STEUBENVILLE, Ohio, JUNE 24, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity described ecclesial movements as an “enormous gift of the Holy Spirit for the Church in our time,” hailing their missionary creativity.
In an address to the Catholic Charismatic Conference held at Franciscan University of Steubenville, Bishop Stanislaw Rylko told the 700 participants that the movements gives him hope in the future of the Church.
There are “many charisms hidden in the life of many Catholic lay people of today — men and women, young and adults, elderly people, married and single,” the Polish prelate said. “These are the true treasures in the Church that are worthy of being valued because too often they are hidden.”
Lay movements, such as the charismatic movement, have achieved great success in evangelization, he said. “They do not wait for unbelievers to come, but they themselves go out to look for those who are far from faith.”
Bishop Rylko described ecclesial movements as “schools of mission.” He added: “The missionary creativity of the ecclesial movements is amazing; they are an enormous gift of the Spirit to the Church of our times.”
Bert Ghezzi, a leader and teacher in several Catholic renewal movements and author of 15 books, encouraged those attending to open themselves to the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
“We need to respond and obey and use that hope that he’s given us,” he said. “We can be in very miserable circumstances and still feel hope. It’s an objective reality. It doesn’t depend on how you feel, it depends more on how you see.”
The June 13-15 conference included Mass, recitation of the rosary, the sacrament of reconciliation, small workshops and a healing service.
The 21st annual Catholic Charismatic Conference was the fourth of 22 conferences sponsored by Franciscan University this summer, on the Steubenville campus and across the country. More information is at www.franciscanconferences.com.