Newsletter: June 6, 2011

American Catholic Council Detroit Skyline
Reclaiming the Promise of Vatican II

Pentecost Weekend, JUNE 10-12, 2011
Newsletter: June 6, 2011 COUNTDOWN TO DETROIT

In This Issue
Acclaiming the CBRR
Reform in Action Process
Late Program Changes
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Press Release

For Immediate Release

June 5, 2011

Grassroots Catholic Movement To Declare Bill of Rights and Responsibilities

Last Minute

Last Minute WALK-ONS

Walk-on registrations (daily or for the entire Council) are welcome at Cobo Conven- tion Center. Go to the Registration Desk in Wayne Hall, Friday, (June 10 / 4 to 8pm) & Saturday (June 11 / 8am to 12 noon). For more information, call 763-767-6190 or email:


Breakout Sessions


We have received congratulatory and encouraging messages from sources near and far.  For several received recently, CLICK HERE.

We Are Prophets of A Future Not Our Own


Dearden RomeroThe following  prayer was first offered by John Cardinal Dearden at a mass for departed priests in the Archdiocese of Detroit in 1979. It was drafted by his close friend andUntener confidant, Bishop Ken Untener of the Diocese of Saginaw, Michigan. The prayer was subsequently used by Bishop Romero shortly before he was martyred in El Salvador.

* * * * *

It helps, now and then, to step back and take a long view.  … Nothing we do is complete, which is a way of saying that the kingdom always lies beyond us. …


No program accomplishes the church’s mission. No set of goals and objectives includes everything.  …


We plant the seeds that one day will grow. We water seeds already planted, …   We provide yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that. This enables us to do something, and to do it very well. It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning …


We may never see the end results,  … WE ARE PROPHETS OF A FUTURE NOT OUR OWN.

* * * * * * * *

For the full rendering of the prayer, CLICK HERE.


Gracious and Holy God, we join in prayer with all who seek to reclaim the vision and spirit of Vatican II and all those who will gather in Detroit this Pentecost.


May we be anointed by your Spirit to share in divine creativity in solving challenges of carrying out Vatican II’s empowerment of the baptized;

Send forth your Spirit!


May we benefit from the diversity of gifts you have bestowed on all your people and work toward recognizing and using those gifts fully and inclusively;

Send forth your Spirit!


May we be open to Your grace and steadfast in the face of scorn, opposition and dismissal;

Send forth your Spirit!


May we always remember all those who have gone before us, both blazing prophets and quiet souls, who have labored for freedom, truth and dignity for your people;

Send forth your Spirit!


May we join our footsteps with those of your Risen Son, on the Road to Emmaus, the Promise of Pentecost, and the Alleluia of a resurrected Church; Send forth your Spirit!


May we be strengthened by the solidarity of this communal prayer and through the grace and power of the God who lovingly weaves us all together in a tapestry of love, so that we can do more than any one of us dreams alone;

Send forth your Spirit!

Some Final Thoughts As The Curtain Opens on ACC

curtain opensIt is now only a few days until we open ACC in Detroit. Materials are at the printer. Musicians are practicing, keynoters are preparing presentations, and facilitators are refining processes. Cobo Convention Center is all spruced up and awaits us and the GM Marriott Renaissance Center will soon be bursting with ACC folks.  Folks will start arriving on Tuesday, many to take advantage of what Detroit has to offer in early summer.

Those of us on the National Planning Committee are excited by the response (about 1800 will be there, we think), and we are humbled by the responsibility of making this an event that is memorable and worthwhile in the future of our Church. We look forward to meeting with many of you in Detroit. Safe travels. Bring your ideas, good will, hopes, and prepare to celebrate our Vatican II heritage. Thank you for making this possible and for placing your confidence in our ability to make this an important occasion in the history of our Church.

Janet HauterJohn Hushon

Janet Hauter & John Hushon

American Catholic Council, Inc.

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Acclaiming the CBRR

The Catholic Bill of Rights and Responsibilities is a foundational document to be presented for adoption at the American Catholic Council and will be a central element of the agenda in Detroit. The Planning Committee has been developing this document over two years, reflecting input from the grassroots in nearly 100 local/regional listening sessions.

A fourth and final draft was recently unanimously approved by the Planing Committee and published on the ACC website: Catholic Bill of Rights and Responsibilities (Rev. 5/18/11). That final version will be in the registration packet of all attendees in Detroit. It is the Planning Committee’s strong hope that the CBRR, in its current rendering, having already gone through an extensive review and re-write process over the last two years, can be given a general acclamation by those in attendance in Detroit.

The mechanics of doing that will involve a simple one-sided card with the latest CBRR, a perforation, and a place to sign and state
“I affirm the CBRR.” There will also be a box to check if the acclaimant wishes to have his/her name included as an endorser of the CBRR on the ACC website and other media. The “affirmation” cards will be collecting in a large basket at a CBRR table next to the registration check-in station. The CBRR will then be publicly acclaimed on Sunday morning immediately prior to the start of the closing Eucharist.The basket of affirmations will be part of the Offertory of the Mass.


