By Juliet Lukwago & Andrew Ssenyonga
The week- long International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Service (ICCRS) retreat closed on Saturday with holy mass at Uganda Martyrs Shrine, Namugongo.
The conference, the first of its kind, which started at Munyonyo Resort Beach last Sunday was attended by participants from over 52 countries including United States of America, United Kingdom, Austria, Australia, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, South-Africa, South-Korea, Brazil, Burkinafaso, Ethiopian, Rwanda, Germany, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Botswana and among others.
God’s singing Kids (KISI), students from Austria entertain the gathering with a play story of St Paul in who he converted to Christianity
The closing mass was led by the original from Ghana but the President of Pontificate in Rome, Cardinal Peter K. Turkson, assisted by the Archbishop of Kampala Archdiocese, Dr Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, the General Secretary of Episcopal Conference, Msgr John Baptist Kauta, several priests.
The Papal Nuncio to Uganda, Archbishop Michael August Blume joined them after the mass. Also the president of (ICCRS) Michelle Moran was among the delegates who attended closing prayers.
Theme of the day was “They were all filled with the Holy Spirit (Act 2:4).
Participants attending closing prayers of the first International Charismatic renewal at Uganda Martyrs Shrine Namugongo on Saturday
In his preaching Cardinal Turkson advised the laity seeking earthly wealth to instead seek God the creator of everything and owner of everything they are seeking for.
“As we are looking for earthly properties and good things let's first think about God the creator of whatever we want on earth. After getting God blessings everything will come easy for us,” Cardinal Turkson said.
He called upon the congregation to put aside whatever distractions in their lives and to seek God in their lives.
"Let us celebrate these Martyrs who died because of their faith. Let us emulate them as we ask them to intercede for us so that we can change in our lives," he said.
South Korean at the closure of the first International Charismatic renewal at Uganda Martyrs Shrine, Namugongo
He said that those who are saying that riches bring them happiness are in vanity, according to Jesus's teachings which said "blessed are those who are suffering for the will benefit in the Kingdom of God".
Archbishop Lwanga on behalf of the gathering welcomed the Cardinal Turkson, to the holy place of the Uganda Martyrs and also thanked all the participants from all over the world who came to witness Jesus Christ at this first International catholic Charismatic Renewal conference.
Turkson said that when they decide to serve the lord there are many challenges they encounter in their servitude but they have to persevere "because once you remain remain steadfast it will be a rich part of your history," he said.
The Archdiocese service team coordinator of Catholic Charismatics Renewal, Martin Muhereza said that over 5000 participants during the three days at Namugongo and closing prayers had done determined to serve God.
The great gathering of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal Family is a huge celebration as part of the journey towards the CCR Golden Jubilee.
The event was organised by ICCRS in collaboration with the Uganda Episcopal Conference, Uganda Catholic Charismatic Renewal (UCCR), and the African Sub-committee of ICCRS (AFSCI).