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    Students Prayer Service

    A special prayer meeting was held on Wednesday, 12th February 2014 for the students of Std. X and XII of St. Pius and St. Mary’s School. The members of our intercessory team were constantly praying for the success of this event. A total of over 50 children came for the prayer meeting along with their parents. The meeting began with an anointed time of Praise and Worship by our youth, followed by the breaking of the Word on "Power of Intercession". Fr. Joseph, our Spiritual Director, then made a special prayer for the children, after which he blessed and anointed them individually. The children were requested to drop their petitions in the petition box, assuring them of our continued prayers. We thank the good Lord for giving us an opportunity to pray for the children.

    Jennifer Fernandes - St. Pius X Prayer Group, Mulund

    The BIN Night Vigil was held on 8th February, 2014 at St. Francis Xavier School Hall, Bhandup. The praise and worship was led by the ECCLESIA prayer group, Chembur, which was followed by an insightful talk by Br. Merwyn. The talk was based on seeking the Kingdom of God first and relying on the promises of God in faith. He related the Word of God with day-to-day examples.
    A lady shared her testimony, followed by Sr. Zanitha testifying that God had granted many of the petitions of BIN over a period of months, especially for the needs of troubled marriages in our city, and prayed for the CCR and its programs.
    A session on interceding for various needs was led by Sr. Hyacinth and her team in a very innovative way, by combining a Psalm and the Rosary with Jericho March. We then continued with the intercession for the needs of prisoners and prison management in our country, which was led by Sr. Margaret. Br. Merwyn gave a small talk on the Eucharist, and why we believe that Jesus is physically present in the Host; followed by the Eucharist which was celebrated by Fr. Robin. After the Mass, an anointing and intercession session was led by Br. Stanley.

    Noel Dsouza - Our Lady of Lourdes Prayer Group, Kanjurmarg

    CCR Mumbai’s mission statement of D.I.E. (Discipleship, Intercession & Evangelization) with its vision to build up the parishes & families where prayer groups are present, organised this ‘Charism Retreat’ for those who were already mature in the faith. Fifty-seven participants of all ages from numerous prayer groups met at Vinalaya, from 7th to 9th Feb. They were prayer group leaders, core group members, leaders of music ministry & such others who kept aside all other responsibilities to discover, learn, imbibe & operate the Charisms of The Holy Spirit to build up themselves & the church.
    The two resource persons, luminaries from CCR Chennai, Rev. Fr. Thamburaj SJ. and Br. Benjamin Gonzaga, effortlessly guided us through the intricacies of the various Charisms & Gifts of the Holy Spirit, interwoven with myriad illustrations from the treasury of their own experiences of more than three decades. Having prepared myself for a solemn retreat on the ‘heavy’ topic, I was pleasantly surprised to find the three days fly past at a tempo that left no time for boredom or a tendency to doze. What’s more, though the gentlemen were rich in age and wisdom, their camaraderie, & interpersonal skills kept us in splits as they took pot-shots at each other during every session. Interaction and clarifications were encouraged & their constant presence & approachability made it easier for participants to clarify doubts unhesitantly.
    ‘Deliverance & Exorcism’, normally considered ‘scary’ or ‘serious’ topics were handled ever so lightly by the ever-smiling Benjamin, that, at the end of it, participants actually prayed to receive those charisms too! According to him, at least one, (if not all) gifts & charisms are given to us during Baptism itself. Even the poor, the illiterate & even a small child can be highly gifted in the spirit according to God’s plan. In fact, Fr. Thamburaj believes that in many instances ‘Knowledge’ is the biggest block to reception & operation of Gifts and Charisms. All that is required is a stirring up of the Spirit that is lying dormant (sometimes all through our lives just because one does not have the disposition to live a life in the spirit).
    Some of the theoretical sessions, covered numerous topics and sub-topics on the subject like personal v/s charismatic or manifestation gifts, basic v/s ministerial or supportive charisms etc. & were followed by workshops. In the workshops on Gift of Tongues, Word of Knowledge & Prophecy, Healing & Deliverance, etc. participants were divided into groups to discern what gifts each possessed. In the workshop on ‘Word of Knowledge and Wisdom’, all participants displayed the gifts. As one prayed over the other, in turns, a word, symbol, a vision or picture concerning the one prayed over is revealed. What was great was that all got accurate knowledge about each other. Each workshop ended with sharing of experiences.
    The signs, symbols and revelations participants received were sometimes astounding, and sometimes hilarious. It was heartening when the revelations were confirmed by the persons concerned: at once an uplifting and a humbling experience. It was Joel 2:28 in action. The icing on the cake came when Fr. Thambu & Br. Benji (as they are fondly called), announced, that of all their seminars and retreats conducted over the years on this topic, this session was their best! The retreat ended at 5pm only because it had to end – not because anyone wanted it to! ‘Too short’ and ‘too exciting’, was the unanimous verdict. Indeed, an ‘Alice in wonderland’ experience. A big THANKS to CCR Mumbai for organizing this retreat.

