REGIONAL ANNUAL RETREAT 2011
The sisters had their annual retreat at the Divine Savior convent, New Manila, Quezon City from May 2-8, 2011. The theme was: "IT IS THE LORD!" It was taken from the passage of John’s Gospel: John 21:1-8. Lebanon Shelter was the venue for the conferences and the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.
Fr. Paulo Gamboa, OCD was this year’s retreat master. All the sisters were able to participate in this most –eagerly awaited spiritual journey which takes place only once a year. Fr. Paulo emphasized that only intimacy and knowledge of the Lord will help us recognize Him. That is why John was the only one among the disciples who was able to recognize the Lord when He appeared to them... “It is the LORD!”
Fr. Paulo did try to integrate some bits of Salvatorian spirituality with that of St. Teresa of Avila’s, that great woman reformer of the old Carmelite order. Many things can be learned from the wisdom of St.Teresa beginning from prayer life to difficult community life and even mundane things we inevitably do. But the central topic of the retreat was on Prayer. According to Teresa, certain attitudes are necessary in prayer: humility, detachment and fraternal love. Fr. Paulo explained these 3 elements very well. Community life was also discussed more profoundly.
What was also significant for us were some bits of precious experiences shared by the retreat master as a religious. These included struggles, trials and victories overcoming those trials. Indeed, only the grace of God can lead us to an authentic living of our spiritual life. Weak we are that every moment of our life we depend entirely on God and His mercy. We thank the Lord for the gift of the retreat and of the person of Fr. Paulo, OCD for the blessings we received during these 6 days.