Among the many speakers, priests, nuns, deacons and lay people at the National Leaders and Ministries Conference, Bishop Sam Jacobs shone like a beacon and stood out as a guiding paternal shepherd. He was impressive yet surprisingly approachable throughout the weekend. The gifts, such as tongues, prophecy, healing etc., were abundant and flowing this weekend during all parts of Mass, praise, prayer, teachings and fellowship. We were all floating on clouds of joy and peace as the Spirit descended upon us. You can't get better than that!
Bishop Sam gave testimony during his homily to all of us urging us "not to give in to despair or weariness but to trust God and be available when the Holy Spirit calls". He not only speaks his testimony but lives it as an amazing Charismatic leader. You may visit his website at www.spiritaflame.org.
Bishop Sam Jacobs was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Lafayette in 1964 where he served as pastor, chaplain, and associate pastor of several parishes there and also in the Diocese of Lake Charles. He has served as chairman of the National Service Committee for the Charismatic Renewal and diocesan director of Vocations and Seminarians for the Diocese of Lake Charles. Bishop Jacobs was appointed the tenth bishop of Alexandria in 1989 and was installed as the third bishop of Houma-Thibodaux in 2003. He retired in October of 2013 and is now the bishop emeritus of Houma-Thibodaux. He celebrated 50 years of priesthood on June 6, 2014, and marked 25 years of episcopacy on August 24, 2014.
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is a beautiful way for the faithful to pray, meditate, and praise the Lord for all that He has done for us in our lives and for the world. Fr. Ian Van Heusen, Parochial Vicar at St. Bernadette’s Church in Fuquay-Varina, has a passion for what he calls “the art of worship”. For the second time this year he organized an evening of praise and worship Holy Hour on Saturday, November 5th, 2017. Dana Catherine, a Christian recording artist and friend of Fr. Ian, provided the live music as Fr. Ian led the people in reflection and spontaneous prayer. Many people commented on the reverence and peacefulness of the evening and that the contemporary Christian song choices were inspiring and they were able to sing along. Hearts were moved and filled with the love, joy, and peace that accompanies being in the presence of the Lord.
I sat down with Fr. Ian to discuss his future plans for this type of Adoration and what inspired him to bring it to our Diocese. He said that he participated in praise and worship Holy Hour in Philadelphia and a few other areas and wanted to introduce it to our smaller communities in order to raise awareness of Catholic art and how it can be incorporated into liturgical celebrations. Praise and worship is also a celebration that we, as Catholic Charismatics, believe in strongly. One of Fr. Ian’s goals is to bridge the charismatic and orthodox sides of the Catholic Church; combining praise and worship with Adoration is a great way to do that! He anticipates having additional Holy Hour Adoration a few times a year in different areas and parishes including St. Joseph’s in Raleigh and also parishes in Fayetteville and Wilmington. He adds that he “realizes that some people have more of a leaning towards contemporary Christian music while others enjoy the more traditional music” and he plans on offering both styles to accommodate different musical tastes. He has also worked in youth ministry and recently held a retreat in which he incorporated praise and worship music as part of the retreat and he hopes to inspire other priests and young seminarians to do the same.
In addition to his love of praise and worship, he also embraces other types of art like videography. His website has his own videos and commentaries with catholic teaching, inspirational messages, and articles covering a wide range of topics regarding spirituality and faith. He keeps up with national trends in the Catholic Church and he wants to use all forms of Catholic art to inform, inspire, and illuminate us. His website entitled “The Art of Living Well” is a great forum for doing this so be sure to check it out at www.ianvanheusen.com.
The next Adoration Hour he has planned with Dana Catherine right now is tentatively scheduled at St. Bernadette’s in May 2017. Then there may be two more at other locations in June 2017 and July 2017. It should also be noted that Dana Catherine is scheduled to appear at the Ignited by Truth Conference in March 2017. Her first album, “Glorious Horizons”, was released in September 2015 and is working on a new album. Her single, “My Savior in Me”, can be found on Amazon, iTunes, and Spotify. If you are interested in contracting Dana for an event please visit her website at www.danacatherinemusic.com.
I had the pleasure of meeting a wonderful Spirit-filled group of nuns at the National Leaders and Ministries Conference in Atlanta, Georgia this weekend. They are the Disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, a Franciscan Charismatic Religious Institute of Sisters. Sr. Damiana has agreed to keep the entire Charismatic community of the Diocese of Raleigh in prayer and intercession. That includes our prayer groups, leaders, ministry teams as well as present, past and future members. Please contact them if you have a private prayer request or would like more information about their community. Sr. Lucy Lukasiewicz, DLJC was a speaker on fire and gave an awesome testimony. What a beautiful sight to see these joyful nuns singing and dancing in the Spirit.
Sr. Lucy was 17 when she began to hear of and experience charismatic prayer meetings and baptism in the Holy Spirit. Soon after she was given information about the Disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. She came to the Disciples at age 19. Sr. Lucy's greatest joy is praising the Lord and bringing people to a deeper realization of a great God who has a plan for their life. Her heart says, "Lord, I am your servant. I have come to do your will." For more information visit them at www.dljc.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org