Registered prayer groups in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR-Parramatta) regularly meet throughout the Diocese of Parramatta, with larger groups based in Kellyville, Marayong and St Marys.
The lively meetings involve Praise and Worship sessions, community outreach programs and ongoing formation for members.
These prayer groups are parish-based and “are very much involved also in serving the parish,” Fr Reggie Lavilla MSP, Charismatic Community Chaplain, said.
“The Life in the Spirit Seminar of CCR-Parramatta encourages people to be more open to the gifts and the fruits of the Holy Spirit in our lives,” he said.
Charismatic Catholic groups focus on the role of the Holy Spirit in their lives and strive to live the gifts and fruits imparted at the Sacrament of Confirmation.
The gifts of the Holy Spirit are well known from the Epistles of St Paul, as “charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, chastity.” Gal 5:22-23.
The Book of Isaiah names the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord.
St Augustine and St Thomas Aquinas detail the close connection between the gifts and the virtues.
At CCR-Parramatta, these gifts and fruits are explored in their largest event, the Holy Spirit Mission, a three-day gathering of Catholic Charismatic groups and everyone who would like to encounter the movement and experience the power of the Holy Spirit working in them.
Fr Reggie explains that the Eucharist, Holy Scriptures, the Church’s teachings and devotion to Our Lady are also fundamental to the Catholic Charismatic Communities.
“These are very much present in the regular gatherings such as Praise and Worship, formation evenings, feasts and anniversaries,” he said.
Since the growth of the global Catholic Charismatic Community in the 1960s, many people have had stories of conversion through the work of the movement.
Gerard Marcello is the Chairperson of CCR-Parramatta, working closely with Fr Reggie and the other prayer group leaders throughout the Diocese.
The chaplaincy is also working on leadership development regarding both human formation and spiritual formation.
Fr Reggie credits the passion and fervour of members of the Charismatic Catholic Community to their encounter with Christ.
“They have encountered our Lord Jesus Christ as a loving and merciful Saviour and being empowered by the Holy Spirit, they become committed to giving themselves first of all to God and to the service of God’s people, His Church,” he said.