As the Catholic Charismatic Renewal celebrates 50 years of existence and transformation, Zimbabwe’s National Coordinator, Dr Dorothy Chirimumimba has said the movement is all about real conversion and evangelisation.
The Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR), established in 1967, is an ecclesial movement within the Catholic Church that emphasises the availability of the power and the many gifts of the Holy Spirit and one’s personal relationship with Christ.
CCR can be traced back to 1967 when groups of Methodist and Catholic students in the United States went on retreats (separately) and experienced the manifestation of gifts of the Holy Spirit. It happened when they prayed for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
The students experienced the presence and power of God working in a new and deeper way in their lives. This experience of God, which they described as being “baptised in the Spirit,” drew them into a far deeper spiritual life than ever before.
Inspired by these events, the renewal was also set up in 1972 in Zimbabwe and has since moved the faithful towards experiencing God’s love more deeply. Members appreciate even more the spiritual riches to be found in the Catholic Church.
Despite initial resistance from some laity and members of the clergy, the movement has grown significantly and is now established in five of the country’s eight dioceses.
Dr Dorothy Chirimumimba, the Catholic Charismatic National Coordinator in Zimbabwe, testified to the revival saying the movement has helped deepen her Catholic faith.
After falling ill due to some tremors in her teens, Dr Dorothy, now a professional dentist, celebrates that her joining CCR in 1992 paved the way for her baptism in the Holy Spirit.
“I cannot say I got instant healing, but I got equipped to pray for myself so much that I was not worried about my sickness. The renewal strengthened my faith,” she said.
Mr Alfred Simbi Mapurisa (50), who joined the Renewal in 1983 says God has been so merciful to him that his sight was restored after experiencing challenges for most of his teenage.
“I had a problem with my sight. My parents had spent a fortune in trying to have my eyes healed. They tried both medical solutions as well as various traditional healers -all in vain. The problem was instead worsening. God was so merciful to me. When I came to the CCR, I received my healing and had my sight restored. This made me trust in the Lord Jesus. He is alive, and nothing is impossible with God as what scripture says,” he expressed in exultation.
Alluding to the birth of the Catholic Church at Pentecost (Acts Chapter 2) Dr Dorothy says that CCR is all about true conversion, fostering the reception of spiritual gifts and evangelisation. "When Christ comes in you, He manifests the gifts.”
Speaking at a public discussion held last year, CCR National Spiritual Advisor, Fr Konrad Landsberg SJ said, “The Charismatic gift is a gift of the Church and people must not be judges on the Holy Spirit but rather be students.” He added, “Let us learn and always listen to the Holy Spirit,” Fr Landsberg advised.
For the Catholic Charismatic Renewal's Golden Jubilee 2017, Charismatic members from all over the world will converge on Rome in response to the invitation of Pope Francis. Orgnisers have said starting Wednesday 31 May there would be various celebrations happening at various locations in Rome leading to the Pentecost Eucharistic celebration in Saint Peter's Square on Sunday 4 June.
(Kudakwashe Matambo, Jesuit Communications Zimbabwe - Mozambique Province)