By CATHY WEAVER BISCAN, Special to the Bulletin | Published December 7, 2017
ATLANTA—The Atlanta Catholic Charismatic Renewal Conference, held Oct. 13-14, marked the 50th anniversary of the renewal as well as the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of the Rosary in Fatima, Portugal.
Marked by a miracle of the sun spinning in the sky at midday, the Virgin Mary appeared to three children in 1917 to deliver an important message to the church and the world.
Father Trevor Nathasingh, a retreat master at the conference, told attendees that 1917 was a perilous time and that the Blessed Mother warned there would be consequences if people did not repent.
Raised in a Hindu-Muslim family, Father Nathasingh was ordained in 1989 after a conversion to Catholicism. Father Nathasingh’s charisms of teaching and evangelization take him around the world speaking at missions, retreats and seminars. He is founder of a lay community, the Franciscan House of Prayer.
At the conference at the Atlanta Airport Renaissance Concourse Hotel, Father Nathasingh addressed the multicultural group of over 100 people.
“We are a very stubborn and hard-hearted people … like the children of Israel. How easy it is to go back to our old ways,” he said. “Our faith, if we do not take it seriously, will have consequences for future generations. But the 100th anniversary of Fatima and the 50th anniversary of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal give us new energy and new life—to bring about the conversion of the world.”
The priest said that repentance is the heart of the Christian journey and meant to be a way of life.
“One of the graces of the charismatic renewal is that it has always preached repentance. It forces us to take a good look at ourselves,” he said.
The priest said that the Catholic Church has everything needed to live a full Christian life.
“We are living in a time of danger where the world is in fear … God desires a world of love and peace. The world needs to hear again that there is a Savior,” he said.
Father Nathasingh ended his talk with a challenge for all to heed the message of Fatima.
“It is a message of hope,” he said.
Daurice Gamble, a former member of the Charismatic Renewal’s Leader Assembly, attended the conference.
“It is clear to see how Our Lady is a part of all this—embracing, celebrating. Mary was the first charismatic, and we are asking for her intercession,” Gamble said. “Mary has been given a mission. We need to acknowledge Mary as the Mother of God and the spouse of the Holy Spirit. Mary will crush the head of Satan.”
Other conference presenters included Father Tim Hepburn, director of vocations for the Archdiocese of Atlanta; Father Peter Mary Min Buih; and Deacon Keith Kolodziej of St. Peter Chanel Church, Roswell.
The weekend included Mass, adoration, praise and worship and several talks.
One presentation provided an explanation for Life in the Spirit Seminars of the Charismatic Renewal. The eight-week seminars are meant to deepen faith by presenting the full Gospel of Christ using Scripture and personal witness from each of the presenters.
Newlyweds Dana and Vinh Do attended the conference after driving a long distance.
“We woke up at 2 a.m. this morning and drove here from Orlando,” Dana explained.
It was Vinh Do’s first exposure to the renewal. His family has been Catholic for generations, but he wanted to dig deeper.
“This conference has renewed my faith as a Catholic Christian,” he said. “There are no words. I felt something.”
For more information on the Atlanta Catholic Charismatic Renewal, go to www.atlccr.org.