Newsletter: March, 2011

ACC LogoAmerican Catholic CouncilDetroit Skyline
On the way to Detroit

Reclaiming the Promise of Vatican II    Newsletter / March 8, 2011

In This Issue
Final Countdown to Detroit
Day of Prayer & Fasting
Breakout Sessions
Reform In Action
Virtual Listening Assembly
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American Catholic Council

Register Now For the ACC National Council in Detroit

June 10-12 2011


From that link you can download the program as well as register directly Online or print a form and mail it to:

ACC Registrar
c/o T.M. Enterprises
7431 E State St #235 Rockford, IL 61108
(Tel) 815-299-7158

Register by April 10th for FINAL Early Bird Discount

Group Discounts
Also Available

Join Our Email List

Grassroot Clippings from the People of God in Listening Sessions

Everyone enjoyed the comradeship and the opportunity to discuss openly.” (San Antonio, TX)


We were there, 500 of us, and this is a great sign, that things are not the same. There is change in the air! Open discussion of critical issues is taking place. Now comes Detroit, and we are not going away. If I didn’t think there was hope, I’d vote with my feet like millions of others already have.” (Minneapolis, MN)


Participants were happy to find in their table group people who love the Church and want to see it at its best. This empowered us and gave us energy to take back to our communities. Some had planned to leave early but found the listening session so interesting that they canceled other plans and remained until the end. (Jacksonville, FL)

My greatest hope for the Church is that every Catholic’s voice may be heard and listened to, that we respect each individual believer’s needs in the community, and most of all the freedom to disagree.  (Seattle, WA)


It is a sign of hope that Catholics are coming together in assemblies like these to make their views known to the church and the world. The possibility of change is more real because of the large effort of the ACC to gather in Listening Sessions like these. (Arlington, VA)

Our Foundational Documents

Declaration of Reform and Renewal

Catholic Bill of Rights
and Responsibilities



Though we are beginning to wind down Listening Sessions, a number are scheduled through mid April. Please check the  Assembly Calendar on the Assemblies Community Network. If you are planning a session and it does not appear on our Calendar, please submit the Assembly Planning Form and a member of our Listening Assembly Planning Committee will be in touch. Sessions should be scheduled not later than April 15th.

Following each Listening Session, participants are asked to submit an online survey addressing a range of issues impacting Church Reform. All surveys will close on April 30th to allow sufficient time for data to be processed prior to the Detroit gathering in June.

Holy Spirit

Vatican II Prayer
to the Holy Spirit

We stand before you, Holy Spirit, conscious of our limitations, but aware that we gather in your name. Come to us, remain with us, and enlighten our hearts. Give us light and strength to know your will, to make it our own and to live it in our lives.

Guide us by your wisdom, support us by your power, for you are God, sharing the glory of our Creator and Savior. You desire justice for all. Enable us to uphold the rights of others.

Do not allow us to be misled by ignorance or corrupted by fear or favor. Unite us to yourself in the bond of love and keep us faithful to all that is true as we gather in your name.

May we temper justice with love, so that all our decisions may be pleasing to you and earn the reward you promised to good and faithful servants. You live and reign with our Creator and our Savior, One God, forever and ever. AMEN!

Photos, Video, Online Newspaper Articles and Other Media about Local Listening Sessions …


Please help us as we compile a record of the many listening sessions that have occurred across the country. Material must be in digital format so it can be sent electronically. Please email these items to THANK YOU!

The Detroit Venue


Most sessions of the ACC will take place in COBO HALL,  a world-class meeting and convention facility, located along the beautifully restored international riverfront in the heart of a vibrant and transformed downtown Detroit. COBO is physically linked to the Marriott at GM Renaissance Center, our host hotel, by the Detroit People Mover, an elevated railway system. A number of other hotels and restaurants are in the immediate area.
Final Call ...

Pre-Council Partner Sessions

Organizations that wish to arrange for meeting rooms for their own program agenda related to the mission of the American Catholic Council should contact us immediately. A number of groups have already made arrangements, including Voice of the Faithful, Future Church, and Corpus.  Meeting space is available at the Marriott, and include tables, chairs, podium and water service. Groups can make schedule their program for Thurs and Fri, June 9-10,  and during the ACC itself, at a cost of $150-250 (depending upon size and length of session). For more information, please contact Janet Hauter .

Lenten AshesReflections As We Enter Lent on the Way to Detroit

We issue our March Newsletter as we begin our spiritual sojourn though Lent, holding fast to the promise of Easter and the Gift of the Spirit come Pentecost.  May we be attentive to the challenge of discipleship in a special way this Lenten Season, mindful of how the Ash Wednesday Liturgy calls us to “Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel.” As we enter the final three months before the convening of the America Catholic Council on Pentecost Weekend in Detroit, may we heed the call to holiness and conversion into the mind and heart of Christ.  As we seek to reform the Church that we love, let us pray our motives be pure, our actions be loving, our spirits be free, and our voice be faithful.

