Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR)

The Christ the King CCR prayer group meets every Tuesday at Cardinal Wamala Hall and animates the Sunday 5:00pm mass.

CCR Background

The Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR) is an Ecclesial movement of spiritual renewal and transformation in the Catholic Church that emphasizes the need for each one to make a personal commitment to Christ as Lord and Saviour and to be empowered by the Holy Spirit for the glory of God the Father.

The Acts of the Apostles speaks about the early life and mission of Church after the resurrection of Jesus. It gives an account of the working of the Holy Spirit on and with the Apostles (Acts.2:4,6-8,14,43,3:4-8,12-26,5:12-16) and the Christian Community (Acts. 2:41-47,4:32-35,6:5-6,8:4-8)

During the time of the Fathers of the Church, the Holy Spirit’s action continued to be manifested in ordinary and extraordinary ways in Charismatic gifts of teaching, prophecy, healing, courage in persecution and spiritual renewal of the Church. Some such fathers are; St. Anthony of Egypt, St. Athanasius, St. Basil and St. Ireneous among others.

The same spirit has guided the Church through the centuries,” for the church is driven by the Holy Spirit to do her part for the full realization of the plan of God, who has constituted Christ as the source of salvation for the whole world “(Lumen Gentium, Vatican Council II)

From Friday 17th to Sunday 19th February, 1967 in Duquesne University, Pennsylvania, USA, a University run by the Spiritan Fathers, about 30 students went on a weekend retreat at Art of the Dove Retreat House. On Saturday 18th February 1967 they experienced great outpouring of the Holy Spirit which spread subsequently to other students and staff, and eventually gave birth to prayer groups and renewed exercise of charisms by individuals, weekly prayer meetings, spiritual retreats, seminars, conferences and evangelization crusades. This led to the spread, growth and consolidation of CCR in various continents, countries, dioceses and parishes.

The Renewal caught the attention of the Church, and the leaders of the movement met Pope Paul VI (1975) as well as Pope John Paul II several times. In addition, several of the bishops’ conferences, of various countries, have written pastoral letters of encouragement and support for the movement. The Catholic Charismatic Renewal is currently present in more than 200 countries and has touched the lives of over 120,000,000 Catholics.

The common thread for the Movement is the ‘baptism of the Holy Spirit’. For many people, this new, powerful, and life-transforming outpouring of the Holy Spirit takes place in the context of a specifically designed seminar called ‘Life in the Spirit’, although many have been ‘baptised in the Spirit’ outside of the seminar.

The Catholic Charismatic Renewal in Uganda was introduced in 1973 by Fr. Roger LaBonte, Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers) in Mbarara. In the same year, Fr. Joseph Kamya, Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers), started prayer groups in Masaka. As the CCR expanded, a National Service Team (NST) was formed in 1981 to co-ordinate the national activities. Fr. Norbert Deprez Missionaries of Africa became its first coordinator and Fr. Ernest Sievers Missionaries of Africa later succeeded him.

In 1989 Fr. Ernest Seivers established the National Service Center on Namirembe Road. This later moved to plot 14 Martin Road in Old Kampala, when the Catholic Charismatic Renewal acquired a building that now houses the National Service Center of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in Uganda. In 1990 the NST took a decision to start a School of Evangelisation, and so on 4th December, 1990 Emmaus Centre School of Evangelisation was launched. In 1991 four Emmaus Communities were opened; in Kampala, Pallisa, Soroti and Fort Portal. Since then more Charismatic Communities have been founded in these dioceses: Mbarara, Masaka, Arua, Jinja, Kabale, Kasese, Hoima, Gulu and outside the country in Ghana, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

The Catholic Bishops appointed Bishop Christopher Kakooza, who is the Auxiliary Bishop for Kampala Archdiocese to be the Episcopal Advisor to the Renewal in Uganda. In April 2013, the Uganda Episcopal Conference appointed Rev. Fr. Dr. David Byaruhanga from Kabale Diocese, the new National Spiritual Director of the Uganda Catholic Charismatic Renewal. In the last 15 years, Uganda Catholic Charismatic Renewal has experienced a phenomenal increase in number of Prayer Groups. For example in 1995, we had 250 Prayer Groups in 12 Dioceses of the country, in 1997, 453 groups, and now we have over 2000 Prayer Groups in 19 Dioceses. These groups have an average membership of 50 people bringing our total membership to about 100,000 regular members. Another 800,000 attend events such as Conferences, Seminars, retreats and workshops, and are not directly regular participants in weekly meetings.


