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Articles

Interview with Bishop Mark Coleridge soon after his ordination as Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Melbourne

You have been involved with Catholic Charismatic Renewal since the late 1970s. How important has Renewal been for you?

As I look back across nearly thirty years as a priest, one of the rich and unexpected streams of spiritual energy for me has been my contact with Charismatic Renewal. This happened in my first parish, with Claude and Miralda Lopez, Paul and Bernadette O’Hanlon and many others, particularly through the group sharing on that wonderful book by Frs Tom White and Des O’Donnell, The Renewal of Faith. It stirred deep things in me, and those deep things are still stirring all these years later.

Patti Mansfield’s address to the Pope, Pentecost 2006

Holy Father, I was given the grace, in February 1967, to be baptized in the Holy Spirit at a retreat for students from Duquesne University which marked the beginning of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. Immediately I turned to the Documents of Vatican II for guidance in understanding my experience. What I read in Lumen Gentium, 12 about the charismatic gifts encouraged me to be open to the Holy Spirit and His surprises. Every movement and community has its own special history, but in each one exists this same reality: “The love of God has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Rm. 5:5).

Statement by Canadian Bishops on Catholic Charismatic Renewal 2003

On the occasion of the 35th anniversary of the Charismatic Renewal in Canada, we, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, wish to address this pastoral letter to all the faithful. With deep gratitude and a renewed sense of hope in our hearts, we invite everyone to join us in celebrating the many blessings and gifts that the Charismatic Renewal has brought to the life of our Church in Canada during these past 35 years. We also wish to take this opportunity to highlight some of the new challenges that the Charismatic Renewal faces at a time when the Church seeks to “launch out into the deep” of a new millennium.

Confirmation — Sacrament of Holiness and Evangelisation

Confirmation is an important sacrament in the life of young and new Catholics. But what is its meaning? What effect does Confirmation have on the spiritual lives of children or adults?

Confirmation is the sacrament of holiness and evangelisation. It should be an experience of the Holy Spirit, one that brings about significant spiritual effects. A renewed understanding of the reality of the Holy Spirit received in Confirmation and a renewed pastoral approach could make this Sacrament much more effective.

Perfect Love Casts Out All Fear

The words of Mother Teresa sum up our lives three years ago: “And so more and more we are homeless at home because less and less we are in touch with each other.”

My husband, John, used to spend most of his time at the office, and I was at home alone with the children. We hardly saw each other and, when we did, it was too late and we were too tired to talk much. By the time we were eight years into our marriage, there was not much of a relationship to speak of. Our lives were hanging together by a thread.

I Have Discovered a God of Love

My life was an empty shell. I was incredibly depressed and fighting hard to stay off the grog. I was working out a way to kill myself. I could not see any future … life had nothing to offer, but loneliness, boredom and self-pity. I knew that there was a God; but I knew Him as a God of fear and someone to turn to in time of trouble.

Interview with Bishop Sam Jacobs: CCR in the Church

Bishop Jacobs, you travel widely within the United States, how do you see Catholic Charismatic Renewal in the United States today?

I think it is still very strong. It is not as strong as it was in the early days when people just flocked to it, but I think we have passed the honeymoon stage and now we’re in the rooting stage, trying to come into a fuller understanding of the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives, and sharing it with other people. I see it very vibrant in the ethnic communities in the States — the Hispanic, the Filipinos, the Koreans, the Haitians. We see that this manifestation of the gifts of the Spirit, the power of the Spirit, the Baptism of the Spirit, this grace of Pentecost, is moving very rapidly and very strongly in these ethnic groups. In the Anglo groups, not as much, but it is still strong.

Interview with Charles Whitehead

Charles, what would you like to see happen in CCR over the next ten years?

Charles WhiteheadI think I would like to see CCR become what it is supposed to be — I don’t think we have quite got there yet. It is a move of the Spirit. As such, I believe that it is meant to flow into every part of the life of the Church. It needs to be in parishes, and therefore in dioceses, in seminaries — I think it needs to be everywhere with its simple message of living the Christian life in the power of the Holy Spirit, and using the gifts of the Spirit.

Prayerfulness: A Grace To Seek

“At every opportunity pray in the Spirit, using prayers and petitions of every sort. Pray constantly and attentively for all God’s people” (Eph. 6:18).

Since 1967, charismatic prayer meetings and Life in the Spirit Seminars have been the key to new life for more than 70 million Catholics scattered in over 130 countries. A significant feature of this new life is a hunger for the word of God and for prayer, which inevitably follows the ‘baptism of the Spirit.’ This yearning is an impelling desire to be with the Lord, to turn to him in prayer, to seek his presence and to dwell in the awareness of his living, loving reality. In our quest for the Lord, prayer often becomes a prime means to, and expression of, this newly experienced fundamental attraction to the Creator. So we use various types of prayer to attain and maintain union with our Triune God, to capture and make yearlong (lifelong!) a personal and intimate encounter with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Ministering Like Jesus

Human Power

During a spell in hospital, at a time when I was suffering from severe weakness after undergoing open heart surgery, I had a discussion with a nurse who was on duty in my ward. She happened to notice that my Bible lay open on the table beside my bed, and she asked me about my belief in God. She told me that she possessed “healing powers,” and she offered to massage my feet so that energy from her would be transferred to my body.

The Challenge of the New Age: Where Lies the Real Challenge?

A sign of the times is the opening up of many “New Age” shops, selling things from crystals to books on Eastern philosophies. There is a real smorgasbord of products aimed at those who are “shopping around” for things spiritual. It suits our pluralistic, consumer age.

Yet it is also a sign of the spiritual confusion of our times. Many years ago, a work colleague of mine said that he didn't belong to any church. He was a “Calathumphian,” he said. I wish I had known the real meaning of the word at the time. “Calathumpian” comes from “calathus”, Latin for a rubbish bin, and it means that the person has retrieved all the ideas that other people have rejected and thrown out.

Discernment: Recognising God’s Voice

This article is based on The Rules for Discernment of Spirits by St Ignatius Loyola. Writing in sixteenth century Spain, St Ignatius was a master on spiritual discernment. His teachings come from his own experiences of temptation and of experiencing the movements of God in his soul. Over a long period of time, he began to recognise when it was God that was moving him, and when it was not, and what were the characteristics of both.

Why I am Involved in Catholic Charismatic Renewal

I love Catholic Charismatic Renewal! I love Jesus! Jesus is alive within Catholic Charismatic Renewal. His Spirit moves amongst its members and within its members — which of course is how it ought to be, as Catholic Charismatic Renewal is a movement of the Holy Spirit. He is its origin and He is its life.

This is what attracted me to Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR), and this is what continues to attract me and I am sure ever will. I am involved because Jesus calls me to be involved with Him and His interests — to share a personal and intimate relationship with Him, and to know Him as God who is personally and intimately involved with me and my interests.

What is a Charismatic Prayer Meeting?

A charismatic prayer meeting consists of a group of people from varying backgrounds who meet regularly (usually weekly) in an atmosphere of love and support for one another in an effort to grow in the knowledge and love of God, and to show this love in their attitude to their neighbour.Each prayer meeting is open to anyone who wants to come. Those who attend CCR prayer meetings are predominantly Catholic, but groups are open to anyone.

Catholic Charismatic Renewal in the Catholic Church

Statements by Popes and Bishops

At the highest levels, the Church has repeatedly supported and encouraged Catholic Charismatic Renewal. On 1 October, 1973, Pope Paul VI gave his blessing to CCR leaders who had gathered together from all over the world to attend the International Leaders Conference in Rome.

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