May & June 2006
Dear Readers of The Flame,
Fr. Robert McCreary, a Capuchin
Franciscan at the Seminary, recently asked me about the charismatic renewal in
the diocese of
“Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts…”
(I Corinthians 12:31a).
My words to Fr. McCreary, and a
seminarian who was listening in, almost bordered on preaching. What I said was
that we are seeing less spiritual gifts because we are seeking them out
less! I do not see many people striving eagerly
after spiritual gifts.
I realize that the Christian life and even charismatic
renewal are much more than spiritual gifts. However, one of the characteristics
of charismatic renewal is charisms! And one of the avenues of being open to
these gifts is striving eagerly for them. I realize the Vatican II document on
the Church (Lumen Gentium) cautions against rashly seeking extraordinary
spiritual gifts (paragraph 12). However, as the saying goes, “The one who aims
at nothing usually hits it!” Without being rash we need to seek the gifts of
the Spirit for the building up of the Church.
I invite you to join me in praying for a fresh outpouring
of the Holy Spirit upon the
This is an important time for our
diocese and the charismatic renewal in our diocese. Our new Bishop, Richard G.
Lennon, will be installed on May 15. Four charismatic prayer groups are putting
on Life in the Spirit Seminars in a simultaneous manner in May and June. Both
our new bishop and the prayer
groups participating in the simultaneous Life in the
Spirit Seminars need our prayer. Join me in prayer as we strive eagerly
for all that the Holy Spirit has for us.
are two ways of doing that: Pray the Burning Bush Pentecost Novena (pages six
and seven of The Flame). This is worldwide movement has its origin at the
beginning of the 20th century. A German woman named Kim
Catherine-Marie Kollins has rekindled this practice at the beginning of the 21st.
I would love to see everyone’s copy of The Flame a little “dog
eared” because they have been praying these prayers!
Secondly, come to this year’s
Pentecost Mass at St. Michael’s Parish in
Eagerly seeking the fullness of
Fr. Bob Franco