The Holy Innocents Family

Home
About Us
Horarium
Lay Associates
Prayers Partners
St. Gianna Molla
Holy Innocents Poem
Prayer Requests
Links
Contact Us

How Charisms Emerge

Here we will explain--to the best of our ability and knowledge--how charisms emerge.

"Charism" means gift. 
 
The charism will start to "bubble up" within the founder, who is advised to journal the inspirations, and to find a spiritual director.
 
Does one go to the bishop immediately with this inspiration?  No.
 
While we Catholics are hard-wired to reject anything that doesn't have a bishop's approval, an emerging charism is different.  Charisms start as private associations of the faithful, which a bishop cannot constitute--he can only recognize.  And before he recognizes it, he has to know what he's recognizing.  The only way to do that is to have a lived rule.  He will also ask if one has a spiritual director.
 
The aforementioned scenario--re: the bishop--is about step four in the process. We recommend that founders put in the first paragraph of their governing document a statement of fidelity to the Magisterium and the local bishop.  That usually takes care of the burning desire to contact the Chancery.
 
After the founder with their journal make contact with the spiritual director, they will discuss the charism, and permit it to grow.  Only after they have developed a plan for a Lay Association of the Faithful (from which active orders arise); rule, constitutions, horarium, novitiate/formation program; and remunerative work, will the founder be advised to contact a canonist.  At least three or four members living the "working constitutions" will be required.
 
We recommend a local canonist, and also recommend asking if pro bono work can be done.  Most usually do if the client is located within the diocese.  Otherwise, you might be asked to sign a retainer and be charged an hourly fee.
 
Many canonists are not well-versed in religious order law.  This is the reason we recommend purchasing Fr. Gambari's book dealing with the foundation of religious communities, and giving it to the canonist.
 
The canonist is to the bishop what an attorney is to a judge.  The canonist will inform the bishop of the emerging "project" (the Church's word for emerging charisms), and the founder is seen as the "promoter."  Because of this, the founder has a right to publish a website, and advertise on vocational forums. 

Growth of the charism is one way of gauging whether or not the emerging community is actually of God.  One bishop told us that it was more important to him if the members came together before he knew about it.  Experience has shown that those communities without prepared formation programs will lose members.  Therefore, a formation program should be in place.
 
The "Seven Pillars" of New Foundations are: rule, constitutions, horarium, formation program/established novitiate; remunerative work; stable source of habit parts; four persevering members.  It is in the group's favor if members from the original aspirant band have persevered.

The bishop needs to SEE that the charism is doing good.  Then, he will be more favorable to issuing the appropriate documents.  After 10 years of growth, the community may be raised to the status of Diocesan Rite.  After 25 years of continued growth, they may be raised to the status of Pontifical Rite, and will answer directly to the pope.


For website issues, please click here to contact Gemma at CONF. Thank you.