Over 120 people gathered during the day at Ratcliffe College, Leicester on Saturday 16th September to thank God for the blessing of 50 years of Charismatic Renewal in the Catholic Church. In the evening there was a Youth Event, for young people 18+, with food for all. The event was the initiative of the Bishop and the Rosminian priest Fr. Binu Palakapally I.C. who was the Director of the Rosmini Centre, next to Ratcliffe College.
For the day event, Guest Speakers included Michelle Moran, Archbishop Kevin McDonald and David Payne. The main venue for the Conference was in the College Chapel. A specially erected marque on the nearby lawn provided workshop space and a space for the break times. The Old Library was the venue for another Workshop. Praise and worship during the day and for the Youth Event was led powerfully by the music group from Jesus Youth. The organising Committee was greatly assisted by the appointment of a Project Manager, Alice Slack, who, together with the Staff at Ratcliffe College, made sure the day ran smoothly. Fr. Philip Sainter I.C., the President of Ratcliffe, , Mr Jon Reddin, the Headmaster of Ratcliffe, and Fr. Ted Mullen I.C., the new Director of the Rosmini Centre, are to be congratulated on the excellent venue and thanked for the warm and friendly welcome experienced by all concerned.
Michelle Moran is the Chair of the National Service Committee [NSC] for Charismatic Renewal in England. She is an international speaker for Charismatic Renewal in the Church and has recently been personally appointed by Pope Francis to establish a new single service structure for Catholic Charismatic Renewal in the Vatican. As well as a key note address on the history and future direction for Charismatic Renewal, Michelle also led two practical Workshops on the Charisms & Baptism in the Holy Spirit.
Archbishop Kevin McDonald is the Archbishop Emeritus of Southwark. He is the Episcopal Advisor to the NSC and gave an address entitled “Are we ready for God’s salvation now and at the end times?” The Archbishop is currently Chair of the Bishops' Conference Committee for Other Faiths and of the Committee for Catholic-Jewish Relations but also he has many years of experience of working in the field of Christian Unity. So it was appropriate that he led two Workshops entitled “Ecumenism and the Renewal”.
David Payneis the Director of Café, which stands for Catholic Faith Exploration. Café produces DVD & Video resources helping people to get more out of their faith. These are widely used for adult & youth education and sacramental preparation in parishes, school, colleges & prisons. He has travelled widely filming for and appearing in the Café DVD’s and has written a number of books. During the day he led two Workshops called “The Spirit of Truth”.
The day event concluded with Mass in the College Chapel. The Bishop was the main celebrant and preacher. Fr. Ted Mullen I.C. concelebrated together with Archbishop Kevin. Assisting at the altar was Seamus O’Looscan, and Fr. Philip Sainter I.C., acted as M.C. The music for the Mass was very well organised & played by the College Chaplain, Paul Michel.
In the evening, 30 or more young people accepted the Bishop’s invitation to thanksgiving prayer, reflection and a hog-roast! Various stalls were available with information ranging from Vocations to Life issues. The Jesus Youth Band continued to lead the praise and worship and one of our Church Students, Liam Carpenter, spoke about vocation, call & response, and an openness to the Holy Spirit. At the beginning of the evening, Paul Michel welcomed everyone, and after a period of Adoration & Benediction, the evening concluded with thanks from Seamus and Fr. Philip.
It is hoped that ALIVE Nottingham will be the start of a number of initiatives around the Diocese offering opportunities to engage with Charismatic Renewal so that the exercise of the gifts & fruits of the Holy Spirit become the normal part of parish, school and home life.