Retreat for PGS confreres 7-7-2017       article

Aflame with Don Bosco’s Missionary ardour
Retreat for PGS confreres
-       Fr. Ambrose Pereira sdb

Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, 8th July: 
TWENTY-ONE confreres from across the vice-province of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands (PGS) were present for their yearly Spiritual Exercise at Emmaus Conference Centre, Port Moresby.  PGS Provincial, Fr. Alfred Maravilla, preached the retreat and dwelt on the theme: Aflame with Don Bosco’s Missionary ardour.  It commenced on the 2nd and concluded on the 8th July, 2017. 

The different moments of each day were: Lectio, Meditatio, Oratio, Contemplatio, Salesian Echo, Ruminatio and Actio.  It gave the confreres the occasion to pray, ponder, reflect and share. Using lectio divina as a way of encountering God through scripture, documents of the church and of the congregation, the sessions presented insights for personal and community reflection.  The texts in each well-prepared booklet are food for thought not only for the days of the Retreat, but will remain with us for the rest of the year and linger on with us for the rest of our lives”, said Fr Clifford Morias. 

“The retreatants cherished the moments of prayer encouraged by Don Bosco – Meditation, Holy Eucharist, Holy Rosary, Sacrament of Reconciliation, and the frequent visits to the Blessed Sacrament.  The ‘Lectio Divina’ was a unique occasion for encountering God through the prayerful reading of the Word, contemplation and sharing.  It has been vital nourishment for each of us and formed the basis of our prayer as a community”, said Fr. Raffy Galve.

“Different Biblical characters from the missionary Gospel of Luke were highlighted each day.  Reflecting on the persons of - Mary, John the Baptist, Martha & Mary, Zacchaeus, Peter and the disciples at Emmaus – we realize that their listening, austerity, zeal and above all their ‘faith’ is what helped them do the impossible (Mt 17:20).  Inspired by them, we strive to do likewise as we live our lives as missionaries”, commented Fr. Albert Swer.

“Anxiety, fatigue and frustration have slowed down my pace and the pointers of my life have moved away from the direction of Jesus Christ.  While I feel that I am not worthy (Lk 3,16), I have sat at the Lord’s feet and listened (Lk 10,39), I realize that I am precious in Gods’ eyes and that I am valued.  This retreat has been an opportunity for renewal and sorting of my life to enable me realign the pointers back to that of Jesus Christ.  I am renewed and gratefully live my life with zeal”, said Br Reto Wanner.

“The retreat has been a time of personal reflection and rest.  It was wonderful to see the Salesians very active and I am inspired to continue,” said Cl. Sylvester Kuli.  “The example of Don Bosco has enabled me live this mission with zeal and love”, said Cl. Peter Hoai Van.  “As religious we are fortunate to have time for such God experiences.  We have set aside our daily routine to listen and encounter Him.  I have the reassurance of the Lord, ‘Do not be afraid’ (Lk 1:30),” said Fr Clifford Morais. 

The retreatants also had the occasion to write or rewrite their Personal Project of Life.  Keeping in mind that they evangelize through witness, by becoming a living embodiment of what one announces, the retreatants are now challenged to go beyond their own comfort zones to reach the ‘peripheries’ in need of the light of the gospel.  “Go forth with hearts on fire, to make Jesus known as a community of missionary disciples, rediscovering the joy of evangelization”, concluded the preacher.

The PGS confreres and aspirants will spend the rest of the day enjoying the company of each other honouring their jubilarians.