CCR History
Origins of the Charismatic Renewal in the Catholic Church In February 1967, a few students of Duquesne (pronounced as “Do-Cain”) University, a Catholic university in Pittsburgh were filled with the desire to seek the Pentecost experience for personal and for church renewal.

They centered on the Acts of the Apostles Chapters 1 to 4 and expected the coming of the Holy Spirit. They then met at “The Ark & Dove” retreat house. Ralph Keifer (one of the 25 students) says, “We sang the Veni Creator Spiritus” (Come Holy Ghost Creator Blest…) and meant it. We were not disappointed”. Their desire was met and this ‘outpouring of the Holy Spirit’ was the start of Catholic Pentecostalism or Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR), as now known and recommended by the Bishops of America. The close proximity of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1966) and the birth of the CCR is no coincidence. Pope John XXIII prayed for ‘a new Pentecost’ at the inauguration of the Council and barely had it concluded when some lay, ecclesial movements emerged – one of which is the CCR.

God is at work at all retreats and so he was at the one at Duquesne, USA. But this time the Spirits intention was different. He wanted to renew the church. Cardinal Suenens rightly stated “The history of the church is made up of those movements and embraces of the Spirit, which are given periodically to revitalize the church.” What happened quickly spread to graduate students and professors at the University of Notre Dame and others serving in campus ministry in Lansing, Michigan. It continued to spread so that, as of 2003, the Catholic Charismatic Renewal exists in over 230 countries in the world, having touched over 119 million members according to David Barret, head of Global Evangelization Movement in Richmond, VA.

The central goals of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal include: - To foster a mature and continuous personal conversion to Jesus Chris, our Lord and Savior - To foster a decisive personal receptivity to the person, presence and the power of the Holy Spirit. - These two spiritual graces are often experienced together in what is called in different parts of the world as baptism in the Holy Spirit [BHS], or a release of the Holy Spirit, or a renewal of the Holy Spirit. - To foster the reception and use of the spiritual gifts (Charismata) not only in the charismatic renewal but also in the broader Church. These gifts, ordinary and extraordinary, are abundantly found among laity, religious and clergy. Their proper understanding and use, in harmony with other elements of the church life, is a source of strength for Christians on their journey towards holiness and in the carrying out of their mission. - To foster the work of evagelization in the power of the Holy Spirit, including the evangelization of the unchurched, the re – evangelization of nominal Christians, the evangelization of culture and social structures. The renewal especially promotes sharing in the church’s mission by proclaiming the gospel in word and deed, and by bearing witness to Jesus Christ through personal testimony and through those works of faith and justice to which each one is called. - To foster the ongoing growth in holiness though the proper integration of these charismatic emphases with the full life of the church. This is accomplished through participation in a rich sacramental and liturgical life, an appreciation of the tradition of Catholic prayer and spirituality, an ongoing formation in Catholic doctrine guided by the Church’s magisterium, and participation in the pastoral plan of the Church. - CCR specially stress the goal of fostering a mature and continuous conversion to Jesus Christ, especially through an in-depth and ongoing study of the Word of God and frequent reception of the sacraments - The Baptism in the Holy Spirit must necessarily lead to an empowering for personal Christian service in the Church and in the world. Hence every leader in the Renewal (from each of the three streams) has a special duty to foster the reception and proper use of the spiritual gifts. The People of God and its leaders at all levels need these charisms of the spirit to fulfil their mission in these modern times. The CCR has a special role in bringing the use of charisms to the daily life of the Church for growth in personal holiness and effective service of the Church. - CCR emphasis the goal of an “ongoing growth in holiness through the proper integration of these charismatic emphases with the full life of the Church”, especially by guiding and encouraging people to reach out in various ways, like making the Small Christian Communities of the parishes come alive, and involvement in other forms of community – building in keeping with the diocesan pastoral plans

