Legazpi – An Advent Recollection, General Assembly and Christmas Party was held at St. Agnes Academy for all religious communities in the Legazpi Diocese. Most Rev. Monsignor Weng started the recollection by sharing the meaning of the Advent season. He summarized and addressed the readings and Gospels during Advent. Mass was the next activity, presided by the Most Rev. Joel. Z. Baylon, D.D. After that, every member finalized the regulations and the name of the new organization. At the end of the event, everyone exchanged gifts with one another.
A Moment of Recollection
Manila – July 27th-28th the new seminarians and postulants of the Servants of Charity went on recollection at the Augustinian nuns’ retreat house, Mother of Good Counsel Monastery in San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan with Fr. Ronnie Samaniego as the main facilitator of the retreat. The recollection was designed to help the seminarians become well-oriented and informed about the stage they were about to enter and to develop a deep sense of fraternity to enhance community life. The first day was for aspirants and the next day was for postulants.
Recollection for Guanellian Cooperators
Bangalore – One’s soul is nourished through spiritual formation, serving the poor with love and compassion. A first recollection was organized for our Cooperators on March 11-12th, building the group spiritually and providing an opportunity for everyone to get to know one other. The event was led by Fr. Prakash and Fr. Adaikalam. Fr. Prakash led the group with the theme, “The Aimed and Expected Purpose of a Guanellian”. He emphasized that our Founder considered relationships very important and always respected the feeling which is “Love”. He took this from scripture, where he adored the love of Abba Father, and always loved everyone. Fr. Prakash took the parable from John 15:1-17 “The Vine and the Branches” and explained how we need to stay connected to God down to the roots, so that we will bear fruit. The Cooperators meditated on each verse in the Guanellian Way and reflected on how Father Guanella would have responded. Fr. Adaikalam then emphasized the formation to help each Cooperator see God in everything. The day concluded with a talk by Fr. Gnanaraj who spoke of the Paternity of God. As a Cooperator, the life of every individual must be based on spirituality and moral values.
On Holiday with God
Cuddalore – “Our hearts were made for you; they cannot rest until they find rest in You”. – St. Augustine. In order to help the young seminarians to rest for a while with God, the annual retreat for St. Joseph’s Minor Seminary was offered January 13th–16th. The retreat theme was “Holidaying with God in order to cherish the Love of God and nourish the Soul with Holiness.” The preacher was Rev. Fr. Xavier, a well known priest from Pondy-Cuddalore Archdiocese. The preacher meticulously guided the young scholastics on an inner journey with God and to have a richer spiritual experience. It was a blessed moment for all of them to discern and strengthen their vocation. Each day of the retreat ran in sacred silence and meaningful reflection. Finally the seminarians with a meaningful sacrament of reconciliation, solemn Eucharistic celebration and personal resolution ended the annual spiritual exercise.
The Ashram Experience of Novices
Bangalore – The word Ashram is an Indian word which originally means ‘religious hermitage’ or in a modern sense ‘spiritual retreat center.’ Ashram is a place of spiritual retreat; usually there are permanent residents and they welcome visitors for an experience. To experience the Ashram way of life as part of their novitiate program, for 10 days four of our novices stayed at Anjali Ashram in Mysore, run by a holy Catholic priest, Fr. Louis. He helped them to realize the intervention of God in their personal life. Through his teachings he also helped them to attain spiritual power. He enkindled the hearts and minds of the novices to heighten their self-realization, to lead a simple way of life and to respect and inherit the spiritual values of other religions. At Anjali Ashram they learned the importance of solitude, virgin silence, beauty of Nature, simple vegetarian food, an austere lifestyle and long hours of personal prayer to enhance one’s religious life.