The Catholic reform movement has been exemplary in its theology and focused action for change in doctrine, structure and social justice. Its guiding light has been, of course, the Gospel message and life of Jesus Christ but also the contemporary influence of Vatican II and John XXIII. This reform movement has been searching more recently for ways to bring a greater ecumenical presence into its membership and a more intensive testimony to its spiritual commitments. Recent developments in the Catholic Organizations for Renewal (COR) have addressed the ecumenical issue of membership. The Ecumenical Community of John XXIII seeks to intensify this ecumenical influence but, more pointedly, to emphasize the spirituality which gives people life in areas no other reform initiatives reach.
One of the great glories of Catholicism, indeed one of its most creative contributions, has been the formation of formal religious communities. These religious communities seek a new way of forging bonds built on faith and mission by a common life, common prayer and common witness.
The Community of John XXIII focuses on the spiritual development and apostolic work of its members. and has three purposes:
a sign or witness to people at large and our respective churches in particular that the spiritual bonds among the churches are profound enough to create significant communal sharing in the search for God;
a more formal and intense commitment of all the members to the spiritual rather than the ecclesiastical, political or ministerial dimensions of church and human life;
a communal resource for the participating church traditions to call on all or any of the members to serve in a ministerial capacity in any of the participating churches on a temporary or ad hoc basis.