Covenant Communities

One of the more significant developments concerning Catholic lay spirituality after the Second Vatican Council was the charismatic renewal, which began at Duquesne University in 1967 and quickly spread to Notre Dame and then on into the rest of the country.


Out of that movement arose several communities of various sorts. Two of the most significant were The Word of God (now Sword of the Spirit) in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and People of Praise in South Bend, Indiana. These both formed as covenant communities, based on a fundamental agreement (or covenant) that members make with each other. Both communities are nondenominational and call themselves ecumenical.

I have written a manuscript to critique these two organizations and their underlying theological conceptions: Not Reliable Guides. Scholars and students may find the unpublished materials referred to in this document in the archives of the University of Notre Dame. Another writing of mine that may prove helpful is Sanctity Traps. This is a book-length manuscript that deals with forms of spiritual deception in general, not just with the problem of covenant communities. It might be helpful. (But take note! The table of contents is at the end very European!)


With a friend, we have also set up a Covenant Community Blog, which you may find helpful.


Please do not distribute my writings without my name and notification of my copyright.