A Brief History of the Charismatic Renewal in the Oakland Diocese

In the late 1970s, Bishop Begin appointed Fr. Dan Danielson as our first Liaison. When Fr. Dan left the position in 1980, Bishop Cummins appointed Deacon Bill Warren. By December of 1980, Bill had formed a Service Committee which included Pat Mullins and Charlie Peissner, They came together to pray, to discern God's will, to hear and obey. God gave them a VISION, a mission statement, for the Renewal, as well as a list of service areas. This was an important move of the Holy Spirit because it provided a vehicle for the individual, isolated prayer groups to connect with one another, and to have opportunities to learn together and grow spiritually within our Catholic tradition. The Lord raised up a number of servant-leaders to begin to fill the service roles. The Renewal was "off and running" as the Holy Spirit led. What emerged? Charismatic Masses, Teaching Days, Workshops, Retreats and Life in the Spirit Seminars, a newsletter, the Burning Bush, with a calendar of charismatic events as well as articles with balanced, scriptural teaching. In addition, the Renewal Office prints a music booklet available for any prayer group, keeps track of the copyright reporting, records teachings, prints tracts to be made available for the body of Christ, and maintains a list of charismatic prayer meetings in the diocese.

In 1986 Deacon Bill Warren appointed Charlie Peissner as un-paid Administrator of the CCRO office which was one room at Holy Redeemer Center in Oakland. In 1989 Deacon Bill moved to the Stockton Diocese, but he continued to serve as Liaison for the Oakland Diocese for another year and a half. Deacon Bill resigned in 1991 and Charlie was selected as the new Liaison. When Charlie was installed in 1991, he was 1 of only 30 un-ordained, lay liaisons in the US. Charlie resigned December 31, 2004, leaving a small group (CCRO Outreach) to continue the ministries of the Renewal until a new Liaison could be appointed. Bishop Vigneron appointed RoseMarie Mullins as his Liaison in mid-2005 where she has served until January 2015. Subsequently, Bishop Michael Barber appointed Fr. Jay Babu at the Director of Charismatic Renewal in the Diocese of Oakland (thus changing the title from "Liaison" to "Director"). In 2018, Bishop Michael Barber appointed Fr. Bob Menconca as the Director of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal where he is actively participating in the direction and leadership of the Renewal on parish, diocesan, and regional levels.

"The Holy Spirit moves us forward, often in surprising ways. Let us live in such a way that we recognize these moves of the Spirit and are ready to respond to them at a moment's notice!"

...quote from Johnny Bertucci, Chair of National Service Committee of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal.

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