Catholics Speaking in Tongues! The Spirit-Filled Movement of the 1960s

         In light of the fact that the Pope was recently in the news again and let everyone know what it means to be a real Christian, there is a powerful anniversary for Roman Catholics that he should have paid attention to that gives one a much better indication.

         The Catholic Charismatic movement is now 49 years old. It was in early 1967 when the Spirit-filled movement reached Catholics in a major way.

         The movement had started among denominational Christianity around 1960. All of the sudden, Christians of many Protestant denominations began getting baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking with other tongues, exactly as it happened in the Book of Acts.


         Many were skeptical of the movement but the movement continued unabated. If you want to read a good introductory book of that early time, I suggest They Speak with Other Tongues by John Sherrill. John Sherrill also wrote The Cross and the Switchblade with David Wilkerson.

         Sherrill was indeed one of the skeptics. Early on, he thought the entire phenomenon of speaking with other tongues to be a farce. But as he yielded to the Lord Jesus and continued seeking, he found actual proof that he was wrong.

         Just as the Pope is wrong. He made a false judgment and got called out on it. By the way, there has never been a tongue-talking Roman Catholic Pope that we know of, including the current one. Yet there are perhaps millions of tongue-talking Spirit-filled Catholic Charismatics the world over. I don’t have the space here to go very deep on the subject, but if you are interested, and you should be, there are many books and publications on the topic.

         Here is one from 1969: Catholic Pentecostals

         The simple fact is that the Lord began pouring out His Spirit on traditional Protestants of almost every denomination in the early 1960s and then began doing the same with Catholics. Priests and nuns were getting Spirit-filled. They were all speaking in tongues. Imagine that.


         It’s hard for me to imagine in one sense because I was raised Catholic. I never saw anything in my circle. It must have been very well hidden. In the defense of those early Pentecostal Catholics, I am sure they had a very fine line to walk.

         I left Catholicism while still in high school. Then, about five years later, by the Lord’s great grace, I was blessed with the same experience! Though I found the Lord in a Pentecostal church, I began meeting with Spirit-filled Christians of many traditions. There was a lot of cross-fellowship back then. We visited many Spirit-filled black churches. THAT was fun. Many black people in America had been Spirit-filled for decades and had a rich experience by that time, though many denominational white Christians were just then coming into the experience.

         Of course, Pentecostalism also had a rich tradition among predominantly white churches in America long prior to 1960. It didn’t take long with all the cultural shifts in America in the 1960s for whites and blacks to begin worshipping the Lord together, although the Azusa Street Revival in 1906 got that ball rolling.

         William Seymour, a black preacher from Texas went to Los Angeles and was promptly kicked out of an early meeting. He then began leading a small group of all colors and cultures that soon exploded into one of the greatest Awakenings in America history. This white and black Christian togetherness is another largely untold story at present, in that real Christianity has been most responsible for bridging racial and cultural divides.

         Roman Catholics would seem to never have any acceptance for speaking in tongues, but I also attended many Catholic Charismatic meetings in the 1970s. Some Spirit-filled Catholics left Catholicism but many others stayed. There were so many being Spirit-filled and speaking in tongues that Catholic leadership had quite a dilemma on their hands. They couldn’t do anything whatsoever to stop it so the hierarchy reverted to channeling it in what they thought was a relatively safe direction.

         Denominational Protestants did the same. Many Protestant denominational leaders and church pastors did everything in their power to stop the movement. This is all history and again, the record is very clear and available for anyone of you who may wish to inquire further.

         No, when the Pope said building protective walls is not Christian, even though the Vatican itself is surrounded by tall protective walls and has been for over a thousand years, he was wrong. He is also wrong to choose against Spirit-filled reality like the majority of Catholics have done, a spiritual dividing wall that the Lord Jesus never sanctioned. Regardless, and knowing the true pioneers will always be a minority, we should pay some honor to those original Spirit-filled, tongue-talking Catholics of 1967 who loved the Lord Jesus so much and wanted everything He had for them that they boldly defied staunch convention and joined the movement.

         We should also honor all those Protestants who took it on the chin in the early 60s and did the unthinkable. I know VERY WELL what it is like to be castigated for making the right choice. For those who know, there is no wrath quite like the wrath of stubborn Christians who insist on their dead orthodoxy and man-made beliefs. The Lord often called his own people hard-headed and stiff-necked. It’s all over the Old Testament Scriptures. And it has also been the case among the majority of Protestants and Catholics in this world.

         Therefore, it is great to have a historical record, and a very recent one at that, to prove the truth of the Book of Acts experience. It only doesn’t happen for those who don’t want it. Conversely, for all those who do want it, the experience is readily available. The Lord Jesus is ever faithful.

         The 1960s Spirit-filled outpouring has been forgotten somewhat, and many Christians have never even heard of it. This shows how bad things have become for many in that they are oblivious to recent spiritual history. Hopefully, the current Great Awakening will continue to shed more light on those times.

         I highly recommend to all Christians out there who have never had a real Book of Acts Spirit-filled experience to at least begin reading up on what took place in America in the 1960s. The research will enlighten you.

         Again, congratulations to all those Catholics who were Spirit-filled in 1967. Happy Anniversary! And may the Pope join you soon and gain greater understanding of what it means to be a real Christian.

