Page 3, 8th August 1975

8th August 1975
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Page 3, 8th August 1975 — Charismatics congregate
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Locations: York, Brussels, Cape Town

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Charismatics congregate

By PETER JENNINGS

CATHOLICS from all over the world were among 1,800 delegates who attended the 3rd International Fountain Trust Conference held in Westminster Central Hall last week.

Speakers at the conference, which took as its theme "Glory in the Church," included Dr Bill 'Burnett, the recently elected Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town and the Rev Cecil Kerr, one of Ireland's bestknown charismatic leaders who gave up his position as Anglican chaplain at Queen's University, Belfast, to run the Christian Renewal Centre at Rostrevor, which he founded to encourage reconciliation in Ireland.

Mass was celebrated each morning in Central Hall by Fr Ian Petit, a monk from Ampleforth, who is Catholic chaplain to Fountain Trust. For the past 14 months Fr Petit has attended gatherings and conferences throughout the world to help and encourage the charismatic renewal.

The chief con-celebrant on Friday was Fr Paul Lebeau, Si, a theologian from Belgium who divides his time working with Cardinal Sucnens and lecturing at the Jesuit Seminary in Brussels.

The Rev David Watson, vicar of St Michael-le-Belfry, York, took as his opening night theme John 17 — "Christ Praying for the Church." While the Rev Tom Smail, who is taking over from the Rev Michael harper as Director of Fountain Trust on October 1. challenged the Tuesday evening meeting: "Is the renewal real? Have we kidded ourselves?"

He answered: "By the grace of God it is real, but we must be kept down to earth and in touch with grassroots reality. We need practical reality — that is, to do with the world around us. Reali ty is not in never-never land. You can lay on the party but you cannot lay on Jesus and the Holy Spirit. It is not all singing, hugging and hand raising."

"We need Jesus to interrupt us. We must be humbled again to see our great need and thirst. 'Let him come to me' is Christ's recipe for reality."

The Rev Smail again and again emphasised to delegates that the renewal must take place in the home, at work and in the local church. "That thirs ty man on Calvary is reality. We must not get swept away by cheap triumphs or fabricated victories. It is at the foot of the Cross that we come into the stream of living water."

On Thursday evening, Fr Francis MacNutt, OP, a Dominican priest from St Louis. held a healing service. Fr MacNutt was one of the first Catholics to become involved in the charismatic renewal and healing ministry.

Since 1967 he has been widely used in the work of emotional and physical healing throughout the United States, South America and Africa. Author of the best-seller "Healing," which has had sales of over 100,00(1 copies, he has never visited England until last week. Fr MacNutt prefers to minister with a team of between two and six 'people who specialise in different aspects of healing, though this is not always possible because of the financial burden, "Both the Church and my order give me full backing for my work but they do not provide any financial support for us," he said.

At the healing service Fr MacNutt prayed that people would he given the power to forgive those who had hurt them in any way during their lives. "It is only in forgiving others that Christ can forgive us and our relationship with him can be open and receptive." he said.

Fr MacNutt then prayed for four areas of inner-healing. For healing before birth, relationships between fathers and mothers, sexual problems and relationships between husband and wife.

He said he could give many examples of lasting physical healings that have been worked through his ministry. "People are often not healed because we don't pray with them for long enough." he said.

Conference delegates had a wide choice of seminars and workshops. including "Art in Christian Worship and Life," "Divine Healing," "Social Action," "Ministry of Deliverance and Exorcism," "Evangelism," and "Local Church Renewal."




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