Fr. Michael Becker, a diocesan priest of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the rector of St. John Vianney College Seminary in St. Paul, was the keynote speaker. (Submitted photo)

Jenny Snarski
Catholic Herald Staff

On Saturday, May 18, the Diocese of Superior Charismatic Core Team put on a spring teaching conference at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Cameron. Forty-four people plus nine core team members attended.

Two dozen cities within the diocese were represented. Participants also came from Eau Claire and Minnesota. Erich Wallace, a member of St. Francis Xavier Parish in Merrill, provided praise and worship music.

The keynote address was presented via video by Fr. Michael Becker, a diocesan priest of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the rector of St. John Vianney College Seminary in St. Paul.

His talk, “Growing in Your Charisms,” is available for viewing at under the right-side videos tab.

Fr. Becker introduced the topic, distinguishing the charisms of the Holy Spirit from the gifts and fruits, all mentioned in Scripture.

He encourages a personal encounter with the Holy Spirit, which is much more than book knowledge. Fr. Becker said, “He is alive and speakers to us, strengthens us, sanctifies us.” He explained that the Holy Spirit is active in every sacrament but has even more powerful experiences to share.

Speaking of the common situation where a person who has been baptized and confirmed puts the gifts they have received on a shelf or doesn’t fully unwrap them, Fr. Becker explained that a watershed moment can bring about greater spiritual maturity.

A step, he said, comes after a person has “interiorly, definitively decided, I turn my back on the world and I choose to live for God, I give my life to Jesus. He will be the center of my life. He will be the focus. He will be the artist and I the clay.”

He noted the growth of the charismatic movement and charismatic ministries encourages openness to and promotion of a great filling with, and greater consuming by, the Holy Spirit.

The priest presented on specific charisms of the Spirit, spoken of in Scripture – gifts of tongues, prophecy and healing. Fr. Becker added that these gifts and charisms should be desired and requested.

“Charity must be the beginning and end of all charisms,” he affirmed.

“We need the members of our Church to rise up in gifts,” he added, saying it is all people in the Church who are needed to build up the Body of Christ, not just the action of the priest.

Iterating that special charisms of the spirit need “to be governed by virtue and pastors,” Fr. Becker called on pastors and bishops to promote and support the Charismatic Renewal.

“We need the Acts of the Apostles alive,” he emphasized.

He continued speaking on the need to “become aware of how the demonic acts in our life.” Stating that every person is tempted, he said more specifically, “The first thing (Satan) wants is that we don’t believe in God … If we do believe in God, then he wants us not to believe in the devil or demons.”
Fr. Becker taught on discernment of spirits, demonic influences in particular, and the authority a person has over themselves and parents have over their children to pray for deliverance.

The entire video lasts 53 minutes.

To conclude, Fr. Becker names various authors he recommends for further reading: Fr. Mary Healy, Damian Stayne, Francis McNutt and in particular, regarding deliverance ministries, Neal Lozano and Dr. Bob Schuchts.

Mary Joan Sutton, chairperson for the diocesan Core Team, shared comments received after the event. Participants were looking to learn, to be led, to be renewed and share the experience with others.

Sutton felt the day “brought us together and there was a reviving of the Spirit.” She also said that given the last diocesan gathering for formation in the Charismatic Renewal was the fall of 2017, attendees were looking for more. This is translating into prayer groups that are starting and renewing as places to meet and pray together.