Monday, March 11, 2013


BIS Mumbai                                  

By Bento D'Souza

BHINGAR-AHMEDNAGAR,  MARCH 11, 2013,  A sixteen hour duration annual retreat was held at St John <![if !vml]><![endif]>the Baptist Church on three consecutive days on 08 and 09 between 4.00 pm and 9.00 pm and on the 10 from 8 a.m. morning with Marathi Mass to 5.00 pm in the evening.

The participation of the people was maximum as the people entered with their sadness and grief on the first day and left on the final day evening dancing on toes in their steps.

It was journey from mourning to dancing conducted by Fr. Jameson Thomas, a simple yet charismatic Vincentian Priest from Kedgaon and his teams of preachers, counselors and animators.

The music ministry musicians were the Pandit family from Savedi led by Peter Pandit at the keyboard. Talks, testimonies, bhajans, actions songs, healing charismatic prayers, counseling and reconciliation kept every one spell-bound to the mighty work of God in the midst of his people. This is called the 'Popular Mission Preaching Retreat' of the Vincentians and is very well appreciated by the people in their Tabor and Potta Retreat centres.

Talks on various topics and themes like sin and repentance, the Family, Anointing of the Holy Spirit and others were well appreciated. The retreat is well liked for its  novelty and impact, appeal to the emotions, cottage prayer, anointing with oils and some being 'slain in the Spirit' when being prayed over and touched on the forehead makes this a powerful vehicle for conversion and metanoia.

The retreat master educated the priests of the parish and parishioners of the power of giving money to strengthen their faith, and affirm their <![if !vml]><![endif]>contribution to build God kingdom by evangelizing 'money' considered a tool for developing churches.

The Vincentians really possess the charism for conducting this type of retreat and integrating the people within the parish jurisdiction, responsibilities and privileges. Many village people also attended, knowing their need for the gift of proper rain.

Behind this event the generosity of the parishioners was felt and the capacity of God to multiply food for the Retreatants. Seeing the jubilant faces of the people after the retreat, all felt as in Genesis, that 'God is present in this place.'

On March 09, from 10 am to 5 pm at Rathodgaon chapel, twenty couples were given training in preparation for the rectification of their marriages within the church.  Six trainer couples and the priests of the parish participated in imparting the marriage instructions.

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