1 June 1995
In the Leadership Formation Supplement Sr. Nancy speaks of two aspects of vision – a clarity of identity and a clarity of mission. In this article Charles and Sr. Nancy write about these elements of ICCRS.
CLARITY OF IDENTITY
The Council of ICCRS consists of 16 members from 14 different countries, an Episcopal Adviser, and 1 consultant. The names and countries of the members are listed on this page. From this list you will see that there is a mixture of men and women, a bishop, a sister, priests and lay members. Together they fulfill one of our most important aims, which is to ensure that the Council are drawn from different realities in the worldwide Catholic Charismatic Renewal. So there are members from the major geographical areas around world (Europe, Asia, etc.), members who exercise special ministries (healing, social concern, mass media, etc.), and some who come from particular expressions of the Renewal (communities). In this way we hope to have a wide cross-section of culture, experience, and service represented on the Council.
The Council members normally serve one, two, or at the most three terms of three years each. A President and a Vice-president are elected from among the Council members, and a Director is appointed to take responsibility for the day-to-day work of the office in Rome. The full ICCRS Council meets at least once in every calendar year and a small part of each week-long meeting is given to matters of Council membership. After contact with the local hierarchy and leaders, and following a time of prayer, discussion, and discernment, the Council will invite new members to replace those who are due to retire.
CLARITY OF MISSION
Sometimes we are asked why we need a Council, and what they actually do. In order to fulfill the mission of ICCRS, which is to promote and encourage the Catholic Charismatic Renewal throughout the world, it is important to know what is happening in different places. So a major responsibility for each member is to report regularly to the Council on the situation in their particular area. This enables all the members to have a broader view of the working of the Holy Spirit, and to put their own experience into a wider context. It also helps them in carrying out another responsibility, which is to maintain contact and communication with members of the Church hierarchy, both in their own countries and in the Vatican. Each Council member also seeks to rebuild relationships with leaders in the Renewal in their own area, and to bring their views and experience to the Council meetings. Council members do not have authority over the Charismatic Renewal but try to give service, encouragement, advice, and discernment.
“BUT WHAT EXACTLY DOES ICCRS DO?”
We heard this question recently at a continental gathering of leaders, and would like to respond to the exactly in it with some of the day-to-day and week-to-week things ICCRS does.
One of the most hidden, but one of the important services is done on the telephone here in the Rome office. We receive calls from all over the world with inquiries about the Charismatic Renewal.
The world also comes to the office in the person of the bishops, priests, leaders and visitors to Rome who come to share about the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in their country or to hear about the Renewal worldwide.
ICCRS reaches out the Charismatic Renewal worldwide through its Newsletter which is trying to share the richness of one part of the world with the other – in its teaching and its news of what God is doing country to country.
The ICCRS President, Director and Council members also reach out to the CCR world in their visits to continental, national and community gatherings. Speaking at such events gives ICCRS members the opportunity to foster the central goals of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal…personal conversion, receptivity to the Holy Spirit, the work of evangelization and ongoing growth in holiness. We also have “dreams and visions” (cf. Acts 2:17) of working with local leaders to hold Regional Leadership Formation Conferences.
The office also reaches out by sending books to developing countries and responding to many mail requests for information about CCR. ICCRS facilitates the charismatic groups of the world meeting with one another by organizing international gatherings such as the upcoming ICCRS Healing Seminar and Evangelistic Outreach in San Giovanni Rotondo in October. It also helps link the Charismatic Renewal worldwide by keeping up-to-date lists of leaders.
In both its welcoming people to the office and its various outreaches, it connects with people of the other spiritual movements in the Church and maintains bonds with other Christian communities.
So, although the Catholic Charismatic Renewal is not about building new structure, a small international body and office are necessary to promote, encourage, explain, and serve the exciting work of the Holy Spirit.
By Charles Whitehead and Sr. Nancy Kellar
Taken from the ICCRS Newsletter, June-August 1995