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Greetings from the CCRSO President

Greetings in the name of Our Lord, Jesus Christ:

An Urgent Call to Intercession

Last September my son-in-law was hired by a parish in Southern Ontario to do youth ministry. In this particular parish the priest is making a concerted effort to renew his parish and to embrace the call to evangelize. He is modeling his vision on work done by Fr. James Mallon (Divine Renovation) and Fr. Michael White and Tom Corcoran (The Story of a Parish Rebuilt). I highly recommend both books.

When my son-in-law came to me and asked if I had any advice to give him about starting a youth ministry for a parish I told him that what I was going to suggest would seem counter intuitive. I suggested that he begin not with the youth at all but with the older folks that attend daily mass. He looked at me as if to say, ‘How does that make any sense!’ but I had his attention. I told him that if he wanted the youth group to be Spirit-filled and to endure despite the hurdles and the barriers he would face, he needed to ground his work in prayer. He needed an intercession team. I suggested he talk to those older folk after a weekday mass and invite them to form an intercession team whose mission would be to intercede for the success of the Youth Ministry in the parish.

I explained that the benefits of doing this were numerous. First these people would take ownership and become invested in supporting you to make it happen. Secondly they would talk it up and stir it up among other parishioners and their family members. Thirdly they would intercede because they care about our youth and want to see them in a relationship with Jesus and have the benefit of the Church and its sacraments.Fourth, God’s grace and mercy would be poured out on the parish as a result of the intercession and things that would have been obstacles will disappear and those that don’t won’t be able to block the action of God’s grace.

Why am I telling you this story? The same holds true for our prayer groups. Many of our prayer groups are faltering with decreasing numbers and often tired leadership. They need to be renewed. They need to reclaim their identity, their purpose and their giftedness. They need to develop a vision and ‘go for it.’

The Charismatic Renewal is in a unique position to support the work of the New Evangelization in our parishes. In order for a parish to respond to the call of the New Evangelization, members of the parish first need to be in a relationship with the Lord. Secondly, they need to have the tools to actually do the work of evangelization. These tools are the gifts of the Holy Spirit and they need to be activated and developed. This is the work of the prayer group. Most prayer groups are so concerned about keeping and serving the people they have, they have lost their real sense of purpose. There are all kinds of reason (and excuses) we can give to justify our decline. The truth is that God desires, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to use prayer groups to renew his church.

If your prayer group has lost it’s identity and purpose, if your prayer group numbers are declining, if your leadership team is worn out, if the use of the charisms is waning, there is a way to change all that. It begins with intercession. Could I suggest that you form an intercession team. Again it might seem counter intuitive to have a prayer group form an intercession team when, after all, they meet to prayer. But I would ask you to set up the following expectations for the intercession team.

First: that they pray for this intercession: That the Lord would use the prayer group in whatever manner he would like to support the work of the new evangelization in the parish and further that he would mold our hearts to respond obediently and with courage to His call.

Second: that their prayer not be a quick petition placed before the Lord but rather a commitment to daily intercede with sustained prayer, praising and thanking God for the mercy and grace his is pouring into the parish and prayer group. I would suggest a daily intercession time of 10 -15 minutes. If you want to move mountains and open doors, there is no better way to start!

Third: that part of the intercession prayer be a time of listening to the Lord and discerning what the Spirit is stirring in you.

Fourth: that there be a time set for the intercession team to meet and share their‘ gleanings’ and to be encouraged to continue this work.

I want to also caution you to expect the intercession team to carry this mandate for months. This is not a quick fix. It takes time for the Lord to change hearts and minds and to remove the barriers that prevent us from being effective in our ministry. There is urgency to this invitation to intercede.

Please hear what the Spirit is saying to theChurch, to the prayer groups and act. Yours in the Spirit,

Brian
Brian Sullivan,
President, and Chairman of the Board of CCRSO

 

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Evangelization – Some Parish Tools for the Times!

