BIS #6915 Lenten Recollection for Catechists at DBYC
By Ms Alisha Khemali and Cl. Jittin Mathew for BISMumbai
A Lenten recollection for the catechists and school catechism teachers of the Diocese of Poona was held on 18 March 2023, from 9.00 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. at Don Bosco Youth Center (DBYC), Pune. In all, 60 members participated in the recollection organised by the Salesian Catechetical Centre. The theme of the recollection was ‘A Call to Return’.
The recollection began with a moment of prayer, thanking the Lord for the day and inviting the Holy Spirit to take control. The preacher, Fr Michael Fernandes, led the gathering in a spiritual meditation on the significance of Lent, the need for turning back to God, and the importance of forgiveness. He drew his reflections from appropriate Scripture passages and used stories and real-life incidents to illustrate his points. While keeping the focus on each one’s individual life, he also helped the participants see how the message of repentance and conversion can be effectively communicated, shared and taught.
The talk was followed by a period of silence in which the participants could spend time reflecting on what they had heard and make their personal prayer. At noon, a way of the cross was organised. The participants were helped to reflect on the various stations of Jesus’ passion with brief reflections, readings and hymns. After this deep meditation on the Passion of Jesus, the Sacrament of Reconciliation was made available. A number of priests from the neighbouring parishes in addition to priests from DBYC sat for confessions which were made in good numbers by the catechists. A spirited adoration service led by the parish youth of St Francis Xavier Church, Chinchwad, along with Sr Teresa Joseph, offered moments for prayer and reflection before the Blessed Sacrament in addition to helping the participants make an examination of conscience in preparation for confession. The Lenten moments of grace ended with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist which was presided over by Fr Osborn Furtado.
A teacher from St Joseph Boys School, Ms Reena Ram commented, "I felt quite nice and relieved. Praise the Lord for the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the gift of our fervent faith from the Almighty.”
The catechists were grateful for the daylong recollection and left feeling enriched. Many of them said they felt a change of heart and grew in the love of God.