Catholic Charismatic Renewal in Tasmania

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Catholic Charismatic Renewal in Tasmania

The Catholic Charismatic Renewal started in Hobart under the episcopate of Archbishop Guilford Young, after a local priest and a few parishioners heard about the movement of the Holy Spirit at Dusquene University, USA in 1967.

“They asked for permission to start a prayer meeting and were given six weeks to determine if this method of prayer was good for the Church of Tasmania,” said Ann Brereton, a member of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR) in Tasmania.

“They struggled and waited for the Holy Spirit to move within them, but nothing different seemed to happen, so they asked for more time and were given another four weeks.

“They reported back that although no amazing manifestations of the Sprit were evident there was a profound sense that this was a good form of prayer,” Ms Brereton said.

Archbishop Young accepted the report and encouraged a prayer meeting to start. Weekly prayer meetings are still taking place in Tasmania today, at Mersey-Leven, St Joseph’s and Kingston parishes.

Mrs Brereton has been involved in the CCR for more than 30 years, and 20 of those in lay leadership.
She said the CCR is ‘beautiful in its simplicity.’
“The heart of the Charismatic Renewal is a renewed personal relationship with Jesus Christ, alive in today’s world through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit,” she said.

“The outward expression of a Charismatic prayer group i.e. raising of hands, exuberant Praise and Worship and speaking in tongues does not suit everyone’s spirituality, however the essence of the Renewal is needed in the world today,” she said.

Mrs Brereton remembers attending talks and hearing speakers say ‘God loves you, and that’s why Jesus died for you,’ but always found this hard to believe.
“I can remember walking out from one of these presentations, sitting on a nearby bench and thinking, “I want to believe it, but I don't feel it,”” she said.
“This is part of the human experience, and calls for us to accept ourselves for who we are and to know at a heart level that we are each made in the image and likeness of God.

“It takes courage to let the Holy Spirit in, to listen to the truthful voice of God; to hear the still quiet voice of God speak love into our hearts. Yet this transforms us and sets us free to live as Jesus intended us to live.”

More than 120 million Catholics across the world are said to have experienced the Catholic Charismatic Renewal movement. For more information about the CCR in Tasmania and how to attend a prayer meeting, contact Ann Brereton on 0408 539 629.