COLORADO SPRINGS. A three-day retreat titled “Holy Spirit 101” will take place Sept. 28-30 at Holy Apostles Parish. During the retreat, participants will learn how to begin operating in the Pauline charisms of healing, prophecy, word of knowledge and more. In accordance with Catholic teaching, and in cooperation with Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services and the Diocese of Colorado Springs, Arise Worship Ministries will present the retreat.
Deacon Chuck Matzker is the liaison to the Bishop’s office for the Charismatic Renewal. In the mid-1980s, he and his wife Barbara helped form the Charismatic prayer group that’s been meeting ever since on Wednesday nights at Holy Apostles Parish. He is a part of the group that first realized there was a need for local training in the charisms of the Holy Spirit. With the cooperation of the Holy Apostles prayer group and the Diocese of Colorado Springs, his group is bringing the retreat to Colorado Springs.
From his office at Holy Apostles where he serves as a deacon, Deacon Matzker held up a book titled, “Holy Spirit 101,” by Victoria Harris.
“This is the text that they use (for the retreat). It’s specifically going to cover the Charisms of the Holy Spirit that are listed in 1 Corinthians:12, which are faith, healing, miracles, discernment of spirits, word of wisdom, word of knowledge, tongues, interpretation of tongues, prophecy and intercessory prayer. It’s the first time that those particular charisms have been brought together in one program that’s approved by the Church. It has an imprimatur and ‘nihil obstat,’ — there’s nothing that contradicts Catholic teaching. It not only teaches about the gifts — and here’s what makes it different — but it helps people come into them. There’s a practice part of it.”
The charisms listed in 1 Corinthians: 12 are not the same as gifts of the Holy Spirit that are recorded in the writings of some of the saints, Deacon Matzker said.
“If you look at the books of the Catherine of Siena Institute, for example, mostly they’re talking about charisms of the Holy Spirit that are more or less stable, like if you have a gift of hospitality. It’s there with you — it doesn’t come and go,” Deacon Matzker said.
“These gifts are different. These gifts — most of them would operate under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. In other words, you would be open to them and, when needed in your daily life, you would be able to recognize them — how the Spirit comes and prompts you, and you would be able to put them into practice, to allow them to flow through you,” he said.
“An example of the way this works sometimes is that I was praying for somebody, and all of a sudden I got an image of a man in a suit, like in an old-fashioned picture,” Deacon Matzker said. “I said to the man I was praying with, ‘I see this picture, does this mean anything to you?’ He said yes, it reminded him of his father, and that’s where he had the problem. And then we were able to pray about that. I didn’t know he had that problem, but the Spirit prompted me with that information so that I could pray that way.”
Deacon Matzker said that the gifts can be learned in so far as participants can understand what they are and how they come. Mostly this involves inspiration or prayer uttered in faith, which can be practiced. Retreatants can ask the Spirit to come and enable them to have a word of knowledge or give a prophetic word to someone if they’re praying with them or come into prayer in tongues.
“We’re trying to bring the people to be able to yield to these gifts,” he said. “We’re trying to use the word ‘charism’ specifically as in 1 Corinthians: 12 — those powerful charisms that powered the Church after Pentecost. Jesus used them in his ministry, the Apostles used them, the early Christians used them in their ministry. And now, since Vatican II, the Charismatic Renewal came into being as a vehicle for grace and baptism in the Holy Spirit, and as part of that, these particular gifts were released almost universally for those that want them.”
Victoria Harris, the main presenter for the retreat, developed the “Holy Spirit 101” curriculum under the direction of Father Michael Forge, a priest serving in the Diocese of Dallas, Texas. She has assembled the various Catholic teachings on the charisms of the Holy Spirit into one accessible course, which is given around the country.
“The Lord has given the charisms to the Church for this particular time, for the New Evangelization,” said Deacon Matzker. “It is really needed.”
To register or for more information about the retreat, visit www.newpentecost.net/charisms.html.