Praise the Lord

Jan. 13-19, 2005
Praise the Lord
By Claudia Mathis/ SUN staff writer
SUN photo(s) Paul Finch
Father Amedeo Guida is Appointed Bishop’s Liaison for Charismatic Renewal

Father Amedeo Guida was recently appointed the bishop’s liaison for the Charismatic Renewal Movement in the diocese. Father Guida was first exposed to the movement as a seminarian while attending Catholic University in Washington, D.C. He became acquainted with it in 1984, when he attended a “Life in the Spirit” seminar in Steubenville, Ohio, one year before he was ordained. The seminar’s purpose was to teach those attending how to accept God’s love and salvation.

Father Guida compared his experience as a priest in the Charismatic Renewal Movement now to his previous experience as a priest outside the movement. “I believe it has helped me to appreciate my personal life,” said Father Guida. “There’s more of a freedom to pray. There’s more of an anointing in my preaching, reading Scripture and praying. It’s more real.” He defined the Catholic Charismatic Renewal as the process of being reborn in the Holy Spirit. Renewal is a process, which usually begins with an event. God is always doing new things in the lives of the faithful, and every Christian needs ongoing renewal. This transforming and powerful activity of the Holy Spirit is the definition of renewal. In a clear and deliberate act of surrender, the faithful invite the Holy Spirit to take control of their lives. This allows God to be God and to work in each individual through his Holy Spirit. The Charismatic Renewal is a work of God, not of mortals.

Father Guida was born in Salerno, Italy. In 1969, when he was 12 years old, he moved to Syracuse with his family. He attended Niagara University, and while in his last semester, he experienced a strong desire to become a priest. He then attended Le Moyne College and then seminary in Washington, D.C. His first assignment as associate pastor was at St. Mary of the Assumption Church in Binghamton. He then served as director of the Eastern Region Spanish Apostolate for six years. Under this directorship, he traveled to Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic for training in a language program. He wanted to experience the culture of the Puerto Rican people. While in the Dominican Republic, he participated in a Charismatic worship. He enjoyed interacting with the Puerto Rican worshipers. “The poor are open to the Gospel and ready to receive God’s gifts,” said Father Guida. “They are full of life. I connected with them.” He then left the Spanish Apostolate in Utica to assume the bishop’s secretary position, in which he served for one year. After that, he served at Holy Family Church in Syracuse for two and one half years and then he served at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Syracuse for a period of two and one half years. He is currently serving St. Daniel Church in Syracuse and enjoys it very much. “It’s been a nice experience,” said Father Guida.

The Catholic Charismatic Renewal started in 1967 when some students and theology professors from DuQuesne University in Pennsylvania got together for a retreat weekend. The students wondered why the power of the Holy Spirit was not as evident as it was at Pentecost and the early days of the church. They prayed for a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit and God answered their prayers. Charismatic spirituality is the approach to Christian life of someone that has experienced a renewal in the works of the Holy Spirit and has responded to that renewal in a way that has made it a source of more effective Christian living.

This spirituality was evident at a recent Charismatic prayer meeting, which was filled with joy and enthusiasm at St. Daniel Church. Participants of the group praised God with spontaneous prayers and singing. Sandra Picciotto attended the meeting so she could praise God and interact with other worshipers. “We’re all on a journey,” said Picciotto. “I like the service because when you praise God, he shows his love.” Tricia Calabrese has been a St. Daniel parishioner for six months. She became involved in the movement when she worked as an administrative assistant for Father Regis Rodda, OFM Conv., who made it his mission to build up renewal in the diocese. He was the past director of the movement and had been involved in it from 1980 until his death in 2004. She enjoys participating in the movement. “It’s a way for me to publicly display my love of Jesus through praise,” said Calabrese. “It’s important for people in the movement to be with other people. Father Guida has an abundance of spiritual gifts and he relates to people very well.”

Cindy Badger has been involved with the Charismatic Movement for 24 years, and she has been a parishioner of St. Daniel Church since 1996. She became involved when she attended a Healing Mass at the Notre Dame Retreat House in Canandaigua, N.Y. The movement has been a growing experience for her and has strengthened her faith. “God has always given us what we need – you can always count on it,” said Badger. “I know that his gifts are for everyone – not just for the people in renewal. He’s drawing all people together in unity. Father Guida is a wonderful priest and a good friend.”

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