Q & A’s

Q & A’s2023-10-10T17:54:26-07:00

Questions and Answers (Q & A’s)

Questions and Answers (Q & A’s) are another way to learn about the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. The first set of questions was  developed by your WOCCR Team. The second set was developed by the Doctrinal Commission, International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Service (ICCRS). This organization was recently incorporated into a new more comprehensive organizations known as CHARIS.

Q & A’s Developed by your WOCCR Team

Many of us have questions about the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. On this page we will pose questions and endeavor to provide a response. We hope this is useful to you.

Questions and Answers (Q & A's)

Please select one of these categories to see the Q & A’s.

What does the Holy Spirit do?2023-09-20T13:00:59-07:00

When Jesus was about to ascend into heaven, he said:

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, which the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows it. But you know it, because it remains with you, and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
— The New American Bible (NABRE), 2011, John 14:16-18

The Advocate, the holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name – he will teach you everything and remind you of all that (I) told you.
— NABRE, 2011, John 14:26

“When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth that proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me.
— NABRE, 2011, John 15:26

But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes he will convict the world in regard to sin and righteousness and condemnation: sin, because they do not believe in me; righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see me; condemnation, because the ruler of this world has been condemned. Coming of the Advocate “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming. He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.
— NABRE, 2011, John 16:7-15

These quotes from the Gospel of John showed the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Jesus stated that He will not leave us an orphans, but rather send the Holy Spirit to walk with and guide us.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church confirms the role of the Holy Spirit:

“The One whom the Father has sent into our hearts, the Spirit of his Son, is truly God. Consubstantial with the Father and the Son, the Spirit is inseparable from them, in both the inner life of the Trinity and his gift of love for the world. In adoring the Holy Trinity, life-giving, consubstantial, and indivisible, the Church’s faith also professes the distinction of persons. When the Father sends his Word, he always sends his Breath. In their joint mission, the Son and the Holy Spirit are distinct but inseparable. To be sure, it is Christ who is seen, the visible image of the invisible God, but it is the Spirit who reveals him.”
—- Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), 2000, para.689

What is the benefit of attending a Life in the Spirit seminar?2023-09-20T13:01:47-07:00

Each Life in the Spirit (LIS) seminar has a goal of offering evangelization to the members of the parish. The time spent on the seminar will have the benefit helping each person on their personal journey and relationship with Jesus, through the Holy Spirit. Those attending will experience the power of the Holy Spirit working within them. Retreatants often experience an opening of the Scriptures in a new and dynamic way. The participants will be better equipped to use the Gifts bestowed on them at their Sacramental Baptism.
Western Washington Catholic Charismatic Renewal

“Participants in the Charismatic Renewal are in love with the Lord Jesus Christ and His Church. They not only speak of Jesus as someone who lived over two thousand years ago, they speak of Jesus as someone who is alive today—because He is! They affirm that the same charisms, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, which empowered the early Church, are still available to every believer.”
– Pope Francis
Address of Pope Francis to the Charismatic Renewal Conference in Rome, Pentecost 2014

For additional information follow this link to Life in the Spirit seminars

I am interested in the Charismatic Renewal, but I don’t know how to start?2023-09-20T13:03:50-07:00

Thank you for your interest in the Renewal.  This is a wonderful beginning.

  • Pray and ask our Lord what he desires for you.
  • If you are prompted by the Lord and want to pursue a greater experience in the Renewal, the please read and pray over the testimony of Patti Gallegar Mansfield — the first to experience the power of the Holy Spirit.
  • Check the Home page of this website for Featured Events or visit the Events page to see if there are Prayer Groups or events scheduled near you.  If so, please step forward in courage and attend one or more of these opportunities.
  • For a more comprehensive introduction to the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, please seek to attend a Life in the Spirit seminar.
  • If there is nothing in your area, please reach out to the WOCCR Team and let them know of your interest.

May the Lord bless you for stepping forward, towards a new relationship with Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

Some Life in the Spirit seminars occur over a seven week period, while others occur in one day. What is the difference?2023-09-20T13:03:17-07:00

The Doctrinal Commission of the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Service (now known as CHARIS) provides the following response:

The Life in the Spirit Seminar was originally designed to be a seven-week program, modeled on the seven weeks of prayer and expectancy that Jesus’ disciples, including his mother Mary, lived from the Resurrection until Pentecost. On the fiftieth day, “they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:4).

Today, the Life in the Seminar is sometimes done in a two-week format, or over a weekend, or even in a single day. For some groups, these are the only feasible options due to various pastoral circumstances. However, they are less than ideal. Whenever possible, it is best to use the full seven-week format. In some cases, where people are unfamiliar with the gospel message, a longer format such as three months or a year is even better.

