ISSUE 103 October 27th, 2003
In this issue: CONFERENCE FOR MEN IN MALTA
A report from Jude Muscat, chairman of the National Service Committee in
I am absolutely certain that God created humanity as "male and female" not by coincidence, but by design. As individual men and women live out their daily lives in the world, united in spirit through their baptism in Christ Jesus, they portray a quasi-complete "image" of God in the world. In his infinite wisdom God designed us differently precisely to give us specific roles to play. We believe that as man we are called to reveal God in a specific way, both in society as social beings, and also in the Body of Christ, as children of God.
The ministry amongst men has been on our hearts for quite a number of years. In fact some prayer groups in Malta have established small ministries with the sole intention of strengthening men and evangelizing men. It has now become customary for us to organize national morning meetings twice a year, solely for man, with the hope and task of encouraging each other in the Lord and building up each other for the work of evangelization.
Knowing that the Triune God has willed of us men a specific role, and having experienced the fact that men are more resistant to the Holy Spirit, as compared to women, we felt the Spirit leading us to hold a national weekend for men.
A lot of work carried out during the hot Maltese summer months, was crowned with a very successful weekend conference from Friday to Sunday, 3rd to 5th October 2003 held at the main hall of the Archbishop's Seminary. For those who had the fortune to be present it was simply an unforgettable event.
The hall was blessed with a packed audience of around 350 men coming from all walks of life and eager to hear the word of God on this special event. On the Sunday the families were also invited along and it was great to see how the whole crowd fitted in the place. It was a rather hot day but the prevailing atmosphere did not allow any of those present to bother or complain about the heat. It just didn't seem to matter.
The main speaker throughout the three days was Mons. Joseph Grech Bishop of the diocese of Sandhurst in far away Australia and ICCRS member representing the vast area of Oceania. He was here in his birthplace supposedly to have a well-deserved rest from a very hectic pastoral life, and immediately after taking part in the 12 Days of Blessings - an International Charismatic Event held in Rome; instead, he devoted three precious days to deliver a series of talks to a crowd of men eager to digest every word that came from this humble man of God. His was a powerful message, sweetly delivered and most attentively absorbed.
On this occasion the Good Lord used him to fill those present with courage and to teach them how to be steadfast in their Faith and in their love of God and neighbour. His words were often interrupted with applause and with ejaculations of 'Allelujah'
and 'Amen'; at times the impact caused tears and at other times the word 'joy' seemed to be written on all the faces.
The subject of the Conference was 'Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you' -taken from the letter of St Paul to the Ephesians, (5,14). Bishop Grech devoted the first day to the words 'Wake up, sleeper', the second to 'rise from the dead' and concluded with 'Christ will shine on you' on Sunday. The speaker's holiness, humility and the gift of oratory combined on each of the three days to reach deep into the hearts and minds of all those present. God was really at work through this humble servant. And in order that others may share the fruit of this exercise, the sermons have all been recorded on tape which is available at the CCR's office in Valletta ( firstname.lastname@example.org ). Video tapes, too, have been recorded so that the wonderful scenes of the occasion may remain on record.
The Music Ministry, ably led by Anrew Cauchi, filled the place with joy and fervour throughout the weekend. The congregation, fired with enthusiasm, joined in with praises and with full participation in the singing. Bishop Grech fanned the fire with his exhortations and those present never failed with their response. God must have been so pleased with what went on.
Mass was celebrated on Saturday and, of course, on Sunday when all the families were united as one. Other items on the agenda were periods of adoration and reflection as well as a most interesting testimony given by a member of the organization team.
Thank God, the whole programme went without a hitch. The very last item was, of course, a time for 'fellowship' when most of the participants used the occasion to get to know each other better and to make new friends over drinks and snacks provided by all those present.
This Info-Letter Euccril is free to everybody who wants it. They can sent me an e-mail with this message: yes, put me on the mailing-list of the European Catholic Charismatic Renewal Info-letter. Kees Slijkerman, email@example.com
This European Catholic Charismatic Renewal Info-letter started in 1999 and is issued by the
European sub-committee of ICCRS (chairperson Nikol Baldacchino, firstname.lastname@example.org).