    Mrs. Elizabeth A. Parackal Divya Krupa Prayer Group, Kharghar, Navi Mumbai
    ‘NEW AWAKENING’ – A Gospel Musical

    On the morning of 26th Jan a battle cry resounded in Mumbai. It was the programme ‘New Awakening’ – the first programme of the ‘Year of Youth’ (2014) for the Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR) in Mumbai.

    2014 was announced as the ‘Year of Youth’ by the Mumbai Service Team, in line with their Vision of renewing the families of every parish in Mumbai which has a Prayer Group. ‘New Awakening’ was a program organized under the leadership of the MST by the Youth United for CHRIST (YU4C) for the youth. Over 500 youth and many adults from parishes across Mumbai attended this programme at St. Andrew’s Auditorium in Bandra.

    Whether it was the address of the Chief Guest Rev. Fr. Jose, (the Chairman of the National Service Team (NST)), the testimonies of Youth (Royston & Pearl), the gospel dances (Rose of Sharon PG), the skit (Holy Family PG) or the awesome praise & worship by three youth bands from the prayer groups of Mumbai (Holy Family PG, St. Pius PG & (In Christ) Andheri W zone), it was an anointed and inspiring time for those attending. The purpose of the programme was to help the prayer group youth in particular to strengthen their commitment to have an intimate relationship with JESUS and to bring other youth to HIM. A brief talk on the same by Victor Pereira (Vice-Chairman) followed by a time of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and a prayer of the in-filling of the HOLY SPIRIT by George Pereira helped in achieving this purpose.

    To conclude the programme, all the 3 bands came together to perform a medley of Hymns for the Glory of GOD. Watching the Youth gather in front of the stage and joyfully sing and dance for JESUS was such a pleasant and heart-warming experience. The herald of the ‘Year of Youth’ by the CCR is truly a New Awakening for the youth of this city!

    Rohan Dlima - Youth Animator - Holy Family Prayer Group, Andheri E
    Intercession at Charismatic Office Dadar

    For a number of us from the Living Waters Prayer Group, Orlem, Malad, it has been over 8 years and counting! Well, I’m referring to our team of intercessors going faithfully every Tuesday to intercede for the CCR in Mumbai at the Chapel in the CCR Office at Dadar, since its inauguration in August 2005.

    Our prayer group decided to be regular each Tuesday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., and that is how it has been for so many years.

    In preparation for this intercession, our intercessors pray a minimum four rosaries, two Chaplets of Divine mercy and a few chaplets of the Wounds of JESUS every day. In addition, several of us fast on that day as a sacrifice and sign of humbling ourselves while we intercede (2 Chronicle 7:14). We also found that this also helps those with the Gifts and Charisms of the HOLY SPIRIT to exercise them during our time of intercession. For the 10 – 12 of us who are regular, we found that we have received many blessings from the LORD; perhaps, the greatest of these is that our faith has grown and we have grown as evangelizers. Praise the LORD for HE has done mighty wonders.

    Boniface Fernandes and Team, Living Waters Prayer Group, Orlem, Malad

    Annual Agape

    St. Pius X Prayer Group celebrated the Annual Agape on 19th January 2014 in St. Pius X School Hall, Mulund.
    The program started with a spirit filled praise & worship led by our latest batch of new disciples. The prayer group leader, Br. Roque Lobo, shared the Word on the "Father’s Agape love for us". Sr. Hyacinth Rebeiro, our compere for the day, ensured that we had a good time. Our Confirmation students (facilitated by their Animator Merlin Fernandes and also member of our prayer group) together with a few Sacred Heart Choir members also participated in the program. The youth brought in their enthusiasm and energy and we pray that this will be a stepping stone for many of them to join the youth cell of our prayer group.