For some months now, the clergy of Alexandria-Cornwall diocese (priests and deacons) have been receiving ongoing Fr. Lformation through the ministry of Catholic Christian Outreach. They have been challenged to be certain that Jesus truly is the center of their lives.Fr. L They’ve learned the importance of not only making a regular, clear proclamation of the simple Gospel message(the kerygma), but also of inviting parishioners to respond to offers to submit their lives to Christ and to become what Sherry Weddell and others are calling Intentional Disciples
CCO has learned over the years that they cannot assume that Catholics know Christ - it is necessary for them to provide opportunity and environment for Catholics to encounter Him. After people have this personal encounter with the Lord they can begin to help them understand and live out the mission that they were given at Baptism.
CCO has developed a collection of resources, successfully used to reach Catholic university students on campuses Fr. Laround the globe. Discovery is the first in CCO’s series of five short courses on Basic Christianity (picture Life in the Spirit and Growth in the Spirit Seminars using a deeper and broader delivery). Love, mercy, forgiveness and salvation are key themes. Increasingly parishes are finding the content desirable for their circumstance as well.
Quite recently, a number of laity from six parishes in the diocese, have been introduced to and trained to facilitate small group discussion using newly developed, powerful and engaging videos produced to augment CCOs existing six week Discovery program. The professionally created videos are designed to simplify delivery of the course, so that any parish, even with meager resources, can host the course without the need of outside presenters and leaders. Other course resources include Participant Guides, Leader Guides, Speaker’s Notes and Program Handbook. CCO’s Ultimate Relationship booklet is a tool used to empower course participants and others to share the kerygma with whomever they encounter. Think of UR as a Catholic presentation of the Four Spiritual Laws
Format: Each of the 60-90 minute sessions consist of a video that provides Fr. Lan overview of the lesson for the week, plus a small group discussion:

- Opening prayer - Video Lesson
- Small Group Discussion - Refreshments/Friendship
One of the key aims of DISCOVERY is helping us to come to the understanding that Christians are called to have a personal, intimate relationship with Jesus – a relationship of ongoing Intentional Discipleship, where we submit to His Lordship.

We are called to choose to allow Jesus to have His rightful place at the very center of our lives. For the non- Christian, Jesus is not a conscious part of their lives and their choices are not made in reference to Him. There are also those who would consider themselves Christian, but only treat Jesus as one of many things in their life. The Intentional Disciple seeks to keep Jesus at the center with all other things as secondary.
In Cornwall the Anglophone parishes: St. Columban, St. Francis de Sales, St. Peter’s and Blessed Sacrament have all begun hosting the course as have St. Andrew’s in St. Andrew’s West and St. Finnan’s in Alexandria. Fr. LThey are among 30 North American Catholic parishes participating in this pilot, offering feedback on this enhanced parish renewal resource, which, when in final form, is anticipated to become the norm for application across Canada.
In reflecting upon the official position and teaching of the Church, CCO co-founder Andre Regnier, says that: "Before there can be authentic and widespread engagement in evangelization we first need to recognize that we are dealing with a Catholic identity crisis. We need to know why and for what purpose we exist as a Church. We need to see evangelization not simply as something we do, but fundamentally as who we are ... Evangelization is not an optional activity for us. It is a necessary and urgent duty. To be Catholic means to be missionary - to be willing to reach out to others and share with them the Good News of salvation. As John Paul II so clearly understood, the purpose of evangelization is to renew the world through conversion to Christ. Unfortunately, for many Catholics, parish life does not inspire missionary activity."
All parishes should be missionary. It starts with changing the way we think about what it means to be Catholic. We are on the cusp of a great revolution - the new springtime of Christianity as John Paul II called it. This Catholic revolution does not demand a change in the Church's teachings. Nor will it be brought about merely through more retreats, conferences, or rallies. It is a call to change the way we think as Catholics, and to allow this new mindset to inform our actions. As John Paul II explained: "A radical conversion in thinking is required in order to become missionary. This radical new way of thinking will enhance our convictions, inspire our worship, and engage our people.It will provide courage, focus and commitment, which are crucial to the embodiment of our Catholic identity."
Reflecting upon a time when he was a younger man starting out in the world, Andre recounts: "Fr. LI gave God permission to use me. He took me up on the offer." His future wife, Angele says that she promised God: "I will do anything You want me to do, say anything You want me to say, and go anywhere you want me to go."
The original purpose of Catholic Christian Outreach, their shared ministry, is to reach out to university students who have wandered away and bring them back to Christ and His Church. CCO staff then equip those students to go out and do the same for others. To the surprise of many, this movement has expanded across the country and around the world. CCO has 70 full-time lay missionaries working on campuses in Canada, the majority of whom consider this work their life vocation. Increasingly CCO is being called upon to extend their ministry reach into Catholic parishes. "Lord, I give You permission. Transform me. Work through me to reach others for your Kingdom. Amen

Article by Don Smith, Alexandria-Cornwall Bishop’s Liaison with excerpts from Catholic Missionary Identity by Andre Regnier

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On Being "Saved"

Salvation is a gift; have we accepted the gift? God told us in His Word what it means to be saved. There is more to Fr. Lbeing a Disciple than church attendance and Baptism. He's given us 'Terms of the Covenant' to know whether or not we've received the gift:

1.) Am I under conviction of sin? The Bible tells us that all of us have sinned & fall short of the glory of God. Conviction of sin is knowing that I'm hopeless, helpless, desperate and lost and that no amount of good intentions is going to save me.

