CCR Sweden, Newsletter January 2022
Compiled by Bengt Malmgren
CHARIS Europe (ESC), contact person for the Nordic countries appointed.
According to CHARIS statutes, a European "service of communion" has now been formed with representatives of all countries that have formed the corresponding national service communities. The European Community has been given the acronym ESC. Within the ESC, a working group, a coordination team of 7 people (TESC), has been appointed to handle the practicalities between Community meetings.
One of the missions of TESC is to help those nations that do not yet have a National Service Community (NSC) to establish such. This includes Sweden and the other Nordic countries. One of the team members, Tony Laureys, has been appointed contact person for the Nordic countries. Tony is from Belgium and a member of the community network Sword of the Spirit. I had a conversation with him in December where we exchanged information. He will contact us and our representatives in the Nordic countries during the spring term for discussions on consolidating us with service communities nationally. As mentioned in previous letters, the main idea is to form a single service community for the Nordic countries covered by the Nordic Bishops' Conference, not one for each individual country, as the volume of charismatic groups is small in each country. [Read more here].
Communication within Sweden and the Nordic countries
This information letter is sent out to more than 200 subscribers via a list whose basis goes back to the subscription list for the AKKS newsletter that was published 1990 - 2007. In addition, there is now an e-mail list for prayer group leaders and contact persons in our Nordic countries which also includes Tony Laureys, our contact person in ESC and our contact person at Stockholm Catholic Diocese msgr Andrés Bernar, bishop vicar for evangelism with overall responsibility for coordination and leadership of evangelism and pastoral work. A list of prayer group leaders and contact persons in Sweden can be found on the website, see this link.
Our website https://isidor.se/ccr is being updated with historical material. Since I have access to the entire AKKS archive, I have scanned in all the AKKS newsletters, so now the entire series from 1990 to 2007 is available on the website. The letter was published 1-2 times a year and contains information about programs and activities both nationally and internationally. It provides an insight into a time of a lively and comprehensive charismatic life with prayer groups, Life in the Spirit seminars, course programs of various kinds, national conferences with invited speakers such as sr Briege McKenna, f Raniero Cantalamessa, Charles Whitehead and others. often in ecumenical collaboration. Feel free to go in and botanize on the page, under "documents" in the main menu you will find AKKS newsletter, material from the two major Nordic conferences we conducted, NKK1984 and NKK2010 and much more.
We are now in the week of prayer for Christian unity. In the past, ecumenism was something exclusive, and then the week of prayer was a highlight that was highlighted more. The trend is towards ecumenism being an obvious duty for us Christians and something that is part of everyday life throughout the year. Not least in Charismatic Renewal, we have had extensive ecumenical cooperation throughout the years. And as a special task for CHARIS, Pope Francis has emphasized the promotion of ecumenical cooperation with all Christians. The statutes state that CHARIS shall be "an instrument to promote and work for unity in the body of Christ, as expressed in the prayer of Jesus Christ (Jn17)". That is why CHARIS has set up a special commission for Christian unity.
For a synodal church
The synodal process is now underway in our diocese, and people from spiritual movements in the diocese participate in various ways and collaborate with the pastors to find ways to good forms of conversation and forums that benefit the purposes of the process. "Synodality" means to walk together, and we are urged to listen not only to the inner circle but especially to those in the periphery. It also has an ecumenical dimension. Listening and inclusion do not stop at the borders of the Catholic Church, but include all the baptized, and ultimately all of humanity who are the target group for the Church's universal mission in the world.
I think that the experiences we have made in Charismatic Renewal, in ecumenical cooperation, in cooperation between priests and lay people and in highlighting and helping everyone to discover their gifts of grace and service are useful to add to the synodal process. I have picked out a few things from our archive:
Cell group system for evangelism in the parish is a way to engage the whole church in a multitude of gifts and services. We at AKKS visited St. Eustorgio parish in Milan several times where this was applied. And don Pigi Perini, the parish pastor visited Stockholm in 2000 in connection with an ecumenical conference in St. Clara. AKKS put Swedish speech into a video film about S:t Eustorgio and cell group work in 1993. It has been transferred to digital form, 50 min. long. Not the best image quality, but it is very worth seeing. [Link here].
The flourishing ecumenical collaboration in Danderyd and Täby during the 1970s - 1990s that engaged many lay people in evangelism and social work as Lillemor Hallin described in the book [Gud kallar vanliga människor till att bygga hans rike] (God calls ordinary people to build his kingdom).
In 1995 we had a diocesan synod in Stockholm's Catholic diocese. [Here is AKKS 'answer to the question of what the Charismatic Renewal can contribute to the Catholic Church in Sweden]. The questions were not so different then, but the crisis awareness has increased, and the pressure to really achieve something beyond just theoretically ascertaining the situation is greater today, and it comes from the highest place, Pope Francis himself.
A good 2022 in the power of the Holy Spirit I wish to everyone where everyone's manifold gifts and services may be expressed in the church and the parishes and that we in Charismatic Renewal get the grace to contribute abundantly to it.
/ Bengt Malmgren