San Antonio.- Parochial Vicar Rev. James Marshall, SJ was thrilled to see almost 500 people gathered in the pretty, little blue and white church on the West Side of San Antonio. Dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe and part of the Archdiocese of San Antonio, to see the church overflowing on a weeknight at 7 p.m. was still an extraordinary event.
Young and old flocked to the stunning church to pray and hoped that the healing gift of Alan Ames, the mystic healer from Australia, would soothe their souls, their spirits and ward away their sickness.
Ames visits Roman Catholic churches all over the world, with the permission of his bishop in Perth, Australia. In San Antonio, Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller also gave permission for Ames to conduct healings in churches he is invited to across the Archdiocese.
Minutes before stepping out of the sacristy to address the people, Ames and Fr. Marshall prayed privately for a few moments together.
Ames, born in London in 1953, told the people gathered that before an extraordinary vision turned his life around, he was miserable.
“I came from a poor family … and eventually I descended into a life of crime and sin … I hurt many, many people. I thought if God existed, he would condemn someone like me to hell,” Ames said.
But when he turned 40, Ames said God came into his life.
“I wasn’t even looking …,” he explained. And with that he launched into a message of love and peace, and utter devotion to God.
“Despite my sins and wickedness, I felt his love, his peace … and for the past 19 years, everyday has been joyful,” he said. “I never want that feeling to end.”
Many in attendance were familiar with Ames’ story and gift of healing – he has visited Our Lady of Guadalupe Church 13 times since 1998 and he visits Catholic churches in San Antonio every year.
The sessions begin with a Mass, the principal expression of worship in the Catholic Church, with a liturgical and Eucharistic component. After the Mass, the church offers the sacrament of Confession which Ames says is essential to successful healing.
“Confession is a powerful sacrament, it is cleansing and leaves you open to receive God’s healing,” he explained.
Then the altar is reset with candles and the Holy Eucharist so that the healings can begin in the presence of Jesus according to a spokesperson for the healer. The candles represent the fact that Jesus is considered to be the light of the world.
The lights in the church were dimmed and Ames conducted a group healing, after which he shared his gift with every individual who sought his help by lining up at the altar. Church members served as catchers behind people receiving Ames’ blessings, and the precaution was well-founded because several fell as they received Ames’ healing through the laying of hands.
Ames will be in San Antonio this weekend, as well. On Saturday, Nov. 24 at 5 p.m. he will speak and conduct healings at St. Jerome’s Catholic Church on 7955 Real Road. Sunday and Monday he will be in Laredo. To learn more about Ames, his gift and ministry, visit www.alanames.org.
Angela Covo is a reporter for La Prensa de San Antonio. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.