2.) Am I willing to repent once and for all, taking that problem of sin, our identity issue, and laying it before God, saying: "I don't want to be a sinner any more, but I can't do anything to change it. I need:

3.) the finished work of Jesus; I want to put my faith in Jesus on the Cross. And so,

4.) I submit my sin to Him; I accept Him as my personal Saviour. And then

5.) I surrender my life to Him as Lord. The final term of the covenant is external and that is6.) Baptism. Each Baptized person owes it to himself to be sure that (s)he has actually received the gift by embracing the gift offered to us. Our parents’ and god-parents’ faith must become our own

Brian
From a presentation at Fire & Fusion 2015 by Fr. Dimitri Sala Transcribed and submitted by Don Smith, Alexandria-Cornwall Bishop's Liaison

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The Problem with "Not" Having a Personal Relationship with Jesus

A personal God is, indeed, the stark alternative to an impersonal “Force” who governs the universe; the ancient philosophers were able to reason their way to such a notion of God as the uncaused cause, noncontingent being, the unmoved mover—truths all discoverable without benefit of Revelation. But they could not reason their way to the full truth about God’s personal nature without the benefit of God “pulling back the veil,” revealing Himself, as He did with the Jews. Christian believers know the God Who created the Universe, the Logos, the uncaused cause, the noncontingent, uncreated BEING, as a person Who reveals Himself as Love and Gift, and Personal in his nature. Jesus revealed that the One True God also has an inner life that is not only personal, but Tri-Personal, and therefore, social. Through her communio, the inner life of the Church images, in a certain way, the inner life of the Fr. LTrinity.
It is not hard to recall the very difficult conversations that have arisen in the Church in recent decades regarding various aspects of the Church’s moral teaching, and the very great number of Catholics who experience it as “burdensome.” When they tell us in various ways that they find it burdensome, (i.e., “Rules, rules rules!!”), they are telling us something important about the subjective reality of their spiritual experience. They have not yet transferred from the realm of the flesh to the realm of the spirit.
The Catholic moral life is not a purely white-knuckled act of the will. It arises as a response to the call to intimate communion with Jesus Christ. Ultimately, for Pope John Paul II, the call to intimate communion with Jesus Christ is an experience of falling in love. His successors, Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis, have likewise both been intentional about revealing what the subjective dimension of our faith looks like when it is integrated with the objective.
Chances are good that children who have no explicit personal attachment to Jesus Christ will grow up to be adults with no personal attachment to Jesus Christ, unless conversion is intentionally fostered rather than presumed. One of the primary tasks of the New Evangelization is to create the conditions that favour the personal conversion of the Baptized. Catholic identity is not enough. We must become personally attached to Jesus Christ, in His Church, in dialogue with His Word, through a conscious act of self- entrustment, nourished by the Sacraments. We must not settle for sterile intellectualism, hollow ritualism, white- knuckled moralism, or anonymous collectivism.
A personalistic approach to faith, that honours both the objective and subjective dimensions of the mysterious process of conversion, engages the whole person. It is true that feelings and emotions can be notoriously unreliable friends in our quest to live our faith authentically, but we must not throw out the baby with the bathwater. We must be wise in maturing our emotions so that they serve, rather than undermine, our journey to salvation. Consider great saints like Ignatius or Francis—or indeed, St. John Paul II!—whose emotions figured so powerfully in their spiritual journey and in their evangelical appeal. Let us not settle for a Spock-like approach to faith, but a fully integrated human one that releases the “vigor and passion” that is essential to a convincing witness.

