National Charismatic Renewal Conference 2016
Here are some testimonies from people who attended:
A prophetic word given at the “Reopen the Wells” Conference
I have declared my love of you my people: and revealed it in my son Jesus – Emmanuel
I have sent my Holy Spirit to empower you and to guide you.
Doubt no longer but have faith.
From Fr Jim Campbell of the Blessed Sacrament Chapel prayer meeting:
We gathered together on the 25th and 26th June, 2016 in The Concert Hall, RDS, Dublin to hear Dr Mary Healy speak about the power of the Holy Spirit helping us to go out into a world which is experiencing a rapid dechristianisation today.
Dr Mary, supported by the Rev. Dr Jonathan Frazer, painted the picture of the Wells of Grace which have been closed up both in the Church and in the world being reopened to refresh and invigorate the Church, you and me, in the work of salvation. She asked us “Why has He poured out His Spirit today? What is He saying to us by this Charismatic Renewal?” This is a unique time where we are more like the early Church than at any other time. It is a privileged time but it is a troubling time too where God is disappearing from the view of the world. The absence of God has left a vacuum which is being filled by New Age spiritualties, addictions and moralities which are leading into Satanism and a landscape of broken lives. The New Evangelisation needs the power of the First Pentecost which we should read about in the Acts of the Apostles. Essentially the disciples were told to wait until power came upon them and not to venture out in their own power. For all Christians who can discern the decline, the only answer is being obedient to Jesus and to accept the Gift of His Spirit to help us to reopen the wells. It may be hard and laborious work to begin with but the reward is the sweet living water of the Spirit which will bring about new life. This was demonstrated by a wonderful healing Service where Dr Mary helped dozens of people to be free from ailments and deep rooted complaints.
From Arise Ministries in Huntingdon, England:
We travelled to Dublin on June 24th-26th to attend the National Charismatic Renewal Conference entitled “Re-Opening the Wells”. This was to be a time of great blessing …..
The speakers at the conference were inspirational. Dr Mary Healy, an American Catholic with Irish heritage and Rev Jonathan Frazer, a Presbyterian Minister from Northern Ireland, both spoke with such passion and power. We heard amazing testimonies of God’s healing, as well as witnessing lives touched by the Holy Spirit. During the intervals we caught up with many friends like Sister Bridget who chaired the conference, and Grace who has invited us to County Kerry in November. God also gave us a few divine encounters ….. So altogether a blessed time!
MASS WITH THE CHARISMATIC RENEWAL CONFERENCE 2016
Homily notes of Most Rev. Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin
RDS, Dublin, 25th June 2016
“We gather to rejoice in being open to the gifts of the Holy Spirit, gifts we receive for our own sanctification and for the building up of the Church. The Second Vatican Council stressed that “The Spirit continually renews [the Church], builds her up, and guides her ‘with hierarchical and charismatic gifts’” (LG 4).
The charismatic gifts of the Spirit are not just optional extras. The Holy Spirit is present with the Church in many ways. The Spirit sanctifies the People of God and guides it. The Spirit generously endows and enriches the Church with special gifts which build up the Church. The Spirit enriches the Church with surprises which wake us up and shake us up. The Spirit restores restlessness to a Church which it is tempted to become tired and timid. I love that concept of a restless Church, a Church which does not give into complacency or inertia.
A recent Vatican document quoted from John Chrysostom who wrote about the gifts of the Spirit:
“What gifts that work for our salvation are not given freely by the Holy Spirit? Through Him we are freed from slavery and called to liberty; we are led to adoption as children and, one might say, formed anew, after having laid down the heavy and hateful burden of our sins…; from this source spring forth gifts of revelation, healing graces, and all of the other charisms that adorn the Church of God”.
The work of the Spirit is not a work outside or parallel to the Church. This is the era of the Spirit. It is interesting to note that in all the Trinitarian Creeds of the Church the work of the Church is placed in the section of the Creed dedicated to the Holy Spirit.
Today, perhaps more than at other times in the history of the Church, work of new evangelization is so necessary that it needs to be open to the all the charisms which the Spirit gives to re-awaken and renew and nourish the life of faith of the People of God.
We need a spirit-filled-Church which can welcome all those who seek the light of faith. Pope Francis noted that:
“If something should rightly disturb us and trouble our consciences, it is the fact that so many of our brothers and sisters are living without the strength, light and consolation born of friendship with Jesus Christ, without a community of faith to support them, without meaning and a goal in life”.
Even though in the early 70’s I had already gone abroad from Ireland to study and work in Rome, I well remember the contribution of the Charismatic Renewal brought to the rejuvenation of the Church in Ireland at a critical time. At a period of transition in the religious culture of Ireland, the Charismatic Renewal brought a new warmth, charismatic dynamism and a deeper understanding of prayer to many who were seeking a different home in a changing Church. Charismatic Renewal gave birth to a range of new pastoral initiatives which still flourish today.
