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A “Self Governing Member” of the Sword of the Spirit
Above is a copy of the web portal from June 2011 where the Community of Christ the Redeemer proclaims itself a “Catholic Lay Association of Christian Faithful,” but does not mention anywhere on their website that they are a “self governing member community of the Sword of the Spirit.” The Sword of the Spirit is not Catholic and makes up its own teachings according to the interpretation of scripture as designed by the Sword of the Spirit leadership. It is NOT governed by the Magesterium of the Catholic Church, yet freely recruits Catholics into its midst via a Catholic Lay Association that has met certain guidelines required by the Vatican and has no sacramental life.
I wrote to the local Bishop there after I discovered that this “Self Governing Member” community of the Sword of the Spirit had much involvement with the nationally acclaimed youth movement out of Minnesota commonly referred to as “NET.”
The letter sent to the Bishop there asked for clarification of my concerns. I tried as best I could to clarify, but never received a response. The letter I sent is presented below.
What did happen however some time later was the following change to CCRs webpage.
This is a portion of CCR’s web portal as of June 2012. It now identifies itself as an SOS community, but it does not describe the influence or relationship that it has to the Sword of the Spirit. It does not say, for instance, that the life of the community and the teachings it gives are NOT under the jurisdiction of the Magesterium of the Catholic Church. It is simply a “Lay Association” of Catholics with no formal liturgical or sacramental life. How far is that from the Holy Father’s wishes that the Charismatic Renewal come to the “heart” of the Church? The heart of the Church is in the Sacraments. These communities have no Sacramental life. Anyone can create a “Catholic Lay Association” with the correct documents. Here are a list of some of the Lay Associations currently approved and placed on the Vatican Website:
45. International Catholic Movement for Intellectual and Cultural Affairs (ICMICA-Pax Romana) 46. International Catholic Rural Association (ICRA) 47. International Catholic Society for Girls (ACISJF) 48. International Catholic Union of the Press (UCIP) 49. International Christian Union of Business Executives (UNIAPAC) 50. International Confederation of Professional Associations of Domestic Workers (IAG) 51. International Confederation of the Volunteers of Suffering Centers (International Confederation CVS) 52. International Coordination of Young Christian Workers (ICYCW) 53. International Council of Catholic Men (FIHC-Unum Omnes)
54. International Federation of Catholic Associations of the Blind (FIDACA) 55. International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations (FIAMC) 56. International Federation of Catholic Parochial Youth Movements (FIMCAP) 57. International Federation of Catholic Pharmacists (FIPC) 58. International Federation of Catholic Universities (IFCU)
Being a Catholic Lay Association is nice, but it doesn’t guarantee that what a person is hearing or being taught –outside the Magesterium which has no control over the Sword of the Spirit- is authentically Catholic or in fact good for you mentally, emotionally or spiritually. What follows is an exchange of emails with the overall leader of the Community of Christ the Redeemer along with documents that both of us shared with each other. What is important to notice is what the Commitments and Covenant of the CCR does not say… that when one commits itself to the CCR they are in fact committing themselves to the Sword of the Spirit. Furthermore, compare the Covenant found in this document to the Covenants found here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/20286961 These covenants are nearly 30 years old in some cases, however they have the same read and feel. The documents don’t seem to have changed much in the 30 years since 1982. Finally, what is also included are letters from two Bishops in the early 90s requesting that the Community undergo significant changes. However, nothing seems to have happened. Sword of the Spirit leaders do not include women in their leadership (Coordinator) roles, and Jim Kolar, who was a Sword of the Spirit Lieutenant to Steven B Clark has never had to limit his term of office. And I don’t think anyone who has ever joined CCR was required to get a psych evaluation. What happened to stop these extensive interventions? Obviously, none of us will ever know. Those secrets are closely kept. But Catholics are continuously recruited into a Covenant Community that wears the façade of Catholicism, but who’s understanding of scripture, pastoral care and theology comes from a group not under the jurisdiction of the Magersterium.