Excerpted by Don Smith from an essay by Dr. Carole Brown
Dr. Brown has an MA in Theology & Christian Ministry from Franciscan University of Steubenville and works for the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. She is also a collaborator with Sherry Weddell, author of Forming Intentional Disciples

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PROCLAIM THE GOOD NEWS CONFERENCE

The Atlantic Summer Conference was held on August 7-9, 2015 at Mount Allison University with almost 350 people in attendance. The theme was “Be ambassadors of God’s Kingdom through the Holy Spirit” based on Fr. LScripture Mt. 10:7 “Proclaim the Good News.” Fr. Trevor Nathasingh from Trinidad, was the keynote speaker.
Fr. Trevor said that we can no longer separate prayer and service from fasting now. He said we are now living in a time that the human race has said: ‘I will not listen to God.’ So he added that the only way to be a Christian today is to be serious about being one. A Christian is created for holiness and Truth. God is exposing all the scandals in the Church to purify it. God is scouring, scrubbing us until we shine. God will never abandon His Church.
Do not be lazy in your spiritual journey with God. Do not make your relationship with God a routine which he called useless. The Holy Spirit is new each day. You are always the right age with God! Proclaim the Good News of the Word of God. We can no longer wait! We are living in a time of spiritual darkness. We need the prayer of intercession today for those who minister and for those in darkness. We have to decide completely for God. Am I going to be Jesus’ disciple or not? Then when suffering comes, go through it with Jesus and die to yourself. Draw closer to Jesus and follow Him.Stand firm when it gets hard! The power of Jesus to heal was evident and the grace that we needed to go deeper with Him was overflowing through the generosity of our God who simply loves us. Praise the Lord!

Reported by Lorraine Shonaman, Chairperson of ASC

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Called to be Instruments of the Holy Spirit

Excerpted from a homily by Detroit Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron at the Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday 2015.

“Heal our wounds, our strength renew; on our dryness, pour your dew. Melt the frozen, warm the chill.” Sequence from Fr. LFr. LPentecost; being dry, being frozen, being chill — that seems to me to be a condition which is very particular to our time. Has there ever been a time like ours when a people who once heard the Gospel, living in a culture that had over time been shaped according to the principles of the Gospel, has so willingly become asleep about the Gospel, and shed the Gospel, and become indifferent to the Gospel? Are we not frozen, chill, and dry?

Are we not bored with Christ? Is that not the condition that the Holy Spirit needs to heal in our time? Have we not come to a time when, sad as it is, hearts no longer seem to be restless, but rather more drugged, befuddled? Are we not at a time when there’s a loss of confidence that there is out there, somewhere, some good worth striving for.

I think Cardinal Ratzinger was speaking about this at the beginning of the millennium. He said: The deepest poverty is the inability of joy, the tediousness of a life considered absurd and contradictory. This poverty is widespread today... The inability of joy presupposes and produces the inability to love, produces jealousy, avarice — all the defects that devastate the life of individuals and of the world.”

As I, as a pastor, consider the challenges of today, I look and see so many who are resigned in order to be destitute of what is good and noble, because our age claims to have discovered that anything that presents itself as worth the warmth of one’s heart is mere trumpery — an illusion confected in order to manipulate, often with a view to gaining power or money.
Don’t we live in an age when so many are dry, chill and frozen because every claim seems to be merely an advertisement, and we know what advertisements are about.
… [This] attitude of heart that the ancients call acedia — the noonday devil. The sort of weariness that saps the vitality out of life. The kind of thing that’s very typical of people who are past their prime. About this condition Dorothy Sayers writes: “This is the sin which believes in nothing, cares for nothing, seeks to know nothing, interferes with nothing, enjoys
nothing, loves nothing, hates nothing, finds purpose in nothing, lives for nothing, and only remains alive because there is nothing it would die for.” We have known it far too well for many years. Incessant activity, she says, this desire to always be connected which is typical of our time, she
observes — these are all disguises for an empty heart and an empty brain and the empty soul of acedia.

I do believe in my heart as a priest that this condition is the great wound which we must call upon the Holy Spirit to heal today. This kind of weariness that saps life of its vitality. Imagine if you would a retelling of the parable of the merchant who searches for a fine pearl. And in our day, might that parable be about a merchant who doesn’t care anymore? Who goes from market to market, never even able to recognize the pearl of great price? And to this condition there has to be a response. God does not want it to be this way.

This is of great evil — a great affliction that so many should be bored with Jesus Christ. And we must then, the Church and especially we pastors, we must — as Pope Francis says
— give people back the joy of the Gospel. We have to help them rediscover the joy that comes from knowing that they are loved by God, and that they can reciprocate that love to
God, and that God wants it back.

We have to teach our age to ask from God, to expect everything from God, even God himself. Somebody has to teach the 21st century in the United States to believe again that each of us is made for some purpose beyond oneself. Someone has to teach our age about Jesus. And that then is the strategy of the Holy Spirit — to lead in the re-proposing of Jesus Christ.

 

Article submitted by Lorraine Shonaman, Chairperson of Atlantic Service Committee

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The Jubilee of Mercy

This Holy Year will commence on the next Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception and will conclude onFr. L Sunday, 20 November 2016, the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe and living face of the Father's mercy.

