KUWAIT, JUNE 30, 2013:"Go make disciples of all nations" was the theme of the children's retreat this summer in the Apostolic Vicariate of Northern Arabia (AVONA), taking inspiration from the theme of the forthcoming World Youth Day. The summer retreat – organised every year for the parishes of Kuwait – is a wonderful occasion for children to be together, to learn more about their faith, to pray and to have fun!
This year the retreat was conducted by Fr. Edwin Colaço and Fr. Cleophas Braganza from the Mumbai Salesian province, in coordination with Fr. Francisco Pereira. A total of a thousand children participated in the retreats which were held at the Holy Family Cathedral, and in the parishes of Our Lady of Arabia (Ahmadi), St. Theresa of the Child Jesus (Salmiya) and St. Daniel Comboni (Abbasiya), from the 16th to the 29th of June.
Each day of the retreat had a particular focus in order to help the children assimilate the overall theme. Accordingly, the children dwelt upon "Jesus – the model of discipleship", "Me –a disciple of Jesus" and "Being sent forth as disciples" during the three days of the retreat. Besides, they learnt many actions songs, participated in quizzes, games and puzzles, experienced different ways of praying, and acquired deeper knowledge of the Word of God.
Despite the situation of anxiety and uncertainty that the expatriate community in Kuwait is going through at present, the response to the retreats was warm and encouraging. This was seen both in the numbers of children who participated, but also in the volunteers who gave a helping hand in the organisation with an attitude of selfless sacrifice and joyous service.
Thanks are due to the Bishop Camillo Ballin – the Apostolic Vicar, the Salesian community who saw to the hosting and the logistics of the retreat, and to the priests and the volunteers in the parishes. The witness of their faith, hospitality, service and generosity helped make the retreat a truly memorable and faith-enriching experience for the children.