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    Youth Retreat - 9 & 10 November

    We as a prayer group (Our Lady of Mercy Church) wanted to see a great transformation, revival and renewal among the youth of our parish. Thus, we (in cooperation with the parish) conducted a two-day youth retreat for all the youth of our parish. There were 212 registrations, out of which, about 185+ youth were from our parish, and some adults and youth from other parishes also joined in to attend the retreat and were blessed. The youth music ministry of Holy Family Prayer Group, Chakala led us into a time of heavenly praise and worship. Every participant experienced the love, joy, peace and mighty presence of the Holy Spirit. We thank our Parish Priests - Fr. Elias and Fr. Nasly - for all the support and encouragement they gave us, and for motivating the youth to come for this retreat. We also thank all the other resource persons who helped us in making this retreat a success. Many of the participants shared their testimonies of the retreat. I want to highlight one testimony age 24 - I wish this retreat was held 10 years ago when I was much young so that I wouldnt have committed the sins I have - this only shows how much we need to service in Our Lords vineyard. A follow-up program to this retreat has been scheduled for 15th December.

    We give all glory, honor and praise to God alone who blesses us and does wonders in our lives.

    George Pereira, Our Lady of Mercy Prayer Group, Pokhran, Thane

    Retreat for Confirmation Children

    South zone prayer groups have no youth and so we decided to do something about this. With suggestions and encouragement and fasting and prayer, we took up the first initiative to have a retreat for the confirmation students of Rosary parish on the 9th and 10th November. With the support of the prayer group, teachers and parish priest the 15 students along with their 3 teachers became a part of this retreat. The theme for the retreat was Commitment to Christ. The praise and worship was conducted by the youth of South zone on both days. The topics that were covered in this retreat were Gods Love, Sin and Repentance, Importance of Forgiveness, Inner Healing, Holy Spirit, Walk of Christian living, the Word of God and Relationship in God’s Perspective. There was a testimony shared by a youth on how God has touched his life. Finally at the end, the students were prayed over and it was heartening to see their participation all throughout the retreat. We have continued to keep these children in prayer and will have a followup session for them.

    Anthony, Michelle, Shirley - South Zone Youth Animators

    Confirmation Youth Retreat

    A youth retreat was held on the 4th and 5th of November 2013 for the confirmation students and the college/working youth of St. Anthonys Parish, Vakola. The two-day retreat, which was held at St. Anthonys School Hall, Vakola, was attended by about 160 youth, many of them making a retreat for the first time. The preachers were Br. Victor Pereira, Anastasia Rebello, Leela Moraes and Fr. Ashlyn Chand.

    Br. Victors sessions on "Choices in Life" and "Walking in the Spirit" had a strong impact on the youth. The inner healing session and confession were the highlights of the retreat. Fr. Ashlyn helped the youth identify with those areas where healing was yet to reach. His talk on "My Inner Self" helped the youth to write down the hurtful incidents that happened to them in the past that came to their mind. The confession after that was an affirmation that the process of healing has begun.

    The hall mark of the second day was the laying of hands and the Infilling of the Holy Spirit. Fr. Ashlyn and Fr. Melroy conducted and lead this session. There were many prophecies and healings as the Spirit began to move, renew and restore. Fr. Ashlyn shared that many of the youth were blessed with the gift of tears and several other gifts of the Holy Spirit.

    The music ministry of Kalina and Vakola had the youth, singing, praising and dancing for the Lord. The retreat was truly a success and this was confirmed when the youth signed up for the follow up session that was held on 14th November 2013.

    Organized by the youth wing of St. Anthonys Prayer Group (English), Vakola, the retreat was, needless to say, bathed in prayer right from its inception. Every part of the retreat from the registration, to the sound arrangements, to the preachers, to the food arrangements and the logistics, was consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, under the protection of St. Michael the Archangel.

    The Lord made sure that the retreat was well taken care of. An answer to our prayer was that the retreat functioned smoothly without any major glitches. The process of drawing closer to God has just begun with these youth. We continue to pray that these youth may experience Christ everyday as they did at the retreat.


    Janice Dsouza - St. Anthonys Prayer Group, Vakola, Santacruz.

