250 are empowered, ‘sent’ at Catholic Charismatic event

Photo Caption: Judith MacNutt prays over members of a prayer team before sending them out for a healing service at the Catholic Charismatic Renewal Conference July 27 in Peoria.

By: By Jennifer Willems

Jesus sent 72 disciples out to proclaim the Good News and to pray for healing and deliverance from evil spirits, but that mission wasn’t for them alone, Father Bob Hogan, BBD, told those attending the Catholic Charismatic Renewal Conference at Four Points Sheraton in Peoria last weekend.

“Give your abilities to the Lord, your responsibilities to the Lord and any callings. If you think God is calling you to something you should pray to be empowered in that calling and think of yourself as a sent person,” he said, emphasizing the importance of daily prayer for strength and guidance.

“Today I want to see myself as a sent person. I’m not just getting through this day. I’m not just getting it over with. I’m not trying to just get by,” said Father Bob, a member of the Brothers of the Beloved Disciple in San Antonio, Texas. “Today you are a sent person so you’re open to God working through you.”

(For more advice from Father Bob, see related story here.)

Conference participants also heard from Judith C. MacNutt, a licensed psychotherapist and co-founder of Christian Healing Ministries in Clearwater, Fla.

The theme for the conference, which drew more than 250 people, was “Healed and Empowered.” A key component of the weekend was a healing service on Saturday afternoon.

The master of ceremonies was Dr. Mark Ginter, who has been involved in the Charismatic Renewal since 1979. He teaches at St. Meinrad Seminary and serves as president of St. Joseph’s Holy Family Inc., an apostolate to renew Catholic family life, in Bristow, Ind.

Leading the music ministry was Mary Delgado, a longtime member of the Spirit of Love Disciples Prayer Group in Chillicothe.

The annual conference is sponsored by the Diocese of Peoria’s Office of Catholic Charismatic Renewal.

“NOTHING TO FEAR”
Encouraging them to be fearless in the face of the world’s scorn was Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, who celebrated a Mass of the Holy Spirit as the conference opened July 26.

“In living our faith we need to be men and women of courage because we serve a great God,” he told them. “We have Jesus as our Lord and we have the Holy Spirit living in our hearts and in our minds so there’s nothing in this world or the world to come that we should fear.”

He acknowledged that people may be tempted to fear a world that offers one challenge to their faith after another.

“More and more to this world we look crazy, but there’s nothing new about that. The world will never love the Gospel,” Bishop Jenky explained. “Jesus said, ‘The world hated me. It’s going to hate you.'”

He urged them to follow the example of Pope Francis by not looking inward but reaching out to others.

“The vocation of the church is to bring the entire world to Jesus Christ, to serve the Lord in season and out of season, when it’s easy, when it’s hard,” Bishop Jenky said, drawing applause. “You know what? If we’re afraid that’s all right as long as it doesn’t paralyze us, because in the Spirit of God there is nothing to fear.”

MacNutt challenged conference participants always to pray for more and expect more.

“I just want you to know the Lord loves you so much,” she assured them. “There’s so much he has in store for you. I want you to really have that expectation this weekend that you’re not going to leave here the way you came.”

Jesus wants to heal and restore them, MacNutt said, but not for their sake alone.

“He wants to transform you. He wants to make you transformers,” she said, telling them that a hurting and broken world desperately needs their prayer and their witness.

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