Reflections on CHARIS 1st International Conference
What a blessing it was to attend the historic moment for the Catholic Charismatic Renewal worldwide – the 1st International Conference at the Paul VI Audience Hall for the inauguration of CHARIS by Pope Francis at Pentecost!
Profound excitement filled the air as 600 leaders from 59 countries anticipated the extraordinary commission for the Renewal through CHARIS envisioned by Pope Francis himself. Recalling that Pentecost reversed the confusion and division resulting from Babel, those present began to experience the single current of grace as the Holy Spirit was restoring unity.
For some it was a poignant moment – as years of faithful work by ICCRS and the Catholic Fraternity came to an end … but their service enabled the one single service for the worldwide Renewal to become a reality.
Cardinal Kevin Farrell, prefect of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, OFM, Preacher to the Papal Household and Ecclesiastical Assistant to CHARIS, Jean-Luc Moens, CHARIS Moderator, and others from the International Service of Communion, provided clarity on the one single service and leaders’ roles in support of CHARIS. Recognizing the uniqueness of the Renewal in each country, it became apparent that through establishing their respective National Service of Communions (“NSoC”), leaders of the various realities must prayerfully discern how to fulfill the CHARIS objectives as no one model suits every country.
Pope Francis paraphrased Saint Paul VI that the Renewal was “a great opportunity for the Church.” He challenged us to embrace the spirit of newness from God and not cling to old ways of doing things, to seek communion with others, and engage young people who are the future of the Church. The Holy Father set forth three expectations for the Renewal – to share baptism in the Holy Spirit with everyone in the Church, to serve the unity of the body of Christ (within the Church and ecumenically), and to serve the poor, including the physically and spiritually poor – emphasizing that each is a form of witness of love through evangelizing the Gospel. [Note: The National Service Committee, or “NSC,” has already been prayerfully discerning with others its role in the U.S. as “boots on the ground” to fulfill CHARIS.]
There was much time for communion between the worldwide leaders, to share visions, develop new friendships and commit to serving together to bring this current of grace to the whole Church.
The NSC looks forward to embracing the newness, other realities, young people and the poor!
Created with images by Patrick Hendry - "Patrick Hendry - Camp Plan" • Skitterphoto - "church altar mass religion christian holy catholic" • israel palacio - "untitled image" • Derick Anies - "untitled image"