Fr Bob Writes – January 7, 2018

Fr Bob writes:  This Sunday, Lift Jesus Higher community will be arriving at St Philip’s for their first 12.30pm Mass.  Lift Jesus Higher is a small charismatic community operating in the diocese of Ottawa with the permission of the archbishop of Ottawa.  It was founded by Fr Ed Wade, a member of the Companions of the Cross and myself , back in 1997.  When Fr. Ed was moved to Houston in 1998, I became director of the community and have been ever since.  When Archbishop Marcel Gervais retired as archbishop of Ottawa diocese in 2007, he issued a decree designating Lift Jesus Higher as “a private association of Christ’s faithful” according to Canon law no. 301 (1).  Recently, Archbishop Prendergast gave me permission to bring the community to St Philip’s, in part to prevent me having to travel continuously between Richmond and LJH’s home in Vanier, which I had been doing over the last six years.

The mission of Lift Jesus Higher community is, as its name already suggests to “lift Jesus Higher in Ottawa and the nation, to see Ottawa and Canada transformed by the love of God in Jesus Christ through the revival power of the Holy Spirit” (Lift Jesus Higher statement of mission, vision, values).  Anyone familiar with the kind of language used here will know that the community is a “charismatic” one.  “Charismatic” indicates that the “charisms” or gifts of grace of the Holy Spirit are encouraged and practiced throughout the life of the community, especially in its liturgy and prayer meetings.  Charismatic renewal, always present in the Catholic Church since its inception, cf Acts 2: 1-4, 1 Corinthians 12: 7 – 11 received renewed recognition and encouragement following Vatican II, cf document on the Church, article 12, and Pope St John Paul II encyclical, Christafideli Laici.  St Philip’s and St Clare’s have already been exposed to charismatic renewal in recent years, with the Life in the Spirit seminars that have been held there, and there is now a charismatic prayer meeting that gathers at St Philip’s church on Thursdays at 7.30pm.  Back in October, Lift Jesus Higher moved its own prayer meeting, Oasis, to join with the St Philip’s prayer group, a move which has been a blessing and boost to both communities.  Now LJH will start to celebrate Mass on Sundays at 12.30pm, and this, as well as providing another opportunity for Sunday Mass to St Philip’s and St Clare’s, will add to the growth of spiritual activity already happening in our parish communities.

Everyone is welcome to come along on any Sunday and join with the Lift Jesus Higher community for its Mass at 12.30pm.  Be alerted, however, to the fact that this is a charismatic mass, so you will witness things you have perhaps not seen before, such as the use of the gift of tongues in praise, of words of prophecy and healing ministry.  Also, the mass goes on for somewhat longer than usual, between one and a half hours to two hours.  However, don’t let that put you off.  Lift Jesus Higher is a very loving community and you will be assured of a warm and friendly welcome.