Diocesan Charismatics Hear Steubenville Priest in Huntley
May 18, 2017

HUNTLEY—Father Dave Pivonka, TOR, a Franciscan priest who now works nearly full-time in a ministry of evangelization, has spent considerable time working at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio.

He was the featured speaker at the Catholic Charismatic Day of Renewal, April 22, his first visit to the Rockford Diocese. The event was sponsored by the Diocesan Office of Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services and held in the St. Mary Parish Center in Huntley.

With more than 275 in attendance, Father Pivonka combined story-telling, instruction and prayer to help reflect on the theme of the day, “The Gift of the Holy Spirit.”

Father Pivonka asked those in attendance, “Who is the Holy Spirit?”

To punctuate his question, he used a simple “knock-knock” joke, ending with “The Holy Spirit who?”
Then he said, “That’s the problem! We don’t know the Holy Spirit. We don’t know who the Holy Spirit is or why we need Him.”

Father Pivonka told the crowd that Pope Francis has said that the first gift of the Holy Spirit is Himself who shows us a whole new spiritual world that awaits us.

Learn more

Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services
in the Diocese of Rockford
regularly sponsors diocesan-wide events.

Information on upcoming events
may be found at its website www.rockforddiocese.org/charismaticrenewal

He explained that God reveals Himself in three ways: as Father, as Jesus, and as the Holy Spirit. Relating God’s relationship as father to His people, Father Pivonka explained that the scriptural story of the slaveowner and his slave can be narrowed down to three words, “God is love.”

But it’s important, he said, to understand that Jesus taught that God is not our master in the sense of master and slave. He is, rather, our loving Father, our daddy (Abba).

He also explained that although we may look for Jesus, we cannot find Him without the help of the Holy Spirit who opens our heart to love, which is God.

We often hear of those who are said to have “found” God. The simple truth is that God is always eagerly watching for us as did the father of the parable of the Prodigal Son.

When He sees us earnestly searching for Him, He runs toward us in total, complete joy and throws a party to celebrate, just as did the father of the Prodigal Son.

Father Pivonka reminded his audience that, although they know that they receive the Holy Spirit in the sacraments of baptism and confirmation, too often the grace merely remains within us as if dormant or asleep.

He described making chocolate milk by adding syrup to white milk. The chocolate settles to the bottom of the glass and unless something more happens, it remains white milk.

To become the chocolate milk it was intended to be, it needs to be stirred up. The same is true for the Holy Spirit within us, he said.

When we stir up the Spirit (as in a “conversion experience” commonly known as The Baptism in the Spirit) we experience something new, refreshing and powerful.

The day included hot lunch and numerous pauses for prayer asking, “Come Holy Spirit.” It concluded with an extended session of prayer for specific requests voiced by individuals in the crowd.

Father Pivonka’s website, www.TheWildGooseisLoose.com contains information on his ministry and on the books he has written, including “The Breath of God.”

— Ron Bergman