On July 20-23, 2017, approximately 6,200 members of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal gathered at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, PA for its Jubilee Celebration. Many participants came as pilgrims to the site of the origins of the movement, the Ark and the Dove Center, where 12 individuals in 1967 living a retreat received the Baptism in the Sprit. One of the highlights of the Conference was a public procession with the Blessed Sacrament through the streets of downtown Pittsburgh.
The conference draws Catholics from different ethnic groups, including the Filipino, Haitian, Hispanic, and English-speaking communities. In attendance were over 1,000 Hispanics from across the nation who participated in the Spanish track, many of whom are engaged in the V Encuentro process.
Kathia Arango, National Coordinator for the Hispanic Catholic Charismatic Renewal, in the U.S and Canada, Director of Hispanic Ministry and Diocesan Chair for the V Encuentro at the Archdiocese of Philadelphia noted,
“We are here in Pittsburgh celebrating…50 years of grace, of this current that inundates the Catholic Church and promotes in our Baptism, the new infusion of the Holy Spirit. Today at this conference we celebrate how the Holy Spirit calls us all to be Missionary Disciples…Today is day to celebrate!”
Bishop José Malagreca from Dioceses of Brooklyn, presided at the Mass of the Holy Cross on July 21, 2017 has been part of the RCC for 46 years. He noted the many gifts that each baptized person receives from the Holy Spirit and that they should be placed at the service to the Church and the world.
Mr. Andrés Arango, Vice-President of the Latin-American Catholic Charismatic Council (CONCCLAT), consultant of the Sub-Committee for Hispanic affairs of USCCB, and Director of Hispanic Ministry and Evangelization in the diocese of Camden, NJ, affirmed,
“The Charismatic Renewal started in the United States and is a gift from the United States to the whole world…This current has spread throughout the world, with more than 125 million Catholics identify with the Charismatic Renewal…Many Hispanic from across the U.S. and other parts of Latin America and the Caribbean are here to celebrate, to receive God’s Word, to share as brothers and sisters, a receive a renewed pouring of the Holy Spirit, and to go out to take this current of grace and God’s love to those who need it. It is important to note that many who are part of the RCC and many here present, are part of the V Encuentro process…at many levels. We estimate that there are 2,000 RCC Hispanic prayer groups, and many have embraced the V Encuentro.”
Fausto Franco, a second-generation Hispanic from the Shrine Church of Lady of the Americas in the Diocese of Albany, NY and National Coordinator for Youth and Young Adults in the United States and Canada also affirmed the way that young Hispanics, who form part of the Charismatic Renewal are embracing the V Encuentro process,
“Those of us on the National Secretariat…a few of us are involved in the V Encuentro process. I plan…to let young people know they are called by God…to discipleship and the V Encuentro is basically looking for that, for forming and calling disciples. Those two things go well together and they can walk side by side to achieve the mission of the Church which is to go out and extend the Kingdom.”
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