John Flaherty June 7 2012
6/16/11 john timmy To firstname.lastname@example.org Dear Mr Kolar, On its webpage (http://www.swordofthespirit.net/communities.html) the Sword of the Spirit lists CCR as one of its communities. Is this accurate? Are you a self governing branch community of the Sword of the Spirit? I could find no explanation of a relationship with the Sword of the Spirit on CCR's webpage, so I wasn't sure. Many Thanks, John Flaherty Grand Island, NE
6/17/11 Jim Kolar To 'J T' John: CCR is a self governing Community – as are each of the Communities that are part of Sword of the Spirit. Sword of the Spirit is a federation of self governing communities that have entered into a common set of agreements in order to foster the development of Christian community life and mission. The individual communities that are part of Sword of the Spirit aren’t “branches” of “one” Community, but are “member communities” of a federation of Communities. Many years ago I was on a committee from the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops – on that same committee was Bishop Larry McNamara from Grand Island. I always enjoyed my time with him. I hope all is well in the western reaches of that great state. Peace, Jim Kolar
6/17/11 john timmy To email@example.com Jim, Thank you for your reply. I met Bishop McNamara only once. He was a man of the people in many ways, as he shared openly about his human struggles in life. People here loved him. When he retired several years ago it was a week long event. Almost to demonstrate his total sacrifice for the love of God's people, he died the day after his successor was installed. His mission complete, God took him home. He was a man who "fought the good fight" right to the end, eh? A clear testament to his integrity as Bishop is the fact that his diocese has never been tainted by the sex abuse scandal. I believe we are one of the few dioceses in the US who can make such a claim. So I too share a respect for the man and the fruit of his work of which you may not have been aware. On other fronts... Would you be willing to explain to me what the "common agreements" are that you make to be a member of the Federation of Sword of the Spirit Communities? If you have documents I would be glad to receive them. I see that you are the Head Coordinator of CCR. Does that mean you are on the "executive" committee or a member of the Assembly of the Sword of the Spirit? If so, what is the purpose of such a group? On it's web page CCR claimed to be under the "ecclesiastical vigilance" of the Diocese of Minneapolis/St Paul. What did being under the ecclesial vigilance of the Diocese mean? I have heard it used several times re: NET Ministries and St Paul's Outreach as well. Again, Much Thanks, John Flaherty PO Box 664 Grand Island, NE 68802
Jim Kolar Add to contacts To 'J T' 6/17/11
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THE COVENANT OF THE COMMUNITY OF CHRIST THE REDEEMER
In Christ, God has made a covenant with us, a covenant which we have joyfully received and entered into by faith and Baptism, through which we were incorporated into His Body, the Church (Catechism of the Catholic Church #’s 1226 & 1227). He has become our God and we have become his people. During the Last Supper, in which the New Covenant was inaugurated, Our Lord said that the distinguishing sign that would mark his disciples would be the love that they have for one another (John 13.34; Catechism of the Catholic Church #’s 1323, 1337 & 1823). In the High Priestly Prayer, he prayed for all those who would come to believe in him, that they would be completely one, even as he and the Father are one (John 17.20-21; Catechism of the Catholic Church # 820). All the Christian Faithful are thereby called to strive after lives of covenant love and faithfulness. As a member of the Community of Christ the Redeemer, he has called us to express in a particular way this covenant established by his Son, Christ Our Lord. We have, therefore, committed ourselves with the help of the Holy Spirit to love one another and to live more intensely the ecclesial life of unity made possible through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We believe that he has called his Church to be a people, a Community, brothers and sisters in him (Decree on the Missionary Activity of the Church # 2). He has called us as members of the Community of Christ the Redeemer together and united us so that we might serve and glorify him as a particular body, and so that we might love one another as brothers and sisters, encouraging one another to love and serve the Lord above all else. Our relationships together rest first of all upon what the Lord has done to make us one (Catechism of the Catholic Church # 813). He has reconciled us with God and in making us one with his Father, he has brought us into relationship with one another. In that way, he has made us brothers and sisters in him. Our relationships as members of the Community of Christ the Redeemer