Santa Barbara Catholic Charismatic
Prayer Groups Vision Statement
To gather together as a community to Praise and Worship the Father God, Son, and Holy Spirit
To help people to come to know Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior.
What is the Catholic Charismatic Renewal?
The Church was born on Pentecost Sunday (Acts 2:1-14). In obedience to Jesus’ request after his resurrection, the apostles remained in Jerusalem to await the gift and promise of the Father; the Baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4-5).
The Holy Spirit would then empower them to be witnesses for Jesus (Acts 1:8). Together with Mary, the mother of Jesus, they prayerfully awaited this gift (Acts 1:14). When the day of Pentecost came, a violent wind filled the house where they were sitting, tongues of fire came to rest on each of them and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them (Acts 2:2-4).
For the first few centuries of the Church’s history, the gifts (or “charisms”) of the Spirit were very common in the lives of believers. They are listed by St. Paul in 1 Cor. 12:1-11: wisdom, the word of knowledge, the gift of healing, miraculous powers, prophecy, the ability to discern different spirits and the mysterious gift of tongues and its interpretation. These gifts are the manifestation of the Holy Spirit and are given by God for the common good, as he determines: they are not “earned” or “merited”.
As the church became more institutionalized, the gifts of the Spirit became less common and were seen only in the lives of the great “Saints”. Some, such as St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430 AD) initially thought that they were meant only for the early Church, to “kick-start” her, so to speak. However, he later withdrew this opinion in his Retractions, when he himself witnessed the gifts in abundance in his own Diocese. When convoking the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council in 1959, Pope John prayed specifically for “the Divine Spirit to renew his wonders in our time, as by a ‘New Pentecost’”.
In February, 1967, during a Duquesne University student retreat at The Ark and the Dove Retreat House outside of Pittsburgh, PA, one of the students, Patti Gallagher-Mansfield felt drawn to pray before the Blessed Sacrament in the chapel. She, and a number of other students who had joined her were later found prostrate before the Tabernacle. There, before Jesus’ Eucharistic presence, the Catholic Charismatic Renewal was born. They had all been overwhelmed by the majesty, power and presence of God. The movement spread rapidly throughout the United States and the world. It is estimated that today in excess of 75 million Catholics worldwide have had contact with this renewal and have experienced their own personal Pentecost.
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