Monday, 14 October 2013


October 12, 2013
Over hundred and ten students of STD X from Holy Family High School - Prestomsagar, Chembur, had the privilege of attending a day's Retreat that was organized by AVEC. The guest speakers, Fr. Glenford Lowe and Mr. Rochwyn Fernandes were warmly welcomed by the school principal, Mrs. Fernandes. Value Education coordinator, Ms. Katherine Joshy expressed words of welcome and introduced the animators to the students.
 Mr. Rochwyn Fernandes, then invited the students to participate in a breathing exercise in order to become more aware of themselves and to relax their minds and body. Through a fantasy meditation, he helped them to focus on all the was good and energetic and to exhale all that was negative and toxic in their lives. The students took this part of the exercise very seriously too. He then gave a small introduction about Fr. Glenn and made mention of his kidney donation to a fellow Salesian priest over two years ago.
Fr. Glenn, then began his session, praising the students at the very start for their active participation in all the AVEC competitions. "When it comes to Value Education, I would even rate you among the top three schools that I have visited in all these five years. Congrats to you and the management and teachers who imbibe these values through education " he added.
Fr. Glenn, then divided the session 'RETREAT: A Vacation with God and Self' into four parts: Listening Attentively, Revisiting your Past, Reorganizing your Future, and finally Writing your Problems on the Sand. Through the use of a well prepared handout, sharing of personal testimonies and then connecting with everyday experiential observances, he was able to assist the young hearts and minds to make a 'qualitative change' in their lives. He focused on the integration of 'Body-Mind-Heart-Soul' in order to live a happier, healthier and holier life too.
 The students took the time to revisit their past through the 'Spiral of Life' exercise and for many it was really a worthwhile moment to 'soul search and connect the dots' of one's past. The students were even given some time to share their own personal history in small groups, an exercise their found a little difficult as expected. "It's easy to share about the weather, politics, a game of cricket or the lifestyle of an actor or actress. But when it comes to sharing our own life story, we often feel shy and back away from it. Be proud of your history and let it propel you to a better future," he inspired them.
 In the last part of the retreat, the students focused on their 'Wheel of Life' and identified personal areas in their lives that needed a lot more of focus and growth, especially on the levels of the physical, intellectual, social, emotional, spiritual, environmental and moral dimensions of their lives. Finally, it was time to unburden oneself of life's little problems that seemed to stifle the onward journey. The entire exercise was very revealing, refreshing and one could sense a deep sigh of relief and new vigor to pick up their life and march on with meaning and significance too. 
At the end of session, many students came forward to speak and share their reflections, new insights and personal experience of the day.A number of students also took the opportunity to write their comments in the AVEC  appreciation book:
"I would like to thank Fr. Glenn for this amazing session. He was truly inspiring and made me think once again about my life. I realized some mistakes I made in my life and hope to reach my goals successfully" -  Aayush Halde X 
 "I would like to thank you Father Glenn for this wonderful session. it was really very good and inspiring and nice. It motivates us. I came to know all my weak points in life. As we are all in STD X, this session played a great role in our life. It was really nice! Thank you once again and continue to enlighten our minds and help students. There are no words to describe my feeling" - Hanna Rakhangi X
 "The values that you have taught us have been engraved on our souls. The activities, and the entire talk inspired us to the core of our hearts. we felt we are on cloud 9!. I acknowledge the efforts and time taken by Fr. Glenn. we hope that we will enjoy this session again with you in the future" -  Mahesh, Trupti, Divya, Vrushti, Bharti -X
 "Thank you for all the inspiring and motivating talk. The session flared up a hope in us to face the challenges of life" -  Prajakta Jha X
 "Paisa Vasul!"-  Nidhi Jain
 "The session was very enjoyable and we all learnt a lot about our new life" -  Ruchita 
 "The session was undoubtedly and incredibly awesome. I am left with no words to describe my feeling" -  Vatsal Shal X
 "This session made us think once again of our past and look as the mistakes that I have done and through this session, I will, together with all my Std X friends, improve on our mistakes and thank you once again Fr. Glenn" -  Virgil Varghese K
Congratulations to all the students for their very good behavior and active participation all through the session. May God bless you all in your education journey and may all your dreams come true as you live your life making a difference to humanity at large.

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