also rest upon the commitments that we make to one another. As Catholics, we have solemnly committed ourselves to the Lord and to one another to be a people, and to love and serve the Lord together. We have committed ourselves to seek after holiness (Constitution on the Church #’s 39 –41), to be brothers and sisters in Christ (Constitution on the Church # 7 & Christifideles Laici #’s 18 & 64), and to advance the Gospel and the Christian way of life ( Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity # 3 & Christifidelis Laici # 59). We have committed ourselves to the life and mission that the Lord has entrusted to us, to all those things which make our life together possible, and to one another as brothers and sisters. In making these commitments we express our intention to enter into the Covenant of this Community. We wish to fulfill these commitments with the same steadfast love and faithfulness that the Lord has shown in his commitment to us. While this commitment is intended as a stable one, it does not imply for everyone a life long commitment to being a member of the Community. Such a change in commitment would be taken only with serious prayer and counsel. It is with deep joy and gratitude, realizing the overwhelming goodness of God in giving us this opportunity, that we enter into the life of this particular Community that God has called together. We accept this
particular Covenant relationship that God has established among us as a Community, and we express our acceptance of it as individuals and as a Catholic Community.
In order to respond to God’s invitation and to the Life and Mission he has for us in the Catholic Church and in the World, we desire to give our whole lives to him, to follow Our Lord Jesus Christ as his disciples, and to live more fully in the Holy Spirit. We desire to grow in our knowledge and love of him through lives of daily prayer, study of his Word, regular participation in the Sacraments, faithfulness to our vocations and to the patterns of life within the Community, love and service of our brothers and sisters, and engagement in Apostolic works. We desire to be obedient to the Word he speaks to us in the Scriptures, the teaching of the Church and the prophetic word. We promise to offer hospitality to those he sends to us and to widen our hearts to receive those he adds to our number. We promise to carry out faithfully the mission he entrusts to us as members of the Community. Above all, we desire to grow by his great mercy in the fervor of that “first love” he has given to us. We desire to consecrate our lives to him not simply as individuals, but as members of the Community of Christ the Redeemer. We know that in order for us to truly be a Community, a people of one mind and heart in our response to the Lord, we must serve and care for our brothers and sisters in the Community. We must understand and accept those things that make our life as one body possible. We know that we must meet together when the Community meets. We must respect and support the pattern and order of our life together. We must support the life of the Community with our material and financial resources. All this is simply to take responsibility for those the Lord has given to us; to be a new family, members of the same body, brothers and sisters working together in the life and mission he is entrusting to us as a people. We know that we must dedicate ourselves to service in order to maintain the life of the Community and to make its mission successful. Only a community of servants of God can be a body carrying out the mission the Lord has entrusted to them. We desire to put our lives in his hands completely, and follow him as a people wherever he may lead.
Statement of Covenant Commitment
As a sign of your intention to become a member of this Community and to enter into the particular covenant relationship shared by its members, you can make this public commitment to the Covenant. I, ____________________, want to give my life fully to God and to live as a member of the Community of Christ the Redeemer. I promise to attend and participate in the gatherings and events of the Community. I promise to respect and support the order and pattern of the Community’s life and mission. I promise to encourage and build up brothers and sisters in love so that Christ will be the center of our Community and family life.
I promise to prayerfully and practically support the brothers and sisters, particularly those in my pastoral group. I promise to support the Community with my resources and finances in a regular and substantial way. I promise to serve the life and mission of the Community with a generous and faithful heart. I promise to maintain peace within relationships, having a readiness to forgive and not holding grudges; and to resolve difficulties according to the teaching of the Scriptures. I promise to accept those that the Lord will add to our number. I pray for God’s grace as I offer myself to Him through these commitments.
