fTHERThe Flame: July/August 2018
Dear Readers of The Flame,

Catholic Renewal Ministries moved its offices in June. We did not move far. In fact, we are back in our old space-the third floor of the Hoban Building. This is the building off the big parking lot on the east side of the Center for Pastoral Leadership in Wickliffe. It is the building with the large green awning and an elevator up to the third floor. Our space in the Issenmann Building was needed by the autism daycare center. Our old space was vacated when the Diocesan Archives moved to the downtown offices of the diocese. So this is a little bit like “back to the future” for us.

Of course the process of moving is a trip down memory lane. I discovered accounting files from 36 years ago. There were also outlines of days of renewal, old conferences and academic papers from Liaison Conferences. As in every move, this was a time for the office of Catholic Renewal Ministries to put into practice the passage from Ecclesiastes 3:6b-“…a time to keep and a time to cast away.”

I did come across the revised mission statement for Catholic Renewal Ministries. This was prepared sometime around 1990, shortly before I became the bishop’s delegate. This statement was both an affirmation of what we are doing at CRM as well as a summons to become more rooted in our mission.water
It reads:
Catholic Renewal Ministries is the officially designated office for charismatic renewal activity in the Diocese of Cleveland that unites all prayer groups under the authority of the Diocesan Bishop and his appointed delegate to the renewal. Catholic Renewal Ministries, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and in the power of Pentecost, fulfills the command of Jesus to evangelize all people, to make disciples of everyone, to accept the challenge of the gospel and to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord of their lives. Catholic Renewal Ministries further believes:
  1. That the baptism of the Holy Spirit is to be accepted as central in the life of the Church and that the freely-given gifts (charisms) of the Holy Spirit are to be sought after and manifested within the Body of Christ.
  2. That the charismatic renewal exists to bring all people into a personal and loving relationship with God through a Life of holy living and faithful witness of the Christ life, through active participation in the life of the Church and its sacramental and prayer life, as well as in accordance with the magisterium formed on apostolic foundations.
  3. That the diocesan office for charismatic renewal (CRM) is to provide necessary opportunities for spiritual growth of all through teachings, seminars, prayer services, liturgies and other means of growth in accordance with the tradition, directives and guidance of the Catholic Church.
  4. That CRM is to provide such a place to serve people with resources and materials that will enrich all on the spiritual journey as well as encourage dialog, prayer, common sharing and praise of God with all who profess one Lord through one Baptism.
Over the years CRM has, in part, fulfilled this mission. However, as the Lord told the prophet Habakkuk:
For the vision is a witness for the appointed time, a testimony to the end; it will not disappoint. If it delays, wait for it, it will surely come, it will not be late. See the rash have no integrity; but the just one who is righteous because of faith shall live.
(Habakkuk 2:3-4)

CRM has sought to unite prayer groups, promote baptism in the Holy Spirit, encourage people to seek and use the charisms of the Holy Spirit. We have celebrated liturgies to build up God’s people, provided conferences and seminars to evangelize people and strengthen the faithful. We have provided resources to encourage growth in the Lord.

However, I know that we can do much more. By faith, work and the efforts of committed charismatic Catholics we can fulfill this vision in a more complete manner, helping bring renewal to the Church in these increasingly secular times. If you would like to assist CRM in fulfilling this mission, please contact us at 440-944-9445. You may also contact me at franco@stpeternr.org or 440-327-2201.

Let us pray, “Send forth your Spirit…renew the face of the earth." (Ps104:30)

In Christ,
Fr. Bob Franco
Bishop’s Delegate to Catholic Renewal Ministries

Pre-registration for our conference ends on July 12. After that it is registration at the door. I hope to see you there on July 20th& 21st at Magnificat High School so that we can Receive and Rejoice in the Holy Spirit!