    All Mumbai Youth Recollection - REFUEL

    It is truly amazing to see the new Mumbai Service Team (MST) of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR) in Mumbai giving so much importance and emphasis to evangelize and build the youth of Mumbai! Just like JESUS focused on building HIS apostles and disciples so that they too in turn could evangelize the whole world, the MST decided to do the same. The first of a series of programs for the youth of Mumbai was REFUEL, held on 4th November at Mt. Carmel’s Parish School Hall in Bandra. This program was organized for the youth who are already a part of CCR prayer groups in Mumbai, with the aim of building us up to reach out to and to evangelize other youth.
    As I entered that hall, I was amazed to see that there were over 200 other youth who were geared up for this cause! As the name suggested, REFUEL was about refueling ourselves with the power of the HOLY SPIRIT which was very much needed before we ‘launched’ ourselves into the deep to become ‘Fishers of Men’ (Matthew 4:19). The Praise & Worship was awesome and also special as there were two music ministries consisting of only youth from prayer groups of Ghansoli, Airoli & Borivali. In addition, there was an uplifting gospel dance put up by the youth of the Rose of Sharon Prayer Group, Kalina.
    We had all come to ‘Refuel’ and the MST did not disappoint. We got some ‘High Octane’ fuel in terms of teachings, contemplation, fellowship and some fun! There was a wide variety of teachings and insights given by various renowned preachers covering topics like the ‘Lordship of JESUS & the Word of GOD’, ‘Handling Obstacles’ and ‘Being Fishers of Youth’.
    At the end of the program, I did feel ‘Refuelled’ and charged up to embark on the next assignment given to us – to get one other youth from our respective parishes for the follow up program to be held on 8th December in St. Michael’s Auditorium at Mahim. The program is aptly called ‘LAUNCH INTO THE DEEP’ and I’m looking forward to it!

    Dolly Misquitta, Youth Animator, St. Francis Xavier Prayer Group, Vile Parle.

    Silver Jubilee Celebration

    On November 3rd, Our Lady of Nazareth Prayer group celebrated Silver Jubilee of the prayer group. With the advice of the parish priest Fr. Anselm Gonsalves a half day recollection was organized for the entire parish. The service began with praise and worship led by the youth cell team at 3:30 pm followed by talk on Sin and Repentance by Fr. Ashlyn Chand. All the priest of our parish were available for confession thereafter. After a break we had our usual parish mass followed by healing service by Fr. Ashlyn and ended at 8:15 pm. We received many testimonies and the parishioners have asked to have a service like this more often. Around 350 people attend this prayer service.
    John Kokken - Our Lady of Nazareth Prayer Group, Bhayander.

    Mission Sunday Rally

    The Mission Sunday Rally 2013 held at St. Michael’s Church in Mahim on 20th October was the first rally organized by the recently elected Mumbai Service Team of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR). The Vision and Mission (as on Page 1) laid out by this team was reflected in the theme - Come as Disciples…Go as Missionaries.

    It was a prayerful gathering of a large turnout of members of Prayer Groups across the Mumbai region from Colaba to places as far as Palghar and Thane. The new focus of the Mumbai Service Team – Discipleship, Intercession & Evangelization (D.I.E.) – was apparent throughout the programme, right from the opening Praise & Worship to the concluding Eucharistic Celebration. The theme – Come as Disciples…Go as Missionaries – rolled out beautifully in every aspect of the rally, whether it was the talk given by Deacon Navin D’silva or the time of Intercession and renewal of our commitment to JESUS to proclaim HIS Gospel or the inspiring testimony given by Br. Stanley Serrao of the Proclamation Cell of the Archdiocese to the meaningful gospel dance put up by the Youth of the Rose of Sharon Prayer Group (ROSPG), Kalina. The theme even reflected in the homily given by Most Rev. Bishop Dominic Savio Fernandes during the Eucharist he Celebrated, where he challenged all present to proclaim the gospel by being witnesses of JESUS in every day life.

    Through this Rally, the Mumbai Service Team reminded each of us from the Catholic Charismatic Renewal of the reason for which we existed in the Church – to be Disciples, Intercessors & Evangelizers. The words of St. Paul that we were made to repeat aloud as a commitment will hopefully resound in our hearts and minds in this New Year – “Woe to me if I do not proclaim the Gospel!”

    Oswin Dsouza - Rose of Sharon Prayer Group, Kalina, Santacruz.


    The Bin Night Vigil was held on 12th October 2013 at St. Xaviers School Hall, Bhandup (W). We had an anointed Praise and worship led by the Ecclesia Prayer Group, Pestom Sagar, Chembur. Thereafter, Br. Jude Murzello conducted a workshop on Praise and Worship. We are called to be people of Praise. We need to improve on our Praise vocabulary and the Psalms are our best resource where we can grow. Worship means to be enveloped in the presence of the Lord. Finally, Br. Jude chose a Psalm which we used as a prayer to Praise God. The next few minutes were spent interceding for the various needs of the CCR.

