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BELONG 18.29   |    August 7, 2018  |  "Your Cathedral < > Your Catholic Faith"


TEXT: What is a Charism?

The mere title itself begs a definition but that definition is dependent on the context in which the word is used. Most persons, if at a loss for an exact definition, would perhaps at least associate the word with charisma or charismatic. But each of these words has its own fine tuning of definition.

Charism is frequently associated with the spirituality of religious institutes and this understanding of it will be addressed at another time. Here we will define it as a gift of the Holy Spirit given in a particular way to an individual or to a group to build up the Kingdom of God for the good of the Church. 

The Catholic Encyclopedia defines charism as “the spiritual graces and qualifications granted to every Christian to perform his or her task in the Church. Also, charism is the theological term for denoting extraordinary graces given to individual Christians for the good of others.”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church in Article 799 states: "Whether extraordinary or simple and humble, charisms are graces of the Holy Spirit which directly or indirectly benefit the Church, ordered as they are to her building up, to the good of men, and to the needs of the world."

This is the abundance that is promised as shown in the Gospel of John 16:7 when Jesus said to His followers, “But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.”

John Paul II affirmed this Presence among us in “Dominum et Vivificantem” to assist us by His special gifts in the difficult times that we face when he reminded us, “The spirit of God, by a special and admirable Providence, is guiding hearts and renewing the face of the earth.”

Charisms are genuine gifts of the Holy Spirit for the holiness of the entire Body of Christ and the perfection of charity. (Catechism of the Catholic Church #800). As baptized members of the Church the Holy Spirit can work through the fiat of each one of us for the good of all of us so that as one body Christ lives in us and works through us as we journey to the Father.

[To read the complete article go to

[To read about a list of 25 different charisms, go to ]



VIDEO: Why are Charisms important?
Fr. Michael Hurley, O.P.


The online resource for Faith Formation is available for free to St. John’s parishioners. Go to their website at and enter the code 82F2DN. It’s “Netflix for Catholics!”

PRAYER: Outpouring of Charisms of the Holy Spirit

God Holy Spirit, in our lives in this world, we stand in great need of Your charisms. By these, Your gifts, You enable us to make a real contribution to the lives of others, in the Church, in our society in our personal interaction with one another. For all these charismsare to be used for the benefit of others. Since You have called us to your service, we pray for those gifts which Paul, the apostle of Christ, wished for his community.

O Holy Spirit of God abide with us;  inspire all our thoughts; pervade all our imagination; suggest all our doings. Be with us in our silence and in our speech, in our haste and in our leisure, in our company and in solitude; in the freshness of the morning and in the weariness of evening; and give us grace at all times, humbly to rejoice in your mysterious companionship, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.



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Altera septimana (Latin for “until next week”)!



BELONG 18.02 - January 12, 2018
BELONG 18.01 - January 5, 2018

BELONG is a weekly informative news service highlighting matters of faith formation, from the parish of St. John the Evangelist, Boise’s Roman Catholic Cathedral. It is a free information and educational service. The “Belong” banner colors are derived from the interior accent colors of the Cathedral pews, and the Cathedral altar represents our focal meeting point. Subscribe at our website

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