by Myra D'souza
NORTH ARABIAN VICARIATE, FEBRUARY 16, 2015: A little over a hundred catechists from the Parish of St. Therese, Salmiya attended the annual catechists' retreat conducted on February 7, 2015. It commenced at 8 a.m. with breakfast and concluded with the Holy Eucharist at 4.30 p.m. The retreat titled 'River Mee' began with a video clip which follows the meanderings of a river from its source until its final destination the ocean. At the end of the retreat some of our catechists commented on each of the sessions in the following words.
"After our time of quiet reflection on each of the 15 stages," Sylvia Gracias commented saying, "normally life is so hectic, there is no time to understand what is going on in our lives. It was wonderful to see how God is always present." Maryann Soares agreed saying, "It was an emotional experience for me as well." Linda Fernandes said, "Meditating on all that has happened in my life I can see clearly how God's presence is guiding me all the way."
The second session was a time of group sharing and Evelyn D'Souza said, "The group sharing was a lovely experience. In fact, it served as a continuation of the self reflection helping us realize that all of us face the same river paths (irrespective of how many years we have served as catechists). We are humans and we all need God. The personal sharing helped us support and encourage one another which ended in a time of praying for one another. "
Commenting on the third segment 'At Sea with God' and likening it to Jesus' parables, Charlene Fernandes said, "Fr. Franco drew remarkable parallels between a voyage on the high seas and our life's journey to God. We were urged to reflect so as to determine our well-being in different aspects of life - our physical quotient, emotional quotient as well as our relationship with others. Father stressed the importance of having a well-formed, clear conscience, a positive attitude to life and the ability to focus as all these influence our decisions especially during trying times. Father concluded his reflection urging us to make the necessary adjustments and move ahead in life, mindful of our final destination – a share in the glory of God in here on earth and in heaven."
Sam Francis, the catechetical coordinator for the Vicariate delivered the final talk before the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. This is what Ryan D'Souza had to say, "Mr. Sam Francis took us on a spiritual journey back in time to the days of Abraham through to Joseph and showed us how the lessons that Joseph learned through his trials and triumphs are still applicable in today's world. It was truly a spiritual rejuvenation and an educational encounter. I look forward to attending such spiritual talks in the future."
After our marathon spiritual voyage we all were brought safely to harbor by our able captain Fr. Franco and co-captain Sam Francis. Our wonderfully enriching day was brought to a fitting close with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.