    After the break Br. Mervyn Luis explained the Parable of the Sower. From the parable we learnt that just as God is patient with us, we too need to be patient when we are dealing with people - to love and accept them as they are. We again spent time for the needs of the Church and the current needs. The night vigil ended with the celebration of the Eucharist.

    Oswin Dsouza - Our Lady of Lourdes Prayer Group, Kanjurmarg.

    Jesus Encounter Retreat - 11th to 13th October 2013

    About 70 participants attended the Jesus Encounter Retreat. A testimony - Annie from the music ministry team received a healing at the adoration time at the retreat. I was suffering from skin infection for more than a month. The infection started as a small boil first, but then spread all across my lower leg on the right side. I went to the skin specialist, but she said it will take time to heal as it is not a normal infection. Because of this infection, I was not able to go to work much, or even to Church or the Blessed Sacrament, because I had to apply the ointment regularly and it used to burn. The infection kept me from doing my work in Church.

    At the retreat, I just surrendered myself to God during the adoration, so that my wound would be healed completely. Br. Dickson mentioned that two people are healed of skin infection, and my eyes just opened at that time, even though I was singing. I claimed that healing for myself, and just began to thank the Lord, without knowing if my wound was healed or not. I went home and saw that redness was still there. Nevertheless, I went off to sleep. Next morning, when I checked, the redness had completely disappeared. What great joy it brought to my heart to see this great healing. Believe and ask and He will do it for you. Amen.

    Annie Pereira, St. Anthonys Prayer Group, Vakola, Santacruz

    Bombay Intercessory Network Night Vigil on September 14, 2013

    This Night Vigil was specially focused on the Youth being the National Youth Day of Intercession on 15th Sept. Approximately 200 intercessors from various prayer groups and parishes attended the same including 64 youth. The vibrant Praise and Worship was led by Good Shepherd Prayer group, Andheri.

    Kim Dias spoke on Mother Mary, model of selfless service giving information about the depth and importance of Her yes to God, the struggle Mary went through and yet how She focused on God.

    Jude Murzello's talk on ideology brought the idea clearly and the application of it in our daily life. He also spoke about the Holy Father’s message to us. Talk on creed by Melani helped us realize that we need to praise God in all circumstances even though it is very difficult sometimes and how we can relate to God as OUR FATHER. Through the intercession, we got an opportunity to pray for others who are in need. It was an unique experience to be with the Lord the whole night. The Eucharist was celebrated by Fr. Rolland at 4 am.

    All Bombay Core Team Meeting On 1st September 2013

    The All Bombay Core Programme was held on Sunday, 1st September at St. Teresa’s School Hall, Bandra. It was very good and encouraging, effective, interesting and informative.

    Dickson gave a very informative and inspiring talk on the Vision and Mission of the CCR. His talk was supported with apt Scripture quotations. For the Vision and Mission to be accomplished one needs to be a Worshiper and an Intercessor (24x7), Receive the Sacrament as often as possible, we have to bear fruit, submit to authority, ongoing formation programmes, mentor struggling groups, know the people by their names, rely on the Holy Spirit and work with past leaders. He then introduced the newly constituted BST members.

    A survey was conducted by Simon, to give personal data and information on our walk with Our Lord in carrying out our responsibilities in the CCR. This was followed by a Forum where the Executive Body addressed the issues faced by the Leaders and Core-team in their PGs.

    Victor spoke very effectively on the Two Goals of a leader viz. “Personal Growth of a Leader” and “Something that will help you get at task as a leader”. Taking some points from the book "Handbook for leaders and core team", he stressed on the heart of a leader and head of a leader.
    The programme ended with a time of Adoration, Intercession followed by quiet time led by Jude and the final blessing by Fr. Rolland Fialho.

    Rita Barretto & Maria Braganza, Holy Name Prayer Group - Colaba

    To Grow a Group, Grow the Leader. Areas of growth for the leader:

    1) HEART: GOD looks for leaders after HIS own heart. {2 Chronicles 16:9 and 1 Samuel 16:7}. The leader cares for what GOD cares for - HIS people. So the leader too has a caring heart for people. The leader like the prophet Isaiah says “I will hold your people in my heart".

