As charismatic preacher Fr John Rea returns to Perth, the local faithful are looking forward to being fired up about Christ again and witnessing inner healing.
THE effectiveness of Fr John Rea’s healing ministry is recognised by the sizeable crowds he attracts in many countries. Hosted by Disciples of Jesus Community, he will be ministering in Perth over three weeks, from April 18.
The New Zealand Marist Priest was in Perth in February 2008, and an article in this newspaper included testimonies of healings that occurred during his ministry.
In one instance, Fr Rea prayed for a young father of five who was about to have an operation to remove a tumour from his shoulder, that the tumour would be gone in 24 hours.
To the surgeon’s surprise, when he operated two days later, the cancer had disappeared. The patient has had no recurrence of the problem.
TV programs Sixty Minutes and A Current Affair have both interviewed Fr John over the years, detailing a number of amazing healings, including a woman whose cancer disappeared, a child violinist whose crushed hand was cured, a teenager whose paralysis and loss of speech was reversed, and a couple whose infertility was broken.
Fr Rea always emphasises that he is not the one responsible for the healings.
He says “I just pray with people for healing – the rest is up to the Lord. It is He who gets the glory.”
In the Scriptures there are many examples of healings that came from the prayers of Jesus’ followers. “People crowded to Jesus, and then his disciples in the Book of Acts, because they wanted to be healed,” he said.
“The same thing happens today.”
Fr Rea, has been praying with people for healing since 1974.
He says the one constant in cases where people had been healed was that someone must have faith whether it was the faith of the person being healed; the faith of a parent, loved one or friend, or the one praying for healing.
“All I do is pray – sometimes people get better, sometimes they don’t,” he says. He has no set formula for his prayers. “They are always short and simple and spontaneous,” he said.
A couple whose frustrations with infertility ended after prayer with Fr Rea, are among those who have testified to his healing ministry on New Zealand television.
After years of trying every other option in desperation to have a child, the couple came to Fr Rea one Ash Wednesday.
As he does from time to time, he nominated a deadline, informing the couple that by Easter they would be expecting a child.
The woman found out on Easter Saturday that she was pregnant, the baby was born by Christmas and they have had two children since.
A particular healing brought Fr John’s healing ministry wide exposure.
It involved a 10-year-old New Zealand ‘child prodigy’ violinist who had her left hand crushed in the door of a people-mover.
Her hand was so severely damaged that doctors told her she would never play the violin again. Just two days after Fr Rea and a friend prayed with the girl, specialists told her they could find no damage to the hand and no scar tissue.
The hand had fully recovered and she could play again.
One television reporter put it to Fr Rea that sceptics would say that he is someone who has “just got lucky” with healings from prayer. “When it happens so frequently, you can hardly call it luck,” was his reply.
Fr Rea is no longer surprised by healings. “Not so much surprised… I get filled with joy that the Lord is working in their lives,” he says.
“I’m always pleased to hear of healings because it’s something new to tell people.”
Fr Rea said the Lord seemed to use him mainly in physical healings, with people coming with all kinds of conditions.
“I have more prayers for fertility than anything else, probably because of the TV program which featured the couple (who were healed). Cancer is probably the next.
“Another area where the Lord has used me a lot is with kids with learning difficulties,” he says.
Some of Fr Rea’s activities at the Disciples of Jesus Centre, 67 Howe St, Osborne Park include:
– April 24 Youth Rally. Fr John will be encouraging young people to have an alive faith, and a belief in the power of God to transform society.
– April 29-30. 9am Mass, followed by ‘Miracles’ Seminars 4 and 5, in Acts 2 Bible College.
Other events for Fr Rea include:
– April 21. 12.30pm. Seminar at Murdoch University Catholic students Association.
– April 28. 12.30pm. Healing Mass at Murdoch University Catholic students Association.
– On the weekend of 1st to 3rd May, Fr Rea will be in Pemberton ministering with the Holy Spirit of Freedom Community.
– May 4-8, Ministering each evening, commencing with Mass from 7pm, at Our Lady of Mt Carmel Church 82 Collick St Hilton.
For more information on these and other events, please ring Reg on 9202 6868 or 0429 777 007.