By Reagan Scott
LINCOLN (SNR) - The Lincoln Diocesan Evangelization Office will sponsor a conference and healing service Feb. 24, presented by Dr. Mary Healy, S.T.D. at the UNL Newman Center.
The event will begin with the conference, held from 3:30-4:30 p.m. After the conference, there will be a break for participants to get dinner on their own.
At 6 p.m., a vigil Mass will be held, celebrated by Father Christopher Barak who has celebrated Masses with prayers for healing in the past.
The healing prayer service will be led by Dr. Healy and a local praise and worship music team from 7 to 10 p.m.
While a $10 online registration is required to attend the conference in the afternoon, all are invited and encouraged to bring a friend to the healing service later in the evening.
Father Andrew Heaslip, director of the diocesan Evangelization Office said, “The goal is to give a wider education to the Catholic Faithful about this dimension of our faith.”
Dr. Healy is a professor of Sacred Scripture at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. She has spoken internationally on topics related to Scripture, evangelization, healing and the spiritual life. In 2014, Pope Francis appointed her as one of the first three women ever to serve on the Pontifical Biblical Commission.
Dr. Healy spoke in the diocese three years ago when she gave a presentation on the Gospel of Mark at a priest study day. She also taught one of Father Heaslip’s classes and is the thesis director for his graduate studies at Sacred Heart Major Seminary.
But it was when he learned that Dr. Healy would be visiting Omaha for two events the same weekend (a healing service at St. Gerald Church Friday at 7:30 p.m. and a presentation for Magnificat-Omaha Saturday at St. Robert Bellarmine Church from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.) that Father Craig Doty, the leader of the Lincoln Equipping Team, asked her if she would be willing to give a presentation in Lincoln.
During the conference, Dr. Healy will talk about the importance of praying for healing in the work of evangelization and will share her spiritual expertise as a scriptural scholar and what scripture has to say about the role of healing, according to Father Doty.
He also said Dr. Healy will share basic guidelines and steps for praying for healing.
“It’s really us giving God the opportunity to work a miracle, if that is what he wishes to do in that moment for His greater glory,” Father Doty said. “I think it will encourage us to be open and fearless, as well as humble in praying for others.”
At last count, more than 65 people had signed up for the conference, and Father Heaslip’s hope is the same for all of them.
“I hope that people get a wider sense of the work of the Spirit,” Father Heaslip said. “We don’t think He can reach certain areas of our life. I hope that those in attendance can find a greater faith and experience of the faith, especially for those seeking healing in their personal life and relationship with Christ.”
Father Doty also noted the importance of prayer, and the unrealized potential that it has to bring healing to people’s lives.
He said, “I hope that we can inspire and encourage people and equip them to pray for others, to tell them not to shy away from praying in the moment, even for physical healing. We want people to embrace the opportunity and to make the most of it.”