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Novena to the Holy Spirit calls on an outpouring of the Spirit as All Things New decision nears

Nine-day novena to begin May 19

A nine-day novena will call for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the implementation of the All Things New strategic pastoral plan for the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

The novena will begin on Friday, May 19, and conclude on the Pentecost Vigil, Saturday, May 27.

“The novena to the Holy Spirit is the first novena ever prayed in the Church,” said Jane Guenther, director of the archdiocesan Catholic Renewal Center, who wrote the prayers for the novena. “As we are beginning a new vision and new path for the Archdiocese of St. Louis, we must rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to transform hearts as we transition.”

The novena includes an invocation to the Holy Spirit, and for each day, a different Scripture passage and image to pray with, a meditation prayer and a concluding prayer to the Holy Spirit. The novena has been designed for either individual or communal prayer.

Following Jesus’ Ascension into heaven, tradition says that the disciples gathered in the upper room with the Blessed Mother for nine days of prayer in anticipation of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was given to the disciples to empower them to “be my witnesses … even to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

“Today, as disciples of Jesus, we too join together in prayer for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our parish, our faith communities, our families, and in ourselves,” Guenther wrote in a prayer resource packet. “We need the power of the Holy Spirit to be effective witnesses of love of God for our world.”

A Pentecost Vigil Mass will be celebrated at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 27, at St. Raymond-St. Elizabeth of Hungary, 1420 Sappington Road in Crestwood. Msgr. Gregory Mikesch will be the main celebrant, and a reception will be held after Mass. The readings for the Mass will cover the history of the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Church.

“The Holy Spirit animates, enlivens and enriches faith,” Guenther said. “It’s the light in our lives that continuously transforms itself in us, so that all that we are created to do may be accomplished. The Holy Spirit is what allows us to be authentic witnesses. If we’re saying All Things New is about evangelization, then we have to call upon the Holy Spirit to be with us.”

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