We have much to share with you in this newsletter. You will find the final and updated program schedule for Detroit, including the announcement of various Breakout Sessions that will pick-up on themes gleaned from the many listening sessions that have taken place across the U.S. over the past year. In this newsletter, we also issue our Call for a Day of Prayer and Fasting. Other news includes the opportunity to take part in a Virtual Listening Assembly of sorts, via an online survey for those who have not had the opportunity to physically participate in a Listening Session in their own community. We also re-publish the Volunteer Form as there are still several needs yet to be filled.

Perhaps most importantly, we urge you to reserve your space in the historic proceedings that will unfold in Detroit. We have extended the final Early Bird Discount to April 10th. Please plan to bring your voice and spirit to Detroit. On behalf of the National Planning Committee, may each of us be blessed this holy Season of Lent.
— Janet Hauter & John Hushon
Co-Chairs, American Catholic Council, Inc.

‘t be caught sitting on the fence! With just over 3 months to the opening of the inaugural gathering of the American Catholic Council, there are already over 700 confirmed registrants. To date, there have been more than 75 local listening sessions involving more than 3000 Catholics across the US who have given input to the developing program and process that will unfold in Detroit. Be part of this historic event reclaiming the Vision and Spirit of Vatican II giving voice to the People of God.  Though you can register up to the day of the opening session, please remember that APRIL 10th is the Deadline to Register for the final “Early Bird” Discount.

This latest brochure is substantially updated and includes BREAKOUT SESSIONS, the latest Draft of the CATHOLIC BILL OF RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES,  and PRE-COUNCIL SESSIONS hosted by Corpus, Voice of the Faithful, and Future Church. This brochure also includes a MAIL-IN REGISTRATION FORM;


Haven’t Yet Received You Registration Confirmation?

Confirmation notices for those who register are regularly sent via email. If you have not received email confirmation or wish to verify your registration status, please contact

How To Book Hotel Reservations at the Marriott: There are still a good number of rooms available in the ACC block at the substantial discount price of $109/night. Be sure to book your hotel room by May 18th when the block will be released. Please note that the hotel will not accept reservations at our preferred rate if you call the hotel directly.  To get the discounted hotel rate, we recommend that you book your hotel room via the ACC online Registration Form:

(1) Go to the field “Council Registration, Full Registration;”

(2) Click the drop- down window and select “I am not registering at this time” (the first item in the window);

(3) Proceed to the Hotel Reservation Section of the form to reserve your hotel rooms.

If you encounter difficulties doing this or have an unusual situation, call the Registrar at 815/299-7158 or David Lister, ConferenceDirect, at 763/767-6190 or e-mail

Calling A Day of Prayer & Fasting – FRIDAY, APRIL 15

Prayer & Fasting 5Whether or not you plan to be with us in Detroit, we invite all those in the growing ACC Community to take time to prepare our collective hearts and minds for the Detroit gathering. Please pass this call along to others in your community, especially those who have shared in listening sessions and assemblies over the past year.  Let us pray that our gathering in Detroit be open and loving, and that the Holy Spirit anoint our proceedings with wisdom, and that the fruit of our gathering bear witness to Spirit among God’s people, and that our labors be gift to the Church we love. Please mark your calendar for Friday, April 15th, the last Friday of Lent, just before the start of HOLY WEEK. Our April newsletter will include a prayer and meditation resources to focus this day of prayer and fasting.

Kung Carroll Townsend-Kennedy Rodriguez Padovano Chittister

Kung           Carroll       Townsend    Rodriguez    Padovano    Chittister

  • The Council opens at 6pm on Friday evening, June 10th, with the premier screening of an extraordinary video interview with German Theologian HANS KUNG, filmed exclusively for American Catholic Council. Copies of the video will be available for purchase in Detroit. Kung will provide historical perspective on the expectations of the ACC and spiritual motifs of Vatican II; For background on Kung and the making of this video, go to ACC Newsletter Archives and scroll down to the September 2010 issue.

    Reclaiming the JOY of the People of God

    Reclaiming the FREEDOM of the People of God
    Reclaiming the SPIRIT & VISION of the People of God
    Reclaiming the COMMITMENT of the People of God

    Reclaiming the HOPE of the People of God

Breakout Sessions Take Shape

breakoutsThe National Planning Committee is pleased to announce a series of BREAKOUT sessions that will take place on Saturday during the Council (June 11th). The focus of these sessions is grounded in our “listening” from the many “Listening Assemblies” in the grassroots that have taken place across the country over the past year. Each breakout session will demonstrate an application of the Catholic Bill of Rights and Responsibilities (CBRR) which will be presented before the Council on Pentecost Sunday morning, prior to the closing of the Council.

