variety of languages

Thank You Lennie!

Lennie David, longest-serving member of Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services of BC and one of the best-known charismatic leaders in Canada, has stepped down from the provincial body after more than 25 years.

            But she isn’t leaving the renewal. She remains vice-chair and acting leader of the Vancouver archdiocesan service committee.

Best known for bringing Life in the Spirit Seminars to the archdiocese, she has also been an organizer for many charismatic conferences, starting with Vancouver’s first-ever conference in 1992. In 2013 she was awarded the Cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice for distinguished service to the Church, the highest honour the Pope can bestow on a layperson. In 2014 she was named to the Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.

She also enjoys telling people a less formal title she has gained over the years, “Lennie the Charismaniac,” for her vigorous promotion of the renewal, all the way from parish life to the chancery office.

            Born in the Philippines, she lived in the Netherlands and Belgium, where her husband, Emmanuel, worked for the Philippine embassy. They came to Canada in 1975. A lifelong devout Catholic, she was baptized in the Holy Spirit in 1976 at Immaculate Conception Church in Delta, still her home parish today.

            In 1992, despite great reluctance, she felt led by the Lord to ask her pastor for permission to offer a Life in the Spirit Seminar. The seminar began in January, 1993; She was ready for 100 people; 350 showed up. Since then, she has organized 70 seminars, in many parishes, with about 11,000 attending. Some 25 prayer groups have been founded as a result.

            “Baptism in the Holy Spirit is a must for everyone to have a much better personal relationship with our dear Lord,” she says.

            Annual celebrations of the anniversary of the first seminar feature a Mass at IC Delta. Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto presided at the 20th anniversary Mass in 2013, and Archbishop Michael Miller of Vancouver presided at the 25th anniversary in 2018.

            Among many other activities, she played a key role in organizing a FIRE rally in Vancouver in 1998; took 17 priests to France for a gathering honour of the 150th anniversary of the beatification of St. John Vianney in 2005; and led a pilgrimage to Rome for the 50th anniversary of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in 2017.

            She and Emmanuel have four children and seven grandchildren.

CHARIS:  Fruit for prayer groups


CHARIS, the new worldwide “service of communion” established in 2019 by Pope Francis, is still a work in progress at the national level, but in the meantime it is promising to bear major fruit at the local level.

            Under CHARIS, prayer groups will have a larger, not a smaller, role in the Church and in local parishes, says Brian Sullivan, chair of Canada’s national service committee.

            Pope Francis has referred to the Catholic charismatic renewal as “a current of grace in the Church and for the Church.” It is not to be seen as an organization or a movement within the Church; rather, the whole Church is to become charismatic – that is, filled anew with the power and grace of the Holy Spirit.

            “We need to adjust the way we think about ourselves,” Sullivan said in a talk earlier this year.  “The Charismatic Renewal is not ours.  We don’t own and operate it.  The CCR is not an organization.  It is not a group you have membership in.  It is a current of grace in and for the Church that we have had the fortunate opportunity to already enter into through our charismatic prayer groups of which we are members.”           

            But the importance of those prayer groups is only going to grow as a result. In setting up CHARIS, Pope Francis laid out a list of goals for the Church and for the renewal: sharing the blessings of baptism in the Spirit throughout the Church; evangelization; ecumenism; service to the poor; and the promotion of unity. Many of these, Sullivan noted, are areas where charismatic prayer groups already have a high level experience and commitment.

–We must take the lead in expanding baptism in the Holy Spirit to all members of the Church, as a necessary prerequisite and equipping for the evangelization to which all Christians are called.

–We need to encourage and foster the charisms of the Holy Spirit as widely as possible in the Church.

 –We need to help those baptized in the Spirit deepen their prayer lives, as we have been doing in our prayer groups throughout the existence of the renewal.

 –We need to promote ecumenism and unity with other Christians, without compromising our own Catholic faith or disrespecting the beliefs of other Christians. We in the renewal have more experience than most Catholics in inter-church outreach.

 –We need to have a special concern for the poor, be they poor economically, spiritually, mentally or physically. As Pope Francis says, we need to “smell like the sheep” whom we serve.

–We need to support, or if necessary initiate, our parish’s work of evangelization. All the points mentioned here are in service of this essential goal.

All of this is an enormous challenge, says Sullivan. But we won’t be doing it in our own power: “We can’t just start doing.” We need to identify the current of grace that is active in our parish, and then move in and support what the Holy Spirit is doing.

            Meanwhile, the overall structure associated with CHARIS calls for setting up national services of communion in each country. Sullivan says our national leadership has met with a generous response from the bishops, and details are being worked out, but are not yet determined.

CHARIS moderator steps down

            Jean-Luc Moens has resigned as moderator of CHARIS.

            Moens, of Belgium, first to hold the position, stepped down March 27 due to the needs of his family. His oldest daughter was paralyzed in an accident and needs full-time care in his home. He and his wife have seven children and 13 grandchildren.

Until a successor is named, Julia Torres will be liaison to the international service of communion and Milagros Carbajal will operate the CHARIS office in Rome.



