Last month (December 2014) the MN community welcomed Martine Catta, the co-founder of the Emmanuel Community. They had an overnight gathering at Villa Maria where most of the brothers and sisters were able to come for the retreat. Martine shared her testimony and how the Community began in February of 1972.
Much of what she shared was focused on Pierre’s weakness, and the ways God worked through him because of his humility. She urged us not to be discouraged by our smallness or imperfections, but to continue to call on the Holy Spirit daily and to thank God daily for the marvels He does in our lives. She also encouraged us to love our brothers and sisters more actively, to pray for them more often, and to intercede for their missions as we live out our daily lives.
Emeric, who recently moved to Champagne, Illinois with his pregnant wife and three children, made the long trek to join us for the gathering. They recently moved from Cameroun and are looking to be connected with brothers and sisters in the United States.
On Saturday afternoon Joseph proposed that we pray for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit because of Martine’s presence. At the end of Adoration we took some time with Martine to pray to the Holy Spirit and put our hands on one another to ask that God build up our community. We received the following words/images:
The Spirit will guide our steps on the pilgrimage to become saints & make saints in the Church for Jesus
Image of two lights on west and east side with the words of Jesus “pass through the narrow gate”
Acts 2:42-47 “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
Acts 2:37-41 “When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.”
Since that weekend many of us have expressed how we were touched by Martine’s wisdom, gentleness, and the power of the Holy Spirit that we experienced through her presence with us. We are thankful to have had the weekend together and with Martine, and to have felt a connection to the foundations of our community through her.
Written by: Andrew & Bridget (MN)