Pope Francis refers to the Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR) as a current of grace for the whole Church. To give it an official place, he has recently set up CHARIS as a Church-wide channel of communication and support.
Having been the chair, for a number of years, of the diocesan team that promotes renewal in the power of the Holy Spirit, I am delighted to be asked to oversee the establishment of the new CHARIS team (CDSC) for our diocese. I have been instructed that the objective of CHARIS is to serve and create ‘communion’ between the different ‘realities’ existing in Catholic Charismatic Renewal, and to be in relationship with the Church as a whole, for the proclamation of the Gospel in the world.
Most people will know the CCR in our diocese through the New Dawn Conference that takes place each year in Walsingham, and through the Celebrate Weekends and Days of Renewal that are advertised in every parish. These events directly promote the renewal of our Baptismal and Confirmation commitment by encouraging everyone to be filled afresh with the Holy Spirit and allow his power to be active in their lives.
Many will know some of the other ‘realities’ in the diocese that use particular charisms of the Holy Spirit: for example, the Little Way Healing Ministry uses the different charisms involved in healing, Mothers Prayers uses the charisms involved in intercessory prayer, Prayer Groups use different charisms to discern God’s will in their lives and to grow in their love of Jesus. There are many other ‘realities’ also, like Lectio Divina, that are embedded in the life of parishes.
We would hope that other ‘realities’ would identify their charisms and make themselves known to us, so that as a CHARIS team we can celebrate these works of the Spirit more by inviting everyone together in fellowship at least once a year and by making their works of service better known to everyone. In supporting these I would also hope that we give wider significance to every Christian’s own God-given charisms through which the Spirit wants to work.
“Charisms, whether they be the more outstanding or the more simple and widely diffused, are to be received with thanksgiving and consolation for they are perfectly suited to and useful for the needs of the Church.” (Vatican Council document Lumen Gentium section 12).
Pictured above is Philip Walters (firstname.lastname@example.org)