COVENANT ...doc View online Download(26.7 KB)
MISSION S...doc View online Download(22.6 KB) Download all as zip
John: The agreements involve a set of areas that when put together form an understanding of the way of life that we believe the Lord has called us to embrace and strive to live out. One way to get at it is to view the community in terms of three “calls” that it has received from the Lord – + A call to holiness – which is a call to learn how to love and serve the Lord as our highest good – to work at building our lives around our relationship with Him – that He is the center of our life – so that prayer, study of the Scriptures, the Sacraments, the writings of those who have traveled ahead of us on the road to holiness etc. are the integral means by which we draw our life, strength etc. + Love of the brothers and sisters – the commitments that we make to support and serve one another – living that out by being an active member of a men’s or women’s group – learning how to care for one another + A call to mission – to actively build up Christian life – family life, committed single life – share the Gospel – pass on the Christian way of life to our children etc. I will attach our mission statement and Covenant statement – which try to express these things in a bit of a fuller way. The senior coordinators or senior leader from each of the communities get together every two years – in an “assembly” meeting. In those meetings we work on common areas of need, concern, development areas as well as spending time in prayer and fellowship. At times there is a vote on something that is being proposed as a way or means to strengthen or build up the life of the various communities. “Ecclesiastical vigilance” has to do with the reality that we (CCR) are a Catholic community. We have our Statutes approved by the local Archbishop and we have an official liaison with the Archbishop (at this time that is Bishop Piche), and a chaplain (a priest from the Archdiocese). I met with the liaison regularly to report on how the community is doing, to discuss any issues that need some clarification or development, give
COMMUNITY OF CHRIST THE REDEEMER The Community of Christ the Redeemer is a Catholic, Covenant Community which Has been established as a Private Association of Christian Faithful in the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis. As members of the Community we have joined our lives together in order to live out More fully the meaning of our Baptism, through which we were freed from the bondage of sin, transferred from the Kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of light, received the very life of God through the gift of the Holy Spirit, became His sons and daughters, and incorporated into the Church, which is His body. In Baptism, we were joined to the very life and mission of Christ Himself. Because of our Baptism we are called to "put on Jesus Christ" [Rom 13:14] and to become "like Him by being holy as He is holy," [1 Pt 1:15] "to love one another as He has loved us," [Jn 13:34] "to be one with one another," [Jn 17:20] and to consider ourselves as "His servants in all that we do." [1 Cor 4:1] We believe that our Lord has called us as members of the Community to join our Lives together so that we can enter more deeply into the meaning of our baptismal identity. We believe that He has called us to do this by working together in developing an environment of committed personal relationships in which the life given to us in Christ is taught, supported, honored and held up as the true meaning and fulfillment of our lives. . We believe that we have been called by the Lord to commit ourselves to Him and to One another in order to: Actively pursue holiness of life through participation in the liturgical life of the Church, daily prayer, study of the Scriptures and teaching of the Church, practices of self denial, expressive praise and worship and growth in Christian character; Love and serve one another as brothers and sisters in Christ by holding the Scriptural teaching regarding personal relationships as our rule and standard for life, thereby living a life together in unity and peace, thus witnessing to the life of the age to Come: Work together for the spread of the Gospel and the building up of Christian life by striving to manifest the life of Christ in the daily responsibilities and circumstances of our vocation and state in life, by extending Christian hospitality to those the Lord brings into our life, by explicit sharing of the Gospel and the Christian way of life, and by being of service in broader works of evangelization and renewal in the
Church and in the world. The commitments that we make to one another are the concrete expressions of our desire to give our lives to Him in love and service. Knowing of our sinfulness and frailty, and of God's mercy and faithfulness, we pledge our support to one another In striving after holiness of life, unity and peace with one another, and the advancement of the Gospel and renewal of Christian life in our day. To Him and to His Church we offer and pledge our life and resources.