I am confident that the whole Church, which is in such need of mercy for we are sinners, will be able to find in this Jubilee the joy of rediscovering and rendering fruitful God's mercy, with which we are all called to give comfort to every man and every woman of our time. Do not forget that God forgives all, and God forgives always. Let us never tire of Let us never tire of asking forgiveness

Fr. L- Pope Francis

 

 

 

www.iubilaeummisericordiae.va

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Building a

Culture of life

Catholic Charismatic Services Ontario

Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services of Ontario (CCRSO) brings delegates from each diocese together twice yearly to share what is happening in the Ontario dioceses and to seek the Lord's vision for the CatholicCharismatic Renewal in Ontario.
Each prayer group in Ontario is urged to prayerfully & financially support CCRSO so that we can continue and even increase the Lord's work that we do. Let the Holy Spirit show each person and prayer group the part they are to play in the financialsupport of the provincial Renewal. If we each give as the Lord directs us, the needs of CCRSO will be fully met and the Lord Himself will reward each person and prayer group for their generosity.
Receipts for income tax purposes are issued annually. Please make your cheques payable to CCRSO and mail them to:

Mr.Joe Ruscio,
Treasurer, CCRSO,
229 Great Northern Road,
Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6B 4Z2

CCRSO
thanks you for your support.

CCRSO BOARD OF DIRECTORS – 2014 - 2015

Brian Sullivan, President
Ina Caplette, Vice President
Deacon Mark Romeo, Secretary
Joe Ruscio, Treasurer
Fr. Ben St. Croix, Spiritual Director
Deacon Stan Cor, Past President
Len Lanthier, Director
Isobel Bolt, Director
Brian Bolt, Director

Fr. L

Stirring October 2015

Greetings from Brian Sullivan, President, CCRSO
Evangelization – Some Parish Tools for the Times! Article by Don Smith, Alexandria-Cornwall Bishop's Liaison with excerpts from Catholic Missionary Identity by Andre Regnier
On Being "Saved" From a presentation at Fire & Fusion 2015 by Fr. Dimitri Sala Transcribed and submitted by Don Smith, Alexandria-Cornwall Bishop's Liaison
The Problem with "Not" Having a Personal Relationship with Jesus Excerpted by Don Smith from an essay by Dr. Carole Brown Dr. Brown
PROCLAIM THE GOOD NEWS CONFERENCE Reported by Lorraine Shonaman, Chairperson of ASC
Called to be Instruments of the Holy Spirit Article submitted by Lorraine Shonaman, Chairperson of Atlantic Service Committee
The Jubilee of Mercy Pope Francis

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Catholic Charismatic Services Ontario

Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services of Ontario (CCRSO) brings delegates from each diocese together twice yearly to share what is happening in the Ontario dioceses and to seek the Lord's vision for the CatholicCharismatic Renewal in Ontario.
Each prayer group in Ontario is urged to prayerfully & financially support CCRSO so that we can continue and even increase the Lord's work that we do. Let the Holy Spirit show each person and prayer group the part they are to play in the financialsupport of the provincial Renewal. If we each give as the Lord directs us, the needs of CCRSO will be fully met and the Lord Himself will reward each person and prayer group for their generosity.
Receipts for income tax purposes are issued annually. Please make your cheques payable to CCRSO and mail them to:

Mr.Joe Ruscio,
Treasurer, CCRSO,
229 Great Northern Road,
Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6B 4Z2

CCRSO
thanks you for your support.

Fr. L

 

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Instead of scouring the Internet for great Catholic mediacontent, such as New Evangelization videos, great Bible studies, video testimonials, Christian videos and more, how about if there was one site that offered single point access to the very best Catholic videos and podcasts on the world wide web.
That is the mission of All Things Catholic (ATC). ATCcreates original content and searches out the best of the rest from around the globe.
The site also showcases and directs people to mediaresources that are available for sale (i.e. Ignatius Press,Lighthouse Catholic Media, etc) as well as members of a speakers' bureau (traffic referrals to presenters such as Michael Dopp and Fr. Graham Keep.)

www.CatholicMedia.Info

CCRSO's Mission is to promote and participate in the ongoing renewal of the Catholic Church,witnessing to the reality of Jesus Christ and the love of the Father,under the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit, exercising the charisms received through release of the Holy Spirit The work of C.C.R.S.O. (whose members are Ontario Bishop's Liaisons and diocesan Delegates) is carried out entirely on a volunteer basis by members of this body.

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