Catholic Charismatic Renewal in Sweden. Newsletter May 2023
from Bengt Malmgren
Content: The movements' meeting with Bishop Anders on May 12. CHARIS and the synodal process. Pentecost Vigil in the Cathedral 27 May. The Pentecost Novena. CHARIS Integral Formation Program - Two-semester internet-based course that we recommend all prayer group leaders and officials take.
Pentecost of the Movements: Meeting with Bishop Anders on May 12.
The movements in the church usually celebrate the Pentecost Vigil together with Bishop Anders Arborelius. Since the bishop did not have the opportunity this year, a meeting was arranged with him on May 12 with Mass in the Catholic Cathedral and subsequent meeting in the Cathedral Hall for an open conversation with the bishop where the movements had the opportunity to ask questions and inform about what was current. Almost 100 people came representing about ten of the movements and other groups that are listed on [the diocese's website under the heading 'Kyrka i rörelse'].
It was a lively conversation with topics ranging from the importance of the family, peace in the world, climate and environmental issues to the movement's place in the synodal process. Bishop Anders, just returned from Ukraine, was happy with the conversation and spoke encouragingly to the movements about their important role in realizing the call given to each baptized person to realize their unique charisms to participate in building the church and participating in her mission.
Bengt Malmgren gave a brief history of why the movements are gathering, an initiative that goes back to John Paul II who gathered the new movements in Rome and Bishop Anders who, at the Stockholm Catholic Diocese's 50th anniversary 20 years ago, thought we should do the same thing here at home . [Read here]
Bengt gave an account of current developments within the Charismatic Renewal and spoke about CHARIS, the new structure established by Pope Francis under the Dicastery for the Family, Laity and Life to support and guide the Charismatic Renewal in its many forms worldwide. The Pope has set three points that he particularly wants from the Charismatic Renewal: 1) Share the 'baptism in the Holy Spirit' with everyone in the Church, 2) serve the unity of the body of Christ and 3) serve the poorest.
All charismatic groups who want to have the opportunity to join CHARIS. There is now an interim Nordic Council, [CHARIS Nordic Service of Communion] covering the Nordic countries within the Nordic Bishops' Conference. The coordinator is Ludwig Gelot from Järfälla.
Margareta Sävblom from the Schönstatt movement shared a hymn she had written, and we all sang it to the tune of "Bred dina vida vingar".
On the eve of Pentecost, the movements gather again as usual in the Catholic Cathedral for the Pentecost Vigil at 5:00 p.m.
CHARIS Europe and the synodal process
The Dicastery for the Laity Family and Life has given us a strong encouragement to live synodally, and CHARIS affirms and supports this in its teaching and guidance. The responsibility of all members of the Church which was so strongly emphasized by the Second Vatican Council is being more and more realized in this way. Continental meetings have been part of the synodal process, and a meeting for Europe was held in Prague in February. Attending that meeting was Cathy Brenti from France as one of the representatives of CHARIS Europe. [Read more in EU-CHARIS-INFO_LETTER No. 8] Here is her short speech at the synodal meeting:
“We are happy and grateful to have been invited to represent CHARIS, the
Catholic Charismatic Renewal International Service, at this Continental
Assembly of the Synod.
We believe that the Synod has been a great inspiration of the Holy Spirit in the
Church and we are happy to live this journey.
CHARIS is not a movement but represents – according to the words of Pope
Francis - the "stream of grace", and people from prayer groups or communities
have participated in the synodal process in their dioceses all over the world and
have been able to make their contribution in the sensitivity of the Renewal.
Jesus himself gave the image of a Church on the move, as He travelled through
the Holy Land proclaiming the Good News, doing good, and being attentive to
the wounded and the poor.
We believe that the reception of the Holy Spirit, lived in the experience of the
Baptism in the Spirit, leads to a personal encounter with Christ, which opens
the heart to listening to the Word of God, to listening to others, to what the
Holy Spirit can say through each one to advance and build the Church, in a
spirit of humility and repentance.
We are pleased with the place given to listening in the synodal process and to
docility to the Holy Spirit in resolving tensions.
It is thanks to this listening that the charisms of each member of the Church
can be discerned, and that each one can be given his or her place, not all being
called to fulfil the same functions, as in the image of the body we can find in
Saint Paul. But each one being at the service of his brother, and of the building
up of the whole Church in a spirit of charity.”
Pentecost Vigil in the Stockholm Catholic Cathedral May 27 at 5 p.m
All the movements are welcome to participate in the Pentecost Vigil. Afterwards, mingling and coffee in the Cathedral Hall.
The Pentecost Novena
Participate in this 9-day prayer Friday after Ascension Day to Pentecost, individually or in a group. [Pentecost Novena]
CHARIS Integral Formation Program
This internet-based two-semester course with the best lecturers that can be found provides a good introduction to charismatic renewal in the Catholic Church and includes both theological and pastoral aspects and insights into group dynamics and psychology that leaders should know about. Also the basic work within the Catholic Church with prevention of sexual abuse.
It is given in different languages, in addition to English also Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and [now also in Polish]. We strongly recommend all prayer group leaders and renewal officials to take this course. Also good as preparation for you who do not yet have a prayer group in your area, but are convinced that the Charismatic Renewal is important in the Catholic Church and want to promote its aims. [Link to more info and registration here]