About 100 Catholics attended the Catholic Charismatic Renewal conference at Mary Mother of the Church Pastoral Center on Saturday, April 22. (Photo by Karen Mahoney)

A daylong conference drew around 100 charismatic Catholics from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and the Diocese of Green Bay to the Mary Mother of the Church Pastoral Center on Saturday, April 22.

Hosted by the Catholic Charismatic Renewal of Milwaukee, the event featured music, speakers, testimonies, teachings, charismatic prayer and worship. This year’s conference centered on the theme, “Equipped with the Spirit — For an Apostolic Calling.”

Speaking on “The Kingdom, the Power and the Glory,” was Dcn. Larry Oney, a permanent deacon for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. He serves at Divine Mercy Parish in Kenner, Louisiana. Additionally, Dcn. Oney is the chairman of HGI Global — a third-party administration and project management firm.  He serves on the board of directors for Renewal Ministries and is a member of the New Orleans Chapter of Legatus — an international group of Catholic CEOs and their spouses.  He is also the founder and president of Hope and Purpose Ministries.

“God wants revival and souls for the Kingdom,” said Dcn. Oney. “He wants preaching, teaching and exhortation.”

Acknowledging the smaller-than-usual attendance at the conference, he said there were more than enough individuals present to start a revival.

“Never worry about numbers,” he said. “It is nice you begin the conference with music. Always begin your prayer meetings with music. David played music and the enemy got pushed away. Music is a praise and worship tool. Music creates an atmosphere of expectation, then you get visitation, then manifestation, and then impartation. Because we praise and worship with music, we are surrounded by nine choirs of angels.”

Speaking of the two kingdoms, one of darkness and one of light, Dcn. Oney told attendees that they are children of the light.

“If you are baptized and confirmed, you are a child of the light, and that is a powerful thing,” he said. “Jesus did no ministry until after his baptism and received the impartation of the Spirit. He went to a place called Cana, when the Theotokos pressed on him, she said, ‘They have no wine.’ He blessed the water and turned it into wine. These stone jars equaled 176 bottles of wine. Whenever God does something, it is in an extravagant way. He spared no expense.”

Discussing the gifts of the Holy Spirit, Dcn. Oney asked how many had the gift of tongues. Most of the room raised their hands. For those who have not experienced the gift of tongues, he had an announcement.

“Meet with me at lunch and I will impart the gift of tongues in you,” he said.

Alicia Hartle, the executive director of Pentecost Today USA (the National Service Committee of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in the United States) spoke on charisms.

Born into the fire of renewal in the Pittsburgh area, she has worked in ministry and business development on local, national and international levels. Knowing God and making him known are her greatest passions.

After Hartle’s request to hear about the personal healing power of God, at least 30 people came forward to share the healings they received due to prayer. Some shared gifts of boldness, healing of fear, pulmonary embolism, leg pain, emotional healing, eye healing, unforgiveness, throat cancer healing, stomach issues and more.

“This is to testify to others how the Lord has healed,” said Hartle, then she shared a story of her immigrant great-grandmother who was a mom to 11 children. A 1920 newspaper article had a photo of her grandmother sitting in a rocking chair directly on the railroad tracks and very pregnant with Hartle’s now 96-year-old grandmother. The quote said, “You need to slow the train down or move the railroad tracks.”

“She was a tiny woman, very strong-willed. When she surrendered her will to the Lord, her neighbor — who was an African American Pentecostal pastor’s wife — came and shared with my great grandma, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit,” Hartle said. “She received a healing ministry, and I grew up hearing about the healing of neighbors she prayed for when they were sick.”

Quoting the Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 1421, she said the Lord Jesus Christ, physician of our souls and bodies, who forgave the sins of the paralytic and restored him to bodily health, has willed that his Church continues, in the power of the Holy Spirit, his work of healing and salvation. Hartle added that the man with leprosy who asked Jesus for healing, if he was willing, was healed.

“Filled with compassion, Jesus said, ‘I am willing,’” she said. “Nothing is impossible with the Lord if you are willing.  If there is an area of suffering, illness or death impacting my life — I want to give you today.  ‘If you are willing, you can make me clean’ is a glorious proclamation of faith. Stand in that grace and make that proclamation. Are you willing to come to Jesus for your healing?”

The conference continued with additional music from St. Anne Worship Director Richard Sosa and his worship team, additional talks and prayers over all the attendees for empowerment and activation.