a report on the community’s finances and so on. The chaplain presides at Liturgies that the community has on special occasions – at our annual men’s and women’s retreat, our annual community conference etc. The vigilance mainly has to do with ensuring that we are not teaching anything that is contrary to faith and morals, that we are being good stewards of our assets and being faithful to our mission, and that we are not a source of public scandal. I hope that is of some help, Peace, Jim Kolar
6/19/11 john timmy To J T Jim, Thank you for the documents and the explanation. They are helpful. I have one more question. Are you members of Christ the King Association? If so, how does that work practically? Does CKA provided a weekly/daily liturgy for CCR? Or do members of CCR attend their own parishes? Do/can people tithe to CKA? Finally, why do members of the Sword of the Spirit opt to participate in Lay Associations when they could probably form a non-geographical parish within the local Diocese? Have a great Sunday! John
6/20/11 Jim Kolar Add to contacts To 'J T' John: Christ the King Association is an Association for the Catholic members of Sword of the Spirit – so the members of CCR are members of CKA. CKA provides courses and seminars for its members and it leadership does meet periodically to work on matters of common concern. CKA does not provide any liturgical life for its members – members of CCR are members of parishes within the local Archdiocese. I am only aware of one non geographical parish that has its roots in the charismatic renewal and that is in Ann Arbor
MI. I do not think that many bishops would be in favor of establishing a parish just for a particular group within their diocese. Most parishes today, at least in larger urban settings operate non geographically as people from all over the city attend the parish of their choice. In St. Paul, for example, where I live, the parish that I am registered in has people from all over the Twin City area. Peace, Jim Kolar
6/20/11 john timmy To firstname.lastname@example.org Jim, Thanks again for explaining these things to me. I was very surprised to hear that CKA offers no liturgical life, but that makes sense (in MN) I guess as you all belong to your own diocese. Does CKA offer a liturgical life in other Sword of the Spirit Communities? Can non-CCR members be members of CKA? In the "general agreements" you make to be a member of the SOS is there an agreement to follow a general body of teaching that all Sword of the Spirit Communities follow? If so, is there a way I might review those teachings? Are they posted online perhaps? I have a few more questions to follow this letter... I realize you have other things to do and I am very grateful for our correspondence. Peace John
6/21/11 Add to contacts To 'J T' John: To my knowledge CKA does not offer a liturgical life – in the sense of being a place where Catholics have their main sacramental life- in any of the communities. As CKA is for the Catholic members of Sword of the Spirit communities, anyone who is a member of a Sword of the Spirit community can be a member of CKA. There is a basic core of courses
that are form the initiations teaching for the communities. There are some variations between the local communities in terms of specific courses – and many communities have additional material that they use. There are also some aspects of pastoral care, teaching to parents re. raising and training children, and certain patterns of life within community (overall gathering of the whole community, men’s and women’s groups, service areas, annual men’s and women’s retreats or conferences, how community leadership works etc. that are part of the agreements that we make. Much of this is what we hold in common and it allows us to be able to meet and work together with other communities who are put together in a similar way. The courses, as far as I know, aren’t offered online. We have some of our course sessions online so folks who missed a talk can access it online but we don’t put them online for a broader audience at this point. One of my goals is to work through the various drafts of sessions and courses that exist and put them in a more finished form. I think certain ones of them would be of broader interest in the Church. I’m not sure, however, when that will happen. I’ve been waiting for the brethren here to say: “Jim, why don’t you take six months off from your regular work in the Community and get those courses polished up” – but alas it has not yet happened – nor do I see it on the horizon. Hope all is well in Grand Island, Jim Kolar
6/22/11 john timmy To email@example.com Hotmail Active View
1 attachment (1732.8 KB)
CCR1992-6...pdf Download(1732.8 KB) Download as zip Jim, Thanks for clearing up my understanding of CKA. I always assumed that there was liturgical life involved. I was unaware until just recently that CCR underwent a pastoral visitation in 1992 from Bishops Roach and Carlson. I've attached a letter to this email from Bishop Roach to you,
MINNEAPOLIS A venu-.
