The CFCI organized a weekend retreat for the Full time Pastoral workers as well as other community members from Goa from the 25th -27th of September 2015 at St. Pius X Pastoral Institute in Old Goa.
This retreat was on the Gifts and Charisms of the Holy Spirit and was conducted by Brother Benjamin Gonzaga, a lay preacher from Chennai, who is closely associated with Fr. Thamburaj, a pioneer in the Charismatic Renewal. Bro. Benjamin gave us an insight on all the Charisms available, 22 in all, based on Isa 11:2, 1 Cor 12:18, Rom 12:4-6 and Eph 4:11-12. He reiterated that all these Charisms and Gifts are already in us by virtue of our baptism. We only need to stir them and use them for the glory of God’s kingdom. This is exactly what we did during the 3 days of the retreat.
Bro. Benjamin led us through a few of the charisms, namely, gift of tongues and its interpretation, gift of prophesy, gift of vision and its interpretation, gift of faith, gift of word of knowledge and wisdom, inner healing, physical healing, miracles, discernment of spirits and deliverance.
Through his teachings, we came to realize what each of these gifts/charisms meant, why they are necessary, how to yield to them and most importantly how to use them. After each session, we had a workshop to train us to make these gifts operational. It was amazing to see how all 63 participants broke out praising in tongues. Almost everyone prophesied as well. Over the weekend, we could feel the power of the Holy Spirit working through us.
We concluded the retreat with a healing and adoration service conducted by Bro. Benjamin, who, along with a few of our brothers and sisters used their gifts of vision, prophecy and word of knowledge to announce a great number of healings. There were so many who received physical, spiritual and emotional healings.
The new found strength through the gifts of the Holy Spirit is surely going to help us move forward in the various ministries we are involved in. By regularly operating these charisms, we will reassure ourselves of our sonship in God our Father and also convince others of how great and powerful our God is.