Once when Father Tom DiLorenzo was asked to speak about evangelization, he responded by describing the Life In The Spirit Seminar. This program that prayer groups have been sponsoring for fifty years is the Catholic Charismatic Renewal's most powerful tool of evangelization. It helps people receive baptism in the holy Spirit, which is an openness to and experience of the holy Spirit's gifts received in Baptism and Confirmation.
Recently the Vision of Peace prayer group that meets Wednesday evenings in Holliston's Fatima Shrine offered a four week Life In The Spirit Seminar.
Members of the VOP and the Marian prayer group that also meets at the shrine organized the evenings, gave the talks, and led five discussion groups. Thirty-one people attended the seminar.
The first evening Linda and Joe Javorski spoke of their experience growing to know God's love and his amazing gift of Salvation. The next week Nancy and Mike Marraffino shared their experience in the new life God's holy Spirit gives us and how to take steps to be open to the holy Spirit.
Small discussion groups followed the talks. These groups offered opportunities for the participants to explore the evening's subjects in more depth and satisfy their questions.
The third night Father Michael Adebote from the Society of African Missionaries gave an introductory teaching about releasing the gifts of the holy Spirit. He then prayed over each person in the discussion groups for the release of the holy Spirit. The discussion group leaders also laid hands and prayed for each person.
Throughout the seminar we stressed that we are only taking the first steps in a life-long process of growing in God's love. The final night focused on how people can continue to fan the flame's of faith and keep growing in the holy Spirit. Pat Campo-Leblanc taught about the four ways God pours new energy into our spiritual hearts: Prayer, Study, Service, and Community.
Nick and Karen Tassone were the team leaders for the program. They both shared about their transformed lives through the holy Spirit. Ron Whinnem, a prayer group praise leader, shared his life's journey that brought him to God .
Kim Lisbon led the group singing praise at the beginning of each evening. It was a exhilarating hearing the volume of everyone's voices joining in this joyful celebration praising God.
Several people commented on seeing people's joyful expressions after Father Michael prayed over them. In some cases tears showed an emotional release during prayer. Karen assured that tears reveal powerful inner working of the holy Spirit. One man reported feeling a force something like strong gravity when he was praying. Some quietly observed and experienced a new joyful setting for their Catholic faith.
We pray for all who attended the Seminar, not only for them, but also for those who will believe because of their word. [John 17:20]