2017 June 5 – Strategy Team meeting

This Week’s ST Report

Present on the call: Peter (Kenya), Paul (Korea), Virginia (Belgium), Clyde (U.S.), Christina (New Zealand), Rachael (India), Virginia (India), Kochurani (India), and Rene (U.S.)

Young Adult preparation for the Synod:

Rachael is preparing a few open-ended questions to get opinions of youth, either in a group or through an individual interview for those in India. While Reena is working on writing one or more brief concept papers sharing her views of the concerns of young people in India regarding issues related to the Church, Rachael plans to get a few young people together and find out what the Church means to them and where they would like to see change. She said the youth in India have a different way of relating to the Church. Rachael is working with young people in Mumbai and she is also in communication with Amal who will report on the concerns of young people from southern India.

Peter says Fr. Emmanuel is a real asset to them in Eastern Africa. Fr. Emmanuel sent Peter several documents to look over including a short questionnaire which might be useful to us. Christina said there is a lot happening in New Zealand through Theresa McNamara, who works with young adults through her diocese.

Regarding the Jakarta meeting organized by Asian Lay Leadership (ALL) Forum under the direction of Paul Hwang, he reported that his July meeting for young people is coming together. They have speakers lined up and have attendees signing up. Paul is still trying to figure out how our young adult committee might plug into his meeting in Jakarta.

Kochurani, one of the speakers, said that this Forum is an important platform for helping Asian youth to grow in their Christian commitment with greater critical awareness about different aspects of life. She said that, at this meeting, they could get the youth to write their concerns about the Church.

Given our connection with Bob Mickens, Vatican journalist, and with Fr. John Abruzzese, staff member in the Synod office, we ask everyone connected with Church reform to encourage young people to put their concerns in writing and send us copies of any papers written so that we can forward them to our contacts there. Rene said how important it is to get authentic voices speaking up to offset the voices of young people who are pre-programmed to say what the bishops want them to say.

Peter said that Fr. Emmanuel Chimombo, director of the AMECEA office (Association of Member Episcopal Conferences of Eastern Africa) will have forums of youth in each of the nine countries in Eastern Africa and to be sure that there are at least two youths to come and say exactly what they feel about the Church. They also have one of the bishops from the Ecumenical Church of Christ (headed by our CCRI advisor, Karl Rodig) who would attend these forums. Before Jesuit priest, Fr. Etienne, retires in October and leaves Nairobi, he might also be a conduit for us to get some of the papers from young people into the Vatican. However, he pointed out that Etienne would not be comfortable with promoting something like women’s ordination. Rene reminded everyone that CCRI issues are very basic and would include such issues as the equal treatment of women and priesthood of all the laity.


Connecting Small faith communities internationally

We have a Zoom meeting scheduled for this coming Saturday, June 10, to introduce global small faith communities with one another. So far, those committed to being on the small faith communities call are Clyde’s Nova IEC community and Christina has brought in Mary Betz with St Paul’s Lay Leadership Eucharistic Community in Auckland. Hopefully, Virginia can bring in one community from Belgium and Socorro can bring in one from Mexico and/or Latin America for this coming Saturday’s first Zoom gathering.  If your country is not listed below and you want to join the call, let us know and we can give you the exact time for your region. We encourage all Advisors who would like to join this meeting, to do so or guide your people to click on https://zoom.us/s/2429500175 at the following time appropriate to your part of the world:


Local Time

Time Zone

UTC Offset

Reno (USA – Nevada)

Saturday, June 10, 2017 at 12:00:00 noon


UTC-7 hours

New York (USA – New York)

Saturday, June 10, 2017 at 3:00:00 pm


UTC-4 hours

Mexico City (Mexico – Ciudad de México)

Saturday, June 10, 2017 at 2:00:00 pm


UTC-5 hours

Auckland (New Zealand)

Sunday, June 11, 2017 at 7:00:00 am


UTC+12 hours

Brussels (Belgium)

Saturday, June 10, 2017 at 9:00:00 pm


UTC+2 hours

Nairobi (Kenya)

Saturday, June 10, 2017 at 10:00:00 pm


UTC+3 hours

Corresponding UTC (GMT)

Saturday, June 10, 2017 at 19:00:00



Fr. Joe Healey has put us in touch with Dr. Alphonce Omolo who is very knowledgeable about the SCCs Twinning Project in Eastern Africa. He is a member of the Eastern Africa Small Christian Communities (SCCs) Training Team based in Kisumu, Kenya. Here is Dr. Omolo’s email response: 

I find it a great idea connecting different groups of SCCs from diverse parts of the world. To further strengthen the statement of Joe, in Eastern Africa, these are lectionary based SCCs, meeting every week to read and share the Gospel reading of the following Sunday, to pray together and to plan for an activity (individual or group) to help connect the Scripture reading and real life situations. Thus, in Eastern Africa, the structure of the Catholic Church emerges from the grassroots (neighborhood SCCs) to the sub-parish and the parish levels. SCCs is the core space for faithful gathering in the neighborhoods. Different members of the SCCs also belong to the diverse lay apostolate groups that we find in the Catholic Church. However, these groups cannot be considered as SCCs.

Concerning the “Zoom” conference, I will join the meeting however, considering the time of the meeting (10pm) will most certainly find when people are a sleep or just going to bed. We will try to arrange something for a group in future. It does require ample time to arrange. In addition, not so many people here are accessible to laptops so this can also limit participation.


CCRI Sub-committees:

We have two sub-committees formed to date: (1) young adult committee led by Reena, Rachael, and Liz; (2) Connecting Small faith communities – SCCs, CEBs, and IECs – led by Peter.

In our attempts to form the different CCRI sub-committees, Kochurani said it is important that more people incorporated into these committees see the need for reform in the present clerical and hierarchical establishment that the church has become, otherwise it wouldn’t serve the cause of CCRI.

Paul suggested that this sub-committee meet prior to our next regular Monday meeting. Ideally, it should include Paul, Fr. Joe, Socorro, Virginia, Clyde and whomever else has a small community that would be interested in connecting with others from around the world. If anyone would like to be a part of this sub-committee, please let me know.


One additional connection: Some months ago, Tom Lupia, with Call To Action Columbus, asked for our support to form a committee for the purpose of advancing Church Reform. This is the request made to the CTA Vision Council:

  1. We request that CTA issue a public statement stating that: Call To Action is committed to helping lead transformation of our Church from being a Roman church of laws that tend to be exclusive and divisive into becoming a welcoming and inclusive church based on the Gospel values as taught by Jesus.
  2. We request that concurrent with the issuance of this statement, Call To Action create a standing church reform committee inviting other reform groups dedicated to making this commitment a reality.

The Council has now authorized the creation of this CTA Committee for Church Reform. Rene will join the committee to stay connected with their forward action steps.

Virginia sent us a link to this article by Bob Mickens discussing the hierarchical gifts for those ordained and the charismatic gifts for all the baptized. Mickens notes that there are multiple points to recognize whether the charismatic gift is authentic but not a single notation to determine the authenticity for the hierarchical gift: http://www.associationofcatholicpriests.ie/2016/06/rejuvenating-church/

The yellow-highlighted items are action steps requested of our Advisors. Thanks to all, Rene

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