Tag: Dr. Mary Healy

Witnessing Renewal in France

Dr. Mary Healy speaks at a healing service at Sacre Coeur in Montmartre, France

By Carolyn Kitz

I joined Dr. Mary Healy for the first half of a month-long “tour de France,” in which she spoke in seven different locations about the Holy Spirit, healing, deliverance, and the gifts of the Spirit in evangelization. Many hearts were encouraged, and the Lord showed His favor and love through signs and wonders.

The trip began with about a thousand people who were on a pilgrimage to Lourdes led by the Beatitudes Community, a Charismatic community that includes priests, consecrated men and women, and lay people. Mary spoke on healing, explaining that in Exodus 15, God revealed His name as “the Lord who heals you,” and that we cannot separate healings from who He is. During the healing service, Mary reminded everyone of the story of the woman with the hemorrhage, challenging the audience to ask themselves whether they simply “bump into” Jesus, or whether they truly “touch” Him. That evening, about twenty-five people came forward during the healing service to testify to healings.

In Paris, Mary gave two days of teaching to Anuncio, an amazing group of young adults who engage in street evangelization. She then led a healing service at Sacré Coeur in Montmartre. Raphael Cornu-Thenard, the leader and founder of Anuncio, was worried that there might be low attendance, since it was a holiday weekend and the same day that France was playing in the soccer World Cup Final. But the Lord did not disappoint! Every seat was filled, and tourists walking around the basilica stopped to listen as Mary spoke about the great love of Jesus and how healings are the visible proof of His good news. When the time came to invite people for healing prayer, two long lines immediately formed and had the team praying for nearly two hours, ending only because they had to close the basilica, and the World Cup was about to begin!

After prayer, several people came forward to testify, including one woman who had stomach cancer and experienced so much pain, she was unable to stand up straight. After she received prayer, her pain left, she was able to stand up straight, and she believed that she had been healed.

We then took a train to a retreat center at Notre Dame du Laus in the Alps, near Italy, a site of eighteenth-century apparitions of the Virgin Mary. There was a conference of the Pentecost Fraternity, a network of Charismatic prayer group leaders from all over the country. Mary encouraged the members of Pentecost Fraternity to walk in the Lord’s power as they seek to evangelize the nation. She explained that the need for deliverance is great, because we are living in a culture of hedonism and paganism, in which the absence of God has led to all kinds of spiritual bondage. We need the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit as part of evangelization, so that the Gospel will be both seen and heard. Mary described two key prophetic moments in the Charismatic Renewal: the Duquesne weekend in 1967, when the Lord poured out “living water” on the students gathered in retreat, and the international leaders’ meeting in Bethlehem in 2013, when there was a power outage that became a prophetic sign of the divine power that the Renewal needs to seek from on high. On our last evening, the Lord gave His own confirming signs—as the meeting began, under a huge tent, there was a powerful thunderstorm with heavy rain and bolts of lightning.

During this “tour de France,” it became apparent that the Lord is bringing about a great renewal in France today, reclaiming this Catholic land for Himself. Through France’s renewal, there is hope for the revitalization of the faith in Europe. “France is in My heart, and My heart resides in France,” said the Lord to one missionary.

By Dr. Mary Healy

For the next part of the mission, I went to Les Dombes, a former Trappist monastery that is now run by Chemin Neuf, a Charismatic community that is similar to Beatitudes but is ecumenical. Chemin Neuf is responsible for twenty-five parishes in several countries, and they were holding a week-long training conference for hundreds of priests and lay ecclesial ministers from those parishes. I gave my testimony and a teaching on how to keep alive the flame of the Holy Spirit. Many of these people were new to the Charismatic dimension, and it was beautiful to see how the community members gently led them into an experience of the Holy Spirit and His gifts.

I joined Beatitudes again at Lisieux, where they were holding a retreat for about a thousand people, which included teachings and a healing service. One woman came who had great difficulty walking with two canes, because of multiple fractures in her legs from an accident. She had prayed a novena to St. Thérèse for her healing, and that night her prayer was answered! She held up her canes and showed everyone that she could now walk without any difficulty.