    Catherine Raj, St. Pius X Prayer Group, Mulund

    The bi-monthly BIN Night Vigil was conducted by the MST on 12th January 2014. An anointed time of praise and worship was conducted by the St. Annes Music Ministry, Bandra. Royston Braganza, from Spirit of Love Prayer Group, Bandra gave us a powerful teaching on Leadership and the goals of a good leader.
    A time of ministering was conducted by Arun, Prayer Group Leader of the Spirit of Love Prayer Group, Bandra for all the leaders present. The night was spent praying and interceding for various needs related to the prayer group leaders, various ministries of the prayer groups and the need of the CCR, keeping in mind the vision and mission statement.
    The night vigil was concluded by offering all our intentions in the Holy Eucharist, which was celebrated by Fr. Roland Fialho, the Spiritual Director of the CCR in Mumbai.

    Sacha Fernandes - Word and Spirit Prayer Group, Sahar, Andheri E
    Youth Revival at Our Lady of Lourdes Prayer Group

    The youth of Our Lady of Lourdes Prayer Group, Kanjur Marg (East) met together to plan sessions for the youth of the Prayer Group and the Parish that would help them be more committed to Christ and put Him first in their lives. After prayer and discussion, a vision and a mission was set for the upcoming months. The vision is "To be deeply rooted in Christ by being committed Christians" (Col 2:6-8) and the mission is "To achieve our vision by correctly setting our priorities in life". As an initial attempt to work towards this vision, a monthly program was organized for the youth, with emphasis on different practical aspects of commitment to Christ.

    An introductory session was held in September, where Ronald spoke about the necessity to be deeply rooted in Christ in order to effectively handle the key areas of a youths life such as career, studies, life partner etc. An inspiring and unique testimony was shared by Ashley, that encouraged the youth to build a strong bond with Christ, Who will in turn transform their lives. The youth from Kanjur Marg Prayer Group led us into a time of Praise & Worship.

    The follow-up session was held in October. The Living Word Ministry, Airoli led the youth into an anointed time of Praise & Worship. Mrs. Hyacinth Rebeiro spoke on "Setting priorities in life" and stressed on how we need to empty ourselves by pursuing holiness, so that God, our family and ministry fills our lives. She shared that doing this will help us become committed servants of Christ.

    A workshop on commitment to Christ was held in November. The session began with a time of praise and worship led by the youth of the Vikhroli and Kanjur Marg prayer groups together. Br. Everest Mascarenhas gave the youth valuable inputs on the seven signs of a committed Christian based on the life of the Prophet Daniel. He then led the youth into a group discussion, where each one had to list down their priorities and commitments.

    As a continued effort towards our Vision, a musical event was organized on 15th December (6:30 pm to 10 pm including Eucharist) at St. Francis Xaviers Church Hall, Kanjur Marg (East), which will enable the youth to experience Christ afresh and also to explore Gospel music through Praise and Thanksgiving. The theme for this event is "Passion for Praise" (based on Psalm 150 - "Let everything that has breath, praise the Lord").

    We give all praise and glory to God, for bringing about such a fruitful revolution in the youth of our group, and we hope and pray and He will continue to be with us in our sustained efforts to revive the youth of our parish and prayer group.

    Noel DSouza (Asst. Youth Coordinator), Our Lady of Lourdes Prayer Group, Kanjur Marg

    Parish Outreach And Prayer Group Ruby Celebration

    [For the Lord is good; His steadfast love endures forever, and His faithfulness to all generations. Psalm 100:5]

    This verse is apt when we look back at the 40 years completed by St. Anthonys Prayer Group, Vakola. Truly it was the Lord’s doing through which we have endured. The prayer group owes its existence to the efforts put in by Late Fr. Leslie Ratus, who along with Ms Faye Alvares gave Vakola its first taste of the Charismatic Renewal. It was later Christened "Cenacle" meaning "The Upper Room" by a small group of zealous members, which included Francis Dsouza, Antonette Mascarenhas and Fr. Michael Cardoz, who wanted to rebuild the Upper Room experience. In 1987, the prayer group amalgamated with the Rose of Sharon Prayer Group, Kalina and in 2000, became an independent prayer group taking over the name "St. Anthonys Prayer Group", in honor of the patron saint of the parish. Since then, it has grown from strength to strength, and in thanks giving for these 40 years of Grace, a parish outreach as well as a celebration for the members and invitees was organized.

