Conference Report


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Healing Conference Draws Over 700!
Article from Clarion Herald

A few days after miraculously leading the Israelites out of Egyptian oppression, God led the people of Israel into the wilderness and gave them a deeper glimpse into his identity.  Speaking to Moses, God declared, “I am the Lord, your healer” (Ex 15:26).

For those attending the 2018 Southern Regional Catholic Charismatic Conference, the mysterious God of Exodus revealed he is still, as keynote speaker Bob Canton put it, “in the healing business.”

Over seven hundred people gathered March 16-18 for the annual charismatic conference at the Copeland Tower Suites and Conference Center in Metairie, LA, under the theme, “I am the Lord Your Healer.”

The weekend featured liturgies, praise and worship, dynamic speakers, and, of course, prayer for healing.  Speakers included EWTN’s Johnnette Benkovic, former Saints wide-receiver Danny Abramowicz, Father Mark Goring, Canton, and Archdiocese of New Orleans director of youth and young adult ministry, Timmy McCaffery.

Friday night’s session began with an introduction from Archbishop Gregory Aymond and featured a teaching on healing by Canton.  Canton, who lives in Stockton, CA, travels internationally speaking and ministering in the charismatic gift of healing.  He has witnessed countless healings and noted that at a conference this February he prayed with a woman who has been deaf and mute since birth and witnessed God heal her deafness.  The woman was able to listen to directions and began for the first time repeating sounds she had heard.

“God is able to do anything.  Nothing is impossible for God.  God loves to show his compassion by healing our diseases. Sometimes, we can have a problem with no solution.  But, God can fix it,” Canton said.

Canton followed his teaching with prayer for healing for two women who each had been bound to a wheelchair after losing strength in their legs.  Amazingly, each of the women began to walk around the conference center holding Canton’s hand.

On Saturday morning, attendees heard from Timmy McCaffery.  McCaffery told of his own deep struggles with serious sin until God freed him in a powerful experience of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit at a charismatic youth retreat when he was in college.

“I had for many years attempted to break free from my sin.  But, it never occurred to me that God wanted to heal me…When I was overcome with the power and love of God [on the youth retreat] it was as if I never again wanted that sin in the same way,” McCaffery explained.

McCaffery also spoke on Saturday afternoon in a young adult workshop on the biblical and theological foundations of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal.

“Sometimes the impression is given that the Charismatic Renewal is a movement on the fringes [of the Church], but it is clear from the testimony of all the recent popes from Paul VI on to Pope Francis that this is a chance of renewal for the whole Church….To be devoted to the Holy Spirit is urgent in order to perform the ‘greater’ works that Jesus tells us we will perform [in John 14:26],” McCaffery stated.

Conference attendees had an opportunity to hear a compelling teaching on trust in times of suffering from Women of Grace host and founder Johnnette Benkovic.  Benkovic, who lost her son in a tragic car accident in 2005, explained that in the aftermath of the accident trust became real for her.

“I was filled with fear that something would happen to my daughter…It was then that the challenge of trust became real for me.  I learned a new meaning for TRUST–True Resolve Under Severe Testing,” Benkovic said.

The conference concluded on Sunday with a Eucharistic Healing Service and Mass celebrated by Fr. Mark Goring, a dynamic preacher who is a member of Companions of the Cross, a new religious order born in the Charismatic Renewal.

Alex Lorio

Alex Lorio is a theology teacher at Archbishop Rummel High School in Metairie, LA. He is also a volunteer youth minister for the Catholic Charismatic Renewal of New Orleans.

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