The Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR) began at a retreat for college students at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in February, 1967. During the retreat the students asked God to allow them to experience in a deeper way the graces they received in baptism and confirmation. In response to their prayer they had a powerful and transforming experience of God, which we know to be ‘Baptism in the Spirit.
The central grace of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal is the ‘baptism in the Holy Spirit’, through which one experiences a new, powerful, life-transforming outpouring of the Holy Spirit. This often takes place in the context of a seminar called ‘Life in the Spirit’.
The CCR does not have a single founder or group of founders as do many other movements. It has no membership lists. It consists of prayer groups, covenant communities, small faith sharing groups, and individuals in parishes. People are also spiritually nurtured through organised conferences, retreats etc. The CCR is in 220 countries and, through it, the Holy Spirit has touched the lives of over 120,000,000 Catholics.
Pope John Paul II said:
“As you celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the beginning of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, I willingly join you in giving praise to God for the many fruits which it has borne in the life of the Church. The emergence of the Renewal following the Second Vatican Council was a particular gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church. [...] At this moment in the Church’s history, the Charismatic Renewal can play a significant role in promoting the much-needed defence of Christian life in societies where secularism and materialism have weakened many people’s ability to respond to the Spirit and to discern God’s loving call.”
Audience of Pope John Paul II with the ICCRO Council
Rome, March 14, 1992
For more information about the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in the Catholic Church, please visit the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services website.