    The outreach for the parish aimed to give a taste of the Renewal through teaching, worship and healing services. The first day of the outreach (5th Dec) was inaugurated by a Eucharistic celebration which was celebrated by Fr. Vinay Kamath who also prophesied that several people would be touched by the outreach. The celebration was followed by a talk on "Believe and See the Glory of God" by Trevor Lewis who elucidated God’s profound, unswerving love and Gods Divine Clemency. Some came back testifying the Lord’s healing touch upon them. On the second day, Fr. Melroy Mendonca presided over the Mass which was followed by a fervent worship before the Blessed Sacrament led by Lenny Soares and his team. The theme for the third day was "Forgive and be healed". The Mass for this day was celebrated by Fr. Clarence Sequeira, and later on, Derrick Fernandes guided the people through the Inner Healing Session. He spoke on rending our hearts, confessing our sins and experiencing God’s free Grace. On the last day of the outreach, Fr. Lawrence Dsouza celebrated the Mass in Konkani. He exhorted in his sermon that we should continue to bear fruit from the outreach program by our transformed lives. Fr. Ashlyn Chand and Fr. Melroy Mendonca then conducted a session on the infilling of the Holy Spirit. Fr. Ashlyn gave a deeper comprehension of the healing of the blind man, Bartimaeus, who followed Jesus after being healed and he also gave the word of knowledge and prophesied on various healings experienced by a number of people. Finally, a video clip of the history of the CCR was shown, followed by Francis Dsouza officially closing the outreach thanking and praising God for the prayer group and the attendees.

    On 9th December 2013, members of our Prayer Group (past and present) and invitees (which included members from the CCR, eminent speakers, priests and religious) met at St. Charles School Hall for the Ruby Jubilee Celebration. After a time of praise, followed by Mass which was concelebrated by Fr. Roland, Fr. Melroy, Fr. Franklin and Fr. Michael, a skit enactment displayed that panacea for lifes problem lies not in sources like occult, money and other vices, but in Christ alone. The skit culminated in an angelic dance put up by the children, the youth and the elders. One of our prayer group member shared her testimony on how God worked in her life. The testimony was followed by a presentation on the history and activities of the prayer group. We wound up with a felicitation, cake cutting by past and present leaders and a sumptuous dinner.

    We give praise to God for making the outreach and the celebration possible. All glory and praise be to Him now and forevermore!!!

    Flory Mascarenhas, Janice Dsouza and Jacintha Fernandes - St Anthonys Prayer Group, Vakola, Santacruz.

    All Mumbai Youth Follow-up Program - LAUNCH INTO THE DEEP - 8th December

    Wow! That’s a one word description of our experience at the recently concluded ‘Launch into the Deep’ organized by the YU4C of the CCR Mumbai. This was a follow up to REFUEL that was conducted in November and was meant to build us youth further.
    Over 250 youth converged on the evening of 8th December at St. Michael’s Church Auditorium at Mahim. After being ministered to by other youth who led us into a time of uplifting praise and worship, we received a couple of inspiring talks from Br. Carlos along with a testimony of one of our fellow youngsters.
    On the brink of life in the real world, there is one question that overshadows every youngster with fear – “What does the future hold for me?” The talks given by Br. Carlos answered that question beautifully. He explained the meaning and significance of Jeremiah 29:11 – “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.” As many of us shared later, this talk gave us confidence that GOD’s plan, which stems from HIS Love for us, is one for our welfare and well-being and that gave us hope.
    As the name of the programme suggested, ‘Launch into the Deep’ was about helping us to become ‘Fishers of other Youth”. A video was shown to us based on Mark 1:17 – “Follow ME and I will make you fishers of men.” It made many of us realize that there was so much to do in the ‘vineyard’ of the LORD, and the call to be ‘Fishers of Youth’ added so much of meaning and purpose to our life.
    Thanks to the Mumbai Service Team (MST) and the YU4C for organizing these enriching programmes for us and for our growth. We look forward to many more!

    Priya Pai & Lisa - Youth Animator, Rose of Sharon Prayer Group, Kalina, Santacruz.

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