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CCO moves into next 25 years with new book release

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Letter to Pope Francis promises signers will follow God's will
By Deborah GyapongCCO co-founder Andre Regnier released a new book Jan. 1: "Tenets to Renew the World." Deborah Gyapong / CCN.CCO co-founder Andre Regnier released a new book Jan. 1: "Tenets to Renew the World." Deborah Gyapong / CCN.

As Catholic Christian Outreach's (CCO) 25th anniversary year closed, the youth missionary organization rang in the New Year with a book release to guide the next 25 years.

On Jan. 1, as CCO Rise Up 2013 conference (Dec. 28-Jan. 1) drew to a close, co-founder Andre Regnier distributed his latest book "Tenets to Renew the World" on the organization's founding principles to the 850 university-age young people attending.

The five tenets are: a heart for the world, one person at a time, the Gospel clear and simple, great expectations, and university students. CCO now has more than 70 missionaries on 11 university campuses in Canada. The movement is moving abroad and includes shorter term missions to dioceses and overseas.

On Dec. 30, co-founder Angele Regnier, his wife, encouraged all present to become missionary disciples and to sign a letter to Pope Francis promising: "We will go anywhere, do anything and say anything the Lord asks of us. We say 'yes' to allowing the Holy Spirit to work in us and guide us."

Regnier told how 27 years ago, when still a Protestant evangelical, she had signed a similar statement while on a mission trip to Mexico.

She had been given the card to sign at a conference and remembered "getting sick to my stomach."

"In my heart I could feel God was calling me to something great, scary, courageous, but mostly I was freaking right out," she said. "I knew God was going to ruin my life, he was going to send me as a missionary to Africa."

Instead she gave God herself "a little by a little," until, in Mexico she signed the card and felt flooded by God's "amazing peace, love and joy."

"I thought giving God big permission in my life would mean big oppression, suppression, a total abandonment of what gives me joy, but that's not what's true, she said. "He knows what makes me tick, what brings me joy, he's making me the best version of me. The more freedom you give the Lord, the more freedom He gives you."

Hundreds signed the letter to the Pope, and then lined up to receive a blessing from a priest.

Keynote speakers included Sister Miriam James Heidland, of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Blessed Trinity, Quebec Archbishop Gerald Lacroix, Fr. Raymond de Souza and Charismatic Renewal of French Canada president Henry Lemay.

Salt and Light Media Foundation CEO Father Thomas Rosica addressed the closing banquet Dec. 31, offered eight "dreams" for CCO's next 25 years:

1) Move "from ecstasy to institution" so the movement's early inspiration would be "formed into a systematic faith and guidebooks. This includes collaborating with existing Catholic university chaplaincies that may have differing methods.

2) "Authentic Eucharistic celebrations and Reconciliation" that is "not only be concerned with ceremonies inside churches and chapels but also feed the spiritual hungers of human communities that we serve." The priest warned against "playing church rather than being church" by forgetting authentic evangelization and works of "justice and charity."

3) Solid biblical and theological formation, with key leaders "formed in dogmatic, moral and pastoral theology, Sacred Scripture and Church history so that you may truly have a solid foundation and be able to give a reason for this hope that is within you."

4) Both pro-life and focused on social justice. "To be a church for the poor, the Church must elevate the issue of poverty to the very top of its political agenda, establishing poverty alongside abortion as the pre-eminent moral issues the Catholic community pursues at this moment in our national histories." He urged CCO to work closely with the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace.

5) Promote not only the vocation to marriage, but also to ordained priesthood and consecrated life.

6) Cultivate the practice of humility and an attitude of meekness in response to disagreements and evil.

7) Form voices in the public square who are "not ranting crusaders but reasoned, principled, joyful defenders of the faith and teachers of our tradition."

8) Raise up true saints who lead consistent lives.

"My dream for you, CCO for the next 25 years, is that you join Pope Francis's revolution of tenderness, and this revolution alone," Father Rosica concluded. "Become revolutionaries of tenderness, holiness and joy. Go, repair, rebuild and heal the Church. Make new disciples and bring us joy. Thank you for saving the past 25 years in Canada."

Last Updated on Monday, 13 January 2014 08:58  

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