Published February 15, 2007
My Dear Friends in Christ:
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Charismatic Renewal, a spiritual reawakening that began with a small group of students from Duquesne University in 1967 and has since extended its presence throughout the Catholic Church in the United States. Here in Atlanta, many have participated in the growth of this renewal since it was first introduced and began to grow under the spiritual direction of Father Anthony Delisi, a monk of Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Monastery in Conyers. In subsequent years, the Charismatic Renewal has been adopted by many priests and laity of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, as this powerful focus of spirituality has gained more acceptance by the Church in general. A major step forward was the establishment, at the request of Archbishop-emeritus Donoghue, of the Leaders Assembly of the Charismatic Renewal, a group of elected leaders who serve the Renewal by organizing retreats, leadership training, and occasions for praise and worship.
Those taking part in the Charismatic Renewal have expressed their mission as one of fostering “God’s ongoing work of renewal of the church and the world, by lovingly witnessing to the transforming power that comes from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and from the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in individual and communal life,” and “in communion with the hierarchy of the Catholic Church.” We are all grateful for the bountiful grace of the Holy Spirit, which has been shared through the devotion and goodness of those partaking in the Charismatic Renewal.
A yearlong celebration of this anniversary began on February 9th, with a “Rekindling the Fire Conference,” and will continue with other special events throughout the year. I would like to encourage all the faithful of the Archdiocese to accept the invitation of the Charismatic Renewal to participate in these events, in the expectation that many will be spiritually transformed, and that our beloved Church will be strengthened by this holy work, this “sweet anointing from above.”
Sincerely in Christ,
Wilton D. Gregory
Archbishop of Atlanta