Newsletter, November 20, 2013

ACC LogoAmerican Catholic Council 
Reclaiming the Promise of Vatican II

Acting to create CHANGE…  

November 20

, 2013        

Janet’s Column
Leadership Development Training
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      In preparation for the

Extraordinary Synod on the Family to be held Oct. 5-19, 2014, the Vatican has asked national bishops’ conferences around the world to seek the opinions of Catholics on a number of church teachings including contraception, same-sex marriage and divorce and remarriage. Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary general of the Vatican’s Synod of Bishops, asked the bishops’ conferences to commence a survey “immediately as widely as possible to deaneries and parishes so that input from local sources can be received.”

     In the U.S., the Conference of Catholic Bishops has determined that its members (ie. the bishops) will respond to the survey. In some other countries, notably the United Kingdom, a survey has been made available over the internet, allowing feedback from Catholics.

U.S. Catholics …have been disappointed that there was not a vehicle for them to give their input,” said COR’s coordinator, “That’s why we created this on-line survey. Lay Catholics have strong feelings and a great deal of experience on these matters. Our voices, along with those of our bishops, need to be heard.”

     The survey, which closely follows the questions posed by the Vatican, is open until December 15, 2013.

Results will be sent to the USCCB as well as official at the Vatican.

     The survey is being widely circulated by all sponsoring members of COR.  If you have not yet filled it out, please click here for a copy.

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Three Alarm Alert!


Do you hear it?  Are you in shock that Pope Francis is calling out to YOU!  In quote after quote, Francis is calling the grassroots to partner with him in managing the change on the horizon.


“...I want a mess in the dioceses! I want people to go out! I want the Church to go out to the street! I want us to defend ourselves against everything that is worldliness, that is installation, that is comfortableness, that is clericalism, that is being shut-in on ourselves. The parishes, the schools, the institutions, exist to go out! “ (Pope Francis in Rio Youth Day)


Red Alert #1:  Make your voice heard!
ACC took the fore in announcing an analyzed direction for the future of the Church based on a study of Pope Francis’ behavior and demonstrated values.  We see incredible power in the committed Faithful who are at varied levels of readiness for change.  Toward that end, we re-launched our Listening Assemblies with a twist: gaining data from participants and sending it to the Vatican and our European friends planning Council 50 in Rome in October, 2015.  This Pope believes in dialogue and wants to hear from us!

 Red Alert #2:  Invest in ACC!

We ask all of you, our supporters and friends, to “invest in us”! Since we operate on a ‘shoestring’, a contribution of $10 (or more) from each of you will go a long way toward making it possible for us to continue to prepare the Baptized for the change that is coming. Even better –  sign up to be a  regular investor so we know we have a steady support base.

Red Alert #3: Develop your skills!

We believe people are called to respond to the Gospel, not hierarchical imperatives.  We believe that governance rests in our Baptism not in ordination.  Francis is offering us a dream much like that of Martin Luther, John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King.  Each called us to personal transformation, to believe in a future that was inconceivable at the time.  Francis is living his faith and is calling us to do the same.  In response to this we have developed our incredibly exciting and momentum building Leadership Development Weekends across the country.  


Watch the innovations happening globally!  The ground is percolating with excitement, with positive ambivalence—something big is coming!  Ambiguity often signals an innovative environment ripe for change.


Cautious global enthusiasm for this Pontificate is high but some are counting on Francis doing it all.  They wait.  They watch.  That’s not us!  We are getting the on-the-ground team ready to support the reform Francis is pointing to.  Are you ready to respond to the three-alarm alert?  If you support our direction and initiatives, please consider investing in us!


Janet Hauter

With renewed hope,

Janet Hauter, National Chair, ACC 


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Jacksonville Listening Assembly(3)

Register now for our Leadership Development Weekends!


Do you want to be able to:

  • Teach others about power dynamics in the Church and the power given to all at Baptism;
  • Use proven methods for social change and follow conscience to shift those power dynamics;
  • Facilitate dialogue among the Baptized where we can stand our own ground and be open to the Other;
  • Use storytelling and other tools for adult learning, community building, and nonviolent action;
  • Do all of the above following the Gospel values of love of God and love of neighbor as yourself ? 
Pick the location and time best for you and register!

Danville, CA – February 14-16, 2014

Chicago, IL – March 14-16, 2014

Tampa, FL – May 2-4, 2014

Long Beach, NJ – June 13 -15, 2014 


 “The structural and organizational reforms are secondary-that is, they come afterward.  The first reform must be the attitude.” ( Pope Francis in “A Big Heart Open to God, Sept. 30th)


Space is limited so don’t delay your registration!

ACC Participates with COR in Milwaukee
     Janet Hauter and Sheila Peiffer joined with about thirty other representatives of Catholic Organizations for Renewal around the table in Milwaukee at the end of October.  Cautious optimism characterized the mood:  all agreed that Pope Francis has managed to catch the attention of the world and point toward the possibility of change.  But will it prove substantive?  Is a just and equitable Church really in sight?
     Extensive discussion and analysis helped us understand each other’s goals and concerns better and led to some collaborative decisions for exploration and action.  We will keep you posted as the various committees that were formed develop proposals.  ACC also continues to participate in the coalitions of Nun Justice Project and the Catholic Tipping Point.  Both are “on hold” as we discern what the optimum next steps will be.

“We should not even think…that ‘thinking with the church’ means only thinking with the hierarchy of the Church…The church is the totality of God’s people…we build the future together.”  (Pope Francis in “A Big Heart Open to God”, Sept. 30, 2013)

American Catholic Council, Inc.  

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