Office of the Archbishop
June 11, 1992 Mr. James C. Kolar Community of Christ the Redeemer 1190 Oakdale Avenue West st. Paul, Minnesota 55118 Dear Mr. Kolar, For the greater part of last year, Bishop Robert i. Carlson and Father Kevin McDonough have been working with you and the other coordinators concerning the teachings, the operation and the well-being of the Community of Christ the Redeemer. Bishop Carlson has informed me that he made a pastoral visit to the Community in late January and early February of 1992, and he has presented both an oral report and a written report to me concerning all of this. I have also asked Bishop Carlson to meet with former Community members who wrote or called my office at the Chancery, wishing to express their concerns about the Community of Christ the Redeemer, based on their own experience as members of that Covenant community. In Bishop Carlson's written report of April 27th, 1992, he outlined several suggestions concerning the Comm~nity and I am writing today to ask that you begin to implement several of these recommendations. First, I believe that Bishop Carlson's observations concerning the pastoral care within the Community are significant and I would ask that you meet with the other coordinators and work out a plan to provide better training and greater accountability to those who are given ~astora) care ov~r other members of the Community. I believe that there are a number of excellent resources here in the Archdiocese and, someone like Father Dick Rice, Father Tim Nolan, sister Ansgar, CSJ, Father Bob Schwartz or Father Mark Dosh, to be quite helpful to you. .
I would ask that you would make these changes over the course of the Summer and early Fall, and then present a proposal to me as to how the pastoral care of the community might operate in the future. I would ask that you have this done by the 1st of October, 1992, and meet with Bishop Carlson and Father Kevin McDonough. In Bishop Carlson~s second observation, he raised several significant issues with regard to the Sacrament of Marriage~ and the Outreach an~ Pastoral Care of those who are married. First, I would ask that your teachings on Marriage reflect paragraphs 47 to 51 of Gaudiua et Spes, and' the Apostolic letter of Pope John Paul lIT on the Dignity and Vocation of Woman and, specifically, paragraph 24, with regard to the Sacrament of Marriage. In Bishop Carlson's third recommendation, he addresses the position of Coordinator and the ~act that you view yourselves as permanent and irreplaceable. I am not sure 'that is the healthiest way for the Community to operate, and' I would ask that you and the entire Community review that decision and strongly urge you to set up a term of office. It occurs to me that there is a good model in Religious communities where the local Superior is appointed for a period of three, four or even six years. ID the model of Religious communities, people could be elected Superior again and sometimes they could even have two consecutive terms. Once you have had an opportunity of reviewing the position of Coordinator, I would like to receive your thinking about that. I would also like to see the Community build in some safeguards for the families of Coordinators so ~hat there would be so~e provision for families if a coordinator were to die or be incapacitated. In this regard, I would also like to receive your reflection Q~ why women cannot hold the, office of Coordinator or for that matter, the office of Music Minister. It seems to me that you are being more restrictive than the Church in this regard and I am not sure that should be a given. I endorse Bishop Carlson's fourth proposal with regard to a Chaplain and I would appreciate it if you would 'dialogue concerning the role of Chaplain with the membership of the Community and then send me a possible job description for a Chaplain which best represents the thinking of the entire Community. I know that you had sent something to Bishop Carlson in the past, but I would like to see what would come
out of a general Chaplain.
