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3 - 6 Ottobre 1995
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The theme of the Healing Seminar and Evangelistic Outreach is: “Jesus called the twelve together, gave them power and authority to overcome all demons and to cure diseases. He sent them forth to proclaim the reign of God and heal the afflicted”. (Lk 9:1-2). It is a gathering by invitation to those involved in the healing ministry around the world in San Giovanni Rotondo from October 3 to 7.
Four speakers – Fr. Emiliano Tardif (Dominican Republic), Dr. Philippe Madre (France), Dr. jean Pliya (Benin) and Dr. Michele Greischar (USA) – will give talks on various aspects of healing: “sacraments and Healing”, “Charisms and Healing”, “Holiness in the Life of the Minister of Healing”, “Deliverance Ministry”, “Emotional Healing and Psychology” and “Physical Healing & Evangelization”.
Panel discussions and dialogues with speakers, ICCRS Council members and delegates will explore the various issues and questions experienced in these areas of Healing.
The sacrament of penance and small group sharing will give the ministers of healing an opportunity to be ministered to themselves.
We are also planning to give delegates the opportunity to do outreach during the seminar to health care personnel, priests and religious in San Giovanni Rotondo.
A pilgrimage to the tomb of Padre Pio and Mass in the Santuario will connect us with the experience of healing already present in San Giovanni Rotondo through the life of Padre Pio.
The delegates will move out from the Healing Seminar to travel to Foggia on October 7 – the Feast of the Holy Rosary – for the Evangelistic Outreach to the “multitudes” led by Fr. Tardif, Pepe Prado of Mexico and Fr. Cantalamessa of Rome and concluding with Mass celebrated by Bishop Casale of Foggia .
Sr. Nancy Kellar
Taken from the ICCRS Newsletter April-May 1995
“One of the first fruits of the Charismatic Renewal was the rapid growth of the ministry of healing in the Catholic Church, and as a result, men and women all over the world can witness to the healing and wholeness the Lord has brought into their lives. The principal reason the Council of ICCRS chose this important theme was to celebrate and give thanks for all that God has already done; to pray together, to share our experience, to learn from each other, and above all, to work for a better understanding of our part in this life-changing ministry”.
With these words, Charles Whitehead the President of ICCRS welcomed the 600 delegates, including 5 bishop and 160 priests from 74 countries to this first-ever international healing seminar, organized by ICCRS.
“San Giovanni Rotondo was chosen as the location” said Sr. Nancy Kellar, the Director of ICCRS,
“because it is a place already strongly associated with healing because of the ministry of Padre Pio, the famous Franciscan stigmatist, who lived and died here, and whose reputation still brings people to this place from all over the world”.
On the first day, with the theme: “Jesus Called the Twelve Together”, we not only heard talks on the Sacraments and Holiness, but we also had the opportunity to be ministered to the sacraments and in a small group prayer with one other. Fr. Emiliano Tardif spoke on “Sacraments and Healing” while Dr. Philippe Madre, a medical doctor and a leader of the Community of Beatitudes in France, addressed the theme of holiness in the life of the minister of healing.
“…He gave them power and authority to overcome all demons and to cure diseases” formed the theme of the second day, when Dr. Jean Pliya, a former deputy to the Nation Assembly of Benin in Africa, invited last year by the Pope to speak at the Synod of African Bishops spoke on “Charisms and Healing”. Fr. Tardif followed this presentation with a talk on the deliverance ministry.
A highlight of the day was the Thursday afternoon Mass at the tomb of Padre Pio. An anticipated indoor Mass had to be moved to the piazza outside the Church because the townspeople had gathered in great numbers. About 4.000 had gathered by the time of Mass began, including patients and staff from the near-by hospital, who watched from windows, terraces and balconies.
Bishop Paul Cordes, Vice-President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity was the principal celebrant. He read a special message of welcome from the Pope and gave particularly warm words of encouragement to the Charismatic Renewal.
On the third and final day of the seminar, we focused first on the importance of healthy relationships in a talk on “Emotional Healing and Psychology” by Dr. Michele Greischar, a psychotherapist from the United States. In the afternoon we were inspired to go “forth to proclaim the reign of God and to heal the afflicted” in a second talk by Dr. Madre on physical healing and evangelization.