In Montpellier, on the Mediterranean coast, I joined Anuncio again, for their annual festival, in which they train and send out young adults to evangelize in the streets and on the beach. During the evening session on the second day, many of these young people gave their lives to the Lord for the first time. On the third day, the bishop celebrated Mass for them in a tent set up on the beach, and called each of them by name to send them out to evangelize in the name of the Church. Only at the end of Mass did they each find out what team they would be with and what city they were being sent to. It was very inspiring to see the courage of these young people and the depth of their desire to lead others to Christ.

Finally, at Hautecombe, a magnificent abbey on Lake Bourget, Chemin Neuf was holding its annual festival, “Welcome to Paradise,” during which more than a thousand young adults gather from many countries for spiritual formation (with talks translated into a dozen languages). I gave a workshop on signs and wonders as part of evangelization.

Everywhere I went, despite the steep decline of Christian faith in France, there were unmistakable signs of a new springtime. It was very moving to see how many people were willing to brave uncomfortable living conditions, often staying in tents, with no air conditioning and temperatures up to 100 degrees, in order to grow in their faith and learn to share it with others. It was also inspiring to see the generosity of the community members, who spend many long hours in prayer, preparation, and service to offer these life-changing events to others. Truly the Lord is rekindling the fire of His love in France, a land that has given the Church so many saints.

‘Your Sins are Forgiven’

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Image Credit

The following post originally appeared as the Friday, January 12, 2018 Magnificat mediatation. You can learn more about the Magnificat here.

If you are praying for someone and sense that guilt or sin is an obstacle, a good approach is to ask very discreetly and gently, “I sense that there may be something weighing on your conscience that is an obstacle to healing. Do you think that might be the case?” Allow the person complete freedom to decide whether and how much he wants to disclose. Never coerce or pry for information. If the person says no, then simply continue to pray for healing, and trust the Lord to do whatever interior work he needs to do in his timing. If the person says yes, then invite him to say a simple prayer of repentance (either out loud or silently, as appropriate) and to leave that sin at the foot of the cross. Encourage him to avail himself of the grace and power of the Sacrament of Reconcilation as soon as possible. Then pray for the physical healing. . . .

The bottom line is that we are not the ones to judge whether a physical ailment is related to personal sin. God alone is the judge. Even the afflicted person should not assune to judge himself (cf. 1 Cor 4:4). And whether the ailment is related to sin or not, God’s mercy abounds for both forgiveness and healing. God does not heal because we deserve it but simply because he loves us.

“Fearless”: Proclaim Good News with Power

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A new documentary airs online Divine Mercy weekend that features Ralph Martin, Dr. Mary Healy, Fr. Mathias Thelen, and a hunger to see more of God’s power at work in evangelization.

Fearless is a compelling journey of discovery to find the missing piece of the New Evangelization—the Divine Power.

Early-bird pricing for the movie—which is only available for viewing online—ends April 15. The movie airs April 22-24, and online tickets likely will not be available after those dates. Please purchase tickets by clicking on the link here, or through Renewal Ministries’ homepage here. These are affiliate links that enable your purchase to support the work of Renewal Ministries.

The premier ticket option early-bird price is $19.97 and includes lifetime access to the film, an opportunity to connect with other people viewing the film, bonus clips, expert commentaries, and testimony interviews.

Fr. Mike Schmitz said, “Fearless is a powerful video that demonstrates that we can trust the Father . . . it demonstrates the living and active power of God that continues to be working in the Church and in the world now. Fearless is a great witness to the fact that Jesus continues to move today. Our faith does not rest on human wisdom, but on the Holy Spirit of power. Fearless is a testimony to this reality.”

Fr. Dave Pivonka said, “Fearless sheds light on what the Christian life can look like for the Catholic who is freed from fear and allows the Holy Spirit to be more active in his or her life. By the sharing of personal experiences Fearless chronicles what God can do in and through men and women who allow the Spirit of God to lead them.  Anyone who is interested in releasing the power of God in their life should make a point of watching Fearless.”

You can listen to audience reactions to the movie here.

One woman responded, “I didn’t realize how important the message of forgiveness is to healing. And the fact that Jesus is alive with us today, ever present, just like He was 2000 years ago, healing people. He’s working through us now to do the same.”