The Seminar is not only a matter of listening to talks, but of following a path of deep conversion, breaking with a life of sin, obtaining inner healing and liberation. People discover anew the Father’s love, come to know Jesus’ salvation and lordship, and are equipped to become his disciples and witnesses in the world. It is only after this formation and conversion that people are ready to receive a deeper outpouring of the Spirit and his gifts.

If there is insufficient preparation, the prayer for baptism in the Spirit will usually not bear the expected fruit of holiness, nor will it bring authentic charisms to serve the body of Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Of course, God sometimes sovereignly baptises people in the Holy Spirit apart from the Life in the Spirit Seminar, for example through the sacrament of Confirmation if its preparation stresses the same themes as the Seminars. God pours out his Spirit when he wills.
Charismatic Renewal International Service (CHARIS),

What are the Spiritual Gifts (Fruits, Gifts and Charisms) of the Holy Spirit?2023-09-20T13:00:43-07:00

St. Paul wants all of us to be aware of our personal spiritual gifts. At baptism we begin a special relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit which grows every day. Baptism opens each of us to spiritual gifts, talents or charisms that help in the building up of the Body of Christ on earth. When we are baptized, we receive His Holy Spirit in a deep and spiritual way. On Pentecost Sunday, Peter repeated Joel’s words, “I will pour out my Spirit upon all.” Acts 2:17. From the day of Pentecost, the Church has celebrated and administered Baptism. Throughout our life our baptism is still working. Its waters of refreshment, love and service are still giving us life today.
— Archdiocese of St. Louis, Spiritual Gifts Inventory

The Spiritual Gifts of the Holy Spirit are described in detail on the web page about these gifts.

Different aspects of the Charisms are discussed further down this Q & A’s page in the section: “Additional Q & A’s Developed by the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Service” under the topic “Charisms”.

What is the mission of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal?2023-09-20T13:10:50-07:00

In 2013, the Doctrinal Commission – International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services (CHARIS today) stated as a preface to a discussion on the Life in the Spirit seminars:

“Look to the future by committing yourselves to a new evangelisation, new in ardour, method, and expression.” With these words Pope John Paul II gave the Church its primary task for the third millennium: a new proclamation of the gospel carried out with renewed vigour inspired by the Holy Spirit, the power who creates witnesses (Acts 1:8).
International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services

When did the Catholic Charismatic Renewal begin? What did the participants experience?2023-09-20T13:06:19-07:00

The Catholic Charismatic Renewal began at a Duquesne University student retreat at the Ark and Dove Retreat Center, in 1967. It was during that retreat that the participants had a profound experience of the Holy Spirit and Jesus. For additional information on this retreat, please see the page titled: Catholic Charismatic Renewal.

We have had the Holy Spirit since the first Pentecost. Why is the Renewal necessary now?2023-09-30T21:55:07-07:00

The Catholic Charismatic Renewal is critical to the Church and to each of its members. The Renewal enables us to learn about the Spirit — our Advocate —  and to accept his leadership in our lives.

The seeds of the Renewal began over six decades ago.

The Second Vatican Council

Pope John XXIII (1958-1963) called for an ecumenical council to examine all aspects of the Church. The Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) resulted in the publication of sixteen major documents addressing the renewal of the church. That was the work of the Holy Spirit.

One of the major documents from that Council was “Lumen Gentium”. Translated it means the “Dogmatic Constitution on the Church.”  Paragraph 4. of that document states in part:

When the work with the Father gave the Son to do on earth (see Jn 17:4) was completed, the holy Spirit was sent on the day of Pentecost to sanctify the church continually and so that believers might have access to the Father through Christ in the one Spirit (see Eph 2:18). This is the Spirit of life, the fountain of water springing up to eternal life (see Jn 4:14; 7:38-39)), through whom the Father gives life to human beings dead in sin, until the day when, in Christ, he raises to life their mortal bodies (see Rom 8:10-11). The Spirit dwells in the church and in the hearts of the faithful as a temple (see 1 Cor 3:16; 6:19), prays and bears witness in them that they are his adopted children (see Gal 4:6; Rom 8:15-16 and 26). He guides the church in the way of all truth (see Jn 16:13) and, uniting it in fellowship and ministry, bestows upon it different hierarchic and charismatic gifts, and in this way directs it and adorns it with his fruits (see Eph 4:11-12; 1 Cor 12:4; Gal 5:22). By the power of the Gospel he rejuvenates the church, constantly renewing and leading it to perfect union with its spouse. For the Spirit and the Bride both say to Jesus, the Lord, Come! (see Apoc 22:17). Hence the universal church is seen to be “a people made one by the unity of the Father, the Son and the holy Spirit.”
— Lumen Gentium, (1996), “Vatican Council II: Constitution Decrees, Declarations”, para 4.