Throughout all of these breakout sessions, designated recorders  will note the ideas voiced and will produce an “action proclamation” based upon the CBRR for presentation before the Council.   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. Seventeen Breakouts have been confirmed to date:

  1. Reshaping Parish Governance;
    Animators:  Francis Piderit and VOTF Local Action team
  2. Financial Transparency and Accountability;
    Animator:  Jason Berry
  3. Liturgical Renewal: the “New” pre-Vatican II Liturgy;
    Animator: Invited
  4. Toward a Constitutional U.S. Church
    Animator: Len Swidler
  5. Universal Catholic Ministry:  Exploring New Models; Animators:  Andrea Johnson, Bill Manseau, Rich Hasselbach
  6. Universal Ministry:  Models for Systemic Change;
    Animators: Ronald DuBois, Therese Koturbash, Tony Kowalski
  7. Nonviolent Response to Abuse of Church Authority; Animators:  Caridad Inda, Sr. Chris Schenk
  8. Responding to Sexual Abuse and Supporting Survivors; Animators:  Barbara Blaine, David Clohessey
  9. Bishop Selection;
    Animators:  Nick Mazza & VOTF Church Reform Team
  10. Women in the Church: Strategies for Empowerment;
    Animators:  Sr. Diana Culbertson, Rita Houlihan, Kathleen
    Kichline, Gloria Ulterino
  11. The Primacy of the Well-Formed Conscience;
    Animator:  Jeannine Gramick
  12. Alternative Worship Communities;
    Animators:  Members of PAX and NOVA Communities
  13. Impact of Latin@ Communities on US Catholicism;
    Animator: Jeanette Rodriguez
  14. Sacramental “Eligibility;”
    Animators:  Marianne Duddy-Burke, Frank DeBernardo
  15. Non-Violent Resistance & Black Catholics: Lessons from History; Animator:  Diana Hayes
  16. The Younger Generation:  The Church Now and Future; Animator:  Lisa Hawley & Emily Holtel Hoag
  17. The Church in the Modern World & Social Justice;
    Animators: Maria Riley, O.P., James E. Hug, S.J.

The “REFORM IN ACTION” Process in Detroit:

laptop Our “Listening” will Continue throughout the Council Sessions in Detroit. Beginning with a session on Friday evening and continuing throughout Saturday, members of the ACC National Planning Committee and other volunteers will provide a location and process to provide opportunities for attendees to document comments and feedback on ACC strategies and to receive reports from Breakout Session “recorders” on recommendations for implementation in the post-Council Action Plan. Venues and times will be detailed in the program and announced from the podium.

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.  The Eucharistic liturgy would be participative and inclusive, but will not radically depart from acceptable norms.

“Virtual Assembly” For Those Who Have Not Participated in a Listening Session

surveyAs we approach the final 3 months before Detroit, we are expanding our “Listening” to include individuals who may not have had the opportunity to attend a LISTENING SESSION and would still like to contribute their thoughts via an online survey. Up until now, most who have participated in our data collection did so following their attendance at a local listening session.

If you haven’t yet participated in a listening session and don’t anticipate doing so before April 15, or if you previously attended a session and did not submit a survey in the immediate days following that session,  please click the link on the Assemblies Community Network. Then click on the OPEN ANONYMOUS SURVEY at the top of the page and it will take you to the DATA COLLECTION page where you will find instructions on how to access the survey directly without need for a password.

If you are not already a member of our social network (ACC Assemblies Community Network) you will be prompted to SIGN-UP. When you sign up, you become a “member” of our online network which allows advanced communications and interactions with other online “members.” You are not a member of the ACC as such, as it is not a “membership” organization. If you previously joined the network, you may be prompted to SIGN-IN using the email address and password that you previously used when you signed-up. The survey itself is totally anonymous and cannot be linked to your identity.

To learn more about “membership” in the ACC Assemblies Community Network (ACN), the steps we take to protect your identity, and our standards for transparent communications among “members,” see the downloadable information at the “JOIN NOW” box on the left column of the HOME PAGE of the Assemblies Community Network. For questions about the survey or if you have difficulties, please email

Helping Hands & Hearts:


ACC is almost entirely a volunteer-driven organization. We have need for several more persons in Detroit to assist working the registration desk, servicing several hospitality/information centers, helping with transportation logistics, as well as breakout session support roles including moderators, small group facilitators and recorders. Persons wishing to volunteer should submit the on-line VOLUNTEER FROM. A listing of all job descriptions is included in the form. Certain volunteer roles that require substantial time commitment will qualify for a $100 discount off the published registration rate. All volunteers are responsible for their own lodging and meals except those that may be included in the registration fee.

All those who submit the Volunteer Application Form can expect to receive communication via email from our Volunteer Coordinator. Certain roles will involve training through conference call while others will involve a short physical meeting on site at the ACC when it convenes in Detroit. If you need to communicate directly with us regarding volunteer matters, please contact Roberta Horton at

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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