Baptized and Confirmed Catholics have received special gifts, but many leave them “on the shelf unpacked.”
This is what Father Michael Becker says, who aims to help more Catholics receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The rector of the seminary of St. John Vianney College in St. Paul, Father Becker teaches a 12-week course in the Holy Spirit, in which students will learn who the Spirit is and how to experience a relationship with the third person of the Holy Spirit. Trinity.
“There are many Catholics who have heard of the Father and of Jesus, but who know very little about the Spirit,” he said. “And many haven’t really experienced the Holy Ghost. … There must be some kind of awakening to the gift. And once there is, wow. Joy floods the soul and the desire for others to experience the Holy Spirit becomes a great way of evangelism.
The gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understanding, counsel, courage, knowledge, godliness, and the fear of the Lord.
The class is the latest offering from the Archbishop Flynn Catechetical Institute, part of the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity. Called the School of the Holy Spirit, the class is separated from the The two-year course of the Piliers Catechetical Institute: a journey through the catechism of the Catholic Church.
“I feel inclined to help Catholics to experience and grow in the knowledge of the Holy Spirit, and to realize in their lives the gifts and charisms that God wants to give them to use for the building up of the body of Christ”, did he declare.
Father Becker felt the class timing fits well with the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis’ collective call to the Holy Spirit as he begins the pre-synodal process ahead of the Archdiocesan Synod of 2021.
It is possible for Catholics today to share the experience of Pentecost with the disciples of Jesus in the Upper Room, he said, which gave them confidence to spread the Good News.
The CI: School of the Holy Spirit is the latest offering from the Catechetical Institute. In addition to the Pillars course of the Catechetical Institute, it also offers courses in its CI: School of Discipleship and CI: School of Prayer.
Kelly Wahlquist, director of the Catechetical Institute, said the new “school” complements its other offerings.
“The two-year Foundation Pillars program teaches the basics of the faith by accompanying students through the catechism of the Catholic Church,” she said. “The IC: School of Discipleship enables Catholics to live as active disciples and to be sent out into the world to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. The CI: School of Prayer deepens the relationship between the disciple and the Lord, and the CI: School of the Holy Spirit teaches how to be sensitive and receptive to the Holy Spirit, and how to work with the Spirit to build up the kingdom of God. When you put all of these offerings together, you have Catholics who are trained, sent, related to God, and empowered. “
Helping Catholics experience the Holy Spirit is fundamental to the Church’s emphasis on sharing the faith with others, said Father Becker. “We have a lot of programs where we continually try to help Catholics become evangelicals… with their neighbors or colleagues or classmates,” he said. “And yet the most important thing is just if they taste the Holy Spirit, if they really come to experience that presence, then they cannot be silent about Jesus.”
The course will begin with the historical background of the Holy Spirit in the scriptures and the Church, then delve into the gifts and fruits of the Spirit, with an emphasis on students’ encounter with the Holy Spirit through the prayer, including charismatic prayer. Students will also learn to be prayer ministers in their parishes. The texts include those by authors Damian Stayne, Father Jacques Philippe, Mary Healy and Randy Clark. The course includes participation in a Life in the Spirit seminar on February 28-29. Course registration (including the seminar) is $ 150.
The course will be offered at St. Andrew’s in Elk River, 7 to 9 p.m., Thursday, February 6 to April 30, without classes on February 27, March 26 or April 9.
For more information, visit semssp.org/ci.
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