Spiritual Energizer - Annual retreat of the General Council
Guarcino, Italy, 7 July 2018 -- For each Salesian confrere the annual spiritual retreat is a golden chance to recover his friendship with Jesus. Also for the Rector Major and the General Council member this wonderful occasion is coming regularly in the first week of July.
This time as venue was chosen a mountain located St Luke's House of Prayer of Guarcino (near Subiaco, 100 km from the center of Rome) and as preacher was invited Fr. Franco Manzi (Scripture scholar, diocese of Milan).
With one daily talk focused on different style of holiness according the Gospel of John, the preacher offered to the General councilors variety of paths how to advance in the 'deeper friendship with Jesus'. Fr. Franko started from the 'first sign' of Jesus in the wedding of Cana and ended with the Christ-like charity practice of the early Christian communities according the three Letters of John.
St.Luke's House of Prayer is located in the place of the early Benedictine monastery within a deep green valley (700 meters above the sea level). All participants enjoyed the hospitality and services offered the religious community of the Daughters of Divine Love (Divino Amore) in charge of this retreat center.
Everyday time of silent meditation, Eucharistic adoration and common prayer of Rosary, together with a good night talk shared by different Councilors, contributed to the growth of spiritual communion and true family spirit that energizes every Salesians on this occasion. A special 'desert day' and 'reconciliation day' helped all in a deep gratitude for past twelve months, in true conversion to Jesus and review their own personal project of life.
Before the renewal of religious vows during the final Eucharist on July 7, the Rector Major encouraged all councilors in our vocation fidelity to Don Bosco expressed in his 'Spiritual Testament' (SDB Constitutions, Appendix V) especially regarding the missionary spirit and missionary focus on the poor and abandoned youth.
On the return to the General House in Rome the whole council was also enriched through the pilgrimage to the former Cistercian Abbey in Fossanova, where passed away St. Thomas Aquinas in March 1274. The General Council members are grateful for the prayers offered especially during this important time of spiritual renewal and listening to the Word of God, discerning the will of God and purification of heart.
The summer session of the General Council is scheduled until July 27.