         And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. [Acts 2:4] [1]

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church

[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Posted on February 21, 2016, in Current Events and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Being “Spirit-baptised”, and receiving spiritual gifts, including the speaking in a spiritual language, (tongues), was undoubtedly the greatest and most wonderful thing that ever happened to me. Words truly fail when trying to describe this to someone who hasn’t been saved and born again. But it is indeed a life changing experience, but just the beginning.

    The Lord Jesus not only wants all believers to have the infilling of His Spirit, but to use it, not allowing these gifts and powers to lay dormant. As it was said concerning the marvelous event to occur at Pentecost in the book of Acts,

    Acts 1:8
    “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”


    • Thanks so much Scarlett—A truly heartfelt and inspiring comment. And I certainly concur. The Lord Jesus wants the closest possible relationship with His children, and if those Christians without the Upper Room experience who truly love Him really knew that, and surrendered, and not believe all the misinformation about the infilling of His Holy Spirit, and not accept anything less than the real thing, then their hearts could also be filled to overflowing as yours has been.

      Incidentally, after receiving this post and writing it out, I found my old copy of John Sherrill’s book and began reading it again. It had been many years since I had and I forgot how great it is. I once again highly recommend it to all. He is a writer first and the book is very well written and a great story. It is about those early years of the 60s outpouring, beginning for him in 1959, and is filled with the Book of Acts type history of that time which led to so much more and eventually to our time. It’s a great read.

      Thanks again Scarlett. Be greatly blessed.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. As a new believer I had some experience of this in San Diego in the early 70’s. Great motivational times and places. The Shepherd indeed guides us into maturity, if we’re willing to follow Him.


    • Yes. Thank you, Gary. There were so many great spiritual things happening back then. The 1960s and 70s were pretty incredible. The Lord began so many new movements among so many different people and groups, both among very traditional church-going Christians and many people right off the street. We are currently at a place of great maturity among perhaps millions of individual believers in America who have been set on a course for the Lord’s future plans, many of whom have roots in those early times. These believers are set on doing the Lord’s will regardless of circumstances and are maturing together though often physically apart. They each have been blessed with individual unique ministries and have developed them. The Great Awakening is beginning to bring great community now, among a people who are spiritually mature and ready. The internet has played a great part in this. Be blessed, and keep up the great work.


  3. The first person I ever heard pray in tongues was a Catholic priest from West Bend, Iowa. A number of years later, I was also baptized in the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues.

    “Obedience to the Promptings of the Spirit (1904 Welsh Revival)”

    “John MacArthur Rebuked by a Prophet”


    • That’s awesome, Tim. Great news. It is also very interesting regarding how the Lord works. I say that because yesterday morning the Lord blessed me with this post and in it I mentioned They Speak With Other Tongues, also by the Lord’s direction and inspiration.

      As I told Scarlett, I had not read that book in many years, at least ten. So yesterday I decided I needed to read it again. I finished it today. Now I’m reading the other book I mentioned in the post, Catholic Pentecostals. I have another book written by a Catholic priest entitled The Pentecostal Movement in the Catholic Church (1971).

      The more I go over and study again all that the Lord did in the 1960s among denominational Protestants and Catholics it amazes me still, in that He found a way to bless so many with the infilling of the Holy Spirit regardless of all the spiritual warfare from religious Christians against it.

      The same thing is happening right now, of course. We must overcome the resistance against the Lord Jesus and the infilling of His Holy Spirit by Christians who might or might not know what they are actually doing, and seek to bless all. If the Lord could win 50 years ago under those circumstances He can certainly win now and IS winning.

      The Lord is no respecter of persons in that He does not discriminate. He will bless whoever wants His love with His Spirit whatever their station in life or denominational belief. The baptism is a baptism of His love.

      Keep up the great work Tim, and thanks again for your input. Be blessed.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on Richard's Watch and commented:

    This informative post by RJ Dawson homed in on me upon its receipt because: 1) I too was raised Catholic and decided not to stay so in my teens. 2) Decades years later I was baptised in the Spirit at a meeting on healing convened by a group of Charismatic Catholics, Baptists and independents – it was so awesome and its effects lasted 50 days! 3) The date of that movement connects into details of a prophetic word for 2016 that I’ll be blogging about next…


    • Thank you, Richard. There are millions of Catholics and Protestants of every denomination worldwide who have experienced the Book of Acts version of the infilling of the Holy Spirit, with signs and wonders following. This enriching experience leaves no doubt regarding the power and love of the Lord Jesus, and brings a believer into a new dimension of life and ministry.

      The Last Days Spirit-Filled Movement is also noted for the great opposition toward it by other Christians. It is a simple fact that whatever the Lord Jesus attempts to do to bless His children and bring them into a place of greater ministry and Light will always be fought against by other “Christians” who have either been deceived by the Lord’s enemies or have actually joined the enemy’s camp. This is the essence of spiritual warfare.

      All believers are promised this experience. I encourage all believers who have yet to experience the real infilling of the Holy Spirit to seek the Lord diligently and allow Him to reveal the truth.

      Be greatly blessed, Richard.

      Liked by 1 person

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