- Aug 7, 2020
Thousands of followers of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, hailing from all over the world, came to the place where it all began in Pittsburgh for their 50th anniversary gathering. Participants offer their enthusiasm and optimism on the spiritual movement that involves 120 million Catholics worldwide.
While affirming the Catholic Charismatic Renewal on the feast of Pentecost, Pope Francis was also nudging it to recover more of its social dimension. In defining the renewal in three-fold terms as baptism in the Spirit, praise, and service of humanity, he said all three aspects are indissolubly linked.
“The Spirit is the wind pushing us forward, keeping us going,” Pope Francis said during his general audience at St. Peter’s Square May 31. Hope “collects the wind of the Spirit and transforms it into energy,” the pope continued, adding that we must share that hope not only with those who need it the most, but also with God’s creation.
Some 30,000 Charismatic Christians from 130 countries are in town for four days of high-octane praise and adoration prayers and liturgies, as well as workshops, testimonies, healings, and not a few invocations of the Holy Spirit. The events culminate in a vigil in the Circus Maximus with Pope Francis on Saturday evening, and Pentecost Mass in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday.
Pope Francis, in a show of openness, invited Catholic charismatics and members of Pentecostal and Evangelical churches to Rome to join him in celebration of Pentecost and the 50th anniversary of the birth of the Catholic charismatic movement.
They don’t get much attention from theological and pastoral elites, but movements such as private end-times revelations, exorcism, and charismatic spirituality are part of the Catholic mosaic, and experience shows they have to be engaged lest people feed their hunger somewhere else.