DBTS Gabutu, Port Moresby, PNG, 17 June 2022 -- The Don Bosco Technical School, Gabutu Staff spent two days away from the regular routine of school work, books, classes, workshops and assignments. 51 Salesian educators joined the Annual Staff Retreat at Emmaus Conference Centre, Boroko, from Thursday 9 to Saturday 11 June. Fr Moise Palaku, Rector of Don Bosco Rapolo, Vunabosco, led the staff in a reflective and prayerful retreat. The theme was the Strenna for 2022: ‘Do everything through Love’.
In the opening session, on Thursday 9 June Fr Moise reminded the educators to disconnect from their daily routine, reconnect with themselves and the Lord, rest, relax, eat well, and be energized. He highlighted the importance of Silence stating: ‘Be still and Listen to the Fathers Voice’. ‘Real silence requires being alone with yourself and being comfortable with that solitude’, he said. A prayerful rosary followed supper. The staff prayed for family, friends and especially for the young people they serve. The Rosary concluded with a good night talk by Mr. Martin Dai, principal of the school. He highlighted the presence of Mary and her concern for people in need. He invited the staff to have devotion to Mary in their lives and quoting the words of Don Bosco said, ‘They will see what miracles are’.
After a good night’s rest, a beautiful morning prayer opened the second day. After breakfast, the Lectio Divina session dwelt on ‘The beloved disciple at the last supper’, Jn 13:21-30. It was an occasion for the educators to know, love and share their experience of Christ. The educators went into small groups and shared how the text spoke to them and what was special to them. The sharing was personal and beautiful as each group member shared parts of what the text meant to them spiritually. The next session dwelt on the joy and the beauty of life and the need to listen to the voice of God with Love and perseverance. After Rosary the good night talk by Ms. Rica Lavilla dwelt on the family. She shared with her colleagues the joys and struggles of family life, inviting them to build and grow in this beautiful aspect of a family.
The final day of the retreat began with showers of rain and a beautiful morning prayer. The morning session dwelt on the Gentleness of St Francis De Sales. Fr Moise emphasized that St Francis de Sales was a man of gentleness and humility. He also said that, ‘In education, what is needed is a cup of understanding, love and an ocean of patience.’
The day concluded with confessions and a beautiful mass presided over by Fr Moise Palaku and assisted by Fr Ambrose Pereira, sdb, Spiritual Moderator. As Jesus used symbols, - bread, the cross, etc., to share his message, the staff were invited to reflect on symbols that will carry them through the years ahead.
All enjoyed the spiritual experience of the Retreat. “It was a relaxing, enriching and touching retreat”, they said. Fr Moise thanked the staff for their participation and congratulated them for being a very participative and engaging group.