Saturday, March 08, 2008

Conference connects the Holy Spirit and evangelization


BATESVILLE—“I can feel the fire, Holy Ghost fire. I can feel the fire burning in my soul.”

These words were sung with passion and flowed from a high school auditorium on March 1 in Batesville during a conference sponsored by St. Nicholas Parish in Ripley County.Some 500 people from across Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio attending the conference belted out the song between presentations that focused on how the gifts, also known as charisms, of the Holy Spirit are to be used in everyday life to share the Gospel with others.

The conference, “The Holy Spirit and Evangelization: Go and Make Disciples of All Nations,” featured Bishop Sam Jacobs of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux in Louisiana, Sister of Charity of New York Nancy Kellar, Father Daniel Wilder of the Diocese of Peoria, Ill., and Father Gregory Bramlage, pastor of St. Nicholas Parish. (See a photo gallery from this event)

Called by Name, a music group made up mostly of members of St. Nicholas Parish and led by Angie Meyers, led participants in praise and worship songs between presentations and during the conference Mass.Participants thought it was the Holy Spirit that was the driving force behind all that happened at the conference.

“I think this is absolutely wonderful,” said conference attendee Chris Dickson, a member of St. Mary Parish in Richmond. “This is the best conference that I’ve ever been to here yet.“It really convicted me because I know that I haven’t been doing the job [of evangelization] that the Holy Spirit has been telling me that I’m supposed to do. I’ve been too timid. And now, it’s like, ‘OK, all the stops are out now. You have no more excuses.’ ”

In his presentation, “The Charisms and Evangelization,” Bishop Jacobs emphasized how the Church’s mission of evangelization has been given to all the faithful.“You are an evangelizer,” said Bishop Jacobs with gusto. “You are to proclaim the word of God. You are to proclaim the Good News of salvation.

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