My Faith Journey

My Faith Journey

January 6, 2015 | HNMWebmaster | Commitment, Discipleship, Evangelization, Faith, Family, Grace, Holy Spirit, Hope, Joy, Lay Reflections, Love, Prayer, Service

FIRE Mass Testimony from Dr. Joseph Mukuni,
Visiting Assistant Professor of Career and Technical Education, Virginia Tech
January 6, 2015

Dear brothers and sisters, thank you for inviting me once again to share the testimony of my life journey with you.

  1. Christian Background

I was raised a Catholic, started school at a Catholic school, but later went to a Church of Christ School before going to another Catholic school to complete my primary education. I loved my Catholic and protestant experiences.

As a young teacher, my first posting was at a Catholic institution where I was closely involved in church activities, like leading the choir. I was also involved in the Young Christian Workers Movement as a leader at diocesan level.

  1. Lukewarm Christian

However, despite the enabling environment and the leadership role I played in Christian groups, somewhere between high school and college, I lost the zeal for my faith. Mass had become a routine and there was no longer much evidence of Christian values in my life. When I met my wife and we decided to marry, I saw no need to have a Catholic wedding, or receiving the Sacrament of Matrimony. I married her by the rules of our culture, despite the fact that both of us were Catholic. This situation meant that we were both separated from the Holy Eucharist despite regular attendance of Mass.

  1. Revival of faith

My wife prayed for me and persuaded me to return to the sacraments. She also sought the help of our Parish Priest who (after interviewing me) ‘prophesied’ that I was going to return to the sacraments and to work with him. At the time, I did not agree with him and I continued with my life outside the sacraments.

However, not long after, I began to feel dissatisfied with life. I felt no peace in mind and body. In my search for peace, someone recommended that I try the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, and I loved what I experienced there. Together with my wife, I did the 2 month-long program of Life in the Spirit Seminar and was baptized in the Spirit.

  1. Evidence of changed life

Encounter with the Holy Spirit movement has changed my life a lot, and I have seen how the Holy Spirit has changed other people’s lives too (and not just lay people but the religious and clergy too). As a result of that encounter:

  • I became more deeply aware of God’s love for me and the need for me to respond;
  • My wife and I received the Sacrament of Matrimony;
  • In my household, we began to pray together as a family every day and we have kept that tradition to this day;
  • Scripture has become a personal message of love from God;
  • I have experienced gifts of the Spirit;
  • I have come to love the Eucharist more.
  1. Appeal

My appeal to those in the Holy Spirit Movement is: Please know that you belong to a movement which is an important instrument for evangelization. That might be why Pope St. John Paul II said about this movement: “I have always belonged to this renewal in the Holy Spirit. . . .  I am convinced that this movement is a sign of his action.  The world is much in need of this action of the Holy Spirit, and it needs many instruments for this action. . .”