CONVENT OF JESUS and MARY - KHARGAR: STUDENTS' RETREAT at KHANDALA
July 20-12, 2012: Thirty Three Catholic Students from Convent of Jesus and Mary - Khargar took part in a two day retreat at the Prayer House, Khandala. Fr. Glenford Lowe sdb, Director of AVEC preached the Retreat. The theme for the retreat was 'Retreat: A Vacation with God, Self and Others and World', The Biblical Quote for the Retreat was based on 1Tim4:12. The peaceful surroundings and the prayerful atmosphere helped one and all to a fruitful retreat.
Fr. Glenn began the retreat with a Prayer song and a PowerPoint presentation on the theme. He highlighted certain Christian principles such as: Appreciating the Self created by God, the Power of Faith in One's Journey from everyday 'Points of Departure' to newer 'Points of Arrival', the Strength of Prayer along this Journey, the Graced Mess of our Lives and the Call to Daily Conversion, the Generosity of One's Response to God's Call.
The session on 'RIVER ME' was a wonderful opportunity for the students to look at their life's journey form a new perspective of Gratitude and Repentance. "All healing takes place through an attitude of Gratitude and Forgiveness", said the preacher. Going though the various stages of one's River Flow was an experience worth dwelling into. The silence and the seriousness with which the students took part in the personal reflection was truly inspiring. The Eucharistic Celebration that took place before the lunch was well animated by the students.
In the evening, the students were taken through a new form of Prayer. The TAIZE prayer experience with its prayerful chants, moments of silence and prayer at the foot of the cross added to the seriousness of the Retreat. "This is the first time I have truly prayed in with such sincerity and silence", said one of the retreatants. After supper, the students watched a video 'SOUL SURFER' based on a true story.
The following morning, due to the wet weather outside, the morning meditation was held indoors. Fr. Glenn enabled the students to reflect on the 'Gift of their Hands'. The next session that followed was on Gospel Values that are needed for any young Catholic to put a Gospel footprint on the earth. Through a use of a lot of video clips and true life stories, the stories were able to see the relevance of living the gospel message. The retreat was an occasion for the students to meditate on their Personal Life and on the 'Jesus Difference' in their lives.
Before Mass, an opportunity was given to the students to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Many of the students took the opportunity to make peace with self, others and God. During the Mass, Fr. Glenn focused on the Vocation story of the Biblical personalities and invited the students to reflect on their response to God's invitation in their lives. In the afternoon, the students were given another opportunity to receive the Sacrament of reconciliation. Most of the students took this unique opportunity to make a good confession.
The following comments were made by the students in the AVEC log book:
"It was a wonderful retreat. It increased my faith in God and to take life in a positive way. Thank you father for this wonderful time" Nimi Nelson IX-A
"This Retreat helped me to Re-TREAT myself and always be happy in life and to thanks God for it" - Chanelle Sajnani X-A
"We learnt a lot from Fr. Glenn and our sisters. We have learnt how to make live a life in a positive way" - Gloria Rego - VIII - A
"Through this retreat we came to know the different challenges of life and we learnt how to be MAD (Make A Difference) for ourselves and to God. How to face the challenges of life in a positive way and be blessed with what we are gifted with from God" Andrea Fernandes X-A
"This was a new experience for me that I enjoyed and it was real fun to have my friends around me to experience Jesus along with me" - Jerry Varghese XII