Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR)
The Catholic Charismatic Renewal was founded in the late 1960s in the United States of America. It is a movement within the Catholic Church which spread rapidly around the world, and today has more than 120 million followers.[i] “At the core of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal is the ‘grace of Pentecost’ also known as baptism in the Holy Spirit.”[ii] “Pope John Paul II welcomed the renewal” and it became “very much part of his strategy of ‘new evangelization’” (ibid).
Catholic Charismatic Renewal International Service (CHARIS)
Last December, The Dicastery for the Laity, the Family and Life announced that Pope Francis, following in the footsteps of Saint John Paul II, would give us a precious gift during Pentecost 2019: the establishment of The International Service of Communion to be known as CHARIS, an acronym for Catholic Charismatic Renewal International Service.
Overall responsibility for CHARIS rests with its Moderator who is assisted by a council called the International Service of Communion, which is composed of 18 people from all over the world.[iii] Together, they are responsible for promoting the unity of the charismatic expressions aroused by the Holy Spirit. Among the members is Gabriella Dias, apostolic assistant of the Shalom Catholic Community. Gabriella now shares with us the experience of Pentecost with Pope Francis and the initial steps taken by CHARIS.
CHARIS members and our first meeting
At the first meeting, the 18 members appointed to CHARIS shared experiences, prayed together and set goals for the organization. Gabriella emphasizes that the Holy Spirit wants us to do more in the Church. And therefore, the work of CHARIS will be to enhance what already exists as the fruit of the Spirit in the whole world and to be attentive to the new realities that He makes arise. Together with the 52 years experience of the CCR, we now begin a new time moved by the Spirit’s grace and strength.
Gabriella tell us: “I was greatly uplifted upon hearing so many testimonies about what the Holy Spirit is doing all over the world through charismatic expressions and the accomplishments in Africa, India, America and elsewhere. Indeed, I was very moved and impressed while listening to my brothers’ strong testimonies of the Spirit.”
The representatives set the objective to encourage in their respective countries the creation of a National Service of Communion that will be composed of members of the main charismatic realities. The goal is to have these groups set up by Pentecost 2020. In addition, Gabriella informs us that the representatives will be working in CHARIS committees responsible for studying and deepening the experience of Holy Spirit Seminars, a comment that was reiterated by the Pope in the meeting with members in the Vatican.
[i] Dr. Valentina Ciciliot, The Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR): an Historical Analysis Between US and Europe. Retrieved from https://www.unive.it/pag/fileadmin/user_upload/dipartimenti/DSU/doc/progetti-ricerca/Ciciliot_progetto_esteso_website.pdf
[ii] About Catholic Charismatic Renewal. Retrieved from https://www.nsc-chariscenter.org/about-ccr/
[iii] CHARIS: a new service for the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. Retrieved from https://www.vaticannews.va/en/vatican-city/news/2019-06/charis-a-new-service-for-the-catholic-charismatic-renewal.html