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KEPAYAN – Catholic Charismatic Renewal movement in St Thomas Kepayan Parish started in 1982. A group of parishioners who attended a Life in the Spirit Seminar organized by the CCR prayer group of St Michael Penampang came back ‘on fire’ and were inspired to initiate a prayer group for the parish.
This group of pioneers organized their first prayer meeting at the residence of James Binaji at Kg Ganang, Kepayan. The pioneers consisted of his wife, Henry Juming, Laura Saimon, Paula John and Cyril Jolik Lojimin. Some of them eventually went on to form the first core group.
The current leadership attributes their strength and faithfulness to the call to Renewal for the last 32 years to their members’ commitment to prayer, the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the intercession of Mother Mary and the love of Jesus.
Over the years they too have not been spared from the many challenges and obstacles to growth as experienced by other prayer groups. They have experienced dryness, dwindling of membership, misunderstandings, leadership crises, internal disputes, and lack of parish support.
By God’s grace and with continual openness to Bible sharing, praying together, regular meetings, working through relationships, and focusing on the Lord, they have come through the difficulties, experienced personal growth, and have their faith strengthened.
One aspect which they felt has contributed much to maintain and sustain their existence as a prayer group is to continually guide the group to understand the role of CCR in the Church. Having resort to advice and support from their spiritual advisor and the Archdiocesan Service Team has been an invaluable help in correcting errors in their understanding and thus contribute to active growth.
Communal activities such as family days, fellowships, and joint activities with other prayer groups have helped promote closer relationships.
Remaining true to what God intends CCR to be for the Church, that is a gift to and for the Church, St Thomas Kepayan CCR has strived to offer service contributing to the life of the parish in spiritual faith formation, healings and deliverances through organizing regular Life in the Spirit Seminars and retreats.
As Life in the Spirit Seminars is now a necessary part of the process for candidates of Sacrament of Confirmation, the CCR group plays a significant role in assisting the parish.
In responding to the call of the Holy Father in the New Evangelization, they would heed the call to be always empowered and guided by the Holy Spirit, to a conversion to the love of Jesus through a personal renewed encounter, to seek unity, and to go forth to proclaim the Good News “to share with all in the Church the grace of Baptism in the Holy Spirit”, drawing others to know and to love God and “evangelizing them with the Word of God which proclaims that Jesus is alive and loves all men.” – Johnny Juinis