Infoletter Catholic Charismatic Renewal in Sweden, June 2023
by Bengt Malmgren
English version of this newsletter will soon be available here
In this letter: F Damian City evangelism initiative in Luleå.- Charismatic conference in Värnamo. - Life in the Spirit seminars, leadership manual in Swedish underway. - Ecumenically this summer. - Ashbury Revival. - The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is explained on the CHARIS website. - Diocesan pilgrimage to Vadstena Sept 2:nd.
F Damian City-evangelism in Luleå.
August 9-10, f Damian, vicar of [Joseph the workers Catholic parish in Luleå], is preparing a two-day campaign with outward evangelism.
Charismatic retreat in Värnamo 15-17 sept.
Reverend Franz Schneider and team, Marie Nativity parish in Värnamo invites to this retreat with f James Manjascal from India. [Read more here].
Life in the Spirit seminars - Leadership manual in Swedish is being prepared.
Life in the Spirit seminars are a long-used method of introducing and helping new people into the full life in the Spirit. A participant booklet, Finding New Life in the Spirit, has since long been translated into swedish by AKKS (Swedish NSC for CCR).
An English leadermanual written by Stephen B. Clark from the Catholic charismatic community Sword of the Spirit 1973, The Life in the Spirit Seminars Team Manual, has been used also in Sweden. The prayer group Siloa in Malmö has held Life in the Spirit seminars in the parish and in connection with that some parts of the leaders manual have been translated into Swedish. In collaboration with Bengt Malmgren, this material is now being used and further processed, and we will produce a leadership compendium in Swedish that we hope can be ready during the autumn.
Ecumenical this summer
Many ecumenical conferences are organized during the summer. [The Oas movement, charismatic renewal in the Lutheran Church of Sweden], with which we have often collaborated, has its summer conference in the days at Gullbrannagården. It is also usually visited by Catholics. Raniero Cantalamessa, among others, has been engaged as a speaker. One year I was a guest speaker and presented Catholic charismatic renewal. It is good that we Catholics continue to maintain contacts across denominational boundaries. Christian unity and relationship building with our brothers and sisters in other denominations is one of the three important points Pope Francis particularly desires from CHARIS.
The Asbury Revival
The University of Asbury (Christian, Methodism) in the small town of Wilmore, Kentucky was put on the world map in February after an extensive and unexpected revival started with deep worship and prayer. Over time, more and more people joined from nearby cities and other states.
More than 100,000 people have passed through Asbury, even Catholics have made their way there. Similar meetings with devotional worship have spontaneously arisen in several places, [e.g. in Vigeland, Norway].
People who have taken part testify: "There is no excited exaggeration in the whole thing, and no leader leading the prayer." "It's as if everyone is building up prayer together" "Almost all participants say they have experienced God's presence and gained a more vibrant faith."
It is not uncommon for similar unexpected movements of the Holy Spirit to occur with worship, prayer and worship that engage many people. The Free Church talks about "revivals" but that is not something that is foreign to Catholics.
I själva verket känner vi inom Katolska karismatiska förnyelsen väl till episoder med förnyelse och utgjutande av den helige Ande på liknande sätt. Vi inom Karismatiska förnyelsen är självaz en frukt av den andeutgjutelse som skedde bland studenter vid Duquense-universittet i Pittsburgh USA 1967. In fact, in Catholic charismatic renewal, we are well aware of episodes of renewal and outpouring of the Holy Spirit in similar ways. We in Charismatic Renewal are ourselves a fruit of the outpouring of the Spirit that occurred among students at Duquense University in Pittsburgh, USA, in 1967.
Pino Scafuro, moderator of the CHARIS International Service Community, writes in a letter to prayer group leaders what he recommends as a Catholic approach, not closing the door on fear, but test everything and keeping what is good:
"- We encourage you to follow the inspiration you have felt…
- We know that the Holy Spirit blows how He wants, where He wants and when He wants! Therefore, it is not a matter of replicating what is happening there, but of creating a time for adoration, listening and space for the action of the Holy Spirit.
- Let us continue to ask God for the grace of a personal encounter with Him.
- Surely God has much to say to us and many gifts to give us.
- As in the revival mentioned above, let prayer be a community undertaking.
- May those who organize these events always do so with discernment, prudence and the accompaniment of the local Church."
The baptism in the Holy Spirit is explained on the CHARIS website.
Many are not really familiar with the concept of baptism in the Spirit, yet it is Jesus himself who uses the term (Acts 1:5). It is about receiving God's grace in its fullness and the full life of the Spirit and which is the very core of what is the Catholic Charismatic Renewal task in the Church. Pope Francis mentions this as the most important of three things he wants from CHARIS and the Charismatic renewal: To share the baptism in the Holy Spirit with the whole Church.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is:
“… an outpouring of spiritual gifts called baptism in the Holy Spirit, involving
a personal encounter with Jesus Christ as Saviour, an openness to the Word
of God, to exercising the charisms and to evangelization in faithful service of the
Church.” From article 1, statutes of Charis.
“... a life-transforming experience of the love of
God the Father poured into one’s heart by the Holy Spirit, received through a
surrender to the lordship of Jesus Christ. It brings alive sacramental baptism
and confirmation, deepens communion with God and with fellows Christians,
enkindles evangelistic fervour and equips a person with charisms for service
Source: Baptism in the Holy Spirit, Jubilee Anniversary Edition, Doctrinal
Commission of ICCRS, part I p.15.
CHARIS has published a special page on its website explaining more about the meaning of baptism in the Spirit: [Baptism in the Holy Spirit - CHARIS]
Diocesan pilgrimage to Vadstena Saturday 2 September
[Read more on the Diocesan webpage]