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Charismatic Renewal leader dies

The Church is mourning the death of Brian Smith, a leading figure in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR) nationally and internationally.

About 500 people gathered last week at St Paschal's Church, Wavell Heights, in Brisbane, for his funeral Mass.

Mr Smith had a leading role in the development of the CCR in Australia and was a co-founder of Brisbane's Emmanuel Covenant Community.

Friends from all over Australia, and from the Philippines, New Zealand and Italy were among the congregation at his funeral.

Mr Smith died of cancer at the age of 71 on March 19.

Emmanuel Covenant Community moderator Shayne Bennett said Mr Smith became involved in the CCR in 1970.

"With Fr Vince Hobbs of Bardon, he soon became one of the local leaders of this new movement," he said.

In 1973, Cardinal Leo Suenens invited Mr Smith to serve as an adviser to the international communications office for CCR.

"This began nearly 30 years of involvement as an active member of the council of the worldwide Catholic Charismatic Renewal," Mr Bennett said.

"Brian was to play a leading role in the development of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in Australia as well as founding the Emmanuel Covenant Community in Brisbane.

"From the mid-1980s Brian worked tirelessly in consultation with the Pontifical Council for the Laity to establish the Catholic Fraternity of Covenant Communities and Fellowships, a worldwide association of covenant communities, with pontifical recognition."

In 1997 Pope John Paul II appointed Mr Smith to the Pontifical Council for the Laity and he was a member for five years.

Catholic Leader

4 Apr 2003