By JOEY REISTROFFER
SPARTANBURG — Father Patsy Iaquinta is journeying south on Sept. 13 for a charismatic Mass at Jesus, Our Risen Savior Church to fill souls with the goodness of the Lord.
Father Iaquinta is coming down from his Sacred Heart Parish in Bluefield, W.Va., to celebrate the Mass in the Upstate and be the main speaker at the Charlotte Charismatic Conference in North Carolina that weekend.
He is a modern-day shepherd, traveling the world and bringing the Lord’s flock closer to their faith. This priest agreed to celebrate Mass that Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in Spartanburg because parishioners asked and he felt obliged to spread God’s word.
“I was amazed we could get him because he’s always booked,” said Kay Beerman, a member of the prayer group at Our Risen Savior.
Father Iaquinta is chairman of the National Service Committee of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal of the United States. Many have listened to him talk about Jesus, and many have grown in their faith.
“He has a gentle, dry wit,” said Joyce Brown. “People just love him.”
Brown is organizing the conference, “Led by the Holy Spirit: Faith for the 21st Century,” at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Charlotte. All are welcome at the event, and there is no charge.
Father Iaquinta calls it a privilege to talk to people about the Lord and the Charismatic Renewal. “It is beyond a movement. It is a way of life,” he said. “It is what Jesus is about in the life of the church: active, alive, vibrant.”
While celebrating Mass in Spartanburg, Father Iaquinta said he will meditate on the readings. They fit right in with following Jesus and being inspired by the Holy Spirit.
In the first reading, John’s letter to the Colossians says: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of Jesus …”
Luke’s Gospel for Thursday’s Mass is “Love thy enemies.”
Helen Washek, a parishioner at Our Risen Savior, is anxious to hear Father Iaquinta talk on these subjects that deal so closely with how God’s people should act and live their lives. “He is very gifted,” Washek said.
He also is very humble. “Just to be a part of what God is doing is an honor and a grace,” said Father Iaquinta.
He has experienced God’s grace. Father Iaquinta grew up in West Virginia in a Catholic family that prayed together and practiced their faith.
He was called to the priesthood and graduated from St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore in 1966. He was ordained a priest in the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston in 1970 and became founding pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Westover, W.Va., in 1977. In 1990, he became pastor of Sacred Heart.
All the while he was growing in and living his faith.
Now he wants others to experience the Lord’s blessings and to live a stronger faith. That is why he is coming to Spartanburg and Charlotte.