Today we need a new and vibrant affirmation within the entire Church of the “Joy of the Gospel”. A Church which does not at all levels radiate the “Joy of the Gospel” is a Church doomed to stagnation, closed in within an unreal comfort zone, focussed inwards. Such a Church will never truly reach out and embrace the marginalised and bring them and our society towards experiencing the “Joy of the Gospel”. It may seem a paradox, but a without vibrant lay affirmation of the “Joy of the Gospel” we will never produce priestly vocations.
Witnessing to the joy of the Gospel will only be effective if we understand what the Pope also calls “the delightful and comforting joy of evangelizing” EG, 9). We experience the Joy of the Gospel when we spread the Gospel. You do not spread the Gospel simply through decrying the evils of the world or through spiritual narcissism. We will never understand the joy which springs from the Gospel by just looking into a mirror at ourselves.
A Church community is not just a supermarket of spiritual services for individual shoppers. Faith in Jesus Christ is never just individualistic. When we read the Acts of the Apostles, we see that the early Christians were known by the fact that “they gathered”: they gathered to share the prayers, the word and in the breaking of bread and their gathering developed a particular style of life, that of sharing, that of communion.
A Eucharistic community by its nature is one which reaches out beyond itself accompanying in prayer and service individuals, families and whole communities in their quest for Jesus Christ and the healing and hopes he alone can bring.
Pope Francis stresses that “those who enjoy life most are those who leave security of the shore and become excited by the mission of communicating that life to others” (EG, 10)
The Joy of the Gospel springs from the fundamental fact that our God is a God of love. “He who abides in love abides in God and God abides in him”. The fundamental unity of all believers is not a sociological unity. Theological reflection on the Church is not just a sort of sociological analysis of the Church. The fundamental unity is a unity in holiness. The Church is not our creation. We are called into a Church which is holy. We defile the holiness of the Church when we fail in our own holiness. The Call to holiness is a call to all to become part of the life of God’s Holy People and to witness authentically to that holiness.
The love which should be the mark of the Church springs from a particular style of life. It is not a sort of do-goodism, but an ascetical life. The Council stresses:
If charity is to grow and fructify in the soul like a good seed, each of the faithful must willingly hear the word of God and carry out his will with deeds with the help of his grace: he must frequently partake of the sacraments, chiefly the Eucharist and take part in the liturgy; he must constantly apply himself to prayer and self-denial, active brotherly service and the practice of all the virtues”
The Council stresses, however, that in responding to this call to holiness the Christian is not opting out of his or her responsibilities for promoting human progress.
“It is therefore quite clear that all Christians in any state or walk of life are called to the fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of love and by this holiness a more human manner of life is fostered also in earthly society.
Our Gospel reading is an interesting one which show us how much Jesus cared or those who were sick or troubled. He heals the servant of the centurion, he heals Simon’s mother-in law and in the evening he heals the many who were brought to him sick or possessed by devils. Jesus’ generous care is without bounds.
The credibility of the Church comes in a special way through the witness of those of its members who bring to the world that concept of gratuitousness which is the opposite of market consumerism, where everything has its price tag and you only get what you pay for. This sense of gratuitousness is not just about doing something over and above what one does daily. It is a call for a different way of living and forming society which is inspired by the life and teaching and mission of Jesus himself, who revealed the gratuitousness and the superabundance which are the marks of God’s love.
I reflected earlier how the Charismatic Renewal almost fifty years ago, at a period of transition in the religious culture of Ireland, brought a new warmth, charismatic dynamism and a deeper understanding of prayer to many who were seeking a different home in a changing Church. Today at another time of transition of the religious culture of Ireland we need, perhaps more than at any time in the past, men and women open to the Spirit, through whom the gifts of the Spirit can enrich the Church, make hearts restless and radically renew the Church and the face of the earth. Come Holy Spirit.
Dr. Mary Healy
Mary Healy is associate professor of Sacred Scripture at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. She is general editor, with Dr. Peter Williamson, of the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture, a series of commentaries that interpret Scripture from the heart of the Church, and author of two of its volumes, The Gospel of Mark and The Letter to the Hebrews (2015). She is also author of Men and Women Are from Eden: A Study Guide to John Paul II’s Theology of the Body and co-editor of three books on biblical interpretation: ‘Behind’ the Text: History and Biblical Interpretation; Out of Egypt: Biblical Theology and Biblical Interpretation; and The Bible and Epistemology. She serves the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity as a member of the International Pentecost-Catholic Dialogue. In 2014 she was appointed by Pope Francis to a five-year term on the Pontifical Biblical Commission.
