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Alana Antolak - "Prayer Meetings...and Cake"

Some people are drawn towards the Charismatic movement in the Catholic Church for the healing, some by the music or praise and worship; I was drawn to it by cake! It may be looked at as a bit of a bribe, but it was a delightful incentive to an eight year old to attend prayer meeting every Wednesday night when there was dessert offered afterwards. My parents were fortunate enough to be exposed to the Charismatic movement in the mid eighties and we would attend a weekly Charismatic prayer meeting, at my home parish in Ohio. I remember raising my hands in praise as we sand worship songs with a fire in our hearts, which I didn't quite understand, but know now to have been the Holy Spirit. I would look up at adults as we held hands in a circle and prayed for various intentions. While listening to their prayer tongues, prophecies and thanksgiving to God, I yearned for that connection, that love for Jesus that they had. Of course the social time at the end of the meeting with juice and cake was always the highlight for me.

I recall telling my mom one night before I went to bed that I wanted to pray in tongues, so she told me to start saying the word "Abba" (which means "Father") over and over again and the Holy Spirit would give me the gift of tongues if I truly desired it, and He did! My life was forever changed.

I was blessed to come from a strong Catholic family, and I have had my share of fails, struggles and attacks, but through God's great Mercy and Grace, I was always protected, always forgiven, always conscious of the right and wrong in my life. After plenty of crazy, rebellious times in high school, I moved to Cincinatti with my brother and began going to daily mass, just because it felt like a great thing to do as I started my nwe life on my own. Through a course of events, I was led to the Franciscan University of Steubenville, (ironically only 40 miles from my hometown) where I studied Theatre and received an amazing Catholic education. After a semester in Austria which led me to discern my vocation, and a theatre career in Cincinatti after graduation, I ended up moving to Hollywood to pursue acting. I am still a daily communicant and strive to be a sound Catholic Charismatic Actress in Hollywood. I ahve been graced with the opportunity to meet other fellow Catholics in the entertainment industry, and to develop a connection to other California Charismatic Catholics through SCRC. I was privileged to be an emcee for the Young Adult Track of SCRC, and continue to volunteer my energies toward bringing together fellow Young Adult Catholics in Los Angeles. My mission is to be a refreshing role model for other Catholics who are faced with so many negative trends in this world. I especially want to help other young adults to discover the beauty and meaningful lifestyle that comes from following Jesus as a Catholic.

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