Charismatic Renewal


In contrast with the Pentecostal Movement that started with poor ethnic groups in downtown Los Angeles, the Catholic Renewal started with students and professors of universities.

From this small and inconspicuous beginning, by 1990, in 23 years, the movement had grown to include more than 100 million Catholics in over 238 nations. Fr. Thomas Foster, S.J., Diocese of San Jose, California, is the United States Bishop’s Liaison to the Catholic Charismatic Renewal.

Many believe that this Charismatic Renewal is a direct result of Pope John XXIII prayer at Vatican II, “O Holy Spirit… pour forth the fullness of your gifts… Renew your wonders in this day as by a new Pentecost”

The essence and life of any Charismatic

The Catholic Charismatic Renewal centers on the renewal of individual commitment to the person of Jesus Christ in His Church, through the power of the Holy Spirit, as in the day of Pentecost of Acts 2.

The individuals in the Charismatic Renewal believe that they have been “filled” or “baptized” with the Holy Spirit, often through the laying on of the hands. The signs of the “baptism” or “filling” may include joy, the gifts of speaking in tongues , resting in the Spirit or slaying in the Spirit, prophecy, healing, interpretation of tongues, discernment of spirits… the 9 spiritual gifts of 1Cor.12:8-10.

The essence and life of any Charismatic, is a life of joyfully praising the Lord, and service, helping his neighbor who is another Christ (Mt.25:31-46)… the same as the results of any of the seven Pentecost experiences of the New Testament.

The first Charmismatic

The first Charismatic of the New Testament is Blessed Virgin Mary, as related in Mat.1 and Lk.1: In the in the first Pentecost of the NT Virgin Mary was filled with the power of the Holy Spirit and Jesus incarnated in her. And with Jesus within her, she did the two things all good Charismatic should do:

1- She went immediately to serve, to help her cousin Elisabeth who was six months pregnant at old age (Lk.1:36, 39-45).

2- She joyfully sang the praises of the Lord in her Magnificat (Lk.1:46-56).


The Renewal caught the attention of the Church, and the leaders of the movement met Pope Paul VI (1975) as well as Pope John Paul II several times. In addition. The actual Pope, Benedict XVI, as Cardinal Ratzinger, and several bishops’ conferences, of various countries, have written pastoral letters of encouragement and support for the movement.

Pope John Paul II, for his part, was also explicit. Speaking to a group of international leaders of the Renewal on December 11, 1979, he said, I am convinced that this movement is a very important component of the entire renewal of the Church… “Remain in an attitude of constant and grateful availability for every gift that the Spirit wishes to pour into your hearts”

Noting that since age 11 he had said a daily prayer to the Holy Spirit he added, This was my own spiritual initiation, so I can understand all these Charisms. They are all part of the richness of the Lord. I am convinced that this movement is a sign of his action.

``The manifestation of the Spirit...``

Vatican II said this about the Charisms: “It is not only through the sacraments and Church ministries that the Holy Spirit sanctifies and leads the people of God. He distributes special graces among the faithful of every rank… ‘The manifestation of the Spirit is given to everyone for profit’ (1Cor.12:7). These charismatic gifts, whether they be the most outstanding or the more simple and widely diffused, are to be received with thanksgiving and consolation, for they are exceedingly suitable and useful for the needs of the Church” (L.G. 12).


The bishops of the United States, in their pastoral letter to the American Church on the Charismatic Renewal, wrote the following in 1984: “… the Charismatic Renewal is rooted in the witness of the gospel tradition: Jesus is Lord by the power of the Spirit to the glory of the Father”

You may be interested in...

CCR Convention, March for Jesus next weekend

BELIZE The Archdiocese of Port of Spain’s Fr Godfrey Stoute, will be one of two guest speakers for this year’s 43rd Annual National Catholic Charismatic Convention […]