of the position
Finally, I believe that Bishop Carlson's suggestion with regard to psychological evaluation is a good one. I would recommend that you meet with someone like Dr. Gary Schoener or Brother Bill Clary, and put together some statement as regards psychological evaluation for those entering the Community or those making Ita permanent and life long co:mai.tment". I would ask that you would do this within the. next six months and then send it to me so that I could have Father Kevin McDonough review it. It 'seems to me that the rec9mmendations Bishop Carlson has made are good ones and would go a long way towards strengthenin~ the spiritual and psychological health of the Community. I would ask that you discuss these recommendations with the entire Co~~unity membership and perhaps invite Bishop Carlson and Father McDonough to be part of that dialogue. Finally, with regard to your· request that the Community of Christ the Redeemer enter into some type of relationship with other Covenant communities, I would ask that you would write me, explaining in some detail what that would mean. Since the Community of Christ the Redeemer is an entirely Catholic organization, there might be some real value in joining the other Catholic covenant communities that relate to some association with the Pontifical Council for the Laity. I would ask that you study this and put together some proposal for me to review. Sin
advocating specific changes in CCR. I was personally shocked to hear them request that individuals entering the community undergo a psychiatric evaluation!!! Unbelievable! I am sure you could probably write several books on your tenure as CCRs primary leader over the past 30 years, but would you take a moment to describe to me how the CCR is different today than it was when Bishop Roach wrote the attached letter? It must have been a terrible time, and I have to say that CCR surviving the visitation was not quite the norm during those years. I look back at Steubenville, Newark, Baltimore... there were others too... things did not go well for these folks. CCR seems to have defied the odds. How did that happen? Peace John
6/22/11 Add to contacts To 'J T' John: I’d be interested to know how it is that you can a copy of a personal letter addressed to me. Jim Kolar
6/22/11 john timmy To firstname.lastname@example.org
1 attachment (1042.6 KB)
CCR1992-7...pdf Download(1042.6 KB) Download as zip
OF SAINT PAUL AND tvlINNEAPOL i•
226 Summit Saint Paul, Minnesota Aver-
July 13, 1992 of Christ 55118 of Christ the Redeemer,
The Members of Community . ThjRedeemer 110 Crusader West st. Pau , Minnesota Dear Members
of the community
se~ral months ago, I had t~e opportunity of making a pas oral visit to your Community, while you were still res'ding at the former Brady High School. During the vi "tation, I had the opportunity of meeting with'the coordinators, handmaids, pastoral teams, pastoral workers,. the Com unity Council, the staff of SPO and the community Office s aff. I also ad the opportunity of meeting with members of the Communi y who wished to see me on an individual basis. During e past several months, at the request of Archbish9P' John R. Roach, I have also met with a number of people who . have left your Community over the course of the last few years. In addition to the pastoral visit, I have also been meeting with the coordinators and Father Kevin McDonough, to go over the teachings from the initiation process and the pastoral workers' training course. Also, the teachings of the Community have been sent to a theologian who is to review them systematically and make whatever suggestions he might have concernjng the orthodoxy of the teachings. In mid April 1992, I offered a written report to Archbishop Roach, concerning the pastoral visit and my contact with the Community over the course of the past year. The Archbishop in turn had written a letter to th~coordinators in which he asked that several of the recommendations that I made be implemented and each of you will be receiving a copy of the Archbishop's letter to the coordinators. I want to encourage the Community and each of you individually to read the Archbishop's letter and at some time in the future, I will attend the community meeting to answer whatever questions you might have.
I ask God to bless you in your community and live holy lives. baptismal identity as sons and strengthen you on your journey great opportunities -to witness
desire to join together in With God's grace, your daughters of God will of faith and will provide to Christ.
