History of Peter's Shadow
In the fall of 2015, the 3 co-founders of Peter’s Shadow, Mike Ragon, Mary Beth Garvin, and Barb Heath were on the administrative core team of the Jesus Heals ministry. That ministry was led by Abbot Clement Zeleznik and consisted of healing Masses, with Abbot and other priests and deacons praying with individuals for healing after the Mass. In November, the co-founders felt that the Lord was asking them to “more.” While they didn’t know what that meant at the time, they took it to prayer and discernment. In January 2016, it became clear that the Lord was asking them to start a Catholic regional lay-led healing ministry. The original vision that the Lord gave for the ministry was scattered prayer teams throughout the area. They had no idea how that could ever come about, but during prayer, the Lord said, “Be docile and allow Me to lead.” That became their mantra, and they dedicated themselves to radical obedience and radical availability to His will and calling of their lives. Eventually, Barb had to step down due to family responsibilities, and Rose Harkins, John Smith, and Patty Gonzalez joined the core team. They all come to the ministry with amazing gifts and fresh ideas. Fr. Jacob Bearer and Fr. Joshua Trefney have both played an integral part in the development and spiritual advising of the ministry.
The name Peter’s Shadow was chosen because of the story in Acts 5 when Peter came into the portico and the people brought the sick and laid them in the street in the hopes that they would be healed if even the shadow of Peter would fall upon them, and they were ALL healed!
Members of Peter’s Shadow have attended numerous training events and conferences, which encompasses training in physical healing, emotional healing, training in the Unbound method, and more.
For the first 2 years, and to the present, Peter’s Shadow prays with individuals for physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. We have been asked to pray with groups who were doing book studies on healing, or attending retreats, adoration, or XLT events.
In January of 2018, Peter’s Shadow, along with Fr. Jacob Bearer, did their first healing service at St. Mary in Butler, PA. What an exciting time that was! By late spring they began doing healing services (now called Nights of Healing Prayer) on a regular basis. During the Nights of Healing Prayer, attendees witness the church come alive and are taught the theology behind healing and how to pray over one another, and they are asked not just to attend, but to participate in the evening. They experience that Jesus does, indeed, still heal today through the power of the Holy Spirit and the precious and powerful name of Jesus! Our prayer is that they take what they learn and go forth to preach the Gospel in word and action.
Peter’s Shadow also provides training to teach people an effective way to pray for healing, hosts book studies and courses on healing, the Unbound method, and have brought in world-renowned speakers for conferences on spiritual warfare and Unbound Freedom in Christ.
Peter’s Shadow now has approximately 35 healing prayer ministers who are actively praying for healing on a very regular basis. The ministry has been recognized by Heart of the Father Ministries as a credible Unbound Ministry. The ministry is growing rapidly and is also applying to Encounter Ministries of Brighton, MI, to be a satellite campus for their School of Supernatural Ministry.
It has been an amazing journey following the Lord’s lead, being invited to do Nights of Healing Prayer and training in the Dioceses of Cleveland, Youngstown, Pittsburgh, and Greensburg. It is only by the Lord’s grace, mercy, and anointing that Peter’s Shadow has grown and flourished and touched so many lives over the past 4 years.