Participants of the ISAO (International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services Sub-Committee for Asia Oceania) met recently and stressed the need to collaborate with other expressions of renewal in the Church.

Collaboration with other groups involved in Church renewal and building up the next generation of Catholic Charismatics were some of the decisions made during a recent meeting of Charismatic leaders from the Asia Oceania region.

Fifteen participants from the Middle East, India, Sri Lanka, South East Asia, North Asia, met with Mrs Michelle Moran, president of the Vatican-based ICCRS (International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services), on Dec 4-5 at the Montfort Retreat Centre.

This meeting of the ISAO (ICCRS Sub-Committee for Asia Oceania) was the latest in a series of meetings since the group was formed in 2006.

ISAO aims to strengthen bonds among Catholic Charismatic groups and expressions of Church renewal in the region, convening consultations, organising events and supporting CCR in countries which are in need of help.

During the recent meeting, the challenges for the Charismatic renewal were identified. These included:

The priority of youth work for building up the next generation of leaders.

The need for collaboration with other expressions of renewal in the Church.

An emphasis on the ecumenical dimension to support the Church in its work.

An emphasis on the missionary dimension of the Charismatic renewal, focusing on evangelisation.

A focus on the ecclesial dimension, working with bishops, priests and parishes.

Fr Bartolome Pastor from the Philippines reported that the Charismatic movement in his country has matured into many expressions of renewal which include prayer groups, covenant communities and groups like Couples for Christ.

CCR there also supports BEC (Basic Ecclesial Communities).

Representatives from Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Qatar said that Charismatic groups have remained steadfast in prayer since the days when they were not allowed to worship openly. They said that such groups were now allowed to worship freely.

Many also agreed that ISAO has helped bridge the Charismatic renewal in their countries and the local Churches. It has also brought about greater unity within the renewal in the region.

By Gerard Francisco

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