Walter Matthews, Executive Director of the National Service Committee of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal of the United States speaks during the 2019 Diocese of Venice English Charismatic Renewal Annual Conference held March 30 at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice.

Charismatic Renewal event channels Holy Spirit

Venice  |  The 2019 Diocese of Venice English Charismatic Renewal annual conference was held March 30 at Epiphany Cathedral in Venice. The theme for the conference was “Holy Spirit Breathe on Me.” 

With powerful speakers, inspirational music as well as praise and worship, the conference served to inspire those in attendance. The day followed the key ideas of creating, anointing, leading, empowering, speaking and renewing. The day was filled with lively music and prayer and unified the different renewal movement groups within the Diocese in their passion for the Holy Spirit and in serving the Church.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane addressed the group and offered words of encouragement. He called on members of the renewal to channel the Holy Spirit in their daily lives, as well as in their parish communities. “Let the gifts the Lord has given to you help you to become a true servant to the Lord,” Bishop Dewane added.

The speakers included: Peter Herbeck, vice-president and director of missions for Renewal Ministries; Walter Matthews, executive director of the national service committee of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal of the United States; Father Anthony Lukka, spiritual advisor for the Diocese of Venice English Catholic Charismatic Renewal and Parochial Vicar at St. William Parish, Naples; and Joshua Mazrin, Diocese of Venice director of evangelization.

“What a wonderful day,” said one woman from Epiphany Cathedral. “The Holy Spirit was here with us.”

A man from St. James Parish in Lake Placid said the conference helped prepare him to continue to go out into the world and share the graces with which he has been blessed.

The presentation by Matthews focused on the change in the umbrella organization that oversees the different worldwide Charismatic Renewal movements. CHARIS (Catholic Charismatic Renewal International Service) has been created to serve as a single service that benefits all the expressions of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal.

The goal of CHARIS is to build and strengthen the wide and diverse Catholic Charismatic Renewal movement and to be as inclusive as possible and open to new emerging realities, Matthews explained. The renewed focus is to be on unity and incorporation of differing prayer groups, communities, networks, youth, initiatives, and much more.

“Nothing has changed,” he continued. “We are still all called to encourage evangelization, unity, and promote a spiritual deepening and holiness of people who live the experience of baptism in the Holy Spirit. No one is to be excluded from the joy of the Lord.” 

The mission of the Diocesan Catholic Charismatic Renewal Commission is to stir into the flame the grace of Pentecost by promoting a personal relationship with Jesus, knowledge of the Third Person of the of the Blessed Trinity, the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit, and Charisms of the Holy Spirit, constituting an infusion of the Holy Spirit into one’s daily life.

The conference opened with music from Vale Leone and with a procession of banners representing the different Diocesan Charismatic Renewal prayer groups. English Catholic Charismatic Renewal President Renee Marazon got things started as she welcomed the more than 250 attendees who represented faithful from more than two dozen parishes. Throughout the day, there was a Eucharistic chapel where people could spend quiet time with the Lord. In addition, priests from across the Diocese were present for the sacrament of reconciliation.