Newsletter, June 2010

UPDATE from the Planning Committee

The National Planning Committee met recently in Detroit for its semi-annual “face to face” meeting. The Liturgy/Entertainment Committee also met in conjunction with the planning group. Several advances were made in the program for the first National Council of the ACC, which takes place June 10-12 in 2011.  The Planning Committee meets monthly by teleconference and will meet again for a face-to-face meeting in November in Washington DC.  A preliminary program is available via the Registration link on the left column. Before Christmas, we expect to publish a more detailed program for the Council, reflecting the input from the Listening Sessions that are planned through that time. This newsletter highlights decisions and discussion during the Planning Committee’s recent meeting in Detroit. Early Registration for the National Council, with significant discounts, is open through July 31st. To Register, use the link on the left column. Thank You!

— Janet Hauter & John Hushon

Planning Committee

Members of the National Planning Committee at recent Detroit Meeting:
Front Row: Janet Hauter, Linda Pinto, Caridad Inda, Margaret Mary Moore, and John Frank; Back Row: Connie Aligada, Anthony Padovano, Tom Kyle, John Hushon, Roberta Horton, Charles McMahon, Chris Schenk and David Lister;
Not Pictured:
Peg Bisgrove, Dan Daley, Richard LeBrun, Sheila Peiffer, Gaile Pohlhaus, Jeanette Rodriguez, Ingrid Shafer, and  Leonard Swidler.



Keynoters and Input from the Grassroots:
Kung Carroll Townsend-Kennedy Rodriguez Padovano Chittister
Kung             Carroll         Townsend    Rodriguez   Padovano Chittister Given that our keynote speakers have already been identified and publicized, questions have been raised about the role of grassroots input into the planning of the National Council, i.e. input from the local Listening Sessions and other sources building up to the National Council. Though it was necessary to obtain commitments from our major presenters well in advance to secure their availability, we have taken steps to assure that their addresses reflect input from the grassroots. Our speakers can be divided into three general categories:

  • Hans Kung will provide historical perspective on the expectations and spiritual motifs of Vatican II;
  • James Carroll and Kathleen Kennedy-Townsend will provide personal testimony of “growing up Catholic” post-Vatican II, inspiring participants at the Council to reflect upon their own personal stories and to voice their own experiences as comparable or contrasting;
  • Jeanette Rodriguez, Anthony Padovano and Joan Chittister have been requested to wait before preparing their presentations, so that their address can be responsive to gleanings from the prior listening sessions;



BreakoutSmall Group Dialogue Sessions will provide Continued Voice from the Grassroots:
We are committed to engaging extensive dialogue with all who attend and participate in the “work” of the National ACC Council.  At the recommendation of the Local/Regional Assemblies Committee, we agreed to a format that includes breakout sessions on Saturday morning, focused on the structural reform implications of the Catholic Bill of Rights and Responsibilities (CBRR), reflecting any revisions to a point about two weeks before the Council convenes. This will include the input from the many listening sessions across the country that precede the council (see separate article below). This input will inform the design of as many as thirty 90-minute breakout sessions on Saturday morning, organized around a range of issues that will provide yet more opportunity for attendees to voice their views, concerns, hopes and expectations.Action StepsThat will be followed by another set of breakout sessions on Saturday afternoon, organized geographically and focused on possible “action” items.  Throughout all of these breakout sessions, observers will note the ideas voiced and will produce an “action proclamation” based upon the CBRR for presentation to the Council prior to the Sunday Eucharistic liturgy.  This will provide ample opportunity for all to participate, to be educated, to educate others, and to add their prophetic voices to all of those assembled. 


worshipClosing Liturgy: The National Council will close with a joyous and participatory Eucharist on Pentecost Sunday, June 12.  The liturgy will feature a “sung-responsive” Eucharistic prayer adapted by a well-known liturgical musician. Plans call for inclusive language in all prayers and music, an extraordinary Detroit choir, supplemented with excellent cantors, soloists, and liturgical dance.  It was determined that the Eucharistic liturgy would be participative and inclusive, but would not radically depart from acceptable norms. The Liturgy Committee is working with artists so that they can most effectively utilize the physical space where the liturgy will take place.



