Retreat for Salesians
Port Moresby, PNG, 6 July 2021 -- “Reflective, inspiring and evangelizing” was the joyous expression of Fr Eduardo Revilla who displayed the radiance of a heart filled with the Spirit. He commented on the Salesian Retreat recently held.
The Retreat commenced on 27 June and concluded on 2 July, 2021. The 17 participants also included a diocesan priest and a Sister of Jesus. Three additional confreres joined the retreat online.
Fr Gregorio Bicomong, Superior of the vice-province, was the preacher of the retreat. In his opening talk he invited the participants to: ‘Stop and listen to the Lord’ and reflect on what God is calling each one to do.
“Every day the Lectio Divina and retreat talks gave us a lot of ‘hand tools’ and ‘armour’ for our missionary journey as consecrated men and women as well as motivation for our daily apostolate” said Br. Reto Wanner SDB.
The multimedia presentations with sound clips and a handout at the end of each session together with the well animated Eucharistic celebrations, adorations and good nights were moments where the participants brought to prayer their joys, struggles and challenges. “The talks and the presentations were powerful and clear with the aid of videos and slides. It was a good follow of what was on screen that kept us pondering the entire day. The work of the Emmaus staff and good weather also contributed much to the positive atmosphere of the retreat”, said Fr Angelo Fazzini.
“The powerful questions such as: What are you doing? Do I preach Jesus? or Am I authentic in doing the Mission? challenged me to reflect and pray that I may do the will of God in the best way possible. At times I am afraid to see the reality of the Mission, to realize its difficulties, and obstacles. However, I find consolation and hope that God is always there, and I have been chosen to be his simple servant. I therefore need to do my duties extraordinarily well and let God do the rest”, said Fr Arjuna, a recent addition to the vice-province who made his first retreat as a missionary in the vice-province.
Fr Michelo Morando, a diocesan priest on his way to Italy expressed his joy at being able to be part of the enriching retreat together with the Salesian confreres. “I feel evangelized by your kindness and brotherhood. Being alone as Parish Priest, I utterly appreciate community and family life”.
The program outlined for each day was well coordinated by Fr Joseph Thanh. “The schedule has given us enough time for reflection, rest and relaxation. The food has been good, sufficient and with a rich variety” said Fr Edwin Genovia.
“The Lectio Divina was filled with information and had a lot of room for reflection. The rich information has challenged us not to be pre-occupied in our own world. The life changing examples of the Cannonball experience of St Ignatius of Loyola, Sr Clare Crockett, the drug addict turned priest and the mother who eventually became a Catholic because of a Filipina friend challenges us to a life of commitment and authenticity”, said Fr Clifford Morris.
“It has been an occasion for me to stop and look back to see if I have been on the right track and followed my Salesian Identity. The Lord has been shepherding us in order that we gain strength to shepherd the sheep in the schools and in the parishes”, said Br Conrad Vamilat sdb.
“The retreat has led me to lay down my preconceived views and see the issues that surround us through God's eyes” said Sr Senorita Mi Jung Kim, SCG. “I am grateful for the invitation to this retreat. The beautiful liturgy, the delicious meals and the moments of prayer have been very enriching,” she continued.
“The retreat has been a challenge that has helped me understand my mission. Despite the many difficulties, the Salesians still move on, because we know that: ‘It is not my will, but the will of God be done! We pray for strength to take the chalice with hope and assurance” said Fr Joseph Tinh.