During my recent trip to Calgary, Alberta, I had the chance to explore first hand some of the incredible initiatives of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. For years I had heard of the movement’s growth and good works but had always remained a bit off put by the movement’s affinity for ‘public displays of worship.’ A sneak peak into a Life in the Spirit Seminar running out of Calgary’s St James Parish opened my eyes to the true driving force of the Renewal, shedding light on its profound charism.
Guiding me along in my understanding were Peter Thompson and Theresa Van Kampen, who, as you will hear tonight, shared with me their very first experience in the Holy Spirit and how it served to sustain and ignite their faith lives to a level they never knew possible. Hearing them speak of the Holy Spirit as a real and active force, one that is waiting to be invited into people’s lives, left me feeling as though I had completely missed out on a beautiful relationship, one that had begun on the day of my baptism. I was disappointed to have to leave the city the following morning, as I would have loved to participate in the remaining sessions of the Seminar.
Nonetheless, that evening alone was enough to leave a lasting impression, one that made the celebration of Pentecost that much more real for me. This year, May 31st was no longer just a feast day commemorating the events of the upper room two millennia ago. It was also a profound reflection on the ‘Pentecosts’ in my own life and how many more are waiting to occur, if I but place the invitation.
Catholic Focus: Life in the Spirit airs Tuesday, June 10th at 7pm and 11pm ET, with an encore presentation Sunday, June 14th at the same times.