From Mrs Anne Morgan-Jones
Sir, I read Fr Ronald Rolheiser's column — "In search of a new kind of missionary" with pleasure and interest — as is usual. However, I wonder if on this occasion, he might be missing the point? Surely our age is already producing its prophets and saints in the "new" movements of the laity which have arisen over the past 50 to 60 years
Rome, it is said, is "eternal" and is therefore slow to recognise new phenomena until they can no longer be ignored. That point was obviously reached when the Pope called representatives of the movements to meet him in Rome at Pentecost two years ago.lf Fr Rolheiser were to attend a gathering for worship of a group of
Charismatics, Cursillistas, Focalore, Neo Catechumenate etc. he would find there the life, the faith. the joy and desire for community, that is missing in the average parish worship.
My own experience is with the Cursillo, which dates back to the mid-1930s and has been the cradle from which so many of the other movements have come. People who have been evangelised through the three-day course tend to return to their parishes filled with new enthusiasm and desire to deepen their walk with God. Very often they become daily Massgoers, they develop a personal prayer life, they study to improve their knowledge of both Scripture and Church teaching; they become active in trying to "win the world for Christ." Sadly, it has to he said, the reception they receive from the parish clergy and many other laypeople, when they try to share this new found enthusiasm, is very often far from encouraging. Despite this, the level of perseverance is great.
So, I say to Fr Rolheiser, stop waiting for the next Francis or Clare.
Go and look at the movements and see what you can do to encourage and support those who are already working to bring about just what he is calling for — the renewal of the Church from within.
You may find many of them are also working actively, within their own charisms, for the unity for which our Holy Father has called. The Holy Spirit is alive and active in the Church today — Alleluia!
Yours faithfully, ANNE MORGAN-JONES Caine 5N1] 0.1Y