Sunday, June 09, 2013

The Charismatic Renewal and the Catholic Church

The Catholic World Report takes a look at the history of the Charismatic Renewal movement within the Church.    This is a short background history focused mostly on the origins in Italy, sparked by Sister Elena Guerra, and does not look at the movement today in the US, which I think would make a good followup article.

"The Charismatic Renewal was eventually sparked in the Catholic Church in 1967, not by any intervention of the pope or clergy, but at the level of the laity at a students’ retreat at Duquesne University, in February of that year. Interestingly, tradition puts in an appearance here as well, as Duquesne was founded in 1878 by the Holy Ghost Fathers, members of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit. From there the flame went almost simultaneously to Notre Dame where, in the words of Dorothy Ranaghan, writer and witness of the beginnings, after the initial outpouring of the Holy Spirit

Summer school brought in priests, nuns, and lay people from all over the world. And so we held prayer meetings and crowds attended and hundreds were baptized in the Holy Spirit and they took the baptism in the Holy Spirit back to their home countries. It was a wild and wonderful summer. There were no Life in the Spirit Seminars [they hadn’t been written yet], we just laid hands on everyone and prayed right away and amazing things happened. Given our youth and inexperience it is all the more evident that it was God’s work, not ours."

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