by JUDY OLSEN
Different currents of grace in the Church in New Zealand are coming together in a special way this year as the Catholic Charismatic Renewal celebrates its half century.
The national team of the Dove Catholic Fellowship for Women recently joined others from various groups of the Charismatic Renewal at an “Intercessory Conference” at St Joseph’s parish at Mount Victoria in Wellington.
The name for the conference was “Intercessors Arise” with the vision to equip intercessors for the renewal and reawakening of New Zealand.
The keynote speaker for the weekend was
from Australia, who is the CCR’s intercession coordinator for Asia/Oceania.
One conference participant described the weekend as both empowering and practical.
“There was a real sense of unity among those who attended. On the Friday night Sister Marie Gore led us in a time invoking the intercession of the saints in heaven — a reminder that as we pray we need to invite the Communion of Saints to join with us in prayer,” the participant said.
“On the final day of the conference we spent time praying in depth for the nation of New Zealand, seeking God’s heart as we prayed and asking forgiveness for the sins of the past and the present.
“As representatives from Dove Fellowship we came away with a renewed passion for the work of God and to see the vision of the Dove founding scripture come to life.”
While Dove holds annual retreats, this year Dove will be joining other groups (other currents of grace) in the renewal including Joshua Men’s Fellowship, communities, prayer groups and various youth ministries in response to a request from Pope Francis for each nation to make a special effort to mark this 50th jubilee of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in unity.
A national “Current of Grace” conference will be held at the Distinction Hotel and the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit in Palmerston North from September 22-24.
Speakers include Bishop Denis Browne, Fr John Rea, Ann Brereton (Australia), Anna-Maria Barrett and Diana Ingle. Further information and a link for registration, go to www.ccrnz.org or the Dove website www.dove.org.nz
“This national conference will be an amazing opportunity to come together in unity and claim our land for God,” a Dove spokesperson said.
“We are a women to women ministry,” the spokesperson said, “as Joshua Men’s Fellowship is men to men. However we often get together for joint events and at this year’s conference all the streams of ministry will come together as one.”
At Pentecost, Pope Francis referred to the Catholic Charismatic Renewal as a “current of grace” for the whole Church.
According to a report on the Crux website, the Pope defined the renewal in threefold terms as baptism in the Spirit, praise and service of humanity. He said all three aspects are indissolubly linked.
“Share with all in the baptism of the Holy Spirit, praise the Lord ceaselessly, walk together with Christians of different churches and Christian communities in prayer and action for those most in need.”