MANGALURU, JULY 14: The first batch of the annual retreat for the priests of Mangalore diocese was concluded on Friday, July 14, 2023, at the Diocesan Pastoral Centre, Shanthi Kiran, Bajjodi. A week’s retreat was begun on Sunday evening July 09, 2023.
Most Rev. Dr Raphy Manjaly, the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Agra preached the retreat. The bishop is a well-known theologian and a retreat preacher.
Most Rev. Dr Peter Paul Saldanha writes in his message on Internos, published July 2023 “Retreat is a time to pray for the flock given to our care. What we cannot achieve by our own efforts, the Lord does it, when we take our needs before him in prayer. It goes without saying that silence is the time when we truly hear the voice of our Lord speaking to us.”
Bishop Peter notes that the high point of any day would be certainly the Eucharistic celebration, where “silence is not an inner haven in which to hide oneself in some sort of intimate isolation… Liturgical silence is something much more: it is a symbol of the presence and action of the Holy Spirit who animates the entire action of the celebration”. Silence is “a symbol of the Spirit. It has the power to express the multifaceted action of the Spirit” (DD 52).
Almost 80 priests of the diocese spent time in silence and prayer. The retreat helped the priests to disconnect from their regular routines and find inner peace. It was an opportunity for introspection, prayer, and contemplation, enabling all priests to listen to their inner voice and discern their spiritual journey.
Rev. Fr Clifford Fernandes, Parish Priest of Cordel Parish shared his experiences. Fr Clifford said, “This retreat helped us to feel the spirit of community and fellowship. This communal aspect allows us to build connections, share experiences, and learn from one another. The sense of camaraderie and fellowship that develops during the retreat is a great source of encouragement and support.”
Rev. Fr Santhosh Rodrigues, Director, Pastoral Centre coordinated the retreat and made necessary arrangements with the help of the Pastoral Centre team.
The annual retreat for the second batch of priests will be held in the advent season, the first week of December.