Over the years, there has been great fruit from the Community of Christ the Redeemer, most notably in the National Evangelization Training program and saint Paul's Outreach. While I realize that the last year or two has been difficult, I a~so kriow that it has been a unique opportunity to draw the Community of Christ the Redeemer closer to the local Church. There is still· work to'be done and I am sure there are issues to be clarified and areas·to be developed. However, it is my hope that this common work will bring all.of you closer to Christ and strengthen you in your resolve to serve the Lord. While the Archbishop's letter focuses on areas for growth and development, I al~o reali~e that he is aware of the many .blessings that the Community has enjoyed. Obviously, c~mmunity life is.not for everyone, but it does provide an o portuni ty for those who clearly ohoose community to '. e erience their faith in a deep and meaningful way. ~ay the Lord bless a~d strengtbeo jOllOW him more closely. Sincerely yours in Christ, J. Carlson you in your resolve to
Most Revere Robert Auxiliary B1 hop
Jim, I came across this letter (and another one I have attached to this emai) in my files several weeks ago. Up till that time I had no idea they existed in my files or anywhere else. I have received files from numerous people over the years and I can not say with any certainty who gave me either of these two documents. I've been collecting files on the Sword of the Spirit communities for 20 years. While the letter is addressed to you, I would not characterize it as a letter about you, personally, but a letter about CCR. For my part I believed it to be a fairly public document since it seems to have been in my files for close to 20 years. Also, I have seen similar documents like this (where Bishops write to coordinators of Covenant Communities) that are usually released to the community at large. Could that explain how the document was copied and distributed? Despite the severity of the ideas in this document, you and CCR have managed to survive and grow. I find that quite a credit to you personally. I had genuinely hoped to hear more about how the community is different today than it was 19 years ago. The history of these communities is valuable. peace, John
6/23/11 Jim Kolar To 'J T' John: We were very fortunate and are very grateful for the care and support of Archbishop Roach, Bishops Robert Carlson (now Archbishop Carlson) and Fr. Kevin McDonough. They were most helpful in the process of getting established as a Private Association within the Archdiocese and with navigating through the varying stages of growth and development as a Community. We are grateful as well for Archbishop Flynn (Archbishop Roach’s successor) and Archbishop Nienstedt who is the current Archbishop. Since our beginnings we have had an established point of contact with the Archbishop – through his designee to us – at first Bishop Carlson, then Fr. McDonough (with whom we worked for 20 years) and now Bishop Piche. We are blessed as well with a group of both older and newer men and women leaders who have worked hard to care for and serve the community. We grew out of a movement that originated in a local Archdiocesan youth center and that movement has spawned significant works with both high school students
and university students. We continue to understand ourselves in light of our origin in this work that started at that youth center almost 40 years ago The community from its inception has been characterized by men and women seeking to know, love and serve God as faithful Catholics. If we have changed over the years, hopefully by God’s grace we have more faith, more wisdom, more humility, and more charity. Most of all we are thankful for the Lord for his great love and mercy, firmly knowing that without Him, there would be no fruit at all. In Christ, Jim Kolar
john timmy To email@example.com Jim, I agree with you: you have been very fortunate. Having been so fortunate to have the Bishop's care and guidance, I take it that you implemented the Bishop's suggestions? Pastoral leaders have greater training and more accountability? Teachings on pastoral care for married people been altered to reflect paragraphs 47 to 51 of Gaudium et Spes and the apostolic letter of Pope John Paul II on the Dignity and vocations of Woman, specifically paragraph 24? (Would you care to comment on why you had to do this?) Coordinators of CCR now have terms of office? Did you reflect on why women can't hold the office of Coordinator or even Music Minister? What was decided? Psychological exams are required for people making "permanent and life long commitment" to CCR? Obviously you did join with other Covenant Communities in their Catholic expression, CKA. Honestly, when I heard you describe what CKA does I failed to grasp the meaning of its existence. Anyone in a Catholic parish (of which all your catholic members belong) have more rights, sacramental options and protections than in any lay association. I see that the notice of "ecclesiastical vigilance" has been dropped from the front page of your website and that there continues to be no explanation of your relationship with the
Sword of the Spirit. As you are a Sword of the Spirit self governing community involved in "building a bullwark' and as a "people on mission," it is not clear to me why you leave such a large part of your identity absent from your public presentation. Can you explain? On the contrary you seem to proclaim that you are a Catholic Lay Association, which is for all observable purposes a rather redundant circumstance as CCR members are already members of Catholic parishes. Why be a member of a Lay association that offers the same materials the Catholic Church teaches in it's parishes (unless you are offering additional materials the Church doesn't teach?) Comment as you please. Since your letter has been reproduced and circulated for many years, I am going to post it on the site where I have other Sword of the Spirit documents (www.scribd.com/bluaquarius.) I'll use our correspondence as well. If you would like to offer any more information about these questions or issues, now is the time to do so. Peace John Flaherty
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