Charismatic Renewal Turning 40

Thousands to Mark Anniversary and Join Vigil of Pentecost

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ROME, MAY 7, 2006 (Zenit.org).- More than 10,000 members of communities of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal will observe the vigil of Pentecost with Benedict XVI.



The celebration, organized in conjunction with the Pontifical Council for the Laity, coincides with the 40th anniversary of the renewal, and is one of a series of events organized by the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services (ICCRS).

According to Oreste Pesare, director of the ICCRS office in the Vatican, the events "will certainly make the imminent celebration of Pentecost richer and more fruitful."

Communities of the renewal will also participate in the Mass on Pentecost Sunday in the Vatican, presided over by the Pope.

Afterward, renewal members will gather in Marino, 14 miles from Rome, "to celebrate the Holy Spirit together in a special way. We are expecting some 10,000 participants," added Pesare.

"The meeting will be entitled 'My Soul Magnifies the Lord,' and will give glory to God for the work carried out every day in each of the faithful through the Holy Spirit, explained the ICCRS director.

The "unknown God"

"The Holy Spirit, considered until a few years ago as the 'unknown God,' is the one who, with his grace, tirelessly changes the lives of thousands of people in all corners of the world, who with renewed joy, through the experience of 'baptism in the Spirit,' begin a new life lived, precisely, in the Holy Spirit," Pesare told ZENIT.

"He is the one we wish to honor and glorify publicly, responding to the appeal that both John Paul II as well as Benedict XVI made to CCR and the whole Church: to spread the 'culture of Pentecost' and the action of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Church and in each of the faithful," the director added.

"This celebration, which will include moments of prayer, listening, witness and invocation of the Spirit, will end with a celebration of prayer, a music concert and dance which will be presented as prayer by artists of different countries ... and all to give glory to the Holy Spirit and to thank him for all he does every day in our lives," explained Pesare.

Father Raniero Cantalamessa, Pontifical Household preacher, and Father Tom Forrest, one of the initiators of the charismatic experience in the Catholic Church, will speak on grace and the power of the Holy Spirit during the celebration in Marino.

International conference

From June 5-9 an international open conference entitled "Charismatic Renewal: Yesterday and Today and Tomorrow" will be held in Fiuggi, Italy, and will be attended by more than 1,000 delegates from some 70 countries.

A special congress for 300 leaders in the charismatic movement entitled "Maturing in the Spirit" will also be held in Fiuggi, from June 9-11.

Optional pilgrimages to Assisi or San Giovanni Rotondo will also be offered.

During this congress the "ICCRS hopes to hear the Lord in prayer, seeking his vision and plans for CCR in the world, in the third millennium ahead of us," said Pesare.

In anticipation of the events, Pesare said "a campaign of prayer and Eucharistic adoration has been launched at the international level on the Internet as spiritual preparation for this intense time."