Fourteen members of the Caribbean Service Team of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR) met at the Spiritual retreat Centre, Madonna house, Sligoville, Jamaica on the evening of April 13 to April 16, 2015 to reflect on the call of God on their lives and to plan activities for the year 2015 to 2016. The team met in 2014 in Guyana and will be meeting in Curacao in 2016.

The days were calm and quiet and lent themselves to the atmosphere of peace and tranquility. Each day began with praise and worship which opened the way for the prophetic words. Again we were reminded that God loves us with an unceasing and unconditional love. We have been selected to be his light, be a living monstrance radiating his love for his people. And as we encounter his children they must experience his love through us. We were brought to the mountaintop as it were to experience Christ in a more profound way, revealing his love and care for us and a call to be more in communion - “I in you and you in me and we together in the Father’ and all being reminded to live holy lives.

Each country presented its report for discussion and review and the representatives were reminded of the hallmarks of the CCR which were personal renewal, prayer groups, community and ecumenism. The challenges of life today are more intense and difficult and communities are being encouraged to build with each other so that they can survive and grow and to find spiritually sustainable things to keep the groups alive.

The meeting seriously reflected on the ways of building up of God’s Kingdom. We were tasked with putting programmes in place which will be looking at Pope Francis’ call for preferential outreach for the poor; to have teachings in place with regards to living a consecrated life which not only refers to the religious but also single and married couples. We were also called to pray especially for our priests. It was strongly pointed out that we are our brothers’ keepers and that we should learn to share our difficulties trying to understand each other’s journeys and to help them along the way. We are all God’s children. It was concluded that the Renewal is God’s business and we have been entrusted with a share of his vineyard.

The Catholic Pastoral Institute which is run by the CCR in Trinidad will be conducting studies next year July 2016 in the following areas:- Conducting Retreats; Deliverance/Spiritual Warfare; Using the Gifts of the Spirit with special emphasis on interpretation of dreams; Presentations and Homilies and Evangelisation.

The International Catholic Charismatic Renewal will be observing its 50th anniversary in 2017 and there will be a jubilee celebration in Rome. The meeting discussed this event and the plan to have a Caribbean Pilgrimage to attend this event. The cost for travelling, boarding and lodging will be investigated and this information will be provided to the respective Caribbean countries desirous of being a part of the pilgrimage. It is hoped that the contingent will be large and interested persons are advised to start making their plans and budgeting for this trip. So let us go out in our numbers and celebrate for the joy of the Lord is our strength.