Another said, “You need to see it to open to your heart to the Holy Spirit. I’m so excited to see what He’s going to do in people’s lives. It just lights a fire in our hearts.”

 

 

‘The Renewal is Alive and Well in Brazil!’

 

Mary speaks before large crowd CROPPED
Ten thousand seats sold out for the CCR National Leaders’ Formation Conference in Brazil, at which Dr. Mary Healy spoke last weekend. She said, “There was a special grace on the conference.”

I was in Brazil last weekend for the national leaders’ formation conference of the Charismatic Renewal. The Renewal is alive and well in Brazil! Although this gathering was only for leaders, the 10,000 seats were already sold out last October. There was a special grace on the conference this year, as we were celebrating the Golden Jubilee of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal.

The conference was held in Aparecida, the spiritual heart of the country. There stands the second-largest church in the world: the Basilica of Our Lady of Aparecida, named for a small statue that was found by three fishermen in a river in 1717. The convention center was right next to the basilica, and we were able to celebrate Mass there on Friday.

The Charismatic Renewal in Brazil is the most organized, intentional, and forward-looking that I have seen anywhere in the world. There were fifteen series of workshops, which people attend based on the ministry they are involved in (for instance, intercession, healing and deliverance, preaching, youth ministry, priests, political involvement, renewal of universities, etc.). At the workshops, they receive really solid formation and practical instruction. They all know the story of the Duquesne Weekend in 1967, which launched the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, and the earlier story of Blessed Elena Guerra and Pope Leo XIII, which is linked to the origins of the Pentecostal revival in the early twentieth century.

Archbishop Alberto Taveira, the episcopal advisor for the Renewal, celebrated Mass and was present for most of the conference. About 130 priests participated, including two who are nationally known and loved, Fr. Jonas Abib and Fr. Ed Dougherty, both of whom have founded Charismatic TV networks that reach tens of millions of viewers. Fr. Jonas told the story of how Fr. Ed, as a young American Jesuit missionary, was prayed over for baptism in the Spirit and brought the Renewal to Brazil in 1969. Another American priest, Fr. Bob Di Grandis, played a key role in teaching the Brazilians how to exercise the charisms.

Fr. Jonas Abib is the celebrant, in the middle, and next to him on the right is Fr. Ed Dougherty.
Fr. Jonas Abib, the celebrant, is pictured in the middle; next to him on the right is Fr. Ed Dougherty.

Beautiful talks were also given by Katia Zavaris, the leader of the Renewal in Brazil, and by Cyril John, a dear brother from the Charismatic Renewal in India, who has a gift for teaching about Spirit-led intercessory prayer.

I led two main sessions and four workshops. Being in Brazil, and anywhere in Latin America, means learning to “go with the flow.” There were lots of jokes about “Brazil time.” You might be told you have an hour for your talk, but then as you are about to begin, they say, “You have an hour and a half, then time for questions.” Or as you walk onstage, “Right after your talk, you’re going to lead the time of adoration with the priest.”

In many ways, I experienced the Lord making much of my little. During the time of Adoration, I led people in renouncing various obstacles to the Holy Spirit’s work in us, including unbelief, fear, and a sense of unworthiness. Although I usually spend the most time on unforgiveness, somehow I forgot to cover it, except for the briefest mention. Later that day, a young man came up to me and said, “Thank you! What you said about forgiveness changed my life. I was so angry at my father, because for most of my life he was absent and lived far away. But through you, God told me I had to forgive him, and it has opened me in a new way to the Holy Spirit.” Amazing!

During my talk for the healing and deliverance workshop, I used as an example from my book on healing: “What would you think of a doctor who, upon diagnosing a patient with cancer, says to him, ‘Sorry, I’m not going to treat you because it’s better that you simply accept this cross in your life. Offer it up.’ Of course, such a doctor would be fired on the spot.” This time, for some reason, instead of “cancer” I said “lung cancer.” Afterward, a woman in the front row told me, with tears in her eyes, that she had lung cancer, and right before the talk had asked others to pray over her for both physical and spiritual healing. During the talk, she felt a burning sensation in the area where the tumor was, and she felt that she had been healed. (She is now awaiting confirmation of that from a doctor.)

Mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of Aparecida.
We celebrated Mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of Aparecida.

After the talk, the leader asked me to lead healing prayer. We only had fifteen minutes, so I led the quickest time of healing prayer I’ve ever done. But a long line of people came up to testify to healing. One woman said she had been hearing impaired for thirty years, so she generally could hear only fifty percent of the talks, but she was so longing to go home and share what she heard with her prayer group that she was begging, “Lord, please do something about this.” Now her hearing was completely clear! A young man said he’d had severe back pain for years, which was now completely gone. He bent down to show everyone how he could now touch his toes, pain free. Two women who had been unable to kneel knelt down in front of everyone, praising God.

For my second main session, “Return to the Upper Room,” instead of giving a talk, I led everyone in a time of repentance and in prayer for a new release of the Holy Spirit and his gifts. We then had a time of actual practice in using the gifts, including tongues and interpretation, prophecy, words of knowledge, and healing. It was wonderful to see many people who had never used these gifts, and who in some cases were nervous, coming up on stage to speak powerfully anointed words. There were some very specific words of knowledge about healing, and afterward hundreds of people waved their hands to testify to being healed.

At the end God gave me a prophetic word for the Renewal in Brazil, that He is calling them to transform the nation—not by their power, but by His. Then as I was rushing out to head to the airport, a young man stopped me to say he had seen fire over the whole crowd as I was speaking. Glory to God for all He is doing in Brazil!

Renewal Ministries Welcomes Dr. Mary Healy

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Ralph Martin; Sr. Ann Shields, SGL; Dr. Mary Healy; and Peter Herbeck at the 2016 Rewewal Ministries’ Country Coordinators’ Conference.

Dr. Mary Healy, a long-time friend of Renewal Ministries, a professor at Sacred Heart Major Seminary, and a member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, recently joined the Renewal Ministries’ team as a special consultant. We are happy to introduce her to our readers in the interview below.

Please share some of your testimony with us.

We were “Sunday Catholics” until my parents’ conversion when I was twelve. But from early on, I had a hunger for the Lord. At age six, I had a dream about Jesus—I think that was when I began to fall in love with Him.

In high school, I went on retreats, attended Bible studies, and was in the parish choir, but I never really learned how to have a prayer life, a daily interaction with the Lord. In college, I found little to foster my faith, and I felt far from God. That is why I attended the Franciscan University of Steubenville for graduate school. I knew I could find the Lord there.

I took a course with Fr. Frances Martin and began to see what incredible treasures of wisdom and inspiration are found in Scripture when it is unpacked and interpreted rightly. I decided to pursue the scholarly study of the Bible.

But before I did that, the Lord unexpectedly led me to Mother of God Community, a charismatic group in Maryland. I was there for many years. The community was a tremendous gift, a means of deeper conversion and growth in my life.

What drew you to the Charismatic Renewal?

In the Renewal, I saw New Testament Christianity lived out in a most visible and radical way. I saw a strong awareness of the presence of the Holy Spirit and His activity in our daily life. I saw a recognition that by His power, it is truly possible to put sin to death and live for God.

When have you seen the Holy Spirit at work?

In Mother of God Community, there were the typical challenges of living in very close fellowship with others. But we experienced the power of the Holy Spirit as we worked out our differences through prayer, spiritual warfare, relying on the cross of Jesus and His blood, and learning to forgive and love each other.

The gifts of prophecy and tongues have always been important to my spiritual growth and community life. Later, the Lord began to teach me more about the role of signs and wonders.

Describe the mission of your work and life.

My mission is to know and love the Lord and to make Him known and loved, especially by helping spread the grace of baptism in the Holy Spirit throughout the Church.

How did your relationship with Renewal Ministries begin?

My parents have been friends with Ralph and Anne Martin for more than thirty years. I watched The Choices We Face in its early days. I’ve admired Renewal Ministries almost since its beginning. In the late 1990s, I went on a Renewal Ministries’ mission to Lithuania, which was a wonderful experience. Since moving near Ann Arbor, I’ve been blessed to be friends with Ralph, Peter, and Sr. Ann. It’s been a great blessing to have a deeper relationship with them.

