The Flame: May/June 2022
Dear Readers of the Flame,
From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent,
for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” As he was walking
by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is
called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the
sea; they were fishermen. He said to them, “Come after
me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
In Matthew’s gospel, this is how Jesus began his public
ministry. St. Matthew dedicated the first verse to Jesus
ministering to the crowds. In the next verse, St. Matthew
has Jesus calling his first disciples.
This would be the rhythm of Jesus’ ministry.
minister to the large groups of people through his healing
and preaching activities. And Jesus also spent significant time
forming his disciples. In Luke’s gospel, this included a group
of 72 (Luke 10:1), as well as the 12 apostles. Even among those
12, Jesus invested more time in Peter, James and John.
I believe this pattern of serving people at large, but also
intentionally forming disciples, gives us an insight. Jesus
was not only interested in serving large groups of people,
but in fact, He seemed more interested in investing
himself in a small group of people who would extend his
ministry after he was gone.
And perhaps this points to one of the weaknesses of the
charismatic renewal in our day.
Many, who were deeply
touched and empowered by the Holy Spirit, were all about
exercising a lay apostolate by leading prayer groups,
heading up music ministries, serving on healing teams, et
cetera. However, many of us who were doing those things
were not looking for people to train so as to take our
places or (even better) multiply our ministry.
I recently read part of a book called Hero Maker: Five
Essential Practices for Leaders to Multiply Leaders by Dave
Two things caught my attention about this book. The first was the title.
Mr. Ferguson acknowledges that
we often want to be the hero. However, our model, Jesus
Christ, focused on being a hero maker.
Even with regard
to the gifts of the Spirit, Jesus said, Amen, amen, I say to
you, whoever believes in me will do the work that I do, and
will do greater ones than these because I am going to the
(John 14:12) Jesus imparted a vision to evangelize
the whole world to his closest followers.
The second thing that struck me about this book, and for
sure, about Jesus, was that his investment in training and
equipping disciples really paid off!
After his departure and
the empowerment by the Holy Spirit, that his disciples
experienced on Pentecost, the ministry of Jesus was not
diminished. In fact, His words and works were multiplied
because he had formed his disciples.
Those disciples understood that they were to become
hero makers too.
St. Paul summed this in up in 2 Timothy
2:2. And what you have heard from me through many
witnesses entrust to faithful people who will have the ability
to teach others as well.
This verse refers to four generations
of handing on the gospel: Paul to Timothy to faithful
people who can teach to others.
I share these thoughts as a segue into a discussion that the
General Service Committee and I had at a recent meeting.
Most of us have served on this committee for many years.
We have put on conferences, days of renewal, workshops,
charismatic and healing Masses and other sorts of Spirit filled
events. We have done good things in the name of the Lord.
However, we have not had many new members on this
committee for a while. And we basically said to each
other: We need new members.
With new members comes
new ideas and fresh enthusiasm to build up the charismatic
renewal in our diocese. Also, the General Service
Committee has some (certainly not all) collective wisdom
to hand on to other people who want to serve the renewal.
And so I am making this appeal: We are looking new
members on our General Service Committee. Please
prayerfully consider this appeal.
I realize that the parish
is the primary place where Catholics are strengthened in
word and sacrament. However, ministries such as Catholic
Renewal Ministries have a unique and important role to
play in evangelizing and equipping people so that they may
be more devout disciples of Jesus Christ.
Ken Posavad, the chairman of General Service Committee,
has a Help Wanted blurb in this newsletter. His contact
information is listed. Please prayerfully consider this
. Or better yet,
if you know someone who could
serve the charismatic renewal on the diocesan level, please
encourage them to contact Ken. Like Mary prodding Jesus
with “They have no wine”, your loving encouragement may
be the nudge a person needs to step out of their comfort
zone into this arena of service.
In the meantime, I hope to see you at one of our upcoming
events. There will be a healing Mass at St. John Vianney
on Friday, May 27. Our Pentecost Mass will be on Sunday,
June 5, at St. Peter Parish in North Ridgeville. And most
importantly, our annual charismatic conference will be
Saturday, July 16, at St. Albert the Great Parish in North
Amid these turbulent times, we need to be a
people who Rejoice, Pray and Give Thanks
(the theme of
our conference). We know that Jesus Christ is Lord, the
Light shining in the darkness. More information about all
these events are in this issue of the Flame as well as on
our website at www.crmweb.org
Fr. Bob Franco
Bishop’s Delegate to Catholic Renewal Ministries