BIS #7035 Staff Retreat at Dominic Savio, Andheri

By Ms Arlene Cardoza Dcruz for BISMumbai

A retreat for the staff of St Dominic Savio High School, Andheri, was conducted by Fr Francisco Pereira on 25 August 2023. The theme for the retreat revolved around, ‘A Day in the Life of a Teacher.’ 

Beginning with the school prayer, the event centred around carrying a metaphorical stone throughout the session. Fr Pereira explained the Lord's Prayer in six parts, emphasising the power of God's name and surrendering to His will. He highlighted humanity's privilege to connect with God through nature, emphasising the importance of caring for the environment. Also, through stories from the life of Mother Teresa, Fr Pereira illustrated the value of selflessness.

Forgiveness emerged as a central topic, as Fr Pereira urged the attendees to forgive family, colleagues, and associates without waiting for dire situations. The retreat prompted introspection about life's journey and how teachers influence their students' paths. The latter part of the event prompted participants to reflect on their roles. Fr Pereira asked teachers to consider their current positions at the school. A visual exercise helped teachers recognise their roles as educators, parents, spouses, and colleagues. The intention was to facilitate personal growth.

Fr Pereira demonstrated the power of words and their impact. The retreat included a group activity encouraging innovative thinking to animate students. Teachers were also called to analyse their signatures to uncover personal traits and values they stood for. The session concluded with teachers placing their symbolic stones in the centre, symbolising their inanimate possessions. With humour and drawing a comparison, Fr Pereira conveyed the need for love and care towards students, with whom they spend significant amounts of time and are so worthy of love and care. 

“Fr Pereira’s enriching session was thought provoking with profound wit. He made us realise that young minds need to be nurtured with kindness and empathy,” said Ms Glacxy Ferrao. Ms Sarita Tiwari was impressed with the effective way in which Fr Pereira brought out the amalgamation of God and man. 

As the staff of St Dominic Savio moves ahead building bridges and creating new structures to accommodate children with diversity, they are confident of the fact that God is in command of their endeavours.