Seminar delegates responded to the call to evangelize in different ways: Nikol Baldacchino and Mark Nimo, members of the ICCRS Council, led some in an evangelistic and healing outreach in the local town square, where crowds jostled to be prayed with for blessing and healing. Others remain at the seminar hotel spending time interceding for the many needs of the world and the Church. Sr, Nancy Kellar led a group to the Poor Clare Cloister to share her witness of the Lord’s power in the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Fr. Tardif spoke briefly and prayed with the many people gathered in the public Chapel. Sr. Nancy, along with some of the Sister-delegates, prayed with the Sisters, who came forward for special prayer for healing and Baptism in the Holy Spirit. Bishop Vincenzo D’Addario, Archbishop of Manfredonia, who warmly welcomed the delegates to San Giovanni Rotondo, joined the outreach to the Sisters, and concluded it with his blessing.
The culmination of the seminar was a massive evangelistic outreach in the soccer stadium of Foggia. The expected crowd of 23.000 swelled to 30.000 by the time of Mass. Still others watched the proceedings on a large screen outside the stadium or the live TV coverage throughout the area. Featured speakers were: Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher to the Papal household, who spoke on the healing power of the Holy Spirit; Pepe Prado, a Catholic layman from Mexico, who spoke about Jesus as Lord and Savior, and Fr. Tardif, who gave a talk on God’s healing love and prayed at the conclusion of the day for healing.
Mass was celebrated by the local bishop, Most Rev. Giuseppe Casale, Archbishop of Foggia-Bovino. At the close of the Mass, the Blessed Sacrament was exposed, and Fr. Tardif led prayers of praise and them of healing. A number of participants came forth to witness to healings, including deafness and paralysis.
The ICCRS Council and staff were grateful for the assistance of the international helpers and local charismatic committees in San Giovanni Rotondo and Foggia, whose loving service was a tangible witness of the power of the Holy Spirit during this landmark event.
Translated and edited from "Ungidos por el Espìritu", Edicep, Valencia, 1993
Taken from the ICCRS Newsletter September-December 1995.
ICCRS announces a special international seminar for those engaged in the healing ministry October 3-7, 1995. This gathering will be for 500-550 persons and will be held in San Giovanni Rotondo, the place where Padre Pio lived and died. The theme of the whole event will be healing/reconciliation and evangelization concentrating on the healing received in the Sacraments. Father Emliamo Tardif, M.S.C., will be the leader of the seminar.
National Service Teams and Contact persons in each country have been asked to compile lists of those who have a healing ministry (national, regional or diocesan) and who would be able to attend the seminar. ICCRS will invite participants from the lists submitted by the national leadership.
Following the seminar there will be a day of evangelization emphasizing the connection between healing and evangelization led by Fr. Tardif and in which the seminar participants will put into practice what they studied during their meetings.
When the ICCRS office staff members went to Assisi in 1991 to arrange accommodations, take photos of the Rocca Maggiore, and dream of what could be, they went to the Tomb of St. Francis hoping to celebrate Mass and to ask Francis and Claire’s intercession for the retreat. When they got the tomb they were told that another group would celebrate, so they would have to wait. That group never showed up and the staff celebrated a beautiful liturgy. The rest is history. God did bless the retreat in Assisi.
Recently the ICCRS staff went to San Giovanni Rotondo to meet with local CCR leaders and hotel people , as well as to another city to meet the sports and stadium officials. The staff members ended the day by going to the Capuchin monastery where they celebrated Mass at the tomb of the Servant of God, Padre Pio. They and the local organizers asked the Lord’s blessing on this healing event, that people will be evangelized through experiencing the charism of healing.
As people around the world prayed for the Assisi retreat by reciting the Pentecost Sequence every day, ICCRS asks renewal participants to do it again begging the Lord to shower new blessings on the earth through these meetings.
All those with a recognized healing ministry on the diocesan, regional or national level who feel called to attend this seminar should contact their national service team to let them know of their desire and availability to attend.
Taken from the ICCRS Newsletter July-August 1994.