ST. GEORGE — A series of workshops on the gifts of the Holy Spirit drew about 100 people to St. George Parish in St. George May 19-20.
The workshops were presented by a team led by Kenneth Fabbi, a Catholic Charismatic Renewal leader and author.
The “Healing & Gifts of the Holy Spirit” event was good for the parish “because it shows the length and breadth of the spiritual call, spiritual movement, spiritual depth” within the Church, said Father David Bittmenn, pastor. “It’s particularly good at this time of year, when Pentecost is right around the corner.”
Fabbi opened each session by asking those present to pray for the others, which always “changes the flavor of the room – the room becomes peaceful, it quiets down, and there’s just something different there,” he said. “When you send out prayer, people are blessed.”
The workshops began on Friday night. Participants were asked to “open to the many experiences and see what God has for you individually tonight as you open to the Holy Spirit and allow the Spirit to be alive in your life.”
In his first presentation, Fabbi went through a number of Scripture passages related to the Holy Spirit.
“When you read Scripture … you’re bringing the Word into your attention, hearing, sight and mind,” he said.
“The Holy Spirit is a gift from God,” he said, and reminded those present of the gifts of the Spirit received in the Sacrament of Confirmation, including wisdom, knowledge, faith, prophecy and speaking in tongues. These gifts are given to individuals, “but to build us as community,” Fabbi said.
After reading the Scripture passage about Jesus being led by the Spirit into the desert just after his baptism, Fabbi asked those present whether any of them had felt led by the Spirit. Looking out over the audience, he said, “I see a few hands.”
One of the exercises participants were led through was a review of various life stages. They were asked to look for events during those times in which they experienced hurt, and were told to “open the hurt to the Lord, and allow Jesus and the Holy Spirit to work in there.”
The Friday session ended with a Mass celebrated by Fr. Adrian Komar, pastor of Christ the King Parish in Cedar City. In his homily, Fr. Komar suggested that the workshop participants remember that when they receive Communion “it is a miracle that is happening in front of us.”
Fr. Komar also asked them to ask themselves that, having been reminded that day of various charisms, “what changed in the receiving of the Eucharist” since they began receiving Communion. “There can be something new if only we start thinking how to make it new. Jesus Christ can make it new if we allow him,” he said.
After the Mass Fabbi asked those present to sit quietly with their eyes closed and allow healing to enter their hearts.
Saturday’s workshops drew the participants into opening themselves to the gifts of the Spirit, including speaking in tongues and prophecy.
The workshops were spiritually enriching and motivational, said Angie Diaz, a St. George parishioner. “I’ve always looked for God but I’ve never really experienced these kinds of gifts before,” she said, adding that it was enriching to be “able to experience the spiritual gifts, and feeling the Holy Spirit within was beautiful.”
Bill Bledsoe, a parishioner of St. Paul Center in Hurricane, said he took the day off work to attend because he wanted to “go deeper into God and the Holy Spirit, and what I got out of it was I had more gifts than I thought I did.”
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