CCR In India

The CCR began at Mumbai in India in February, 1972 with those who experienced the “Baptism in the Spirit” elsewhere – the USA and Hong Kong or spontaneously in private prayer. Minoo and Luz Maria Engineer (A Catholic Couple from The USA), two scholastics – Fio Mascarenhas and Pramod Raiker, Sr. Olga Henning and Fr. John Lobo formed the first prayer group and were soon joined by others. Five groups began later that year and within a span of two years 25 groups were flourishing in the city. Due mention must also be made of Frs. Fuster, Bertie Philips, Casanovas, Terassa, Rufus Pereira, James Dsouza, Tony Demello, Lerch, Jim Borst, Marcelino Iragui, Francis Rebell, Hilary Miranda, Sr. Bernadine Cupen and Basil Quinn and Lay people like Terence & Beryl Fonn, Donn Peres and Fritz Mascarenhas. These pioneers and many others paired up, formed teams or as individuals conducted retreats and Life in the spirit Seminars – sowing seeds of renewal, initially in Maharashtra and then in Bihar, Orissa, Kerala, Karnataka and then country-wide in the 70’s. Today CCR is present in every diocese and state in India.

The first National Service Team was elected at the first leaders Conference in Bangalore in 1977.

Another wave of renewal which has been sweeping India since 1987 is through the Vincentian Congregation’s Potta Ministry and the Divine Retreat Centre in Muringoor (The world’s largest residential retreat center)

In September, 1993 the Pontifical Council for the Laity formally issued a Decree recognizing the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services (ICCRS – Located in the Vatican) as a judicial body of the church, with Archbishop Paul Cordes as its Episcopal Advisor. So too in September 1996, the Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) recognized the NST of the National Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services as the ‘main coordinating and guiding agent’ of the CCR for India and ratified this in 1999 by giving it permanent recognition. At the national level it is the principal co-coordinating organization of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. Its mission is service and promotion of CCR all over India and it relates to the CBCI through its Ecclesiastical Advisor

INTERNATIONAL CATHOLIC CHARISMATIC RENEWAL SERVICES (ICCRS) After the Charismatic experience spread to several parts of the world, a council an International Office was set up in 1978 under the auspices of Cardinal Suenens, named by Pope Paul the VI as his Episcopal Advisor to the CCR on the International Level . On 23rd May 1984, Pope John Paul II named Bishop Paul J. Cordes as successor to cardinal Suenen. In September 1993 the Holy See (The Pontifical Council for the Laity) formally issued a Decree recognising the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services (ICCRS) as a body for the promotion of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal with a juridical personality in accordance with Canon 116and appointed Archbishop Paul J. Cordes as its Episcopal Advisor. With this the Church officially recognised the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. Pope John Paul II in his message to participants of the Charismatic gathering in Rimini, Italy on the 24th April, 2000 on the role of the ICCRS said that “ The International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services is an organisation whose task is to coordinate and encourage an exchange of experiences and reflections among the Catholic Charismatic Communities all over the world”

This ICCRS thus works with National Service Councils of various regions. Visit for more

National Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services (NCCRS) The rapid spread and the growth of the CCR in India required some kind of national organisation and structure to offer pastoral help and guidance. The first National Leaders Conference was held in Bangalore from the 15th to 22nd May 1977 where the first National Advisory Council (NAC) was formed consisting of 36 Leaders from different parts of the country. The NAC then chose the first National Service Team (NST) with Fr. Fio Mascarenhas SJ as the Chairman. The other member of the first NST were Fr. Marcelino Iragui OCD, Fr. Rufus Pereira, Fr. James D’Souza, Sr. Basil Quinn PBVM, Terence Fonn, Dom Peres, Minoo Engineer, Fr. Jim Borst MHM and Fritz Mascarenhas, Archbishop Arulappa of Hyderabad was the first Episcopal Advisor.

In September 1996, the Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) officially granted recognition to NCCRS as a National Catholic Organisation The National Service Team consists of a Chairman, A Vice Chairman and a maximum of 10 other members excluding ex- officio members and a maximum of four co-opted members. The NST has an Episcopal Advisor appointed by the CBCI. Over the last 30 years over 76 leaders have served on the National Service Team for varying terms. It is estimated that around 172 countries in the world have either a Service Team or a similar type of national body for the promotion of the renewal in their respective countries.