by Msgr. Joseph Malagreca
At Pentecost 2019, in the Pope Paul VI Hall at the Vatican, in the presence of over 2,000 international delegates as well as other charismatics from around Italy, our Holy Father Pope Francis established CHARIS as the One Service on the international level to all Catholics who are involved in Charismatic Renewal. This act incarnates a vision that Pope Francis has−to see all those in the Church who have been touched by baptism in the Holy Spirit united in one pastoral outreach. The Statutes of CHARIS have thirteen reasons for this initiative, including the greater spread of baptism in the Holy Spirit; more unity among the various expressions; the ecumenical dimension; pooling of resources and service to the poor.
CHARIS is now operating from the level of the Vatican, has established some guidelines, and is increasing its services.
One of the structures of CHARIS is that each nation should develop a “National Service of Communion’’, which would seek to represent all those in the nation who are under this “current of grace’’.
In the United States, we have had a head start because we had already developed a unifying organism which was called the “Gathering of National Leadership Groups: Catholic Charismatic Renewal’’. In February 2019, this Gathering designated a Task Force to develop a proposal for the CHARIS National Service of Communion. The Task Force included Bishop Peter Smith of Portland in Oregon and Andrés Arango, a key Hispanic leader, who are US members of the International Service of Communion of CHARIS. The Task Force developed a Draft Proposal which sought to fulfill the goals of CHARIS in the US. The Draft Proposal was sent to many leaders in the United States in the fall of 2019. The Task Force received suggestions and clarifications, and then came up with a Final Proposal for the National Service of Communion.
In February 2020, in Miami, Florida, the Gathering morphed into a “National Assembly’’ (another CHARIS Term), to which leaders from all the expressions of Charismatic Renewal in the United States were invited. Of course, the entire National Assembly was carried out in prayer, seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Several practical decisions were made at the National Assembly:
1. The proposal for the CHARIS National Service of Communion (CNSC) was unanimously accepted by the National Assembly.
2. The proposal includes appointed members and elected members. The appointed members had been re-nominated by their respective groups. This includes National Committees and Covenant Community representatives.
3. Elections were held for the spots so designated: two Youth; one Religious/ Clergy; one Ecumenical Member; one National Ministry representative.
4. The new CHARIS National Service of Communion, consisting of 15 people, was established for a three-year term. We have decided to add Bishop Smith and Andrés Arango as Ad Hoc members of the CNSC USA.
Thus, we now have a US National Service of Communion in accordance with the guidelines of CHARIS. The CNSC has begun to meet. During the first series of meetings, I was elected Coordinator, and as such I am pleased to write this article today.
The first desire of the CNSC is to fulfill the vision of CHARIS: we wish to be a body that is in communication with all those in the US Catholic Church who are members of this great “current of grace’’. Our desire is to fulfill the vision of CHARIS – unity; sharing; impacting the Church together with the power of the Holy Spirit; and united efforts in the “New Evangelization’’.
The appointed members are:
- Two National Service Committee (NSC) members – Ron Riggins and Walter Matthews.
- Two Hispanic Comité (CNSH) members – Kathia Arango and Msgr. Joseph Malagreca.
- One from the Haitian Conseil (CRCCHO) – Marie-Josée Joseph.
- One from the Filipino Alliance – Bob Canton.
- One from the Association of Diocesan Liaisons (ADL) – Fr. Anthony Ouellette.
- One from the Korean National Service Committee – Fr. Francis Chung.
- One member of the Sword of the Spirit – Bob Thornton.
- One member of the North American Network of Charismatic Covenant Communities – Chuck Hornsby
– in all there are ten appointed members.
The five elected members are:
- One National Ministry – Jane Guenther
- Two Youth – Oscar Serrano and Jessica Navin
- One Ecumenical Member – Paul Dinolfo
- One Religious or Clergy – Fr. Bob Hogan
Certainly, with the Holy Father’s love of the Renewal, and with the urgent need to evangelize in this world, the time is ripe for a new move of the Holy Spirit. Please pray that Jesus will help me and the entire CNSC USA to do what he wants for this new time in the Church.
Msgr. Joseph Malagreca is Coordinator of CNSC USA. He is Pastor of Holy Cross parish in Brooklyn, NY. He is the Brooklyn Diocese Charismatic Renewal Coordinator and also the Spiritual Director of CNSH and CRCCHO.
From Pentecost Today – Issue 2 2020, page 10
2530 Church Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11226
tel. (718) 469-5900
fax. (718) 469-5901