CHARIS stands for “Catholic Charismatic Renewal International Service” or “Service pour le Renouveau Charismatique Catholique”. It is a stream of Renewal that is fully part of the Catholic Church. It is not a Church movement in the full sense of the word – it has no founder or superior, there are no official members within it. Those who consider themselves part of the Charismatic Renewal are united by the experience of a deeper outpouring of the Holy Spirit, sometimes called the baptism in the Holy Spirit. This experience, though it can be lived in a variety of ways, above all leads a person into a very personal and living relationship with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. At the same time, it also transforms other areas of a Christian’s life; it brings a renewed prayer life, the joy of glorifying God, openness to God’s supernatural action, a deeper understanding of the Scriptures, a desire to share the Gospel, and the development of the use of charisms.
CHARIS was created at the express request of Pope Francis. It is a service to promote unity in all manifestations of Catholic Charismatic Renewal. CHARIS began its service at Pentecost 2019, when two previous services, ICCRS (International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services) and CF (Catholic Fraternity), were merged.
Structure of CHARIS
CHARIS consists of a General Assembly and an International Service of Communion at world level, and each continent has a Continental Service of Communion. At the national level, the CHARIS service is implemented by the National Communion Services.
General objectives of CHARIS
Article 3 of the CHARIS statutes defines 13 objectives. Those in bold have been identified by Pope Francis as priorities. The general objectives of CHARIS are:
a) To help deepen and promote the grace of baptism in the Holy Spirit throughout the Church;
b) To promote the exercise of the charisms not only in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal but also in the whole Church;
c) To encourage the spiritual deepening and holiness of people who live the experience of baptism in the Holy Spirit;
d) to encourage commitment to evangelisation, particularly through the new evangelisation and the evangelisation of culture, while respecting religious freedom;
e) To encourage cooperation between the communities born from Catholic Charismatic Renewal, with a view to making the experience of particular communities available for the good of all;
f) To promote the ecumenical dimension of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal and foster the commitment to serving the unity of all Christians;
g) To identify and promote specific topics that can help deepen the grace of Pentecost;
h) To encourage networking and cooperation between the realities within the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in the areas of formation, evangelisation, etc;
i) To promote service to the poor and social action through the Catholic Charismatic Renewal;
j) To organise training and formation opportunities, according to the needs expressed by the General Assembly;
k) To enable clerics and religious to deepen their experience ofCatholic Charismatic Renewal and to participate more fully in it;
l) To foster communion among persons involved in various realities within the Catholic Charismatic Renewal; with ecclesial movements that do not refer tot this current of grace; and with other Christian Churches and Communities, especially those living the experience of Pentecost;
m) To organise marge events, colloquia, leaders’ gathering, in order to share and exchange the various experiences flowing from the Holy Spirit.