HOW TO START A NEW CLC
Finding New Potential Members
There are two major ways to contact potential members of CLC: advertising (e.g., through a parish bulletin) and personal contact. If a general invitation is given in a Catholic parish, the description of CLC is followed by a gathering of those interested in finding out more, e.g., between Sunday morning Masses in a parish. The Regional Assistant or an experience member of CLC can then give a presentation of what is involved in CLC, her/his personal experience, entertain questions, and, if possible, a brief experience of Faith Sharing.
In many cases, the initial small group of those willing to try CLC comes from personal contact, knowledge of persons in a community (not necessarily belonging to the same parish) who look for a deeper spiritual life, recognize the need for mutual support, and seek an increased sense of ministry in their lives. Once eight or more persons have been identified, the meeting mentioned above can be arranged. A core of people can be gathered by both a general invitation and personal contact. Persons with experience in small groups, e.g., Renew, are good candidates for CLC.
Once the initial group of 8-15 persons have shown interest, they are invited to begin a “Pre-Community Program” which includes a book to guide them through four months of CLC experience. This book can be obtained by contacting the Regional Assistant or the Regional Convener. It is important that these prospective members be told of the option at the end of this period to continue with CLC or to drop out. However, they should be advised that regularity at these eight meetings during the pre-community phase is expected.
For those who wish to continue, there are several formation programs available. Either the Regional Assistant or the Regional Convener can assist in the selection of these programs which last one or more years. It is the hope that members of CLC experience the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius at some time during their membership of CLC. After the community has been together for a year or more, they are encouraged to make a weekend or overnight retreat; the Regional Assistant or experienced members of CLC can often assist in the planning and facilitation of this retreat.
In some regions of the United States, beginning a CLC may have additional hurdles to cross because either there are no existing communities nearby and/or there are no persons knowledgeable about CLC who have the time and freedom to furnish onsite assistance. The Regional Assistant listed at the end of this Website can refer you to others with experience in CLC if you live outside the North Central area of the United States.