Dr. Healy has previously taught at the Institute for Pastoral Theology at Ave Maria University and the Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College, and served for several years as coordinator of Mother of God Community, a lay Catholic community in Gaithersburg, Maryland. She currently serves as chair of the Doctrinal Commission of International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services in Rome. She speaks at retreats and conferences nationally and internationally on topics related to Scripture, the theology of the body, and the spiritual life.
Rev Jonathan Frazer
‘I’m Jonny Frazer from the metropolis of Portrush on the very North Coast of the Island and now the Presbyterian minister of Garnerville in East Belfast. I’m also the author of ‘Remember how it goes? Understanding the Bible Anew’ and the podcast ‘Audio Bible in a year’. In these roles, and in all I try to do, I seek to reflect the love that God has for his creation and all of us on it. I am married to Naomi and spend every morning walking my Miniature Schnauzer called Macy.’
Here is some of Mary’s writing:
Dr. Mary Healy teaches at the Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Michigan, USA and is also a member of the ICCRS Theological Commission.
In his recent book Evangelical Catholicism, George Weigel observes that a new era is emerging, a transition from what he calls “Post-Reformation Catholicism”—the era from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries—to “evangelical Catholicism.” In this new era, the gospel is at the front and center of everything the Church does. It is a time when every baptized Christian is being called to holiness for the sake of mission in the power of the Holy Spirit. Weigel would not call himself a charismatic, yet he writes, “Radically converted Christians have become men and women marked by tongues of fire, animated by the Spirit.”
This means that for those in the Charismatic Renewal, now is the time for us to come out of the closet and be unabashed about what God has given us—and what he desires for all. It is time for us to operating in the full range of charismatic gifts, moving in the manifest power of the Holy Spirit for the sake of seeking and saving the lost.
Time for us to be confident enough in who we are as Catholic that we can learn from our Protestant brothers and sisters without fear of losing our Catholic identity.
It is also time for us to be confident enough in who we are as Catholics that we can learn from our Protestant brothers and sisters without fear of losing our Catholic identity. Some of them are operating in the gifts at a much higher voltage than we. It is a time for humility and for unity, recognizing our need for one another as brothers and sisters in Christ.
I have learned much from Protestant charismatics, particularly the healing evangelist Randy Clark. Last fall, I travelled to Brazil with a team led by Randy to experience first-hand how he uses the spiritual gifts—especially healing and words of knowledge—for evangelization. During the two weeks there I witnessed countless miracles as we ministered in different churches night after night.
Each evening our team prayed over hundreds of people. On our first night a deaf man got up to testify to being healed, holding his hearing aids in his hands and weeping for joy. On other occasions two people with uneven legs had one leg visibly lengthen to match the other. People got out of wheelchairs, including a woman with a congenital hip defect that had caused her joint to disintegrate. Many tumours disappeared visibly. A withered, paralyzed arm was totally restored. I lost count of how many blind eyes and deaf ears were opened.
Many people who had been in severe pain for years due to implanted metal rods and screws jumped up and down or bent to touch their toes with all pain totally gone. There were countless deliverances from demonic afflictions, healings of serious illnesses, and release from pain. When you witness such things, you cannot remain the same.
I knew that the Lord was calling me to put into practice what I learned, and he was faithful
Immediately after this trip I was scheduled to speak at a Catholic conference in Qatar. I knew the Lord was calling me to put into practice what I learned, and he was faithful. I spoke about Jesus’ commission to his disciples to proclaim the kingdom and demonstrate it with healings, then stepped out in faith and led prayers for healing, and many people waved their hands overhead to testify to physical healing. The very next speaker came up to the podium in tears. He said that for several months he had had a significant loss of hearing in one ear after it was hit with a soccer ball. He was intending to see a doctor when he got home, but during the prayer, when I commanded ears to open in the name of Jesus, his ear popped open and he now hears fine!
I am now more convinced than ever that the Lord is doing something new and extraordinary in the Church. The Holy Spirit is pouring out supernatural charisms not only to healers with extraordinary gifts, but to every ordinary Catholic who is willing to step out in faith, believing that God will confirm our witness with signs, wonders and gifts of the Holy Spirit (see Heb 2:4).
In a homily given to the cardinals just before they entered the conclave that would elect him pope, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio delivered a message that I believe is a prophetic word for the entire Church:
The Church must come out of herself and go toward the periphery…. We must avoid the spiritual disease of the Church that can become self-referential: when this happens, the Church itself becomes sick. It’s true that accidents can happen when you go out into the street…. But if the Church remains closed in on itself… it grows old. Between a Church that goes into the street and gets into an accident and a Church that is sick with self-preferentiality, I have no doubts in preferring the former.
It is time for the Church to turn outward in a radical way, to go out onto the streets
For too long the Church has been turned in on itself, like a circle of people all looking inward, focused on our structures, our programs, our problems, our reforms. It is time for the Church to turn outward in a radical way, to go out into the streets, literally, with the good news of Christ!
