The Jigsaw Puzzle called Charismatic Renewal: How Do the Pieces Fit Together?

How Does the Holy Spirit Create Unity in Diversity? 

By Sr. Mary Anne Schaenzer, SSND  

I am a believer in having a sense of the big picture. This article will hopefully paint a glimpse of the larger portrait of how the Holy Spirit is moving in the area of gifting and directing charisms for service.

We live in a time of powerful movement of the Holy Spirit, and at the same time many still write of the hiddenness of the Holy Spirit. That is a paradox.

Regarding the powerful movement, many of us have experienced baptism in the Holy Spirit and what are referred to as the charismatic gifts of the Spirit for over 50 years. Some are just beginning to open themselves to these gifts, but what a joy for them and for all of us. And of course, what a joy to the Holy Spirit!


There are many new efforts – those which have already occurred and those that are now coming into newness. One is at the international level – CHARIS, the Catholic Charismatic International Service. You can read a letter regarding this at –

This came about at the request of Pope Francis – to have one international leadership body for all of Catholic Charismatic Renewal and became official at Pentecost of 2019. One of its goals is to create unity.

Within CHARIS (Catholic Charismatic International Service) there is an Assembly. There is an International Service of Communion. There are the Continental Services of Communion and National Services of Communion. CHARIS has a digital magazine found at:

One of the goals of CHARIS is to bring about unity within this renewal in the Church. But the beauty of this unity is that it is Unity in Diversity. There are so many different ways that the Holy Spirit works both within the Catholic Church and ecumenically.

In the United States we have long had the National Service Committee for Catholic Charismatic Renewal and its office has been known as Chariscenter. As you can see, just looking at that word – Chariscenter, there is room for confusion going forward. 


In an effort to eliminate confusion, and in this time of a new work of the Holy Spirit, the National Service Committee has made the decision to rename the NSC. It is now Pentecost Today USA. There is also a new logo. You can read an explanation of all of this at ( See the Insert for Issue 4 of Pentecost Today. So yes, that is the name of the magazine on the national level in the United States. At present it will retain the name Pentecost Today with the subtitle, Magazine of Pentecost Today USA.

The insert for Issue 4 which is in the actual magazine but also online, will be the best explanation of what is happing with renaming and a new logo in the United States. At the same time, the current Executive Director is retiring and a new Director has been hired to fill that position beginning in 2021.


Right here in the Twin Cities, there are many groups rooted in the experience of baptism in the Holy Spirit. In an effort to help us to get to know one another and build some unity within our own diversity, the 2021 CCRO Winter Conference will bring together representatives of the various entities to share the vision and mission of each group. In that way we will all have a bigger picture and see where we fit in that picture – and perhaps some who listen will want to inquire and become involved in one of those areas. The main purpose though is to help us to know that Charismatic Renewal as a Current of Grace in the Church [that] has many faces.  The Holy Spirit wants us to be in union with one another – not that we become one group – we keep our diversity – but that we are even aware of one another, and that sometimes we may be able to work together. (This has already happened in one way – at the celebration of Pentecost the last two years. Archbishop Hebda called for representatives of many of these groups to work along with the Archdiocesan Offices of Worship and Evangelization to plan a Vigil Mass for Pentecost in 2019 to announce the plan for an Archdiocesan Synod and to continue to pray toward that in 2020.

You are invited to attend, virtually or in-person (if possible) the 2021 CCRO Teaching in Conference.
Bishop Peter Smith, representing the Continental Service of Communion, will explain the big picture to us. Jane Guenther, of the National Service of Communion, will explain her role. In addition we will have the opportunity to listen to a series of 20 minute talks by representatives of the following groups, who will speak of their vision and mission: Charismata, Community of Christ the Redeemer, Emmanuel Community, NET Ministries, People of Praise, St. Paul’s Outreach, and Catholic Charismatic Renewal Office (CCRO).

Perhaps, through this coming together, even if totally virtual for now, we will be able to discover ways to express our Unity in Diversity. We are not looking to have one organization. We are looking to understand how the Holy Spirit is working among us and to understand what kind of unity the Holy Spirit may want to create among us.

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