Newsletter, September 16, 2013


ACC LogoAmerican Catholic Council  Shadow Dove
Reclaiming the Promise of Vatican II

Acting to create CHANGE…  
NEWSLETTER                            September 16, 2013        

Sounding Board Sounds Off
Leadership Development Training
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New Coalition sends message to Pope  
  Pope Francis
The American Catholic Council has been collaborating with Catholic Church Reform,a newly formed group working for renewal of the Catholic Church, in sending a unified message to the Vatican, expressing the Catholic faithful’s longing for change.
On September 4th, over sixty reformers from around the world joined a conference call to initiate this effort.  A committee was formed to draft the letter and, after much review, the letter is now being promoted by Church organizations worldwide. In order to reflect the missions of all the groups, this letter is urging Pope Francis to acknowledge the rights and responsibilities of the baptized faithful to have an effective voice in the decision-making of our Church.  The ACC’s Catholic Bill of RIghts and Responsibilities has been influential in the process and will form part of the packet sent to the Vatican.
Please sign this letter asap (it goes out at the end of the week)and send the link to your friends and family!
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Celebrating a Season of Hope

The Season of Hope campaign to foster dialogue and community action, gather data, and be ready to participate fully in creating change in our church are in progress!      

The new Listening Assembly template provides many options for designing the program best suited for your local group.  Don’t be left out as we conduct this needs assessment of the Baptized where we will gather data, make it public, and forward results to the Apostolic Nuncio in Washington, Pope Francis and global church reformers.  The Rome gathering in October, 2015 will be historic and ACC wants you to be a part of it!

Listening Ear
 Hold a Listening Assembly and become part of a global movement to change the church!  The input you send to our Survey Report will be collated and published.  The relationships you build locally will begin a transformation.

This new Listening Session template, related handouts, and access to the Survey Report is posted to our website in two locations: 
Click Here to access it on our main website;  

Click Here to access it on the Assemblies Community Network.  

(The latter is preferred as it links with additional background and resources on Listening Sessions/Assemblies.)


When you schedule a Listening Session in your community, we ask that you post it to Calendar of Events on the Assemblies Community Network:  CLICK HERE

     Are you ready to be a change-maker?

OMG!  The Spirit is Working Overtime!


OK.  We have the election of Pope Francis whose stated priorities are to review and restructure the Curia and tackle the scandals surrounding the Vatican Bank. Then, we have the replacement of the Vatican’s Secretary of State, an office that  has been riddled with scandal for years.  This Pope, like no other, has pledged to clean house and is focused on two of the most criticized governance areas in the Vatican.  Transitions are ahead!

We, at the American Catholic Council, have something in common with the Pope (it’s been a long time since I could say that!) in that we agree with his initial priorities to begin a top-down review and transition of some fundamentals.  It is imperative to prepare the faithful to understand the need for these transitions, understand how to collaborate with other reformers to have a true, unfiltered voice to the Pope.  We want to be proactive with this Pope!

We plan regular communications with the Vatican in sending aggregate results of our Listening Assemblies to Pope Francis so that he becomes aware of our issues.  We have initiated regional Leadership Development seminar weekends that can function as “boots on the ground” training for the faithful to speak on common issues with a common voice.   And, we are working collaboratively with the global reform community to bring Church renewal issues to the table at the Vatican. We are fully dedicated to responding to the needs of grassroots Catholics making their voices known; your issues are our issues!

Janet Hauter


With energized hope,

Janet Hauter, National Chair, ACC 


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Registrations begin for Leadership Development Weekends!        CHICAGO in October!

Jacksonville Listening Assembly(3)

ACC’s pilot regional leadership development workshop takes place the weekend of October 25-27th in Chicago and registration is open now.  Anyone who wants to hone his or her skills as a leader in the reform movement and feels called to transform themselves and others is urged to consider participating in this seminar, or one of the the three regional workshops that will follow:


Danville, CA – February 14-16, 2014

Tampa, FL – May 2-4, 2014

Long Beach, NJ – June 13 -15, 2014 

(As we go to press, we are signing contracts for these locations, so watch for full registration information soon.)


Building on last Fall’s Institute for Nonviolent Action for Church Reform, those attending these sessions will leave ready to:

  •  Teach others about power dynamics in the Church and how to shift those using nonviolent action;
  • Share the core elements of a strategic analysis and an action plan for affecting change back home;
  • Use tools for adult learning, community building, and nonviolent direct action for change;
  • Be sustained by strong collegial ties with other reformers and all the resources of ACC;
  • Do all of the above following the Gospel values of love of God and love of neighbor as yourself;

Are you ready to claim a place in changing the Church?  Mark your calendar now for the session most convenient for you!  

ACC Sounding Board
For Fundraising 
Our Advisory Board is excited about all the great ACC  initiatives but also worried about finances. One member has written the following “Open Letter” to ACC supporters: 

Dear ACC Supporter:        
 As this latest newsletter attests, the ACC leadership has been very active — setting up weekend leadership sessions around the country, lining up dozens of evening listening sessions for study groups and parishes, and helping to coordinate the recent international phone call with 60 participants from church reform groups across the globe.

It’s not by chance that Janet Hauter emerged as a leader in the group! The resulting letter being forwarded to Pope Francis and the nine Cardinals for their October meeting is masterful: incisive, conciliatory, very detailed.
There is, however, one area where, from my perspective, the ACC leadership stumbles: they are shy about asking for financial support. As a member of the Sounding Board, with keen awareness of the dire straits the organization is in, I write to ask for your help at a critical time in ACC’s history. Re-designing and maintaining of Web sites, doing newsletters, making down payments for use of meeting sites, phone calls and email networking, etc. — all of these cost money, time, and resources from a handful of people who are receiving minimal compensation for their dedication and expertise.

Please. Consider making a contribution to ACC — small, medium, or large to help overcome the shyness of our leaders. Now. Your reward in heaven will be great. Not to mention the continuation of these good deeds here on mother earth. The best is yet to come.

Jim Ewens, North Lake, WI. 

Another Sounding Board member urges all of us to think about contributing to a “Second Collection”.  Helen McCarthy writes:
The fund is called The Second Collection, because the ACC recognizes that regular collections do serve many good causes and traditionally “Second Collections” go beyond that to help with additional needs.  The Second Collection helps Catholics bring an informed conscience to Church decisions through continuing education.
Won’t you consider making a contribution?
Please sponsor the ACC education and training programs by sending your check to:  ACC, 9007 Springview Loop, Estero, FL 33928 or by using the DONATE BUTTON on the LEFT COLUMN to contribute via credit card through NETWORK FOR GOOD.   THANK YOU!
Let's Rise Up and Build
The Nun Justice project continues to support the sisters of the LCWR as they move through their process of negotiation with Vatican investigators. The LCWR is asking all of us to contact our local NBC affiliates to request that they show the wonderful documentary, “Women & Spirit:  Catholic Sisters in America”, a one-hour episode that affiliates can show at their discretion from Sept. 15, 2013 to March 14, 2014.  Details of how to do this are here. Take this concrete step to help our sisters!  

American Catholic Council, Inc.  

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