Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of June 30, 2008
Charismatic Fellowship shares its last breakfast
But Calgary members vow to evolve to continue to serve the Holy Spirit
By VIRGINIA BATTISTE
"It has been a gift to us in providing an outlet for our music and a chance to pray and praise together."
- Claudia Domingo
The prayer breakfasts were a venue for charismatic Catholics to meet together outside their parishes.
When they began, they attracted hundreds. But over the years, with changes in meeting locations, a proliferation of other Saturday morning events and rising costs, the numbers dwindled to the point meetings are no longer cost effective, Thompson says.
One person whose life has been impacted by the prayer breakfasts is Claudia Domingo, part of the worship band, Soul Comfort, that has played for the breakfasts for a dozen years.
Domingo says the breakfasts provided a venue for the music ministry from her parish, Ascension in northwest Calgary, to become a viable worship band. Soon they began to receive invitations to perform or lead worship at other venues.
"The prayer breakfasts allowed us to express our music more creatively and develop a style beyond the liturgical music we had been doing.
"It has been a gift to us in providing an outlet for our music and a chance to pray and praise together, which is such a unifying thing."
What began with leading worship at the prayer breakfasts became a viable ministry with opportunities to do benefit concerts for things like Tsunami Relief and Catholic Charities, and to perform for the health region and at Stampede breakfasts.
The breakfasts also gave them the opportunity to develop their talents and be part of a praying, believing community, she said.
She is not alone in her sentiments.
Of the capacity crowd of 75 in attendance at the final breakfast, close to 20 hands shot up when Thompson, acting as the emcee, asked how many had attended the first meeting as well as the closing one.
He reminisced about individuals who had been involved and events that had taken place over the past quarter of a century, but also assured those attending that they had not heard the last of the CCCRS. The committee is exploring ways to continue to serve the Lord's Body, the Church, and draw people closer to Him.
Several possibilities are being bandied about, Thompson said, from continuing and expanding the current healing services held every three months, to evening coffee houses, or periodic days of renewal, such as a full-day Saturday event.
He also shared an idea from the National Catholic Charismatic Renewal Society that is catching on in Lower Mainland B.C., Toronto, and parts of Ontario where parish-based Life in the Spirit retreats are being offered.
The retreats, which run one evening a week for seven weeks, would be opened by the parish priest giving the first talk on God's love.
The idea of Life in the Spirit parish retreats has received the endorsement of Calgary Bishop Fredrick Henry and the CCCRS is awaiting the first parish to express an interest to move forward with it, Thompson said.
While the decision to discontinue the prayer breakfasts was not easy, the CCCRS committee is excited about the possibilities for the future, he said.
He referred to those involved in the charismatic renewal as "apostles of the baptism of the Holy Spirit" and said they would constantly have a role to play in proclaiming Christ and the empowering of the Holy Spirit in the Church.
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