The charismatic gifts as described in chapter 12 of St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians have been present in the Catholic Church since the first Pentecost. However, after the first few hundred years of the Church, the experience of these gifts was often found only in the lives of the saints. In certain times and places, there would be a renewal of these gifts, such as in the early years of the Franciscan movement founded by St. Francis of Assisi. Sadly, the expression and experience of these gifts of the Holy Spirit would often subside over time.
The modern Charismatic Renewal in the Catholic Church traces its beginnings to a retreat for students at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania held in February 1967. Several of those on that retreat experienced being “baptized in the Holy Spirit.” As they shared their experience with friends and colleagues, the Charismatic Renewal quickly spread, first around the country and soon around the world.
In 1975, Pope Paul VI greeted ten thousand Catholic charismatics from all over the world at the ninth international conference of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. On many occasions, Pope Saint John Paul the Great expressed his enthusiastic support of the Charismatic Renewal in the Church. Pope Benedict XVI invited all people to “rediscover, dear brothers and sisters, the beauty of being baptized in the Holy Spirit.” Pope Francis has also been extremely supportive of the Charismatic Renewal.
It is now estimated that the Catholic Charismatic Renewal is present in 220 countries and has touched the lives of more than 120 million Catholics. For more information about the Charismatic Renewal in the Catholic Church, you may check the following Web sites:
- The Catholic Charismatic Renewal National Service Committee
- The International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services office in Rome
For more information about our charismatic life at Christ the King, click here to go to the website for the CTK Upper Room.