2017 May 01 – Strategy Team Meeting

Here is a brief summary of the call this past Monday.

Present on the call:

Clyde Christofferson – United States

Virginia Saldanha – United States

Don Pribor – Mexico

Ed Schreurs – The Netherlands

Jean-Pierre Schmitz – France

Peter Mbuchi – Kenya

Liz Ngami – Kenya

Rachael Alphonso – India

Reena Alphonso – India

Paul Hwang – South Korea

Christina Reymer – New Zealand

Rene Reid – Israel


Conversation about the Young Adults Sub-Committee Youth Synod survey

– Zach of CTA, Liz, Rachael, Reena and Don will have a video call on Wednesday, May 10 about the survey

– Don will contact Socorro (Mexico) and Celso (Brazil) and ask them to connect us with young adults in Spanish-speaking and Portuguese-speaking Latin America – Don will have to translate Liz’ and Rachael’s questionnaire into Spanish and Portuguese.

– Jean-Pierre will invite several young adults from France to participate. It would be helpful if he chooses an active leader who speaks English to join the call.

– Christina will put Briege Koning who is the Youth Coordinator for the Diocese of Hamilton, NZ in touch with Liz and Rachael so we have a young adult on the committee from New Zealand

– Paul will suggest some young adults from Asia to participate


In forming this committee, we now have representatives from the US, Latin America, France, Kenya, India, New Zealand. Can anyone suggest a young adult (ideally ages 16 to 39) from any other part of the world besides those already represented? It is important that we have a questionnaire that truly represents all regions and cultures.


– Paul expressed the concern that the hierarchy will not pay any attention to our survey.  What is our strategy to have our questionnaire taken seriously by the Vatican for the Youth Synod?  If they don’t pay attention to it, what will we do with it? In our response, we discussed that Fr. Joe has a connection at the Vatican. We would turn to him to get that person to help us be sure that the outcome of the survey reaches the Vatican. We will also release this to the press and believe, if the questionnaire has a large enough participation from every region of the world, not only NCR would cover the story but we feel the secular press would as well.


Conversation about the purpose and further work of CCRI

– Paul expressed the concern that we don’t have a clear purpose or strategy or aim for what we want to achieve in relation to church reform and the institutional church.

– Rachel suggested that we must come up with a decentralized structure and plan of action that is appropriate for each country, culture and local church.  She talked about FGDs- Focus Group Discussions in local communities

– Virginia suggested that we need to build alliances around the world laterally – so that we have lateral strength – and we can be a force of lay people globally that counter-balances the hierarchy.

Further discussion occurred about connecting Small Christian Communities (SCCs) with base Christian Communities (CEBs) and Intentional Eucharistic Communities (IECs) by inviting a few of them onto a Zoom conference call and give them the opportunity to talk to each other around the world and learn from what each is doing. If this process built up, it would do, as suggested, and build our network laterally without dependence on the vertical connections, namely, the hierarchy.

CCRI will continue to try to communicate with various bishops and priests. But rarely do we get a response. Even Bishop Farrell (one of the newly appointed cardinals, head of the Dicastery for the Laity, and reported to be progressive and a strong supporter of Pope Francis) has not answered either of our two letters. Our overall direction cannot rely on anything changing at the hierarchical level of the church. It must be to work through the grassroots and build a network with the laity.


We welcome your thoughts and insights into this discussion. If you have something to share that would be useful to the entire group, hit “reply all.” If you have something that just pertains to one person responding, then click only “reply.”


I am still on my pilgrimage in the Holy Land. It has demytholigized some of my beliefs and helped ground me in my faith. If you care to follow, here is the link: http://www.catholicchurchreform.org/216/

Thanks to all for your support,


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"...Until we raise a common voice, we will not only not be heard, we will not even be listened to....   

My hope is that by speaking out together - a strong chorus of calls for reform - we can provide a common, a clear, a strong and ongoing voice for the yet incomplete vision of Vatican II.

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