Changes in the Church after the Vatican Council II

Following this Council, there were major changes in the Church. Here is a list of a few of the most obvious changes:

  • Mass that was said in Latin was then said in the local language.
  • The altar was moved forward and turned so the priest would face the people.
  • The responses to the priest during Mass were now spoken by the congregation.
  • Church music was changed with many new hymns.
  • Many, many more that affected the church and every member.

This renewal was the work of the Holy Spirit.

Catholic Charismatic Renewal

Two years after Vatican Council II, the Catholic Charismatic Renewal began at a retreat for Duquesne University students. This was the work of the Holy Spirit.

Since that time, over 120 million Catholics have experienced the Charismatic Renewal. This was the work of the Holy Spirit.

Pope Francis speaks to the Renewal

In 2019, Pope Francis addressed these remarks to the leaders of the Renewal:

This Pentecost begins a new stage begins on the journey inaugurated by the Charismatic Renewal fifty-two years ago. The Charismatic Renewal, which developed in the Church by the will of God, represents, to paraphrase Saint Paul VI, “a great opportunity for the Church” (cf. Address to Participants in the III International Congress of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, 19 May 1975).

These three things – baptism in the Holy Spirit, unity in the body of Christ and service to the poor – are the forms of witness that, by virtue of baptism, all of us are called to give for the evangelization of the world. An evangelization that is not proselytism but first and foremost witness: a witness of love. “See how they love one another”. That was what impressed those who encountered the first Christians. “See how they love one another”.

Members of the Charismatic Renewal, as a current of the grace of the Holy Spirit, be witnesses of this love! And please, pray for me.
— Pope Francis, June 8, 2019, “Speech of the Holy Father during the inauguration of CHARIS.”

The Renewal then is an essential element in activating the “current of grace” we received from the Holy Spirit through the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation.

Is the Renewal Necessary today?

The Renewal is essential today because the Holy Spirit was given to us by Jesus as our Advocate. Since the mid 1960’s He has inspired great change in the Church. He opened the door thru the renewal for ordinary parishioners to have a deeper relationship with Jesus and our Father.

The Charismatic Renewal helps each of us to respond to the opportunities the Holy Spirit has made available to us.

Why is this essential for each of us?

Anointed for Service -- the need for RenewalEvery member of the Church has received the anointing of the Spirit in the Sacraments of Baptism and hopefully  Confirmation. However, we may not be aware of the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. If so, then we may also be unaware of the sanctifying graces He has for us — the Spiritual Gifts. These are available to us to increase our love of Jesus, increase in holiness and help others and build up the church.

  • Fruits of the Holy Spirit are sanctifying graces that are given to us as perfections that the Holy Spirit forms in us as the first fruits of eternal glory. They are the manifestation that an individual has received the Holy Spirit’s gifts.
  • Gifts of the Holy Spirit are sanctifying graces given to us to strengthen our own spiritual life and help us to grow closer to the Lord.
  • Charisms are sanctifying graces that are given to us as Jesus wills, so that we can do the work He did when he was out Earth — praying, healing the sick and proclaiming His Father. These Charisms are critical for each of us to perform Jesus’ work on Earth — to help His people and to build up His Church.

These are the graces from the Spirit that help us commit ourselves to drawing closer to Jesus and relying on the  Spirit. If we don’t know about or accept these sanctifying graces, we will not be able to respond to Pope Francis’ exhortation. He ask us to “witness that, by virtue of baptism, all of us are called to give for the evangelization of the world.”

Who is the Holy Spirit?2023-09-20T13:01:15-07:00

The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Holy Trinity. He reigns with Our Father and Jesus Christ. This belief was expressed from the earliest days of the Church in the Apostles Creed. It professes faith in the Holy Trinity — Father, Son (Jesus) and the Holy Spirit

.… I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, …
— Apostles Creed

For more information on the Holy Spirit please see this page.

How do we receive the Spiritual Gifts of the Holy Spirit?2023-09-20T13:00:17-07:00

We receive the Spiritual Gifts of the Holy Spirit through the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation. However, we are not always aware of the works of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is one way for us to reinvigorate our awareness of the Holy Spirit and his mission to draw us closer to Jesus and the Church. As we become aware of the presence of the Holy Spirit and the intimate relationship we can have with Jesus, the Spiritual Gifts of the Spirit are showered upon us and Jesus wills.

We find the following in the text from the Charismatic Renewal International Service in Rome, Italy.