Report on Local Listening Sessions (Assemblies):
A key component of the ACC process are the local and regional Listening Sessions (Assemblies) across the US, providing the “sensus fidelium” of grassroots Catholics across the country and building momentum to the National Council in Detroit next June. You can track ongoing developments of these Listening Sessions on the Assemblies Community Network (ACN). For those who sign up as members of that site, you can also participate in a variety of interactive media including discussion forums and planning groups. The ACN is also the access point where participants in local assemblies can participate in post-assembly survey instruments that document the proceedings of their listening session and contribute important input not only to the ACC, but also to the empowerment of local leadership and reform initiatives in one’s own community.  The Local/Regional Listening Assembly Subcommittee (LRAC) reports the following stats to date:

  • Listening Sessions COMPLETED: 20 sessions in 11 states
  • Participants in past Listening Sessions: Approximately 750
  • Confirmed UPCOMING SESSIONS on the ACN Calendar: 7
  • Prospective UPCOMING SESSIONS in Planning: +40
  • Master ACC Email Database: 1034
  • Member “sign-ups” on the ACN: 280
  • First Time Visitors to the ACN website: 3399
  • Unique Visitors to the ACN website (Total Hit Count): 4629

Local Planners Telecons: Several 1-hr telephone conference calls have been planned for the summer months and are open to all planners and prospective local planners and provide user-friendly “live people” support to those in the grassroots who are planning or hope to plan local listening sessions. See the notice on left column for times and information on how to participate in these teleconferences. Further information is also available at ACN. Prospective planners are also strongly encouraged to submit the Assembly Planning Form and to join the Assemblies Community Network. Now is the time to plan Listening Sessions/Assemblies for the coming FALL and SPRING. Please note that all Listening Sessions must be completed by March 31 (2011), in order for that input to be incorporated into the Detroit National Council the following June. For more information on planning a local Listening Session, contact Peg Bisgrove or Sheila Peiffer.




Logistics at Detroit’s COBO Convention Center:
Cobo CenterCobo Center is a world-class meeting and convention facility, located along a beautifully restored international riverfront in the heart of a vibrant and transformed downtown Detroit. The Center is physically linked to downtown Detroit hotels, restaurants and entertainment by the Detroit People Mover, an PeopleMover5elevated railway system. The Cobo Center can accommodate groups up to 10,000 and regularly hosts the nation’s top meetings, events and conventions.  At this point, it appears that that ACC may be the only event during the weekend of June 10-12, 2011. For our plenary sessions, depending on the number of attendees, we will have the flexibility to use either the large Exhibition Hall (flat, open CoboArenaand very large) or Cobo Arena (amphitheater style). At Cobo, we will also have access to the Ballroom for Food Court and Exhibitors, as well as 20-30 breakout rooms than can accommodate small and large group sessions, ranging from 20 to 500. Our HOST HOTEL is the Marriott at GM Renaissance Center, a short “skip and jump” away aboard the PeopleMover. The Marriott has reserved a block of 800 rooms for our use at an attractive rate of $109/night.  You can book hotel rooms through the registration process on the left column.

Pre-Council Partner Sessions: Additional meeting rooms for ACC Partner Organizations can be reserved at the Marriott until the end of this summer. These rooms, with tables, chairs, podium and water service, are available for up to two days before the conference (Thurs and Fri, June 9-10) and during the conference itself, at a cost of $150-250 (depending upon size). Additional arrangements and refreshments can be made available. If you or your organization would like to reserve a meeting room, please contact John Hushon or Janet Hauter.

Other Developments: Helping Hands & Hearts:Volunteers
Roberta Horton has agreed to serve as Volunteer Coordinator for the Council and is drafting job descriptions and protocols for multiple volunteer functions — everything from hospitality, ground transportation support, small group facilitators, Eucharistic Ministers, etc. Please watch for a call for volunteer that will go out in the early Fall.Registrar/Finances:registrarWe are grateful for the expertise of Joseph Beausoleil who has agreed to do all necessary “banking” for the Council, receiving and recording registrations fees, paying bills, etc.Call for Papers: Theologians Caridad Inda and Margaret Mary Moore, who are members of the Planning Committee, will oversee the solicitation, selection, and editing of papers to be published along with the presentations after the Council. A Call for Papers will go out in the Fall.

Audio-Visual Support: All plenary sessions will be video-recorded and available in DVD format shortly after the Council.

AirfareDelta Airlines Discount: Delta Airlines will provide discounts for those who register, but will not begin to accept reservations until mid July.  More details later.



New Resources: Checkout new items on our Resources Page:

Please forward this Newsletter to others who you feel are longing for a renewed Catholic Church and may be interested in joining us in Detroit next June.  THANK YOU!!The American Catholic Council, Inc.  

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