Tag: Healing

Casting Nets: Prayers for Healing in the RCIA

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The following article is the third in a series called “Casting Nets” that will run over the coming weeks. They are written by “John,” a student in one of Ralph Martin’s New Evangelization classes, and document several evangelization opportunities he has performed in his various ministries. He writes, “Each ministry is unique with various situations, circumstances, and needs; but the one constant is broken and injured people. It is my experience that there is no greater potential for miracles to occur than when desperate people meet Jesus. I have been blessed to have seen many people come to Jesus—often in surprising or unexpected ways—and quite often, it is I who is the most surprised.”

By John

I love RCIA, because evangelization is expected. I had two topics that I wanted to get across on this particular night. First, prayer is the most important thing that we need to learn to do, and second, that prayer can seem simple, but it is hard to do it well. I began by challenging the RCIA class that “if prayer didn’t work and if, in fact, we were just speaking words to the sky and God never answered us—then why even bother? Why are we are wasting our time?” It was blunt, but honest.

I then I gave two personal examples of answered prayers in my own life, and a couple of the candidates also shared their stories. I then began to teach about how to pray. I spoke about rote prayer, spontaneous prayer, contemplative prayer, healing prayer, intercessory prayer, meditative prayer, etc.

Then I announced that we needed a prayer practicum. I told them about my ministry (healing and deliverance) and told them about some of the things I’d witnessed. Using Mark 16:17-18 as a spring board, I said that I would teach them what I knew about healing prayer and how to pray with others. I then asked if there was anyone present with any injuries, aches, pains, etc. The first person to step forward was an ex-Detroit police officer. She said she had bad knees and that they hurt mostly after sitting. We gathered around her, and I told her and the others what I was about to do, explaining it slowly and carefully. I told her to relax and just let me know if she felt anything. We prayed. She began to sweat and was feeling heat all throughout her body. I asked her to try her knees out. She walked around and said that they were “a little better.” We prayed again, and on the second try, she said that they were “definitely better.” Praise God!

The five candidates were now paying closer attention, but I detected some skepticism, because this was not something visible. Plausible, perhaps; visible, no.

I asked if anyone else had any aches or pains. A woman who was studying to be a nurse reported hip problems and sciatica. Again, I explained the process, but before we even started praying for healing, she said she was feeling tingling. I pointed out how our good and gracious God was already at work—even before we had asked Him. I pointed out that this was not atypical when the Spirit is stirred up, and we prayed into the feeling. After a minute or so, I had her test her back, and she said she felt about the same, but was “sweating like crazy.” I offered to pray more for her. It was then she said something I’d always wanted to hear someone say. She said, “You can pray if you want, but the reason my back hurts is because I have one leg that is shorter than the other.”

Yes! Thank you, Lord! I had always wanted to see this malady healed and had been praying for the opportunity for some months.

I had her sit and put her feet on my knees, and sure enough, the right leg was about three-quarters of an inch shorter than the left. I lined up her boots so that everyone present could see the difference. I simply prayed “In the name of Jesus Christ, right leg, grow.” She said she felt something tingling in her knee, and after about five seconds, we all watched as the leg began to stretch, and we saw the two heels come together perfectly. Total time—about twenty seconds. I asked the candidates “do you see this?” Needless to say, they were all wildly excited. In fact, they wanted to pray over each other. We spent the rest of the class talking about God’s abundant mercy and love—and yes, all joined the Church the following Easter.

Note: I challenged the class to go and do the same (evangelize and heal), stressing that Mark 16: 17-18 applied to all of us—not just to me. Two weeks later, one of the young ladies in the class told me how she prayed for healing for a college classmate who was a “professed Baptist who hated Catholics.” He received healing for his back and is now reevaluating his view of Catholics.

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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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.

Fr. Ubald Shares Message of Forgiveness

Fr Ubald
Fr. Ubald Rugirangoga

Fr. Ubald Rugirangoga will be at guest at this year’s Gathering.

By Lloyd Greenhaw and Katsey Long

Our time in Rwanda with an amazing and gifted team was very rich, but one especially beautiful fruit to come of our time there was our relationship with Fr. Ubald Rugirangoga, who you can learn more about at www.frubald.com.

One of our team members, Katsey Long, is a social worker who is in the midst of filming a documentary on Fr. Ubald. For the past eight years, she has spent her time between Rwanda and the US.

Fr. Ubald has a harrowing story from the Rwandan genocide. He was a participant in our first Unbound training sessions in Rwanda and found freedom in Christ. His story, from Katsey, follows:

During the genocide, Fr. Ubald was pastor of a parish. He had hired guards and was trying to protect his 45,000 parishioners, when the mayor and the district leaders suggested he leave. They told him they wouldn’t hurt anybody if he left. This was in May, and genocide had been going on for a little while. Fr. Ubald called his bishop, who came to get him.

When it was time for him to leave, the people formed an aisle for him, and he walked through the pathway out to the car. Everyone was sobbing, because they knew they were going to die after he left, so the bishop said he would stay with them that night.

The bishop left the next day, and within two days, they started killing everyone. About 45,000 people died within three days. At the time, Fr. Ubald wanted to die; he wanted to go back with his people and die with them. He was devastated at what happened and that he had trusted the leadership.

Fr. Ubald stayed at the bishop’s house for about three weeks. After that, he got a phone call from a friend who warned him about plans to kill him. “They will put your head on a stake and process it through the parish so everyone will know you have no power,” they said. He decided to escape.

Fr. Ubald took the money he had and paid for five other people to escape with him. One of them, a priest, did not make the rendezvous point and was killed in the genocide. The rest of them escaped in the middle of the night to the Congo. Once he got there, Fr. Ubald continued on to Lourdes, France, where people paid for him to come to find healing.