When did you move to Ann Arbor?

Ralph invited me to apply for a position as a professor of Scripture at Sacred Heart Major Seminary eight years ago. Sacred Heart has been a wonderful place to teach. I have outstanding colleagues. The faculty have a real unity of heart, a love for the Lord and the Church, and a respect for one another. There is an openness to the Holy Spirit and His charisms, a focus on the New Evangelization, and a clear vision of what the Lord is doing in the Church today.

Please tell us about one of your biggest projects, writing the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture, with Dr. Peter Williamson.

It was Peter’s idea. We both completed our doctorates in Rome in 2000, and we both recognized that there is a lack of good Catholic resources in the middle range, between academic and popular writings. The Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture breaks open the Word and shows that God is still speaking to us through His Word today.

People have been very grateful and enthusiastic about the series, especially priests, deacons, seminarians, and bishops, some of whom have told me they use it every day for spiritual reading. Lay people also have thanked me for it. Catholics don’t have a culture of studying the Bible in depth.  I want to help create that culture—a zeal for digging into the Word of God, studying it, and getting to know it.

You are a member of the ICCRS (International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services) Doctrinal Commission. Please tell us about that.

The Doctrinal Commission was formed ten years ago to provide theological guidance to the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. We’ve published two documents so far, Guidelines on Prayers for Healing and Baptism in the Holy Spirit, and we’ve just finished a new one on deliverance ministry, which we hope to publish this year. These documents are geared toward leaders and participants in the Renewal as well as priests or bishops with responsibility over Renewal groups.

Please tell us about being a member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission.

The PBC is an international group of twenty biblical scholars appointed by the pope, whose job it is to advise the Holy See on matters related to biblical interpretation. In the present five-year term, our task is to study the topic of biblical anthropology: What does the Bible teach about the human person? We will produce a document, and then the pope will decide whether it gets published.

You have published Healing: Bringing the Gift of God’s Mercy to the World and Renewal Ministries produced a CD of your discussions with Peter Herbeck on this topic, entitled Does Jesus Still Heal? Please tell us about your interest in this area.

Three years ago, I took a sabbatical, which allows time for more focused research. I really felt the Lord prompting me to study healing and its role in evangelization.

During that time, I went on a mission trip to Brazil as part of a team with Randy Clark, a Protestant evangelist with an international healing ministry. For those two weeks, I saw miracles daily. I saw the Lord open blind eyes and deaf ears; I saw tumors and pain disappear; some of our team members saw people get out of wheelchairs. After that, I couldn’t be the same. I cannot but speak of what I have seen and heard! Healings and miracles are meant to be a part of the New Evangelization.

How can people experience this in their own lives?

We need to fill our minds with truth—to read the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles and meditate on what Scripture reveals about Jesus as our Healer. Also, it helps to hang out with people who are exercising great faith and seeing miracles. Step out in faith. Pray for healing with great fervor and expectancy, especially when evangelizing. Obey the leading of the Holy Spirit, even if He takes you outside of your comfort zone. Anyone who does that and perseveres is going to see amazing things.

You speak all over the world. Please tell us about that.

It’s a real privilege to get a glimpse of what the Lord is doing around the world. The Lord is awakening Christians everywhere to our identity as sons and daughters of God and to the authority we have in Christ. So many people today are in need of healing, and many miracles of healing and deliverance are occurring.

The Lord also is awakening the Church to the urgent priority of Christian unity. By the grace of the Holy Spirit, we have to seek to overcome divisions in the Body of Christ, which are a scandal to the world.

I see many reasons to hope. People are beginning to heed Pope Francis’ call to go out to the peripheries with the Gospel and not to remain enclosed in church buildings. The laity is taking a leadership role in carrying out the mission of the Church. People are evangelizing with bold faith for signs and wonders.

Do you have any new work coming out soon?

There is the ICCRS document on deliverance ministry, and I am co-authoring a book with Randy Clark on spiritual gifts from an ecumenical perspective. Also, my commentary on Hebrews just came out!

This article originally appeared in Renewal Ministries’ October 2016 newsletter. You can view the entire newsletter here.