A Message from Deacon Bill Brennan

Chair, Northern California Renewal Coalition

Greetings one and all from the church at Philadelphia! I just wanted to encourage you all by sharing a word about what we experienced in the National Leadership Conference in Philadelphia.

First of all, I felt that our 25th Anniversary Convention on Pentecost weekend in Santa Clara was powerful, "Spirit Filled," and anointed. I heard comments like "best one yet" and "I’ve never been to anything like this; it has changed my life!" Yes we were blessed with the signs of the presence of the Spirit and the Lord Jesus—a real shot in the arm for all of us, a new anointing and a genuine stirring into flame of this amazing grace of baptism in the Holy Spirit.

The following weekend I encountered the same Spirit dynamics in Philadelphia with the Hatian, Hispanic, Filipino, Asian and Anglo renewals. It was truly amazing to see everyone celebrating together the grace we share in common and hearing a strong call for unity in the Spirit. We had dancing in the aisles, roof-raising praise, deep worship and healings right in front of us (I myself received, I believe, an inner healing I did not know I needed), and we were touched by the Spirit of Pentecost — as in Santa Clara, a new anointing and a genuine stirring into flame of this amazing grace of baptism in the Spirit.

My point? Well, it seems to me like the Lord blessed us in Santa Clara and in Philadelphia with pretty much the same blessing. On both coasts of this country. I pray now, and I strongly urge all of us to pray and pray and pray that the Lord continue this new and fresh outpouring of the Spirit everywhere and that we (in the words of Michelle Moran, President of ICCRS, who gave a powerful and stirring summary proclamation on Sunday morning) start "taking this renewal seriously and recognize that we are not children and therefore we need to abandon childish ways!"

Finally the conference in Philadelphia ended on the same note I heard at the end of our NorCal convention (consistency of the Spirit?): now go out in the power of the Spirit into the church and into the world and exercise the gift we have been given. God bless you and continue to fill you with his love and Spirit, with Jesus in other words.

Ps.: It was obvious to me that we are called to continue the celebrations of 45 years of Catholic Charismatic Renewal, 25 years of NCRC convention and 50 years of Vatican II. Interestingly enough, the theme of next year’s Association of Diocesan Liaisons Conference, April 15 – 19, 2013, at Valumbrosa Retreat Center right here in San Francisco area, is "Vatican II and the Catholic Charismatic Renewal—Teachable Moment."