Give us your “now” word, Lord!

Matthew 14:24-33: When evening came, He was there alone, but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them. And early in the morning He came walking towards them on the lake. But when the disciples saw Him walking on the lake, they were terrified saying, ‘It is a ghost!’ And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, ‘Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.’ Peter answered Him, ‘Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water. He said, ‘Come.’ So, Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water and came towards Jesus. But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, ‘Lord save me!’ Jesus immediately reached out His hand and caught him, saying to him, ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt?’ When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshipped Him, saying, ‘Truly You are the Son of God.’

In the same way that our Lord challenged Peter, He is also challenging us. When we experience the challenges of the world, Jesus will always be there reaching out His hand. He is letting us know that He is with us and we are not alone.

Prophecy from Harp and Bowl prayer meeting in Edmonton: My children, I am here. Take My hand, allow Me to lead you, to lead you deeper into My heart and into the pathways and byways of life. Be not afraid. I will provide everything you need when it is required. Let go of all that holds you back and follow Me.

Deuteronomy 13:4  The Lord your God you shall follow, Him alone you shall fear, His commandments you shall keep, His voice you shall obey, Him you shall serve and to Him you shall hold fast.

There is nothing to fear with the word of God before us. He is calling us into the new situation we find ourselves in.

Isaiah 35: 8-10: A highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Holy Way; the unclean shall not travel on it, but it shall be for God’s people; no traveller, not even fools, shall go astray. No lion shall be there nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it; they shall not be found there, but the redeemed shall walk there and the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

God is protecting us and sadness and sorrow ended. Lord, we thank You for the plans that You have for us that we may take Your hand and go deeper into Your heart. We want to hold fast to You. Help us to keep our eyes firmly fixed on You and not be distracted by the tumult we have around us.

Vision of a clothes line with different colours of clothes drying on it. In the centre was an unclean garment. The next time I looked this garment was going further away. The sky turned dark and the clothing disappeared. I understand this to mean that the righteous and the unrighteous are going to both be judged. I believe that this represents the state of the world, some are unrighteous and

unclean, but we all have to live together and be judged together.

This brings to mind; how many will be saved? Ralph Martin talks about this in his book [Will Many Be Saved; we need to counteract the thinking that the unclean will be saved. Jesus would never have said about Judas that it would have been better if he were never born if he was going to be saved. This is especially important to remember for those sitting on the fence: the lukewarm.

Prayer – help us to do what we must do to evangelize those sitting on the fence.

Join BC Charismatic on our Facebook page; visit our website

The BC Charismatic Facebook page is designed to offer communication, fellowship, and inspiration for charismatic Catholics, espacially in this time of pandemic.

            To see the page: If you are already a Facebook member (or if you join Facebook), you can find the page here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/bccharismatic A search for “BC Charismatic” on the Facebook site will also find it. The page is visible to any Facebook member, so you will be able to read whatever is posted on the page.

            To join the page: If you would like to join the group so that you can take an active role on the page, you can make a request to join via the button on the page, and we will accept your request as soon as we see it. 

            We welcome posts of edifying or inspiring material that is consistent with Catholic teaching, with Christian charity, and with godly prudence. This includes information on charismatic or other Church events, and inspiring teachings. (No politics, please!)

            We also have a website: bccharismatic.ca  Roy MacIntyre of the Nelson diocese is webmaster.

Get international charismatic news from CHARIS Magazine

CHARIS Magazine, a publication of CHARIS international service of communion for the Catholic charismatic renewal, is published monthly and is now available free on the CHARIS website, http://www.charis.international/ , along with a great deal of other material. Articles from the latest edition are at the lower right of the home page, and previous issues are available under “magazine” at the top of the home page.

Bread of Life drops print issue, will offer podcasts, videos

The Ontario-based Bread of Life ministry has decided to stop publishing its print magazine, due to high cost and apparent lack of interest.

The ministry polled the 600 to 700 readers on the subscription list as to whether they still wanted the magazine, and got only about 70 replies, of whom 65 wanted the magazine. The ministry will now turn to podcasts, and possibly YouTube videos, with speakers basing their talks on material originating with the late Fr. Peter Coughlin, Bread of Life founder.

The Bread of Life will also continue to sponsor conferences, although the scheduled fall 2020 conference featuring Maria Vadia was cancelled due to covid.


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Your prayers and financial support are appreciated.

B.C. Charismatic

CCRS of BC newsletter

published spring and fall

editor Richard Dunstan

308-225 Belleville St.

Victoria BC V8V 4T9

email: rccharismaticbc@gmail.com

phone: 250-477-4700

website: www.bccharismatic.ca

Catholic Charismatic Renewal

Services of B.C.

Richard Dunstan, Victoria (chair) 250-477-4700

Nitz Baylon, Vancouver,604-202-2998                        

Janet Tng, Vancouver, 778-998-8098

David MacIntyre, Victoria, 250-383-9955       

Frans van der Woning, Kamloops, 250-851-5751

Loree Renwick, Nelson diocese, 250-354-7223        

Lynne Williams, Nelson, 250-489-1702

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