Father Gregory Bramlage Brings Ministry of Prayer and Deliverance to Diocese of Colorado Springs
COLORADO SPRINGS. For Father Gregory Bramlage, the ministry of prayer and deliverance to which he has devoted himself for more than six years all comes down to healing people the way Christ did when he walked the earth.
“It’s the same mission – healing the sick, casting out demons and proclaiming the good news,” he said. “In every culture and in every time, there are always people who are hurting and there are always people who are oppressed.”
In May, Father Bramlage received a special assignment from Bishop Michael Sheridan to carry out a Ministry of Prayer and the New Evangelization, with residence at the rectory of St. Mark Parish in Highlands Ranch. He is also seeking incardination in the Diocese of Colorado Springs.
“The bishop has been so gracious. I’ve just had complete joy and excitement at the thought (of remaining in the diocese permanently),” he said.
From Sept. 19-21, Father Bramlage will give a three-day parish mission at St. Francis of Assisi in Castle Rock, and over the next six months he is scheduled to give missions at five more parishes around the diocese, in addition to his ongoing work giving retreats and missions out of state.
Father Bramlage’s perspective on the priesthood has evolved in the 20 years since he was ordained for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis on June 1, 1996. At his first several parish assignments, he focused primarily on following the rules of the Catholic Church to the letter, he said.
“Coming out of a wonderful seminary experience, I was wound up tight in my Catholic identity,” he said. “But the results were limited. It seemed like the same people were coming to confession and adoration every week. I couldn’t live for that.”
However, his life took an unexpected turn after he attended a conference at Franciscan University of Steubenville and Father Michael Scanlon, then the school’s chancellor, offered to pray over him.
“After receiving that prayer, my life completely changed, because in that prayer I felt God putting on my heart to give up control of my life,” he said. “I surrendered the control of my life to God completely.”
Within a short time span, several people over whom he prayed were healed of serious physical problems, including a girl with a deformed hand and a young woman who had been severely injured in a sledding accident. Several other people with whom he prayed were freed from sinful patterns and addictions – formally known as spirits of oppression. Before he knew it, his reputation spread through word of mouth.
“People started coming to us out of the blue,” he said. “We started doing prayer services once a month in my parish and the church would be full, yet we never advertised. The parish really came alive and was then led to do Faith Conferences at the local Performing Arts Building twice a year with a 1000 people in attendance.”
Yet Father Bramlage insists that the healings – both physical and spiritual – are not the result of a special gift on his part.
“The prayers are basic to the Catholic tradition,” he said. “They include prayers of repentance, prayer to forgive one’s enemies, prayer to renounce anything evil, and prayer to surrender one’s life to God through the Holy Spirit.”
“Many times people experience physical healing,” he said. “However, the most important healing is in the person’s relationship with God.”
After several years of overseeing a prayer and deliverance ministry at his parish in Indianapolis, he was granted a sabbatical in 2010 in order to discern whether he should become a full-time missionary for the New Evangelization. He traveled around the world giving parish missions in countries such as Mexico, Uganda and India. For four years, he lived in Cincinnati doing private retreats for priests. When that assignment ended, he was released to devote himself to parish missions.
In addition, Father Bramlage has been giving weekend retreats for men and women, including several in Colorado. From Oct. 7-9, he will give a retreat for women at the Marriott Hotel in Colorado Springs. The following weekend, Oct. 14-16, he will give a retreat for men at the same location. Bishop Sheridan will celebrate the closing Masses at both events.
“In retreats, we can really go deeper because the people are with us for 2-3 days,” he said. “We go through five themes: repentance, renunciation, forgiveness, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and physical healing.”
The prayers for physical healing take place on Sunday mornings during the retreats, he said.
“We’re removing all the obstacles spiritually from their lives, so on Sunday there is hardly anything standing in their way.”
Those who are interested in getting more information or registering for either retreat can visit www.ledbythespiritministries.com.