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International gathering celebrates 50 years of baptism in the Spirit


  • People pray July 20 during the Catholic Charismatic Renewal's 50th Jubilee Conference at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh. (CNS photo/John Franko, Pittsburgh Catholic)
  • Thousands follow the Blessed Sacrament during a candlelight procession July 22 at the Catholic Charismatic Renewal's 50th Jubilee Conference at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh. (CNS photo/Chuck Austin, Pittsburgh Catholic)

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PITTSBURGH (CNS) -- Followers of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal came back to where it all began.

Some 6,200 of them gathered for the 2017 Jubilee Conference July 20-23 in Pittsburgh under the theme of "Rivers of Living Water." The gathering included some 2,000 people from Haiti and a large number of Latinos.

"We are celebrating a current of grace that is 50 years young," said Franciscan Father Dave Pivonka during his homily at the opening Mass. "(It) is ever-ancient and ever-new."

The main celebrant at the Mass was retired Pittsburgh Auxiliary Bishop William J. Winter, as Pittsburgh Bishop David A. Zubik continues to recover from recent back surgery.

General session speakers included Patti Mansfield, an original participant in the "Duquesne Weekend," where the Catholic Charismatic Renewal began; Damian Stayne, founder of the community Cor et Lumen Christi; Msgr. Joseph Malagreca, coordinator of the Haitian and Hispanic Charismatic Renewal Center in the Diocese of Brooklyn, New York; and retired Bishop Sam G. Jacobs of Houma-Thibodaux, Louisiana, who is a longtime key figure in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal.

"If we want to receive more of the Holy Spirit, we have to pray," said Mansfield during her address. She added that we also must acknowledge Mary as our mother.

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