Newsletter Charismatic Renewal Februari 2022
Newsletter Catholic charismatic renewal from Bengt Malmgren:
Network for prayer group leaders and contact persons
A network for prayer group leaders and contact persons within the renewal in Sweden is being formed and, on the initiative of Firas Daykh in Södertälje, network meetings have begun via Zoom. The basis is the list found under the contact tab on our website. Contact someone in the group for more information. Through this, we hope to start a collaboration so that we can arrange e.g. a charismatic conference at national (or why not nordic?) level.
CHARIS in Europe and the Nordic countries
As informed in previous letters, CHARIS Europe has now been consolidated with an European Service of Communion (ESC). Many countries have already started their National Services of Communion (NSCs). In ESC, Tony Laureys has been appointed as the contact person for the Nordic countries and will help us form a service community for the Nordic countries. Tony wants us in Sweden to appoint some people who can be part of an interim Nordic team that can prepare CHARIS Nordic Service Communion, we envisage a common one for the Nordic countries, not one for each country.
I think it would be good to bring this about as soon as possible this spring. You can certainly as a charismatic group arrange conferences, courses and various activities without being connected to the CHARIS community, but there are few reasons for that if we want to be at the heart of the Church, and that is what we want. CHARIS is a legal body established by the Holy See through the Dicastery for the laity, the family and life. By being part of the CHARIS community, we have the authority of the Church behind us, and it shows our loyalty to the pastors of the Catholic Church and our desire to serve the entire Church through the Baptism in the Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit. At the same time, we get to take part in the support and assistance that CHARIS offers, e.g. through leadership training and course programs offered as e.g. IFP as described below.
CHARIS Integral Formation Program – IFP
CHARIS offers an internet-based training program for volunteers and leaders in Charismatic Renewal starting in the spring - Integral Formation Program - IFP with the aim of complementing knowledge in how to as a volunteer in Charismatic Renewal meet everyday challenges with spiritual and psychological self-awareness, a necessity to be able to meet the people of today and evangelize and testify about the life of the Holy Spirit in a credible way. The program, which is highly recommended by Pope Francis, consists of 44 lessons, the first part April - October 2022, the second part April to October 2023. [Read more on CHARIS website]
The synodal walk
Conversation evenings and other activities have now begun in our parishes. Charismatic renewal groups are strongly encouraged to participate in this activities. In addition, there is also the opportunity to submit answers to the working group in the diocese as a prayer group or individual. [Read more on the Stockholm diocese's website]
55 years with Catholic Charismatic Renewal
Watch this short presentation video from CHARIS with highlights over the years.
Ecumenism in everyday life
A greeting from the ecumenical everyday life that many of us Catholics, especially in Charismatic Renewal, are involved in. St. Clara Church (Swedish lutheran Church) and director Mats Nyholm hosts regular ecumenical meetings for pastors and leaders. I am happy to be a representative of the Catholic Cathedral parish and Rev. Grzegorz Janski on whose behalf I participate. We meet twice a semester. Most recently, Stockholm's bishop of the Swedish lutheran Church Andreas Holmberg was a guest. The meeting began with social and coffee, which is not least important to get to know each other and build relationships. Then Bishop Holmberg began by sharing experiences with us. He said that our mission as a Church is to speak and to be hope. Then followed a conversation where several of the pastors shared about what is happening from the horizon of Stockholm. The meeting ended with a half-hour prayer for our parishes in Stockholm, for evangelism and to reach out to those who need it most.
St. Clara has been an ecumenical meeting place for many years, and I often meet Catholics there, from Cardinal Arborelius to members of the Stockholm parishes who work as volunteers in social activities. There is so much we Catholics can do (and are commanded to do) with other Christians, such as common prayer and common social-charitable work and to build good personal relationships. It is also part of the synodal path. St. Clara Church has a lot to teach us Catholics, not least in how to take care of their employees and volonteers, create an atmosphere that is inviting to take part in various tasks and not least the common prayer in the church twice a day. The parish's own members also have the opportunity to be part of one of the many home groups around Stockholm.
My ecumenical contacts with St. Clara go back to the time I was a leader within AKKS / KKS and we built up an ecumenical charismatic network where both pastors and lay leaders participated. We have always had a close trusting collaboration between priests and lay people, and so it is today. Since I left as a manager within KKS, I have still continued to be invited, and it felt right to continue. I then anchored it with the pastors of the Cathedral, formerly f Thanh and now f Grzegorz. Sometimes they are with themselves, but most of the time they ask me to go alone and represent the Cathedral Parish.
I have also participated in planning for ecumenical prayer days at national level where Bishop Anders let me represent the Catholic Church, e.g. the prayer for Sweden in connection with the opening of the Parlament in September.