New in Expression

The new evangelization is new in expression if the evangelist proclaims the gospel in clear and direct terms, if he pays attention to the signs that accompany the proclamation of the word, and if he, driven by a deep faith, speaks under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Through baptism in the Holy Spirit, we learn to imitate Jesus, who “went about all Galilee, teaching, preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every infirmity among the people” (Mt 4:23), and who sent his disciples to do the same (Mk 16:15–17). The proclamation of the kingdom is not only in words but also in deeds, done through faith in Jesus’ name and the power of the Holy Spirit.


The new evangelisation calls us to return to the teaching of Jesus and the powerful action of the Holy Spirit. It therefore calls for a return to basics. The Life in the Spirit Seminar proposes an approach to meeting the living Jesus and experiencing the power of the Holy Spirit. It is truly a royal path of entry into the abundant life (Jn 10:10).
— Charismatic Renewal International Service (CHARIS)

Thus, the Life in the Spirit seminars are one of the most important keys to opening our minds and hearts to the works of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives. The Spiritual Gifts of the Holy Spirit flow from that growth in holiness inspired by the Holy Spirit.

When do we receive the “Anointing” of the Holy Spirit?2023-09-20T13:11:33-07:00

Baptism of a ChildYou and I are Anointed by the Holy Spirit when we receive the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation. With these sacraments we receive an anointing on our forehead with Sacred Chrism. This is a physical sign that we have received the Holy Spirit. By the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation, Christians — the anointed ones — share more fully in the mission of Jesus and in the fullness of the Spirit with whom He is filled.

When we are confirmed, we receive a spiritual mark or seal of the Holy Spirit. Jesus was sealed by the Father.  St. Paul writes:

“It is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has commissioned us; he has put his seal upon us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.”
— New American Bible: Revised Edition (NABRE), 2011, 2 Corinthians 1:21–22

The Catechism provides the following:

“This seal of the Holy Spirit marks our total belonging to Christ, our enrollment in his service forever, as well as the promise of divine protection.”
— Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), 2000, para. 1296

I was active in the Renewal, but with COVID-19, I lost contact with the movement. What can I do to get involved again?2023-09-20T13:03:30-07:00

There are several steps you can take to open yourself to refreshment by the Holy Spirit. Please see it one or several of these work for you.

These are some ideas, do you find one or more that appeal to you or can you think of other options?  May the Lord bless your efforts.

Where can I see the works of the Holy Spirit today?2023-09-20T13:09:18-07:00

One of the most significant works of the Holy Spirit occurs at every Mass.  Did you know that every time you attend Mass, you can see a miracle performed by the Holy Spirit on the altar.  It occurs when the Priest places his hands over the bread and wine on the altar and prays an invocation to the Holy Spirit.  Here is the text from the Second Eucharistic Prayer during Mass.

You are indeed Holy, O Lord,
the fount of all holiness.

Make holy, therefore, these gifts, we pray,
by sending down your Spirit upon them like the dewfall,
so that they may become for us
the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ
—- Catholic Eucharistic Prayer

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) website describes this part of the Eucharistic Prayer at Mass, called the Epiclesis.

c) The epiclesis, in which, by means of particular invocations, the Church implores the power of the Holy Spirit that the gifts offered by human hands be consecrated, that is, become Christ’s Body and Blood, and that the unblemished sacrificial Victim to be consumed in Communion may be for the salvation of those who will partake of it.
— U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

Beyond the Mass, you can also see the Spiritual Gifts of the Holy Spirit (Fruits, Gifts, and Charisms) active in people you encounter each day.

Why are we Anointed by the Holy Spirit?2023-09-20T13:10:20-07:00

Anointed for ServiceThe short answer to this question is “we are anointed to serve” God, His people and His Church.”

Pope Francis spoke to this topic in his May 22, 2021 Pentecost message, to an ecumenical audience. He concluded his speech with the following message: “Let us be changed by the Holy Spirit so that we can change the world. God is faithful, He never reneges on His promise.”

The Vatican News Service reported on this speech in a article titled: “Pope to CHARIS Pentecost vigil: Holy Spirit changes us so we can change the world.”

If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to send them by email to the WOCCR Team.

Questions and Answers (Q & A’s) Developed by the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services

The Doctrinal Commission at  the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services (now incorporated into CHARIS International)  developed Questions and Answers about various aspects of the Charismatic Renewal in the Catholic Church.

Recently, the Church elevated the status of the Renewal, by establishing a new worldwide organization known as CHARIS International. If you are not familiar with CHARIS, please see this article from the Vatican News Service, dated June 6, 2019.

Here is a list of the questions covered on their website.

CHARIS International -- Questions and Answers (Q & A's)

Baptism in the Holy Spirit:



Healing and Deliverance:

Resting in the Spirit:


Life in the Spirit Seminas:


Please take some time and explore their in-depth responses to questions.

Go to Top