BIS #6909 DBITI on a Retreat at DB Lonavla

By Mr John Rodrigues for BISMumbai

The Don Bosco Industrial Training Institute of Kurla held its annual retreat from 3 to 5 March 2023 at Don Bosco, Lonavla. The retreat was attended by 25 Catholic trainees, two staff members, the Principal and Fr Anthony Pinto, the Rector of Don Bosco Kurla. 

The theme of the retreat was ‘Like Clay in the Hands of a Skilled Potter’, which was particularly relevant for the technical students. The retreat was led by Fr Joyston Machado. This was an occasion for a reunion for the Kurla trainees and the Lonavla community after 27 long years, and it was a great opportunity for the youngsters to prepare well for Easter.

The first session was organized by Fr Godfrey D’Souza, who helped the trainees to redirect their course of life by identifying the goal of their lives and how to get through the tough times to achieve it. Fr Machado then guided the trainees in creating clay pots symbolizing their lives as a potter. In the afternoon, Cl. Alfred Menezes led a session on ‘Forming the Clay- the Realities of Life’, which helped the trainees to identify the people who have been the instruments in forming their lives.

The trainees were divided into three groups for group activities and sharing. They were also well-prepared for Confession with the gospel of the prodigal son, and how the Father waits for his children with open arms and accepts us as we are.

On the following day, Fr Pinto celebrated the Eucharist with the aspirants, and the morning meditation was animated with the narration of Don Bosco's dream of nine by Fr Machado. Fr Xavier Devadas provided an interesting session on the value of appreciating every moment of life and not taking anything for granted. He then went on to describe the stages of addiction and how to support individuals who are suffering from it. The participants also visited the Maria Ashiana rehabilitation center.

The retreat ended with Fr Machado inviting all to look at their lives as complete pots that God had made, and Cl. Menezes guided the participants to make firm and concrete resolutions. The trainees expressed their gratitude to the hosting community for their hospitality and for the wonderful opportunity to attend the retreat.

Overall, the annual retreat at Don Bosco Lonavla was a meaningful and transformative experience for the trainees. The theme of the retreat was particularly fitting, and the various sessions and activities helped the trainees to redirect their course of life, identify the goal of their lives, and reflect on the people who have been instrumental in forming their lives. The retreat also provided valuable insights into addiction and the gift of life. At the end the trainees hoped for more retreats like this to be organized in the future for spiritual formation.