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1 - 2 June 2014
“Convert! Believe! Receive the Holy Spirit!” cf. Acts 2,38-40
Around 2000 people from 61 countries worldwide joined 50,000 Italians at the Olympic Stadium in Rome for this historic gathering of CCR. The event was organised by RnS in collaboration with the Catholic Fraternity and ICCRS. During Mass on the evening before the gathering, there was a prophetic word which said 'none of you have the complete picture but all have pieces of the jigsaw when you each join your pieces together the full picture will emerge'. This proved to be something that we lived beyond our imaginings on 1st and 2nd June.
The key themes were; “Repent, believe, receive and move out in mission.” There were contributions from Cardinal Comastri who, referring to the Prodigal Son, spoke powerfully about the need for deeper conversion. Fr Raniero Cantalamessa OFM Cap, encouraged us that if “you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your hearts that God raised him from the dead you will be saved.” (Romans 10.9)
Patti Mansfield led a powerful time of intercession where she prayed specifically for priests, young people and families. Obviously the highlight of the day was the arrival of Pope Francis. You cannot imagine how it felt as I walked across the field of the Olympic Stadium, together with Salvatore Matinez and Gilberto Gomes Barbosa to welcome and escort the Holy Father into the arena where 52,000 charismatics were waiting to welcome him with the most exuberant joy imaginable!
At the Holy Father's request we sang his favourite charismatic song; 'Vive Jesus el Señor'. There were short testimonies from a priest, a young person, a family, and a blind lady and each of these was followed by a moment of prayer. Then the Holy Father delivered his address, which reflected his experience of CCR in Buenos Aires (see www.iccrs.org). His final words were an invitation to all of us to come to St Peter's Square at Pentecost 2017 to celebrate our Golden Jubilee with him. Finally there was a moment when the Holy Father knelt and we all prayed for him in tongues.
On the second day, Ralph Martin spoke about the need we all have for 'power from on high'. He senses that these extraordinary days of the Spirit are to prepare us for the challenges and the struggles that lie ahead as we move out in mission. His talk was followed by an act of entrustment to Mary and a prayer led by many historic leaders of CCR for a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Spontaneously and symbolically we were led to join together and gather at the foot of the huge crucifix that was on the stage. This felt like we were joining Mary at the foot of the cross, with the Lord saying to us “what are you prepared to give up and to suffer for me?” As Jesus from the cross, gave to the Church Mary as our mother, I sensed the Lord was giving us as leaders the responsibility to shepherd the Renewal in the shadow of the Cross.
Gilberto Gomes Barbosa spoke prophetically about the need for deeper unity and communion in CCR. He ended his talk by inviting myself and Salvatore Martinez to stand with him. Then we symbolically washed each others' hands as a sign of repentance and a commitment to move forward together in a new harmony as Pope Francis had urged us during the previous evening. My exhortation focused on the three ICCRS themes for the journey to the Jubilee; fire starters, fanning the flame and spreading the fire.
Finally, Salvatore addressed the CCR in all its expressions. He described our unity in diversity as being like a fruit salad not a fruit smoothie. Then he encouraged us all to move out in mission with Pope Francis. There was a final moment of prayer led by Sr Briege McKenna and a closing ceremony of choreography and songs. There was a sense of the joy of the Gospel in our midst and a profound sense that God is on the move in the power of the Spirit in ways beyond our comprehension.
If you cannot view the slides please make double click (on the white part under the title photos).
You can watch the 37ª Convocation of Renewal with Pope Francis from home (Live):
This is a unique and historic occasion where Renewal in the Spirit in Italy, ICCRS and the Catholic Fraternity are working in close collaboration to organise this special event.
It will be an opportunity for all the Charismatic Renewal to show our support and solidarity to the Holy Father by putting our spiritual experience more fully at the heart of the Church and the service of the world. It will, in fact, be a concrete example of living together Evangelii Gaudium, the joy of the Gospel.
The gathering will be graced by the presence of the Holy Father Pope Francis.
The organisers are looking forward to confirming the organisation of a meeting for kids and youth in a place inside the stadium.
Olympic Stadium - Rome (Italy).
The programme will begin at 11.00am on 1st June and conclude at 6.30pm on 2nd June.
The main language will be Italian but translation will be provided in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and possibly other languages according to demand.
Special categories (please ask the discount password to the ICCRS office):
The package cost for round trip airport-hotel is € 40* per person.
For those who require a visa to enter Italy, ICCRS can send a letter of invitation on request by express courier at a cost of € 50.
*Please note: These are provisional costs for your organisation. They will be confirmed on the registration form on-line.
Registration online for Charismatic realities out of Italy is available through the ICCRS.
For other information, please contact the ICCRS office.