    2) HEAD: The leader is not only a leader with the heart, but he is also a leader with a mind that has a vision for GOD’s people. The handbook for core team leaders, pages 10-12 mentions 5 ingredients that should be a part of a leaders vision, namely

    a) An Effective and fruitful initiation, namely evangelism
    b) The reception and exercise of charismatic gifts. The leader is supposed to train people for the work of ministry
    c) The growing together as brothers and sisters. The leader has to foster an environment of fellowship in the group
    d) The development of a mature spiritual life. The leader has to help people to grow as disciples
    e) Outreach and mission: The leader has to see that the members of the prayer group reache out as well. These could include involvement in pro-life projects, ministry to the homebound, those in hospitals, prisons, to lepers, the poor and the aged

    Excerpts from the talk by Victor Pereira (Vice Chairman BST) for the ABC Meeting on Sep. 1, 2013

    What Does “Being Disciples” Mean?
    Each and every member needs to become a Disciple,
    Luke 9:23 “Whoever wants to be MY Disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow ME.”
    Mark 3:14-15 “HE appointed twelve that they might be with HIM and that HE might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.”
    The qualities of a Disciple are:
    † To have an intimate relationship with JESUS
    John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in ME and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from ME you can do nothing.”
    † Being rooted in the Word of GOD
    John 8:31-32 “If you continue in MY word, you are truly MY Disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
    † Being an INTERCESSOR (Group & Personal (24x7)):
    Matthew 18:19-20 “If two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by MY FATHER in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in MY Name, I am there among them.”
    1 Thes 5:17 “Pray without ceasing, for this is the will of GOD in Christ Jesus for you.”
    † Receiving Sacraments as often as possible:
    John 6:56 “Whoever eats MY flesh and drinks MY blood remains in ME, and I in them.”
    CCC 1391 “The principal fruit of receiving the Eucharist in Holy Communion is an intimate union with CHRIST JESUS.”
    What Does “By the Power of the HOLY SPIRIT” Mean?
    † Using Gifts & Charisms of the HOLY SPIRIT to Build the Church:
    1Cor 12:7 “To each is given the manifestation of the SPIRIT for the common good.”
    CCC 798 “The HOLY SPIRIT works by the many special graces (called "charisms"), by which he makes the faithful "fit and ready to undertake various tasks and offices for the renewal and building up of the Church.”

    What Does Being “Witnesses” Mean?
    “It is not possible to bear witness to CHRIST without reflecting HIS image, which is made alive in us by the grace and the power of the HOLY SPIRIT.”
    Pope John Paul II
    † Bearing Fruit – Fruit of the HOLY SPIRIT:
    John 15:16 “You did not choose ME but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last.”
    † LOVE
    1Cor 13:2 “If I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.”
    † OBEDIENCE (Submission to Authority)
    Heb 13:17 “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls and will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with sighing—for that would be harmful to you.”
    † HUMILITY (Servant Leadership)
    1Pet 5:3 “Do not lord it over those in your charge, but be examples to the flock.”
    1Pet 5:5c “And all of you must clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

    Ministry focus
    Greeters Ministry
    Greeters Ministry is an important Ministry in every prayer group. We shows every member that they are loved and cared for. Words of encouragement will always lift someone’s spirit. It is important that every core team members should know and greets prayer group members coming for the meeting.

    Praise and Worship Ministry
    As a Praise and Worship leader you are there to guide people into prayer, not to stand in the spotlight. Understand that your task is to draw people to Jesus and the prayer meeting is a way of doing so. This will help you keep every single person who attends in mind and avoid doing things that might put them off and keep them from returning.
    The best way to lead people into prayer is by praying yourself, rather then trying to make them pray.
    You need to be in a state of grace when you lead God’s children into worship, so if you are struggling with sin and failing repeatedly, please do not accept the role of leader. A worship leader has to have a life of consistent and committed worship. Worship is the main purpose of prayer. Everything else is icing on the cake. The Anointing is further enhanced in good, prolonged worship.

    Intercession Ministry
    The Backbone / Powerhouse of every Prayer Group in the Renewal is Intercession. “If MY people, who are called by MY Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” – 2 Chr 7:14

    We need to have intercession on as many days of the week as possible. We need to encourage our Intercessors to kneel and pray for as long as possible. Intercession to be done as a group (Mt.18:18-20). Intercessors must attend both the Intercession meeting and Prayer Meeting. Every intercessor to make a personal commitment to JESUS to be a soul winner through Prayer and Action.

    Excerpts from the talk by Dickson Mendes (Chairman BST) for the ABC Meeting on Sep. 1, 2013

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