Start A Group
You should aim to put together a core group of 5-6 people, which may include AA, NA and Al Anon members. Often putting a notice in your church bulletin or getting an article in your diocesan newspaper can greatly aid awareness and recruitment. Remember, we are not AA (or NA, etc), so if we don't use AA's name, we won't be violating AA traditions. Also, it's extremely helpful if you can find a Spiritual Director (may or may not be a recovering alcoholic), who is a priest, to help you start and run the unit. Once you have a core group identified, you should hold a formation meeting. At the meeting you should decide where and when you will meet (most units meet once per month, and have the meeting around a Mass,), who will be the Secretary, Administrator , these officers are not unlike what you would have in AA. Their only function is to fulfill the needs of the unit. Matters before the unit should be addressed by a "group conscience" on how you want to conduct the meetings. Meetings can be run with a variety of formats. We in the London units start with a Holy Mass that is held in the Parish Church and / or in the meeting room. After Mass we convene in a room reserved for our unit, the unit meeting starts with a reading of the Calix Credo, followed by announcements
Our stated purposes are
- (a) Sobriety is a requirement not an option
- (b) Participation in Holy Mass and group discussion
- (c) Becoming the person that God wants us to be
Once the unit is formed you should send a letter to the bishop asking permission to start the unit, this has already been organized and sanctioned by the Archbishops of Westminster & Southwark.
Please remember Calix is not "Catholic AA". We ask that recovering members be members of AA (or other appropriate 12-step group), but Calix is a separate group that works in conjunction with AA.
As Bill W. stated in a letter to the society "This (Calix) presents no problem of A.A. Tradition at all. Of course they are A.A. members and are entitled to join Calix. Nothing is more certain about A.A. than that the principle of the individual's freedom to practice the religion of his own choice. Our Tradition merely requests A.A. members not to link the A.A. name with other activities."
The speaker or person sharing is asked to center their remarks on how their spiritual growth has impacted their recovery and can refer to the priest homily during Mass, or selected questions as suggested topics for the 12 step meditation books rather then a "drunkalogue", more commonly heard at AA meetings. Obviously, some of their story may involve how the past drinking/using led to their surrender and subsequent growth. The meeting should be concluded with a prayer(s). and suggest the full version of the serenity prayer.