Bishop James P. Powers converses with priests at a Sept. 22 gathering of representatives of the Charismatic Renewal movement held in Hayward. (Submitted photo)

Jenny Snarski
Catholic Herald Staff

Moved by the desire to be seen, known and thus able to expand and serve, the Charismatic Renewal Service Committee for the Diocese of Superior has been busy.

On Sept. 22, they hosted a gathering at the St. Joseph Parish Center in Hayward to present themselves to the bishop and ask how diocesan Charismatics should expand their service.

Fr. Dean Buttrick, diocesan liaison for the Renewal, said personal invitations were mailed to each priest ministering in the diocese. The gathering included praise, prayer and a time for sharing. Attendees were divided into two groups and given questions for reflection and discussion.

The committee has been present with a table at the recent diocesan Fall Conference in Rice Lake, as well as at the Superior Diocesan Council of Catholic Women retreat in Cameron. At both events, representatives were well received. Many shared they were not aware the diocese had a Charismatic presence; a handful of new people requested inclusion in the group’s communication list.

“We have had a warm reception,” Sutton said. “A little surprise, but several allowed us to pray for their special intentions.”

Printed pamphlets and contact information were available and blessed Holy Spirit medals were given as gifts.

The committee is also looking into the request made by priests at the September gathering for healing ministry. Sutton noted that healing prayer – separate from the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick – would be able to be offered by Charismatic prayer group members, as priests are usually scheduled for another Mass at a neighboring parish. They will follow up with the priests who requested this and only move forward with Bishop Powers’ permission.

In addition to the eight parish-based prayer groups listed at, a new prayer group started this November in Superior. Even when the priest is not directly involved with the Charismatic efforts, they have approved the groups in their parishes. Lay leaders are discerning starting prayer groups in Balsam Lake and Rice Lake, and Fr. Mike Tupa is open to one for Rhinelander.

For now, the Charismatic Renewal is considered as under faith formation efforts in the diocese, as per the placement of their informational pages on the Catholic Diocese of Superior’s website. Sutton and Fr. Buttrick hope to speak further with the Office of Catholic Formation to see what the group can offer in regards to additional faith formation and spirituality resources.

A Life in the Spirit seminar is planned for Jan. 25 at St. Bridget’s in River Falls; more details will follow.

“We’re still trying to figure out where we fit in,” Sutton acknowledged, but said she is content to let the Holy Spirit guide with small steps.