A dynamic and mature Catholic Charismatic Renewal with a deep relationship with God; upholding Gospel values in the Catholic Church and evangelizing in the power of the Holy Spirit.


The Uganda Catholic Charismatic Renewal (UCCR) exists:

  • To form God fearing leaders at all levels within UCCR to evangelize and disciple others in the power of the Holy Spirit through on-going formation and follow up;
  • To work in synergy with existing Catholic structures and organizations;
  • To motivate and empower the people of God to collectively carry on sustainable, holistic grassroots evangelization and teaching of the Catholic faith.

Core Values

  • Love
  • Holiness
  • Team work
  • Integrity
  • Service


  • To produce motivated empowered, visionary Christian leaders at all levels.
  • To engage members of UCCR into holistic grassroots evangelization and teaching of the Catholic faith.


  • To build sustainable, vibrant, strong and active Prayer Groups.
  • To consolidate the functions of the existing Ministries.
  • To strengthen the existing leadership structures.
  • To increase the understanding of the Catholic faith in Prayer Groups in the 19 dioceses of Uganda.
  • To promote the reception and the use of the gifts of the Holy Spirit amongst Catholics.
  • To strengthen economic self-sustainability through the use of locally available resources.
  • Conversion:- To foster mature and continuous personal conversion to Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.
  • Satisfaction:- 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, or a release of the Holy Spirit, or a renewal of the Holy Spirit. They are most often understood as a personal acceptance of the graces of Christian initiation and as an empowering for personal Christian service in the Church and in the world.
  • Edification:- To foster the reception and use of the spiritual gifts (charisms) not only in the Charismatic Renewal movement but also in the broader Church. These gifts, ordinary and extraordinary are abundantly found among the laity, religious and clergy. Their proper understanding and use in harmony with other elements of the Church’s life is a source of strength for Christians on their journey towards holiness and in the carrying out of their mission.
  • Evangelization: – To foster the work of evangelization in the power of the Holy Spirit, including the evangelization of those outside the Church, the re-evangelization of nominal Christians, the evangelization of our cultures and social structures. CCR 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.
  • Integration: – To foster the ongoing growth in holiness through 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, and appreciation of the tradition of Catholic prayer and spirituality, and ongoing formation in Catholic Doctrine. This is guided by the Church’s Magisterium, and participation in the pastoral plan of the Church.

Spiritual means used to realize the CCR goals include:

  • Adoration of the Eucharist

The Catholic Church has always offered and still offers the sacrament of the Eucharistic practice of adoration not only during Mass but also outside of it, reserving the consecrated hosts with the utmost care, exposing them to the solemn veneration of the faithful and carrying them in procession (CCC No. 1378). Since the great outpouring of the Holy Spirit at the Ark of the Dove Retreat House took place in the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist in the Chapel, members of CCR have a special devotion to Eucharistic Adoration.

  • Prayer Meetings:

This is a weekly gathering of those who try to live a deeper Christian life in today’s world. The primary purpose of this prayer meeting is to praise and worship God in “spirit and truth” (Jn.4:24; Eph.5:18ff) with songs (Ps. 95:1), the gift of tongues (Rom.8:26), prayer, clapping hands (Ps.47:10), dancing(2 Sam 6:14), raising of hands (Ps.63:4;134:2) and every kind of musical instruments (Ps.98:5-6;150:3-5). The second purpose of the prayer meeting is to receive nourishment from the Word of God, use of charisms, teaching and witnessing through testimonies.

  • Life in the Spirit Seminars(LSS)

This is a spiritual programme lasting eight to twelve weeks. Each week takes a seminar which normally lasts one to two hours. The duration could be cut to one week (residential) or three weekends according to circumstances. The goal of LSS is to deepen an already existing relationship or a restoration of a broken relationship or a beginning of a new relationship with God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The central point of the Life in Spirit Seminars is the experience of the Holy Spirit. This is a religious experience, which initiates decisively new sense of the presence and working of God in one’s life. It is a coming into a conscious experience of the Holy Spirit already received in the sacraments.

  • Popular Missions, Seminars and Retreats

These too are very good ways to deepen the spiritual life of the members of the UCCR. We have renewal days at Diocesan or Parish level, we may have National, Diocesan and even Parish conferences which all help to deepen our faith and give glory to God. Planning such events must take into consideration the Pastoral programmes of the Diocese and Parish, hence all planning should be done with the relevant authorities.

