Prayer Group Meetings
You are welcome to participate in the Prayer Group. We meet weekly in a private home. We start at 6:15 pm with a potluck supper, followed by an hour and a half of prayer and sharing. Please call Helen Burch at (562) 429-0189 for more information.
The History of the Parish Prayer Group
The Charismatic Renewal is a phenomenon which began in the Catholic Church during the late 1960's. It marked a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit and vitality in the Church and it spread worldwide very quickly. Locally, the Charismatic Renewal began in 1970, with a group of students at Loyola University in Los Angeles. They formed a small prayer group with Father Ralph Tichenor, SJ, as their leader. As the group searched for God's truth and direction, the meetings were filled with power and a manifestation of gifts of the Holy Spirit. Word spread, and soon people from parishes throughout the Los Angeles Archdiocese were traveling to Loyola to participate in meetings. Within two years, the Loyola prayer group swelled to over 1,000 people. Father Tichenor recognized that the movement had to move beyond the University campus. He urged people to take the renewal back to their parishes.
One person who heeded Father Tichenor's advice was Bill Tosti of Our Lady of Refuge. In 1973 Bill approached Monsignor Daly, who was then pastor. Bill asked for and immediately obtained permission to start a prayer group. The group began modestly. It grew and flourished for about five years. Then the membership began to wane. Bill Tosti found himself alone once again. Instead of abandoning the group, Bill continued to pray before the Blessed Sacrament each Monday evening. He prayed alone for about a year. Then gradually new parishioners began to join him. It was a re-birth of the Prayer Group.
The Prayer Group Today
The "reborn" prayer group has continued to meet weekly over 25 years. Sometimes there may be ten or twenty people present; more frequently the group is less than one dozen. Size has little to do with what happens. The power and effectiveness of each prayer meeting comes as a God-given grace and from the deep desire of those gathered to follow the leadings of the Holy Spirit and praise God for His goodness. The meeting begins with song and about a half hour of spontaneous praise and thanksgiving. Then comes a time of silent prayer, followed by the proclamation of Scripture and “words of knowledge”. Next there is intercession – lifting up the needs of the world, the nation, the Church, our parish and local community, and then the personal petitions of each person present. Finally, there is a period in which participants share and witness how God is moving and molding their personal lives, drawing them closer to Himself.
We invite you to read more about Charismatic Prayer Meetings in an article by Father Ralph Tichenor, SJ - what happens during a meeting and how the Spirit moves. Also read about our own parish group and the activities it sponsors beyond monthly meetings. Finally, learn more about the Charismatic Renewal in the Church, a renewal which is often misunderstood by Catholics.