The Fire and Fusion Conference

003008011084095100114115118121123My story on the Fire and Fusion Conference 2014 in Ottawa is up now at B.C. Catholic.

Catholic and evangelical speakers at the Fire and Fusion conference here Aug. 28-31 stressed Christian unity begins by loving each other and trusting the Holy Spirit.

“We have a dream! – our dream is to be united in love as One Body in Christ,” said Ottawa auxiliary Bishop Christian Riesbeck at the conference’s closing Mass Aug. 31. “We have had a glimpse of that unity these last few days.”

Bishop Riesbeck said the power of the Holy Spirit is bringing a “new wave of unity and revival” he described as “prophetic.”

“We are invited to cooperate with His initiative,” and “to give God permission to empower us to be ambassadors of Christian unity,” he said.

“This work of Christian unity does not make sense to many people who like things the way they are, who may have some preconceived ideas of each others’ faith traditions and beliefs,” said Bishop Riesbeck. “There’s a certain pride that needs to be broken; we have to humble ourselves.”

“As Christians this is not foreign to us,” the bishop said. “The whole notion of humbling ourselves, renouncing ourselves, taking up the Cross so as to follow Jesus – isn’t that the call we just heard in the Gospel?”

Matteo Calisi, a leader in the worldwide Catholic Charismatic renewal and former member of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, described reconciliation to the estimated 300 Catholic and evangelicals who participated as “the heart of the Gospel.”

“Jesus died to reconcile us to the Father and for us to be reconciled to each other,” he said.

But Calisi warned the road to unity would not be easy, that it was a way of the Cross.

Speaking in Italian with translation by Bruno Ierullo, pastor of Toronto-based Catch the Fire’s Newmarket, Ontario campus, Calisi said Jesus “knew he would be rejected before he was crucified. He was rejected, insulted, spat upon.”


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