Mary Help of Christians House of Spirituality Batangas, the Philippines, 4 June 2022 -- Fr. Morand Wirth, SDB, led the Salesians of Don Bosco of the FIN Province in their annual Spiritual Exercises with the topic “To Love God Above All Things with St. Francis de Sales.”
The theme of the retreat is in line with the Province's celebration of St. Francis’ 400th Death Anniversary.
Fr. Wirth, an expert on Salesian Spirituality, shared five meditations through the Zoom platform. The Salesians are gathered at the Mary Help of Christians Center of Spirituality at Batangas for almost a week.
The Lectio Divina, prepared by Fr. Joel Camaya, SDB, and the conferences by Fr. Wirth were spirit-filled that they moved the retreatants to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit. There were also spiritual group conversations done in small groups, which proved fruitful for the retreatants.
The first run of the retreat had the penitential rite on Thursday and the Sacrament of Reconciliation was held the entire morning. In their Mass on Friday, the retreatants prayed for the souls of the deceased Salesians who worked in the Philippines. The same schedule is expected to be followed in the next two batches in the coming weeks.
This is the first time the FIN Salesians gathered on-site for their annual spiritual exercise after two years since the pandemic. In the past two years, the retreat was done in local settings, or in a bubble attended by a cluster of local houses. Fr. Gerry Martin, FIN Provincial Superior, noted in his homily held on the last day of the retreat how he felt the excitement of everyone to see one another again, and “such face-to-face retreat brings reunion and freshness.”
He furthered that “The presence of one another allowed us to see God in all things, especially in our presence to one another,” and “the challenge goes on as we return to our settings.”
During the concluding Mass, following the tradition, the Confreres also made their renewal of profession as Salesians of Don Bosco.