In the course of growth and exercise of Charismatic gifts, certain ministries have sprung up to serve the individuals, prayer groups and specific needs in Christian life. These include;-

  • Teaching
  • Praise and Worship (Music)
  • Intercession
  • Prophecy (1 Cor.12:10; 14:3)
  • Hospitality
  • Healing and Deliverance (Mk.16:17-18;1Cor.12:19)
  • Evangelization and mission
  • Children, Youth and University/Tertiary Institutions
  • Singles (those who have not entered marriage, religious or priestly vocation)
  • Family life (CANA, Married for life etc)
  • Women and Men

Through Baptism, Christians are incorporated into Christ and into the Church which is His body. In various places throughout the world, members of this one, holy catholic and apostolic Church have expressed their desire to support one another in following Christ and in responding to His call by forming covenant communities (Statues of Catholic Fraternity of Catholic Charismatic Covenant Communities and Fellowships)

By belonging to a Catholic Charismatic Community we make a formal commitment to enter relationship with members of a community and to participate in their lifestyle and mission. At the heart of such commitment is the desire to grow in holiness and to be involved in the apostolic work in the service of the Church’s mission.

Some of the communities in Uganda include:

  • Emmaus Centre in Katikamu,
  • Yesu Ahurire Community – Mbarara
  • Bethany Community – Arua
  • Siloam Community – Jinja
  • Emmanuel Community – Hoima
  • Servant King Community – Fort Portal etc

These communities have been able to provide leadership to the Renewal in Uganda in many areas because of their greater level of experience, commitment, resources, and time that they are able to devote to outreach and mission.

These communities are under the Diocesan Authorities in which they are working in collaboration and direction of the DST team in matters of outreach and mission.

  • The National Office.
    The day to day work of coordinating and administration of the activities of the Uganda Catholic Charismatic Renewal is accomplished by the staff of the National office under the leadership of the National coordinator. The office prepares and arranges for NST and other meetings and supervises National conferences and programs. The National Office is also the centre of communication with the world-wide Charismatic Renewal, especially International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services (ICCRS) in Rome, other renewal movements within and outside Uganda and other Christian Organizations.
  • The National Service Team(NST)
    The NST is at the national level, the principal coordinating organization of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in Uganda. Its mission is service and promotion of the CCR all over Uganda under the Holy Spirit’s action. It is under the supervision of and guidance of the Uganda Episcopal Conference (UEC). In practice, it is under the supervision and guidance of the Lay Apostolate Commission of the Catholic Bishops of Uganda. The NST relates to the UEC primarily through its Episcopal Adviser.
  • Episcopal Advisor
    The Episcopal Advisor is the direct link between the Uganda Catholic Charismatic Renewal and the Uganda Episcopal Conference. He is invited to attend all meetings of the NST. He ensures that the activities of the Renewal correspond to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. He is consulted specially with regard to important decisions and programmes.
  • The Executive Council
    An executive council of nine of the NST under the chairmanship of the National Coordinator takes emergency decisions and prepares the agenda for NST meetings. On every issue of major national importance also the Episcopal Advisor is consulted.
  • The Diocesan Service Team (DST)
    In each Diocese with a sufficient number of Prayer Groups, a Diocesan Service Team is set up that chooses its Diocesan Coordinator and executive team which will be approved by the Bishop.
  • The Parish Service Team (PST)
    Parishes with more than one prayer group shall have, with the support and under guidance of the Parish Priest, a Parish Service Team. The membership of the Parish team will be modeled on the Diocesan Service team Structure. Each prayer group shall have its leaders Team under the direction of an overall leader.
  • The National Coordinator; Is the overall leader of Uganda Catholic Charismatic Renewal and coordinates all national activities and is answerable to the National Service Team.
  • The Assistant National Coordinator; Helps assists and advises the National Coordinator and when necessary represents him/her.
  • The National Spiritual Director; Works in close collaboration with the Episcopal Advisor and is the most direct link between him and the Charismatic Renewal.
  • The National Treasurer; The National Treasurer is responsible for the administration of the finances for the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in Uganda.
  • The Diocesan Coordinator; Plans all major activities of the CCR in the Diocese and does not work alone but in a team
  • The Diocesan Spiritual Director; is a priest and the primary link between the Charismatic Renewal in the Diocese and the Local Ordinary (Bishop).

Contact Us