Cardinal Bergoglio himself modelled this kind of street evangelization. He often took the bus and walked through the slums of Buenos Aires, where he would talk to people, let them take his picture, celebrate the Eucharist, and wash the feet of AIDS patients. This is similar to what Jesus’ ministry looked like. As the Gospels record, Jesus hung out on the wrong side of the tracks. To the scandal of the religious authorities, he spent his time with prostitutes, tax collectors, and sinners—the equivalent of today’s drug addicts, ex-cons, and down-and-out people. He forgave their sins, healed them physically and emotionally, satisfied their hunger, and caused them to overflow with the joy of the messianic kingdom.
Jesus’ public ministry is what the Church’s ministry ought to look like today. All of us, especially those of us in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, are being called to turn outward and go out to reach the lost in the manifest power of the Holy Spirit.
International Prophetic Consultation in the Holy Land (Bethlehem)
Thanks so much for your continued prayers. I just returned from Bethlehem in the Holy Land, where there was an international meeting of 160 key leaders of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. The meeting was not a conference but a “prophetic consultation” to pray together and seek the Lord’s will for the Renewal, especially as we approach our 50th anniversary in 2017. It was a very powerful meeting.
Michelle Moran, the president of ICCRS (International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services), spoke on Deut 11:14 and Joel 2:23: “He will give the rain for your land in due season… the early and the latter rain.” She explained that in biblical lands the early rain (the autumn rain) is what makes seeds germinate; the latter rain (the spring rain) brings in the harvest. In the early years of the Renewal we had the “early rain.” But now we are in the time between the two. We are not in the latter rain yet, because we are not moving in the power of the Spirit strategically, healing the sick, doing miracles, reaching out to the poor, evangelizing in power. There is a need for repentance, because we have at times fallen into the trap of just wanting to entertain people, of settling for the comfortable. It is time to prepare people to go out, because the Spirit is going to bring us into the harvest in a way we’ve never seen before – a massive harvest.
With every sentence I was more amazed, because although I had not talked with Michelle at all about her topic, it corresponded point by point with what the Lord had put on my heart to say for my talk on the third day.
On the second day, there was a surprise of the Spirit. Just before our afternoon session, there was a power outage in our hotel (and apparently in the whole town of Bethlehem). The lights went out and the sound system stopped functioning. The leaders were just about to postpone the afternoon session and ask everyone to use the time for personal prayer. But the Lord gave me a prophetic word. I had to shout out each line, with three translators repeating it one after the other.
“The Lord just reminded me of what happened on the Duquesne weekend in 1967 (the beginning of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal). During that weekend the plumbing at the retreat center broke, and it looked like the retreat was over. So they all began praying for water. The Lord answered their prayer and the plumbing was fixed – but he answered in a way far beyond what they had expected. Floods of living water, the Holy Spirit, came pouring down from heaven… and so began the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. It was the “early rain.” Now we’re at a different time. The fact that we’ve lost electric power today has prophetic significance. Just as back then they prayed for water and the Lord gave water from heaven, so now we have to pray for power, and the Lord is going to give us power from on high. We have to lean into this moment, pay attention to what the Holy Spirit is telling us symbolically and ask for power with great confidence.”
After I gave this word Patti Mansfield, who had been one of the students on the Duquesne retreat, stood up. She said, “I want to confirm that and add a couple of things. When the plumbing broke, David Mangan (another student) decided to pray by thanking the Lord in advance for the water he was going to give us. So the Lord is calling us now to thank him with expectant faith for giving us power – power from on high for the Charismatic Renewal and the whole Church, power to preach the gospel to the ends of the earth, power for the breaking down of walls of division among all Christians, and power for the removing of the veil from our Jewish brothers and sisters that they would come to know Jesus the Messiah.”
We then had a time of anointed praise and worship in the dark, singing, shouting, and thanking the Lord for the power he is going to give us. Someone held up a huge crucifix (because it is from the pierced heart of Jesus that the Holy Spirit comes), and walked around the room with it. Everyone was bowing before Jesus and acknowledging his lordship in a deeper way.
Then Oreste Pesare, the director of ICCRS, said, “The Lord has truly given us a word for the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. You have no more power. Come to me….” And boom! At that second the lights went on! Everyone was in awe because we recognized it as a truly prophetic sign.
There was a time of silence, then more prayer, then kneeling before the cross one by one…. repentance…. many prophetic words…. a time of great rejoicing and thanking the Lord. One word was, “My people, you have taken off your shoes in my holy presence. One shoe is the shoe of pride. The other is fear and insecurity. There is no place for pride, because all that you do is totally dependent on me. And there is no place for fear and insecurity, because all that you do is totally dependent on me. When you go forth, you will go forth in power. You will not need to be afraid, because it is my power.”………………………………………………..
In Christ’s love, Mary