CCRSO Breakthrough 2017 – Brian Sullivan

YouTube URL Address for Brian Sullivan’s talk Breakthrough 2017.

This talk is a must for leaders and all in the charismatic renewal and in the Church itself. Talk Summary:

The Reason the Holy Spirit called forth the Charismatic Renewal and a vision of the Renewal in 50 years

As one of my duties on the National Team for the Charismatic Renewal, I was asked to attend a CCCB forum for Movements and Organizations within the Catholic Church.  There were 25 different groups present. They asked us to introduce ourselves by taking a few minutes to explain why we exist.

I began by saying the CR has no human founder.  It’s founder is the Holy Spirit.  I didn’t share this to set CR apart but rather to indicate that the Holy Spirit directs the Renewal and because of that each of us has direct access to the ‘Leader’.

Then I quoted EN saying ‘The Church exists to evangelize’

But as JPII says in Redemptoris Missio (29) ‘The Holy Spirit is the prime agent of mission (evangelization)’.  Without the Holy Spirit our evangelization efforts would not bear fruit.

In our baptism and our confirmation we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and the charisms that he never ceases to bestow and with it the tools we need to live out our two universal calls; to be holy and to evangelize.

So if we are going to bear the fruit of personal holiness then developing a relationship with the Lord and a personal prayer life is key.

If our evangelization efforts are going to be fruitful then we need to develop the ability to listen to the Holy Spirit and use the charisms he gives us to answer this call.

And that’s why the CR exists.  It draws people into a relationship with the Lord and journeys with them as the cultivate a personal prayer life.  It supports the universal call to holiness.

Secondly, prayer groups baptizes the laity in the Holy Spirit to release the power of the HS into their lives and journeys with them while they learn to activate the charisms the Holy Spirit gives them to allow their evangelization efforts to be fruitful.  Thus supporting the universal call to evangelize!

Its so simple and I think it’s essential that we have this understanding to share with everyone but particularly with pastors of our parishes.  It has to make sense for them if they are going to be supportive of our efforts to evangelize.

As a member of the National Team I was given opportunity to attend the 50th anniversary celebration of the Renewal at the Ark and Dove Retreat Centre in Pittsburgh along with Cory and Gerard. In preparing to go, we each were asked to write a summary of where we thought the Renewal would be in fifty years.  I want to share my vision with you.

As I reflect on where the CR will be in 50 years, I think of what Cardinal Suenens said, “May the Charismatic Renewal disappear as such and be transformed into a Pentecostal grace for the whole Church: to be faithful to its origin, the river must lose itself in the ocean”.

My hope is that in 50 years that no one will be able to tell the difference between a ‘Charismatic’ and a regular parishioner because most will have a personal relationship with Jesus, most will be baptized in the Spirit, and most will be using their charisms to live out their baptismal call to be holy and to evangelize.  This will be the common experience of the faithful.

Over the next fifty years a new wave of the Spirit, that we are already feeling, will flow over the Church and cause a New Springtime of Evangelization.  The Charismatic Renewal that has so often operated on the fridges of Church and ended up serving itself in the prayer group instead of the parish will understand not only the role it has in serving the parish but also how to accomplish it in a way that will open the hearts of parishioners to Jesus.  As hearts open, Jesus will develop a personal relationship with each.  There will be a new openness to the baptism of the Holy Spirit in both clergy and laity.

This will cause two key changes in our parishes.  Parishioners will begin to enter into worship in a deeper way that will lead to a grasp of the beauty and gift of the Church and particularly the sacraments that support them in their growth in holiness.  Parishioners will also begin to understand the need to evangelize and the particular role of the laity in the process.  They will actively seek the charisms of the Spirit because they will need them to be effective in their mission.

As the CR turns outward to serve parishes and parishes turn outward to serve and evangelize their communities, the pews will once again be filled.  As parishes move from maintenance mode into missional mode, we will abandon our fear of losing our Catholic identity setting the stage for a new interest in unity and ecumenism.

The gift of Vatican II to the Church will be realized in the growth of holiness, evangelization and ecumenism.



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