In fact, he was healed at Lourdes. While going up the hill during Stations of the Cross, a priest said, “Jesus accepted His cross,” and Fr. Ubald heard a voice say, “Ubald pick up your cross, the genocide is your cross.”  Once he accepted it as his cross, Fr. Ubald stopped crying. When he returned to Rwanda in January of 1995, he started preaching forgiveness, because he knew forgiveness is the only way.

At that time people, did not want to hear the message of forgiveness, but Fr. Ubald continued to preach it and to visit the prisons of Rwanda to tell the perpetrators to ask for pardon for what they had done. One day, he was preaching in a prison, when a man came up to him and said, “I need to ask something of you Fr. Ubald. I was the one that ordered your mother to be killed, and I would like to ask for your forgiveness.”

Fr. Ubald wept, then went over and hugged the man and said, “In the name of Jesus, I forgive you.” Then, on his way home, he was thinking, “I wonder if that man really believes that I have forgiven him?” He decided he wanted to do something to prove his forgiveness.

Later that day, Fr. Ubald received a call telling him the man’s children were now basically orphans. The mother had died, and since the father was imprisoned and could not pay the school fees, they were kicked out of school. Fr. Ubald adopted both of those children. He continues to help them as they grow up and try to make a life for themselves. One of them is at medical school, and he continues to pay her educational expenses. The father will get out of prison next year, and Fr. Ubald will help him find a way to make a living and to help people. He continues to preach that message all over the country.

At Fr. Ubald’s healing services, it is not uncommon for there to be 30,000 people, and when he does them at a place like Kigali’s Maharo Stadium, 80,000 people will come to hear him preach about forgiveness and reconciliation, and he sees many, many healings: physical, emotional, trauma, cancer, HIV, bones healed, lame walk, blind see. However, he considers the greatest miracle when someone chooses to forgive and to be free. His services are not just for Catholics but for everybody, including Muslims and Pentecostals. He also comes to the United States twice a year.

Dream Team at Kibeho, Rwanda with Fr. Ubald
Renewal Ministries’ Rwanda Mission Team

The Five Keys is an important part of Fr. Ubald’s work, and he learned it from one of Renewal Ministries’ earliest retreats in Rwanda. Prior to that, he had often done hands-on healing in small groups. He had told his bishop that people were coming back to him saying they had been healed. The bishop said, “That gift is not for you; that gift is for the world.” After five years of having a healing gift, the Lord gave Fr. Ubald the gift of the word of knowledge. He continued to pray faithfully that God would heal, and He did. And then, five years he got the word of knowledge gift, he learned the Five Keys from Renewal Ministries. With that knowledge, and with the experience of processing with a monstrance amidst a huge crowd at Lloyd Greenhaw’s request, he found the confidence to start to do healing services on a large scale.

With the help of donors, he has since purchased land on the shore of Lake Kisu for large missions—200,000 people can attend events there. A huge statue of Divine Mercy overlooks the venue. Fr. Ubald also has started a center for forgiveness and reconciliation here, called The Center for the Secret of Peace.  He brings together perpetrators and victims to participate together in the process of reconciliation.

Mercy Shine at Kibeho, Rwanda 2016 (3)
People reaching out to touch the Divine Mercy statue.

 

Jesus Does Still Heal!

Gathering 2016_Larry Yelinek
Larry and Sharon Yelinek (front row) at the Renewal Ministries’ Gathering.

At the 2016 Renewal Ministries’ Gathering, long-time supporter Larry Yelinek, of Whitmore Lake, Michigan, experienced a tremendous healing of his hip. He writes about the experience below:

In the spring of 2013, my right hip started to become painful, and by the summer I noticed my right foot was turning in. The discomfort in my right leg increased throughout the summer and into the fall of 2014.

I told my primary care doctor, Dr. Catherine Foster of the VA Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan, about my problem with my right hip and leg. I thought it was a pulled groin muscle. She sent me to the hospital’s pain clinic. After that examination, she sent me to an orthopedist, Dr. Bruce Miller. He said I would need a hip replacement in the future. The next year, I continued to struggle with the pain but still didn’t want to have surgery.

In the fall of 2015, Dr. Miller told me during a routine appointment that I would need to lose twenty pounds in order to have hip surgery. The day I lost twenty pounds, I called for an appointment and was scheduled to see a doctor on May 3, 2016. At that time, the pain level was almost always at a nine.

Then, at the Renewal Ministries Gathering in mid-April, everything changed. Fr. Mathias Thelen prayed for healing for everyone attending the conference. He told anyone who experienced their pain decrease by eighty percent to stand up and come to the podium. My pain decreased by forty to sixty percent. Then—my goodness!—I felt more heat in my leg, and after that I felt that I had reached the eighty percent.

I walked to the podium, about twenty feet away, without my cane. Fr. Mathias asked what was happening, and I told him that my right hip was healed. We praised Jesus together. Then, while Peter Williamson and I stood together proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ, I realized my right arm was straight up. I had not been able to lift my right arm for three to four months.

My appointment regarding the hip replacement surgery I had believed was imminent and necessary came just over two weeks later, on May 3, 2016. At that time, I received news from Dr. Jeffrey Osworth that I am no longer a candidate for hip replacement surgery, because I don’t need it! What is also amazing is the doctor believes in miracles!

Praise Jesus! Praise Jesus! Praise Jesus! Glory be to Christ Jesus! AMEN!

Additionally, my right foot is now straight. It’s not turning inward, I don’t need to use a cane, and I don’t need pain medicines. Hallelujah!

This article originally appeared in the July 2016 Renewal Ministries’ newsletter.