Monday, 9 July 2012

July 8, 2012: The AVEC Team today held a one day Retreat at holy Family High School, Chembur, for the students of standard Ten. In all, a hundred and twenty six students participated in this unique retreat experience that turned out to be a life changing experience for many. Fr. Francis Carvalho, Manager of the school was also present to welcome Fr. Glenford Lowe and Mr. Rochwyn Fernandes. Mrs. Nirmala Fernandes, Principal of the school, welcomed the two guest speakers and invited the students to make the best of this experience
 Mr. Fernandes, AVEC coordinator, began the program with a Prayer Song that spoke of God's presence everywhere. He then initiated the students into a fantasy meditation that enabled the students to relax and become more focused. He took the opportunity to introduce Fr. Glenn to the students. Fr. Lowe began his session by helping the students to know what is a 'Retreat' and its importance in a person's life. "You need to regularly take a step back at look at life from a distance to appreciate it and move on with greater passion and excellence", he said.
The students then took the time to focus on their journey of life using the metaphor of a RIVER. Taking the students through a personal journey along the fourteen stages of a River flow, every student spent a reflective moment to be grateful to God for each blessing at this particular stage, and also to seek pardon and forgiveness for any wrong doing along this moment. One could notice the sincerity with which the students attuned themselves to personal reflection and silence. "It was a journey worth making," said one of the students.
 In the session, following the break, the students were invited to look at the lives of Jackie Subarido and Kia Scheer, two models of abundant and passionate living! Their life stories were teatimonies of deep faith and a personal belief that no matter the circumstances that cross our lives, we can choose to be loving, compassionate and  forgiving. The 'Twelve Value skills' were an inspiration to all the students to make a difference in their river flow and to add significance to the landscape through which it flows. The personal testimony of  Fr. Lowe in donating his kidney to a fellow Salesian priest was also very inspirational to them.
At the end of the session, student P.V. Krishnan proposed the vote of thanks on behalf of the management and his fellow companions.
The following remarks were entered in the AVEC log book of appreciation:

"It was a very informative and reflective retreat. indeed, it helped us change our lives. hoping to have some more retreats like this in the future too." - Royston Sequeira X-B
 "It was a very good experience. We really learned a lot of new things in this retreat session and we promise to inculcate all the values taught to us" - Meru Kothari X-B

"I learnt a lot about the new methods to lead a life and take up problems with gratitude" - Anubhav Tripathi X - B
 "This retreat was very important for us. As this is our last year and next year we will step out into the world, we promise that we will use all that you have taught us today. thank you. AVEC Rocks!!!" - P.V. Krishnan, Sanat Salian, Akhilesh Ghewede, Jainam Shah - X-A
 "This retreat was an elaborate session. I request you to hold this session every year and guide us. This will definitely change our life" - Prerna Jambhale X -A
 "I got back to my exact path of life. Very helpful and interactive too" - Surbhi Dhoot X - A
 "I would like to keep in touch. It is already helping me out of my problems" - Michele D'Costa X-B.

Student P.V. Krishnan proposing the vote of thanks and requesting that such sessions be held every year for all the students.

On behalf of AVEC, we wish to congratulate the students for their whole hearted cooperation and participation in today's Retreat. Truly, the students proved to be real 'LIGHT HOUSE' students.
God bless your efforts to live a passionate and meaningful life.

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