Bishop Peter brings message of healing across Diocese

Bishop Peter brings message of healing across Diocese
By Gene Fadness

POCATELLO – Not long after Bishop Peter Christensen began his healing Masses in mid-October in North Idaho, a young man about 25 came forward for prayer. When the Bishop asked him how he could pray for him, the young man replied, “I need to know I’m lovable. I’ve never liked myself.” 
Speaking at a healing Mass in Pocatello on Oct. 29, the Bishop said told the young man that "someone, at some point in your life, told you that you were not worthy to be loved, and you've played that tape in your mind over and over again. That is a lie that you need to let go of." 

“He left with an entirely different countenance, so peaceful, so joyful,” the Bishop said.   

The young men’s pain is indicative of some of the wounds people carry within them, wounds that can lead to physical and spiritual ailments and to a distorted image of oneself. To be spiritually healthy, people need to see themselves as God sees them, the Bishop tells those who have attended about 20 healing Masses through Nov. 6 with another half dozen or so scheduled through Nov. 23. 

“We have a lot of needs in our world, in our country and in our state,” the Bishop said. “Whenever there is confusion there’s room for other things to move in such as fear, anxiety, loss of hope and depression. Relationships get more strained and forgiveness needs to happen more than ever,” he said. Sensing that over the past several months, especially with the onset of the pandemic, the Bishop decided to conduct the healing Masses. 

Psalm 149 says the Lord delights in His people, the Bishop told those attending a healing Mass on Oct. 29 at Holy Spirit Catholic Community in Pocatello. “The Lord delights in you. He is telling you, ‘You’re one of a kind, you’re mine, I love you.’ ”

At the Pocatello Mass, the Bishop quoted extensively from one of his favorite Saints, St. Catherine of Siena. God told the saint that He created her and kept her in existence for love of her, and that if she would gaze into the “gentle mirror” of God, she would see herself as the Lord sees her. As we do that, the Bishop said, we discover the beauty and dignity of our nature. 

“Can you imagine how different our world would be if everyone viewed themselves in this way?” he asked. 
When we trust in people, places and things rather than in God, “We will get an inferior knowledge of who we are. We have to go to our Creator,” the Bishop said. 

Before the Mass began, Deacon Daniel Gamboa asked those attending to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal needs in their lives. “There are a number of wounds in our lives than can obstruct God’s grace from taking place,” he said, among those, a lack of forgiveness, fear, anxiety, shame, rejection, abandonment, and a sense of hopelessness and helplessness. 

“Those wounds distort our vision of how God sees us, making us feel unworthy or unforgiveable. Pray that the Holy Spirit, the Wonder Counselor, reveals to you how God truly sees you as He created you: to be His beloved child,” he said. 

After each Mass, those attending are invited to come forward to receive prayer from the Bishop and a prayer team. The Pocatello Mass concluded at 8 p.m. but the Bishop and others stayed for another two hours with people seeking prayer. 

The Bishop reminds all who attend the Masses that every Mass is a healing Mass. People can arrive at Mass in a frenzied state, but by the time they receive Eucharist, “there is healing and peace,” he said, reminding them of the prayer that is said just before receiving Eucharist, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word, and my soul shall be healed.” 

Due to social distancing, only about 100 could attend the Pocatello Mass, but about 40 were in overflow room downstairs in St. Anthony Church. Another 270 watched a livestream of the Mass, according to Deacon Scott Pearhill. 

In his column in today’s issue (see page 2), Bishop Peter writes about an Idaho State University student who, because of anxiety, had not slept well through the night  since she was 14. After attending the healing Mass, she slept so well, she missed her first class the following day.

Sister Mary Beverly Greger, HSM, of Marymount Hermitage attended a healing Mass in Grangeville and believes she may have been healed of asthma and arthritis. She realizes the relief she has felt is “somewhere between preliminary and final,” she said. “I have been using these last 10 days just to thank Jesus for His love for and mercy to me,” Sister Beverly said. “What has persisted is deep peace and joy.”   

During the last week of October, the Bishop was in eastern Idaho with Masses in Blackfoot, American Falls, Pocatello, and Soda Springs. Earlier this week, the Bishop was in Twin Falls and Rupert with a Mass scheduled tonight (Nov. 6) at Immaculate Conception in Buhl. 

The remaining Masses scheduled are below. If a parish would like the Bishop to come on an unscheduled date not listed in the options below, contact the Chancery, 208-342-1311.

Nov. 11 – 7 p.m. at St. Paul’s Student Center, BSU
Nov. 12 – 7 p.m. at St. Paul’s, Nampa. Nov. 22 – Not yet scheduled.
Nov. 23 – 7 p.m. at Our Lady of the Rosary, Boise.
Nov. 24 – Not yet scheduled.

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