Attending a Holy Spirit novena for the first time a few years ago in Lacombe was life-changing for Deacon Ricky Suprean and so many others.
“Everybody’s gifts have been enhanced, everybody’s devotion to the church has become a deeper devotion,” Deacon Suprean said. “People are saying the rosary more, going to the adoration chapel more.”
The novena helped boost the enthusiasm of the church and, as a result, he’s seen more people attend daily Mass at his parish, St. John of the Cross in Lacombe.
Deacon Suprean said he witnessed inspiring homilies during the novena, with priests telling their life stories and reminding attendees of all the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
“I had never heard anything like that before,” he said. “You are so much more in tune to the presence of Jesus and the Holy Spirit.”
Deacon Suprean and a team from St. John of the Cross and Sacred Heart churches in Lacombe have worked hard this year to duplicate that faith-deepening experience with a nine-day novena, “The Holy Spirit Descended Upon the Apostles, the Blessed Virgin Mary and Us,” May 26-June 3 at St. John of the Cross in Lacombe.
It is jam-packed with priests, speakers and joyful praise and worship music.
2017 was the year
Deacon Suprean said when he and others tried the last two years to resurrect the Holy Spirit novena – first introduced by Father Kyle Dave when he was pastor of Sacred Heart Church a few years ago – it just didn’t come together.
But, when his efforts began for 2017, everything fell into place. Then someone reminded him that it was the 100th anniversary of Mary appearing in Fatima and the 50th anniversary of the charismatic movement. Deacon Suprean said he knew then he had extra help in organizing it.
“It seemed like this was the year,” he said. “Everyone said yes. … God had his hand on those who could, and those who couldn’t brought us to others. … God created an A-team for me. There was a lot of spirituality at play here.”
Variety of speakers
Archbishop Gregory Aymond will open the novena on May 26. The novena will include a coffee shop run by the Ladies Guild at St. John of the Cross on May 31, and Dominican Father Thomas Schaefgen, director of the Catholic Center at Tulane, will preach with a message especially for young adults. A healing Mass will be celebrated June 2 by Father Robert Cruz, pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Montegut. Jamie Hood and Cody Roth who will take turns singing during the healing Mass.
The teen girls’ choir from St. Peter Catholic Church in Covington will sing during the closing Mass, celebrated by Father Gil Martin, pastor of St. John of the Cross.
“It’s going to be an incredible nine days, and I want anyone who wants to be a part to be a part,” Deacon Suprean said. “Everything will be there to allow you feel the presence of the Holy Spirit, to allow God to talk to you.”
Holy Spirit flame for all
Deacon Suprean said the gifts and graces received from the Holy Spirit are open to everyone, not just a chosen few. The novena will make that clear.
“God doesn’t pick and choose. We’ve all been baptized and confirmed,” he said. “Just ask God what he wants you do and say, and ultimately \\your prayer becomes, ‘Let me decrease so you can increase,’ and it happens right before your eyes. It’s just so wonderful. That’s the freedom.”
Deacon Suprean invites Catholics to be inspired by the Holy Spirit and take the next step in faith, like he did.
Once he did, he said, he realized the fire of the Holy Spirit and has felt God write on his heart as he delivers his homilies at weekly Mass.
“So many people are afraid to take that next step in faith in the Catholic Church, but I am hoping they come and give the Holy Spirit a chance to take them where they have never been before. Once you go there, you never want to go back. The Holy Spirit just keeps taking you to higher levels.”
Christine Bordelon can be reached at cbordelon@clarion herald.org.