BIS #6192 Divyadaan's God-encounter: “Be Not Afraid”

by Cleric Alan D’silva for BISMumbai

A retreat is a spiritual moment of encounter with God. It is an opportunity for silence amidst the noise around, and listen to the voice of God. The scholastics at Divyadaan Nashik started their 05-day annual retreat for 2020-2021 on the theme ‘Be not Afraid,’ on 22 October 2020. MumbaiSalesians' ViceProvincial Father Ashley Miranda, is the retreat animator.

The first session with a hymn to the Holy Spirit followed by a video highlighted the retreat-theme. The gospel passage about Jesus calming the storm was read and Father Miranda explained the rationale for this particular theme. He said, "each one has fears and anxieties, and these fears can paralyse us but we need to remember the words of Jesus who at various occasions tells his disciples, “Be not afraid.”' Being the day when the Church celebrated the memory of Saint Pope John Paul II, who began his pontificate with these words, Father Miranda thought it apt to have it as the theme for the retreat.

Father Miranda invited the scholastics to be aware and reflect on their fears, their anxieties and their faith experiences.

During the Holy Eucharist, in his homily, he spoke of the personality of Saint Pope John Paul II and shared his personal experiences of his encounters with the Pope saying, “I knew he was a saint.” He further highlighted the fact that the Pope was much loved by the young as well as the elderly. “Pope John Paul did not have an easy life,” he said as he recounted the various hardships the Pope had to undergo. Finally, he spoke of the Pope’s love and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary inspired by whose life he took the motto – Totus tuus (I’m all yours). The retreat is to end on 27 October with the Holy Eucharist.

(as forwarded by Cleric Aegidius Pereira)