Good Morning Good People,
This Sunday we celebrate Pentecost Sunday which is considered to be the birthday of the Church for it was on this day that the Holy Spirit
descended on the Apostles and transformed them into witnesses for the Gospel message. A sentence from the opening prayer from Vatican II
sums up the celebration and its importance quite nicely: “Holy Spirit unite us to yourself in the bond of love and keep us faithful to all
that is true.”
This weekend in Rome, as part of the Year of Faith with the purpose of promoting the new evangelization, there will be a gathering of
about 120,000 people from around the world representing around 150 different ecclesial realities. These would include by way of example;
Focolare, Catholic Action and the Catholic Charismatic Movement. Archbishop Fisichella at a Vatican News conference said it was not
possible to overlook a gathering with the ecclesial realities which are one of the Council’s most evident results. This is surely to
be a prayerful and joyous event affirming their faith and reminding them of the purpose to bring the Joy of the Gospel to every person.
The celebrant for the final mass will be Pope Francis. For a full explanation of this conference visit here.
The Charismatic Renewal is very close to Pope Francis’ heart, so we wanted to share with you a few words of his as well as a short overview
of the beginnings of this movement in the Church.
On Saturday April 27 at the 36th national assembly of the Catholic Charismatic renewal with 15,000 in attendance, there were special
greetings relayed by Archbishop Fisichella on behalf of Pope Francis.
“Before beginning this celebration, I bring you a greeting. Before I left this morning, I was with Pope Francis, and I told him:
“Holy Father, I have to leave soon. I’m going to Rimini where there are thousands upon thousands of faithful of the Charismatic
Renewal: men, women and young people.” With a great smile, the Pope said: “Tell them that I love them very much!” Upon leaving the
Holy Father, Archbishop Fisichella recounted, the Holy Father added: “Look, tell them that I love them very much because I was responsible
for Charismatic Renewal in Argentina, and that’s why I love them very much.”
With this in mind we wished to share with you a short abbreviated history of the start of this renewal movement:
The beginnings of the worldwide Catholic Charismatic Renewal began in the United States as a result of what is now known as “The Duquesne
In the spring of 1966 two Duquesne University professors were praying daily for a greater outpouring of the Holy Spirit in their lives.
They prayed the “Sequence Hymn of Pentecost” read scripture and also two books: The Cross and the Switchblade and They Speak with Other
Tongues. Both books describe an experience known mostly as the Baptism of the Holy Spirit or perhaps more widely used today “the release
of the Spirit”
These two professors were leaders of a Chi Rho bible study group on campus and for the February 1967 retreat, the theme picked was
“The Holy Spirit.” One of the (then) students gives a stirring account of preparing for this retreat by reading the Cross and the
Switchblade, the first 4 chapters of the Acts of the Apostles and praying. One prayer just prior to the retreat was: “Lord, I believe
I’ve already received your Spirit in Baptism and Confirmation. But if it’s possible for your Spirit to be more at work in my life
than He’s been up until now, I WANT IT!” The dramatic answer to my (our) prayer was soon to come. On February 17, about 25 of us
left for The Ark and the Dove Retreat house on the outskirts of the city. As we gathered for each session, our professors told us to
sing as a prayer the ancient hymn, Veni Creator Spiritus, “Come Creator Spirit”, to renew their confirmation promises and to say a
personal “yes” to the Holy Spirit. On Friday night there was a meditation on Mary and then we had a Penance Service. In John’s Gospel
we read that when the Holy Spirit comes He will convict the world of sin. That’s what happened among us as we repented in the Sacrament
of Reconciliation. The rest is as one might say history. The participants experienced the Holy Spirit in their lives.
Today more than 45 years later the renewal has grown and impacted millions of lives. Many participants still attend prayer meetings,
are involved in parish ministries and works, bible studies, and in many areas they have helped spread the Divine Mercy devotion. The
effects of this life changing encounter have influenced many to enter religious life, marry and promote strong family lives. Some of
the Charismatic prayer communities have become what the church would call “private associations if the Christian Faithful.”
We pray for all of our readers that in this Year of Faith and New Evangelism, that the Holy Spirit will touch your lives. Please
be assured of our prayers, especially as we conclude our Pentecost Novena with the intentions of all of our readers, benefactors,
and the needs of the Church and our nation in mind.
Blessing of Peace and Good to All!
The Poor Clare Sisters of Spokane
Franciscan Monastery of Saint Clare
4419 N Hawthorne St
Spokane, WA 99205, USA