By George Gregory
Special to The CS&T

The 30th annual Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR) Conference will take place on Saturday, April 17, at the Valley Forge Convention Center in King of Prussia. The event will begin at 8 a.m. with the celebration of the spanine Liturgy for Saturday in the Byzantine Ukrainian Catholic rite. Msgr. Myron Grabowsky will preside as celebrant. This liturgy will be followed by workshops and guest speakers.

Msgr. Joseph McLoone, pastor of St. Katharine Drexel Parish in Chester, has just been named delegate for charismatic prayer groups in the Archdiocese, and is enthusiastic about this year’s conference.

“I am happy to join people of such faith reaching out to our Father and His Son Jesus Christ in prayer and intercession,” he said. “May the Holy Spirit guide all who come to this conference as we pray for each other and a great outpouring of His gifts upon the Church.”

A new aspect of this year’s CCR Conference is a program called Youth Track, which will provide special activities for elementary, middle and high school students who attend the conference. Father Stephen DeLacy, school minister at Archbishop Carroll High School in Radnor, will direct these activities, which include a music concert by Catholic rock group Catholic FX.

“The adults attending are inspired by the kids attending and vice versa,” said Gloria Coyne, who is coordinating the conference. “The CCR has experienced a maturing in the last 10 years, with a renewed interest in Eucharistic Adoration and in Mary as spouse of the Spirit, and we must encourage our youth to get involved because they are the future.”

Guest speakers for the gathering include Father William Halbing, pastor of St. Antoninus Parish in Newark, N.J. Father Halbing holds master’s degrees in spaninity and Judeo-Christian studies and has been involved in charismatic renewal since 1975.

Another guest speaker is Mother Nadine Brown, who is the foundress of the Intercessors of the Lamb congregation, and is the director of their contemplative formation center in Omaha, Neb. She was an adult convert to Catholicism before she felt God calling her to a more contemplative religious vocation.

A presentation will also be given by Ralph Martin, an author and theology professor at Sacred Heart Seminary in the Archdiocese of Detroit and the president of Renewal Ministries. He works with the organization to promote Catholic renewal and evangelization.

The conference will end with a 4 p.m. Mass at which Auxiliary Bishop Robert Maginnis will serve as celebrant and homilist.

Cardinal Justin Rigali has extended his prayerful wishes to the conference participants. “Charismatic renewal has been a gift of God to the Church for the continued building up of the Body of Christ,” the Cardinal said. “I pray that your gathering will be an opportunity for the Holy Spirit to manifest Himself ever more fully and powerfully in your lives.”

George Gregory is a parishioner of St. Cecilia Parish in Coatesville.