About 200+ people from all over the diocese gathered on Saturday 4th November to participate in the annual day of renewal organised by the Catholic Charismatic Renewal team at St George’s Cathedral. The Theme was “Come Back to Me With All Your Heart” and the emphasis was on reconciliation and inner healing.
Allegra Mutanda, who is the Director of Evangelisation and leadership in the parish of St Peter’s and the Winchester martyrs in the Portsmouth Diocese, gave the main talk in the morning. She urged those present to bring their burdens to God in the sacrament of reconciliation. Afterwards seven priests, including Archbishop Kevin Mcdonald and Bishop Philip Moger, spent two hours during the lunch break hearing confessions. Teams of lay people were also available for the laying on of hands and prayer for healing.
One lady, Elizabeth, a member of the Cathedral parish, had been so ill the day before with pains in her body, that her husband had wanted to call the ambulance. She had refused but instead, the following day, had insisted on coming to the day believing that God would heal her and take away all her pain. This in fact happened. Others also experienced healing and new peace through the day. Simon Maduekwe, the leader of the All Nations Catholic Charismatic prayer network, led a time of intercessory prayer and Deacon Neil Philipson, gave a short reflection on the power of Jesus in the Eucharist, referring to the story of the woman who was healed by touching the hem of Jesus’ garment. Afterwards he exposed the Blessed Sacrament and the congregation was invited to come forward individually and reverence Jesus in the monstrance.
Gisela Garcia, who was helping with the stewarding of the people coming forward commented, “You could really feel the faith of the people and that they were being touched in a special way through this.” Praise and worship was provided by Chris Stribbling and a specially assembled music ministry team for the day.
Canon Gerard Bradley, the Episcopal Vicar of Southwest area of Southwark, as well as hearing Confessions earlier in the day, celebrated Mass and preached about the witness of St Charles Borremeo, the Saint whose Feast Day it was, and who was a key figure in the Counter-Reformation movement. The whole day had wonderful feeling of faith and community which was experienced by all who came.