In 1967, several college
students gathered in a spiritual retreat in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They
prayed for God to allow them to experience the grace of both Baptism and
According to the student's accounts it was a transforming
experience they called the Baptism of the holy spirit.
This is how Catholic Charismatic Renewal emerged, a movement that promotes personal renewal
in the grace of the holy spirit. Oreste Pesare
International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services (Rome)When we receive
the Baptism in the holy church, the sacrament, we receive all the holy spirit,
we receive the gift of the holy spirit, but many times we don't use this grace. When you realize that you want to follow this experience, that
you want to meet the holy spirit, you open this box and all the gifts that you
already received in your sacraments come up and you can live a new life in the
holy spirit and you can experience a new relationship with God.
movement received pontifical recognition in 1993. Its newest director, Oreste
Pesare, explains why the Vatican took so long to approve the movement.
Director, International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services (Rome)Catholic charismatic renewal has historical roots in
the Pentecostalism and so when in 1967, a first group of Catholics in
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania made the first experience of the baptism of the Holy
Spirit of course the Church was a little bit scared that some Protestantism
could enter in the Catholic Church, so at the beginning it was a little bit
difficult to enter, but the fruits of this new torrent of the Holy Spirit that
were so big that step by step the church accepted more and more this new
The charismatic movement helps individuals and groups that
have different ways of expressing themselves and brings them together to worship
God. Oreste Pesare
Director, International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services (Rome)And in this way Charismatic Catholic would
like to be a prophet for a new ecumenism, an ecumenism based on the love, loving
each other, brothers and sisters, even though they are different.
says that although charismatics receive natural and supernatural gifts, their
wish is to promote the idea that God is omnipotent. Oreste
Director, International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services (Rome)I
always say I don't consider a charismatic one who speaks in tongues, or makes
prophecies or heals people. Of course we believe in these charisms and we
believe in these gifts, and the Lord is bringing back these charisms in the
Church today, but first of all I feel that the real charismatic is able to love
the diversity in the others.
From Rome, Oreste Pesares keeps in touch
with the leaders of the movement around the world.
A movement that
started with a small praying group of college students and that today has more
than 100 million members in 235 countries.