Spiritual Retreat for Religious Women in Guwahati Archdiocese
The Archdiocese of Guwahati organized a regional level retreat from October 23 - 26 for the religious sisters working in Northeast India and it was attended by over 500 sisters from the fifteen dioceses of the region. It was the first ever such initiative undertaken by any diocese or religious congregation working in the Northeastern states of India.
The five days long retreat was arranged in collaboration with the Missionary Sisters of Mary Help Christians (MSMHC), and it was hosted at Hatigaon, the Generalate of MSMHC.
The five-day retreat was animated by the renowned team of preachers from Sehion Retreat Centre, Attapadi from the diocese of Palakkad, Kerala. It was featured by incisive preaching, much of it focusing on religious renewal and evangelisation. It also had praise and worship, healing prayers, individual counselling, reconciliation, Holy Mass - all intended to provide spiritual refreshment for the sisters.
Classes based on the sacred scripture helped the participants to grow strong in their faith, deepen their vocation to religious life, and to face the challenges of consecrated life.
The participants of the retreat unanimously agreed that the retreat was unique and timely, helping them to be away from the humdrum of life and to find the peace of Christ. One of the participants quoting the scripture, 1 Kin: 19/11-12 said that, "We found God, not in the wind not in the earthquake not in the fire, but in the whistling of a gentle air."
The retreat was the long felt need of the region and the topics discussed on evangelization did reenergize and convince the participants to re-commit themselves to the works of evangelisation in the region. Besides, it also brought change and renewal to the lives of individuals. The Word of God which took the centre throughout the programme comforted many, calmed the troubled minds and gave purposefulness and meaningfulness to their lives.
The meticulously planned and well attended retreat was the result of the year long discussions, planning, preparations and prayerful support of many under the leadership of Most Rev. John Moolachira the Archbishop of Guwahati. Thanks to Fr. Varghese Kizhakevely, the Vicar General of the Archdiocese for following up the project painstakingly and carefully executing it and to the MSMHC Sisters for hosting the retreat with through preparation and logistical arrangements.
The participants were very happy with the retreat and have requested the Archdiocese for another one for those who could not attend it in the near future.
By: Fr. Jobins Vengathadathil MSFS