Hispanic Catholics celebrate 50 years of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal

Hispanic Catholics celebrate 50 years of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal

Worshippers pray Feb. 9 at Divine Mercy Parish’s Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Vineland, where some 150 Catholics came together to celebrate the beginning of the Charismatic Renewal 50 years ago. Above, Andres and Kathia Arango.
Photos by Alan M. Dumoff

Just as the staff and students of Duquesne University did 50 years ago, the Hispanic Charismatic community of South Jersey lifted their hands and voices in worship this past Feb. 9 in Vineland.

At Divine Mercy Parish’s Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, 150 Hispanic Catholics were led by Father Joel Arciga Camarillo, pastor, and Paraguayan singer/songwriter Silvia Mariella in the Charismatic service.

In February 1967, “around 25 students and professors from Pittsburgh’s Duquesne University came together for a retreat, and reflected on the first four chapters of the Acts of the Apostles,” explained Andres Arango, Bishop’s Delegate for Hispanic Ministry in the Diocese of Camden.

“Praying in the chapel, they received a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit, some began speaking in tongues, and others having diverse extraordinary experiences,” he continued, adding that they began to share in the Apostles’ mission “to bring the culture of Pentecost to the whole world.”

“They formed a Charismatic prayer group, and today the Charismatic Renewal is expressed in over 100 countries, with 120 million Catholics on the fire of the Holy Spirit,” he said.

Kathia Arango, coordinator of the Hispanic Charismatic Renewal in the diocese of Camden, said, “It was an amazing celebration. … praising God together as a diocesan family and recognizing the service of the pioneers of the Hispanic Charismatic Renewal in our diocese.”

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