Catholic Charismatic Renewal Center for Chicago
History of CCRCC
Like the “Phoenix”, a mythical bird that burned itself on a funeral pyre and then rose from the ashes in the freshness of youth, CCRCC rose out of the fertile ground cultivated by the “Chicago Day of Renewal” (CDOR).
Shortly after the Charismatic Renewal appeared again in the Catholic Church (the charisms were common in its first 900 years) at Duquesne University in February, 1967, a prayer group was formed at the Benedictine Monastery in Benet Lake, WI. Attendees from a large area began to form their own local prayer groups, such as those from as far south as Blue Island, IL who formed the “Upper Room” prayer group in 1968—the first in the Chicagoland area. On October 5, 1969, to nurture the growing numbers of prayer groups in Wisconsin and Illinois, monthly Days of Renewal were begun at Benet Lake so that the scattered groups could come together for teaching and sharing. In February, 1971, the prayer groups in and around Milwaukee began to hold their own monthly Days of Renewal in Milwaukee on the third Sunday; and on May 2, 1971, Chicago prayer groups began their Days of Renewal on the first Sunday of each month. On March 16, 1972, the “Chicago Day Of Renewal” (CDOR) was incorporated.
By the mid 1980’s, the structure of CDOR (the members of its governing board—the coordinators—were elected annually on a rotating basis) began to interfere with the focus of the organization. After the June 21, 1986 election, the serving board members and many of the prayer group leaders discerned a need to restructure the organization to recapture the true spirit of the Renewal. Many discussions culminated in a weekend retreat for the coordinators, held September 12 to 14, 1986 with Fr. Ken Metz, the Liaison to the Renewal in the Milwaukee Diocese (to insure impartial input). That retreat led to the unexpected, but inescapable conclusion that the existing structure of CDOR was fatally flawed. A new concept emerged, one not only faithful to the mission of the Charismatic Renewal as articulated in a new Mission Statement, but also bound to the teaching authority of the Church, especially as represented by the Archbishop of Chicago, by the very structure of the organization. Specifically, the leadership is now prayerfully discerned, not elected, and the names of those chosen are submitted to the Cardinal through and with the approval of the Liaison. After much prayerful deliberation, the new organization, named the “Catholic Charismatic Renewal Center for Chicago” (CCRCC), was crafted and, on May 1, 1987, in the auditorium of Holy Name Cathedral, was introduced to all the prayer groups. On July 1, 1987, CCRCC took over the operations of CDOR which then ceased to exist.
Today CCRCC in its expanded structure, faithfully continues the benefits and services of CDOR and continues to grow to meet new needs confronting the Church and the Renewal, such as needs for Youth Ministry in the 1990’s and, in this new millennium, for the Diocesan Prayer Ministry which is available to any parish in the Archdiocese.