As a full-fledged Catholic Charismatic parish, St Antoninus celebrated Pentecost Sunday Mass with spectacular joy and awe.
Jesus said to His disciples “ Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with[ water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit .” Acts 1:4-5
And true to Jesus' promise - on the day of Pentecost, 10 days after Jesus ascended to heaven, the Holy Spirit did come and the disciples received a most amazing gift from the Father: PENTECOST.
The Holy Spirit, the same Spirit who was present when God created the earth, the Spirit by whom our Savior was conceived through Mary, the Spirit that was with Jesus every day of His life on earth, that same Spirit came and made His dwelling place with us. (Acts 2:1-4)
In that rush of wind, in those tongues of flame, as the Holy Spirit came and filled the disciples, the Church of the Living God was born. (1 Timothy 3:15)
And so it is, that St Antoninus Church continues to be renewed by the Holy Spirit, as it has done so every year on the day of Pentecost, and ever since we were established as a church in 1875 and later commissioned as a Catholic Charismatic parish in 1975, exactly 100 years later.
What an amazing Pentecost celebration it was! The choir, led by Ken Julien, was pumping up with the fire of the Holy Spirit- along with the jubilant congregation.
Our Mass celebrant was Fr Peter Okafor and the concelebrants were Fr Joseph Meagher and Fr Solomon Ngwumezie.
In his homily, Fr Peter spoke powerfully on how the Holy Spirit makes His Charismatic service gifts available to us in a special way on Pentecost - gifts that should take root as God's indwelling presence and blossom into the Fruit of the Holy Spirit (as described in Galatian 5. )
After Mass, Father Joseph exposed Jesus on the altar and the people went up to for the prayers for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (baptism of the Holy Spirit). They sat on chairs that were arranged in front of the altar, and several prayer intercessory teams prayed over each person.
For all the participants of our recent Tent Revival (Life in the Spirit) who had previously received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit on Saturday eve, May 21, there was the opportunity to be prayed over again, as there is always MORE on Pentecost.
May the blessings of Pentecost give us a deeper commitment to the Holy Spirit, to unleash within us the the power to always seek the will of the Father and to follow Jesus.
Mary, spouse of the Holy Spirit, pray pray for us!