The Catholic Charismatic Renewal movement in Papua and West Papua provinces says the purpose of holding its third convention in Merauke is to introduce itself and attract more local Catholics. The convention, which started on Sunday and runs until July 14, is being attended by 255 Catholics from all the dioceses in both provinces. Charismatic renewal is a movement whereby worship is characterized by more animated Masses and prayer meetings featuring healing and prophecy, which members believe existed in the early Church. The ability to heal is a “gift” from the Holy Spirit, they say. Bishop Petrus Boddeng Timang of Banjarmasin, Sacred Heart Archbishop Nicolaus Adi Seputra of Merauke and Franciscan Bishop Leo Laba Ladjar of Jayapura as well as several priests were to deliver talks at the five-day gathering. Serving as an episcopal advisor to the Catholic Charismatic Renewal of Indonesia
, Bishop Timang said the land of Papua is like the dawn of the East. “All five bishops in Papua and West Papua provinces support the growth of charismatic renewal although it only has a few members,” he added. He, however, believed the convention “is a good opportunity to introduce the movement to all Catholics in the provinces.” In his homily during a Mass to open the convention, Bishop Seputra stressed the importance of the Holy Spirit. “This convention’s theme and sub-theme speak of the Holy Spirit. It means the Holy Spirit is working in the lands of Papua and West Papua,” he said. The convention’s theme and sub-theme are “be fervent in spirit and serve the Lord” (Romans 12:11) and “I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you” (Ezekiel 36:26). “The Church has so many riches given by the Holy Spirit. Use them to renew the world,” he said. According to Sacred Heart Father Viktor Kaanubun, an organizer, the convention – held every three years -- also aims to boost brotherhood among movement members and to strengthen their faith in God.