Faithful from throughout the five-county Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg are expected to take part in a day of Praise and Worship featuring prayer, music, liturgy and nationally renowned speakers Saturday, Nov. 2 at the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle, 5815 5th Avenue North, St. Petersburg.
According to event co-coordinator Frank Esposito, Jr., of St. Petersburg, the event is planned as an ecumenical celebration of God’s Spirit in His people. “We hope to bring together Catholics and all Christians to receive a fresher empowerment of the Holy Spirit,” said Mr. Esposito, who has headed a weekly prayer group at the cathedral for the past 27 years.
Scheduled speakers are:
- Sister Briege McKenna, O.S.C, was born in Ireland and entered the Sisters of St. Clare at the age of fifteen. Following her final vows and after suffering for more than three years with rheumatoid arthritis, she was transferred to her community in Tampa, Florida with the hope that the Florida sunshine would relieve her suffering. At the age of twenty-four, she was miraculously and instantaneously healed during the celebration of the Eucharist and some time later received, in prayer, the gift of healing for which she has become so widely known. In 1974, again during prayer, she was given a deep spiritual insight into the mystery of the call to the priesthood. Since then, bishops and priests in many parts of the world have invited her to speak and minister at their retreats and conferences. Sr. Briege ministered to priests in collaboration with Fr. Kevin Scallon, CM for over forty-two years until his death in June 2018. She now continues with this ministry. Her books “Miracles Do Happen” and “The Power of the Sacraments” have been translated into many languages throughout the world.
- Johnnette Benkovic is a founder and president of the non-profit organization, Living His Life Abundantly International, Inc., and she has been a consistent presence on Catholic radio and television, including EWTN, since 1987. The famous conference speaker, published author, retreat director, and seminar presenter is an executive producer for the television program, Women of Grace and is also a call-in radio talk show host for Women of Grace Live. Women of Grace is described as a Catholic apostolate and TV program, which began in 2003 “to promote women dignity and the gift of true womanhood. The organization wishes to bring a sustainable and positive transformation in the world one woman at a time.”
- Lloyd and Nancy Greenhaws’ goal is to use their unique gifts in service at the heart of the Church, and they offer themselves as a resource, free of charge, to parishes, youth groups, and other organizations, providing the music for national youth conferences throughout the United States. Their albums spotlight and celebrate their Catholic Christian faith, and include: “Ocean of Mercy”, “Mighty Spirit”, “Cast Your Net” and “Whatever It Takes”. Their dynamic teaching on the New Evangelization, in which they share their exciting experiences from the mission fields, has aided many parishes to “come to life” and embrace the call to mission. The Greenhaws are also country coordinators for Renewal Ministries of Ann Arbor, Mich., and facilitate rallies and teach evangelization in Liberia, Uganda, Sudan, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Rwanda in Africa.
- Father Peter Mitchell was born in Indiana, he moved to St. Petersburg from Chicago at around age six, and thus, considers himself a Floridian. A resident of Playton Villas in the Village of Lynnhaven for the past three years, the well-traveled clergyman spent twelve years as a Benedictine Monk at St. Leo’s Abbey, near Dade City. He later served as a Pastor in Ocala, at a Catholic High School, and in Melbourne. As part of his vocation, he has given ‘mission talks’ all over the U.S. and Canada. He is currently one of seven retired priests called on to lead Masses at St. Timothy’s Catholic Church in The Villages.
Registration is at 8:00 a.m. for the free event, which ends with a Mass at 4:00 p.m. Box lunch reservations must be made by Oct. 19 by sending a check for $10 to Holy Spirit Explosion, Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle, 5815 Fifth Ave. N., St. Petersburg, FL 33710.
For more information, call event co-coordinators Frank Esposito, Jr., at 727-866-8930, or Carol Marquardt at 727-742-4187.