Sr. Mary Anne Schaenzer, SSND

Anita Draper
Catholic Herald staff

The Diocese of Superior’s annual charismatic gathering is Sunday, Sept. 24, at Our Lady of Sorrows, Ladysmith.

All are welcome to attend “Hearts on Fire: Gathering, Praising and Witnessing God’s Love in Expectant Joy” from 2 to 6:30 p.m.

The event begins with registration at 1:30 p.m. There is no cost, but a freewill offering will be taken.
Spirit Seekers, from St. Anthony, Superior, will lead off with praise and worship time.

At 2:30 p.m., Laura Fenzl, youth director from Nativity of Our Lord, Rhinelander, will give the first talk. Committed to a single vocation, Fenzl has a bachelor’s degree in art education and a master’s degree in theological study from Ave Maria University. She is a native of Park Falls and has been working in youth ministry since 1986.

The second speaker of the day, Sr. Mary Anne Schaenzer, SSND, has a background in teaching, health care and, most recently, pastoral work. A longtime member of the charismatic movement, she has authored and edited works for prayer groups and has long served on leadership committees for the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. She will speak on the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Attendees will then gather in small groups for a sharing session, followed by benediction and procession in church. Bishops James P. Powers will join the group in the late afternoon, as he has a morning commitment. The event will end with a potluck meal.

Fr. Dean Buttrick, charismatic liaison for the Diocese of Superior, is in his first year in the role. He replaced Deacon Michael Cullen, who retired for health reasons.

Bishop Powers “asked me in the spring, and I prayed about it,” Fr. Buttrick said.

Although he’s 81, he felt God wanted him to take the job, so he agreed.

The Charismatic Renewal, which is 50 years old in this country, is the ministry of activating the gifts of the Holy Spirit, he explained. The movement traces its roots to Pentecost, when the apostles, filled with the Holy Spirit, overcame their fear and began their active ministry.

Catholics receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit when they are confirmed, he said, but those gifts are not always activated. Charismatic Renewal activates the gifts not for the person, but for the community.

“The Charismatic Renewal has been in the church in different ways throughout the centuries,” Fr. Buttrick said.

He quoted Jesuit priest and theologian Karl Rahner: “‘The charismatic element belongs to the essence of the church in a way that is just as necessary and permanent as hierarchical ministry and the sacraments.’”

Fr. Buttrick knows of four active prayer groups around the diocese – in Barron, Minong, Medford and River Falls – and he hopes in time to organize more. The diocese’s Charismatic Renewal Office will continue to hold annual gatherings, he added, although they are keeping the first one small, since they don’t know how many people to expect.

Fr. Buttrick wants to particularly welcome those who have attended Cursillo, Koinonia or Teens Encounter Christ retreats to come to the event.

He also wanted to express gratitude to Deacon Cullen for his work with Charismatic Renewal and his service to the diocese.

Fr. Buttrick lives in Cable. He can be reached at 715-798-3430.
For information about the event, call the Ladysmith church, 715-532-3051.