The Day Catholic Students Were Baptized in the Holy Spirit
02-19-2016, Paul Strand, CBN

PITTSBURGH — A special celebration took place at a retreat center known as The Ark and the Dove north of Pittsburgh. Several dozen packed into the main house to mark the February in 1967 when the Holy Spirit launched a worldwide movement starting from The Ark & the Dove.

The events surrounding Feb. 18 have come to be known as the Duquesne Weekend, when the Holy Spirit fell one by one on a group of students and friends affiliated with the Catholic Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.

In the 1960s, the Holy Spirit was shooting through denomination after denomination, such as the mainline Protestant churches. And then starting with the Duquesne Weekend, it came to the Catholics, too.

Those at the retreat 49 years ago were studying the work of the Holy Spirit. One of them, David Mangan, wrote in a notebook he wanted the dynamite and the power of the Spirit.

He also wrote “I want to hear someone speak in tongues: me.” He said that’s because he was the suspicious type, so he’d only believe it was real if he was the one doing it.

He’s the first one the Holy Spirit fell upon as he lay prostrate up in the small second floor chapel these charismatics now call the Upper Room.

“It seemed like the presence of God was so thick, so powerful, that it was the only safe place to be was on your face, that was just what you ought to do,” Mangan told CBN News.

Then he had an intense physical experience.

“There were all these explosions going on in my body. It felt like electrical explosions just kept happening. And I had forgotten all about that I said I wanted dynamite,” he said.

So far he’d been silent.

“I went to pray and thank God and it ended up coming out in a language I didn’t know. I started praying in tongues,” he said. “At this point I forgot all about that I had said ‘I want to hear someone speak in tongues: me.'”

Soon after, Patti Gallagher, now Mansfield, was seeking God in the same upper room.

“‘Just teach me to follow Your Son Jesus and to love the way Jesus loves.’ That was my prayer,” she remembered.

“I was kneeling there, then the next moment I found myself prostrate, flat on my face, hands above my head. My shoes came off in the process,” she said. “And as I was lying there, I felt immersed in the love of God. I felt like I wanted to die. Like, if this is heaven, I just want to go and be with God right now.”

As Manfield recounts in her book As by a New Pentecost: The Dramatic Beginning of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, from that day on, the Holy Spirit began to fall upon Catholics all over the world, and now there are some 120 million.

Many wanted to take possession of The Ark & The Dove where it all began so the Holy Spirit could use it again, full-time. After many months of negotiations and what he called “miracle after miracle,” Johnny Bertucci, chairman of the Ark & the Dove Incorporated joyfully signed the papers this last December.

“This is the home of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, the home of Baptism in the Holy Spirit,” Bertucci told CBN News, standing outside the main house.

“Anyone in the world is welcome to come here, to pray, as a pilgrimage, to learn about the renewal, the learn about baptism in the Holy Spirit, and to literally come not as a guest, but as a member of the family – to come home,” he said.