PLATTSBURGH — The Rev. Richard McAlear is one of more than 4,000 Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate who are said to “leave nothing undared in proclaiming the kingdom of God.”
His ministry — offering hope, healing and love — can be experienced at St. Peter’s Catholic Church today and Saturday.
Today, a special Healing Mass will be celebrated at 6:30 p.m. From 1 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, McAlear will lead a “Healing and Forgiveness Workshop/Holy Hour.”
Founded in 1853, St. Peter’s Church was staffed by the Oblate Priests of Mary Immaculate for its first 135 years.
In 1826, St. Eugene de Mazenod (1789-1861) founded the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate in France. It is an international order of Roman Catholic priests and brothers “dedicated to bringing the Good News to the poor in nearly 60 countries worldwide.”
McAlear, a Boston native, heard Oblates preach there in parish missions.
“They were always very dynamic and very impressive,” said McAlear, who is based in Tewksbury, Mass. “No matter who I met, they impressed me.”
He entered the religious order in 1960. After studying in Rome and receiving degrees in philosophy and theology, he was ordained there in 1970. He returned stateside to teach high school and earned a master’s degree in religious education. He became involved in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in 1972 and entered into full-time healing ministry four years later. Since 1977, he has been a member of the Association of Christian Therapists.
McAlear’s healing and teaching gifts attract invitations from around the world, but his 40-year healing ministry was a slow development.
“I noticed a lot of stuff, that people are hurting. The first one is cancer. You’re praying for the cancer, but you’re also praying for a very scared person, another element of the dimension that has to be included,” McAlear said.
Today’s Healing Mass is an opportunity for people to receive an individual blessing and prayer for healing.
While ministering to the sick, McAlear has discerned that there is also an element of forgiveness.
“Forgiving God because he made you sick, your husband who left you or your parent who didn’t accept you; there’s always these issues,” McAlear said.
He will address these issues in the “Healing and Forgiveness Workshop/Holy Hour.”
“I’ve circled the globe several times. There is always a psychological or spiritual component to healing. You have people who are sick. There are two things you are dealing with. You’re dealing with the physical ailment and, at another level, you’re dealing with the psychological thing,” he said.
No matter the physical condition, the psychological aspects may leave a person scared, nervous or worried.
“There’s a bunch of other stuff going on and that needs prayer, too,” he said.
McAlear has prayed with and for tens of thousands of people in Africa, Asia, Central and South America, Europe, Australia, New Guinea and these United States.
What is broken, what repeats itself the world over, is the need to forgive.
“They’ve been hurt, rejected, misunderstood ... fill in the blank; that has to be dealt with and prayed about,” McAlear said. “It’s all a part of the healing. You can’t just say you have a headache. It’s not the ailment. It’s the person that’s important. That’s so important in all the teachings.”
Email Robin Caudell:
firstname.lastname@example.orgIF YOU GO WHO: The Rev. Richard McAlear of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate. WHEN: Healing Mass will be celebrated at 6:30 p.m. today. "Healing and Forgiveness Workshop/Holy Hour" is from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday. WHERE: St. Peter's Catholic Church, 114 Cornelia St., Plattsburgh. CONTACT: 563-1692.