It was 1985. It started with one man and one word. The man was Fr. Bob. The word was ‘permission’.
Fr. Bob began a campaign of evangelization of what he called the Lord’s Dynamic – proclaim the gospel of Christ; invite the people to surrender all to him; allow the Holy Spirit to transform the person through their positive response to the invitation.
In his own words,
“But as I stayed with prayer, as the weeks went on into January and February of 1985, I sensed a word. This word was a word I’d never heard in prayer before. I had never heard anybody talk about it before that point. It was the word ‘permission’.
“I sensed the Lord saying ‘I want you to tell the people that you’re giving me permission. And to ask them for their permission too! And if I get enough permission I’ll move. And then when I move, you’ll see it, and you can point it out to the people and you can support it. That’s what I want to do’.
“So that’s what I did. I got up and I started to talk like that. ‘I’m giving God permission in this parish, in this church to do what he wants to do. And not only that, he wants your permission too. He wants permission to do what he wants to do here.’
“Within a year the Lord began to move. God went to work. When you invite God to show up, he shows up. When you invite the Lord to take over, he takes over… So, as we started giving control in the parish, he began taking over. We had an infusion of the grace of God. And it was happening before I knew it.”
(Fr. Bob Bedard, Give God Permission, pg. 208-210)
Without question, the Holy Spirit moved with great power, paving the way for countless conversions, encounters with Christ, founding the Companions of the Cross. He inspired many souls to follow the Lord’s calling, resulting in the Servants of Cross, Lay Associates, leaders in renewal, vocations to diaconate, faithful supporters, an adoration chapel, small communities, New Life retreats and so on. Also, an incredible number of St. Mary’s parishioners have gone on to leadership roles in other parishes and movements such as CHRI Radio, Magnificat Ministries, Maryvale Academy, Cup of Africa, Jericho Road, the Parkdale Foodbank and Children of Paraguay.
We need your help in documenting the legacy and impact of Fr Bob. Please click on the Questionnaire tab above and complete the survey!
This initiative is led by the Companions of the Cross and supported by the Servants of the Cross and the St. Mary’s Knights of Columbus. We will publish a book entitled Permission Granted which will recount the impact of Fr. Bob’s invitation to “Give God permission”.