ADL Origins & Roles
Letter of Welcome
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
Praise the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ!
Welcome to the Association of Diocesan Liaisons (ADL).
You are one of many liaisons to the Charismatic Renewal appointed by bishops throughout the United States and Canada. * The purpose of this page is to give you a synopsis of the history of this organization. The liaisons first met as a national group in 1976 and sponsored their first “Theological Symposium” in 1978. During the 1990 annual conference a Constitution and By-Laws were formulated. These were revised in 2011 and 2014 and approved by the liaisons attending the annual conference. A copy of the revised Constitution & By-Laws is available on the website under “Constitution and ByLaws”
Since the beginning of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in February 1967 millions of priests, deacons, religious and lay Catholics have been brought to personal spiritual renewal by the power of the Holy Spirit. Through the Renewal countless alienated Catholics have been called to reconciliation with the Lord and the Church. The Renewal has deepened a love for Jesus and the Church among young people as well as people of all ages, including the un-churched.
With Continued Hope in the Power of the Holy Spirit,
The Steering Committee of the Association of Diocesan Liaisons
* Those who serve as associate or assistant liaisons or by other names are included in the term “liaison” for the purpose of this booklet and are eligible to join the organization referred to as ADL. Also, symposium/conference has been voted to be changed to convocation at our annual meeting in 2014. ( At the annual business meeting in 2014, the body voted to change the week long event’s name to convocation thinking that it better defines our purpose for gathering. By definition, we are called together for a special purpose. We believe Jesus has called us here.)
In 1975 Cardinal Krol, as president of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, established the Bishops’ ad-hoc committee on the Catholic Charismatic Renewal under the chairmanship of Most Rev. Gerald Frey, Bishop of Lafayette, LA. Bishop Joseph Mc Kinney suggested to the committee that it would be very helpful for each bishop to have someone in his diocese who would be his representative to the Charismatic Renewal movement. This representative would be aware of what is going on in the diocese regarding the Charismatic Renewal and would refer pastoral problems to the bishop in order that he might then provide pastoral direction. On behalf of the committee, Bishop Frey wrote to the bishops throughout the United States suggesting that each name someone as diocesan liaison to the Charismatic Renewal in the diocese.
In 1976, at the end of the Steubenville Priests’ Conference, several liaisons met with the Bishops’ Ad-Hoc Committee. At that meeting roles, relationships and expectations were explored. The liaisons decided to meet in New Orleans in the fall of 1977. (The Bishops would be meeting in New Orleans at the same time and the liaisons hoped to have further dialogue with them concerning their role.) It was at that meeting that the liaisons decided to form a Steering Committee to prepare and oversee the business of what was to become the Association of Diocesan Liaisons to the Catholic Charismatic Renewal.
Through the Annual Fall Symposia and Spring Conferences, Association members have made an effort to further theological understanding through the presentations and papers written by the invited speakers and to apply this information pastorally in the local Diocesan Renewal. This meeting also helps liaisons to network and lend mutual support, as well as to foster professional growth of the Charismatic Renewal throughout the United States. In 2004 the symposia and conferences merged into a weeklong symposium/conference in the spring each year.
Role of the Diocesan Liaison
A Constitution and By-laws, adopted in 1990, provides a structure and organization, and calls liaisons together for mutual support. The Constitution and By-Laws were revised and updated in 2012 and 2014. The Association does not mandate what individual liaisons do in their own dioceses: rather it provides an opportunity for theological understanding and pastoral exchange on a broader level.
Liaisons from the United States and Canada are invited to an annual Convocation each spring at a designated location. To prepare liaisons for this event presenters are asked to prepare symposium papers which participants receive and reflect on before the convocation. These symposium papers are also sent to all liaisons that have paid their dues as members of the Association. Another vehicle of communication is the newsletter of the Association which is sent bi-annually and the ADL website.
To enhance our communication with other leaders in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal the Association’s Steering Committee attends the annual “Gathering of Leadership Groups”. This is a three day event which brings together representatives of the various streams of the Renewal including ADL, NSC, covenant communities, youth and young adult leaders, and the various ethnic groups such as Hispanic, Haitian, Filipino, Korean and others. The Association also assigns members to work with NSC in the planning of National Conferences and Leadership Conferences. These representatives report to the Liaisons at the Convocation in the spring.
Each liaison guides the Charismatic Renewal according to the particular structural design for his/her diocese. Originally most liaisons were priests whose role was to keep the bishop informed about the development of the Charismatic Renewal in the diocese. Today liaisons can be priests, deacons, religious or lay persons. The position may be full or part time, supported either by the diocesan budget or by funds received through those being served, or a combination of both. The liaison may have this position in addition to another full or part time position and may or may not have expenses paid. How one ministers as a liaison varies, but all liaisons are called to “fan into flame the gift of the Holy Spirit” within the diocese. Through the Association one can gather ideas that may be helpful in one’s own diocese.