We recognize that there may be some, who though they may give general assent to the current version of the CBRR in this final pre-Detroit revision, may nonetheless have some reservation and/or recommendation that they may wish to put forth and have considered in some future amendment of the document after Detroit. To that end, the “Reform in Action” process in Detroit will allow for the submission of such (see below). There is also the opportunity to post comments about the CBRR on a dedicated CBRR Discussion Thread on the ACC Assemblies Community Network.

The “REFORM IN ACTION” Process in Detroit:

Reform In Action (RIA) is ACC’s way of offering people ample opportunity to create the next steps to renew the Catholic Church. We already have the results of nearly 100 Listening Assemblies held around the US and Canada plus the input of theologians and other experts presenting this weekend. To be faithful to Vatican II, we need to move from ideas to solutions and actions.

We have identified 3 primary components of Reform in Action. Each provides a means to network with other who hold a passion around a similar issue and build upon the creative energy of these affinity groups to generate recommendations for action.


(1) Breakout Sessions: Throughout the breakout sessions, designated recorders will note the ideas voiced and will submit summary statements and recommendations.


(2) Geographical Networking: During the dinner break on Saturday evening (6:00-8pm), attendees are encouraged to dine with folks from their local area for purposes of networking and develop action strategies for implementation back home.


(3) Special Interest Groups: Beginning on Friday evening, after the close of the opening session, and continuing through Saturday morning and afternoon,  all are invited to go to the RIA Room (Cobo #35/36) to post on newsprint their ideas about making our Church all that it is meant to be.The person posting the idea will be the convener of the group when it convenes on Saturday evening. Interest groups may form around any topic that might inform future action strategies specific to ACC or more broadly impacting the larger church reform movement. Possibilities include:

  • Geographic gatherings to strategize on issues common to a local region (Perhaps following up on the Dinner Conversations on Saturday Evening);
  • Focusing on one of the 10 Catholic Bill of Rights and Responsibilities (CBRR) or other themes related to the CBRR;
  • Following up on one of the Breakout Sessions;
  • Any exciting or creative idea that could help our Church become its best self;

Then on Saturday evening at 8:15pm all those interested in participating in an RIA discussion will gather in the RIA Roomlaptop #35/36 and join the group that most inspires them. A process will be in place for all groups to submit summary statements and related recommendations via an online form.  A sample template “report” form will be available. Further details will be explained on site.


For those who do not have access to personal laptops to submit reports and recommendations, a number of complimentary computers will be available in the lobby of the Marriott.   Within two weeks following ACC-Detroit, the Planning Committee will organize the recommendations and arrange to have them posted to the Assemblies Community Network. This will then become the forum for ongoing discussion, refinement, and implementation of ACC-Detroit and the CBRR.

Late Program Changes/Additions:

Matthew Fox added to Keynoter Line-Up

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, who had beenMatt Fox scheduled to deliver a keynote, has had to regretfully withdraw due to a conflict in her schedule. We are pleased to report that theologian and educator Matthew Fox will deliver a keynote in that slot. This should be an exciting addition to our program. Matthew will also facilitate one of the breakout sessions and be available for book signings on Saturday.


Fox is an educator and theologian in areas of Christian spirituality and an activist for Church reform.  He was a member of the Dominican Order for thirty-four years and holds a doctorate in the History and Theology of Spiritualities from the Institut Catholique de Paris.  He is author of 29 books translated into 46 languages.


Fox helped revive interest in Hildegard of Bingen, Meister Eckhart and Thomas Aquinas in his books on these mystical giants of the West.  In 1990 Cardinal Ratzinger silenced him for a year and later expelled him from the Dominican Order shutting down his master’s program in Creation Spirituality which had flourished for 21 years.  Fox then established the University of Creation Spirituality and later became an Episcopal priest and trained dozens of people to integrate creation spirituality into liturgy. He subsequently taught at Stanford University and developed  a two-year pilot project working with inner city teenagers to reinvent education.  Shortly after Ratzinger was made pope, Fox went to Wittenburg to pound 95 theses at the door calling for Church Reformation.  He did the same at Maria Maggiore basilica in Rome overseen by the notorious Cardinal Law. Fox is recipient of many awards including the Courage of Conscience Award from the Peace Abbey (other recipients include the Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa, Rosa Parks).  Fox is currently a visiting scholar with the Academy for the Love of Learning in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  He lives in Oakland, California.


TWO Additional Breakouts. Matthew Fox will be doing a breakout in addition to his keynote. We have also added a breakout called My Mama’s Mansion, presented by the Women at the Well Theatrical Troupe. For a complete description of this session and all Breakout Sessions, CLICK HERE.

There is NO need to Register Choice of Breakouts

For those going to the Council, there are now a total of 19 Breakout Sessions, to be offered over two 90-minute slots, one on Saturday morning and the other on Saturday afternoon. Some sessions will repeat, but not all. A detailed schedule of breakouts and meeting room locations will be in the printed program available at the Registration Desk at check-in.  Please note that there is no process to pre-register for your choice of the two breakout sessions. Several weeks ago we did conduct an informal survey to assess interest level on each of the breakout offerings, but only for the purpose of estimating the draw for each and to inform our selection of an appropriately sized meeting room. All registered attendees should be able to go to the breakout sessions of their choice. There are no reserved spaces in the breakouts. 

Kung Carroll Matt Fox Rodriguez Padovano Chittister

Kung           Carroll              Fox             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

American Catholic Council, Inc.

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