Elswick Lai and Fr. Brian Moras sdb
MATUNGA, DECEMBER 13, 2011: "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your heart to the Lord."
A four day retreat for college and working youngsters was organized from December 8-11, 2011. The Retreat was at the Lord's Ranch, Pune, on the hills opposite Lavasa backwaters. It was organised by Fr. Brian Moras sdb and his team from the Don Bosco Youth Services, Matunga. In the team were Sr. Mary Cherian FMA, Fr. Bastin sdb and Patrick Corda from Borivali. An amazing change has been experienced by the youngsters at this wonderfully anointed place, 3500 ft. above sea level.
On Thursday we drove south-east towards Pune with forty two members from various places from Mumbai. Four hours journey from Mumbai to Pune and then another two and a half exciting hours from Pune to the mountains where the Ranch is situated. The Ranch is a beauty that has no end and as the youngsters called it 'A Slice of Heaven on Earth'.
The youth were inspired by the sessions conducted. Added to this we had meaningful Eucharistic celebrations, Taize prayer and inspiring movies. The movies shown and the testimonies shared increased the desire in the young to be strong in the faith and also to discern God's purpose for their lives. The amazing Gospel band from Don Bosco Borivali added to the Retreat joy in praising the Lord. The good example of the band members also served as an attractive example to the youth.
The Labyrinth session was a beautiful experience wherein the youth became deeply aware of themselves and their potential in changing the world. They realized that they are the future of the church and of the nation hence they need to lead meaningful lives. Be the change you want to see in the world!!!
At the Rehabilitation centre, the youngsters had a close encounter with people addicted to drugs, alcohol, smoking and other addictions. The problems they face melted the hearts of the youth and increased their compassion in helping the needy. The youth sang songs of praise to the Lord and Christmas Carols and spent some time in spreading the love of God for them.
The main purpose of the retreat was to bring the youth closer to God using creative methods so that they grow spiritually and realize that it is cool to be good. We were very lucky to be blessed with the presence of Miss Adelyne Davega the wife of the owner of the Ranch, Bro. Hillary Davega. This anointed lady came down from Dubai to spend time with us and also shared a session with us.
The youngsters have bonded well after this Retreat and are already planning future programs to keep in touch. This is in keeping with Don Bosco's desire that young people have healthy, life enhancing group experiences.