BIS #7071 Annual Retreat at DB Naigaon

By Ms Dorothy Fernandes for BISMumbai

The annual retreat for Catholic students was held on 20 September 2023, at Don Bosco High School and Junior College, Naigaon. The theme of the retreat was ‘Jesus Is My Super Hero’. Around 250 children from Grades 5 to 12 participated in the retreat.

The day began with a short prayer, after which each animator was introduced and welcomed with a bouquet. The sessions were conducted in four different age groups, animated by Fathers Joyston Machado, Richard Burkhao, Akhil Abraham, and Velasli Bandya. Father Bushan Kholi later joined in for confession and celebrated the Holy Eucharist. The students confidently recited the books of the Bible from the beginning to the end, from the Old Testament and the New Testament; they were trained by Mr DP Mahesha, a Mind Power expert. To set a joyful tone for the day, the students presented an action song in keeping with the theme ‘Jesus is My Super Hero’.

The retreat was a wonderful blend of reflective sessions, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, counselling, and a Bible Quiz. It concluded with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. During confession, the Blessed Sacrament was exposed to remind students of the real presence of Christ in their lives and in their interactions with each other. 

The animators enlightened the students about God’s plan for them and their response. The prayers, reflections, and team-building activities conducted were in keeping with the objective of enabling students to understand that Jesus can make a difference in their lives. Through the various power-packed sessions, students explored the ways in which God can use them, even in their brokenness, to heal and to build a community of love and gentleness.

The Rector, Father Dominic Martis, while addressing the gathering at the welcome session, stated, “When we combine such activities of spiritual and moral well-being with the variety of other extracurricular activities, we will have a truly enriching experience that will help the students to move from one state of consciousness to a deeper state of self-consciousness and a spiritual awareness, so that they can reach their highest potential. This retreat will surely provide an opportunity for our students to grow in faith and their love for God and humanity.” 

On the whole, the prayerfulness and activities brought a spiritual ambience to the campus, thus touching the lives of the students in a great way. It was indeed a spirit-filled day, where the students felt the presence of Jesus in their moments of prayer and reflection. It provided them time away from their regular school schedule and helped them to reflect, pray, and trust in the power of Jesus, the real hero.

This retreat was meticulously designed and executed by the Vice-Principal, Father Joaquim Fernandes, in collaboration with the supervisors and teachers. He said, “The purpose of the retreat programme was to give the students an experience of Christ, the right balance of prayer, reconciliation, teaching based on the word of God, games, and spiritual activities for the youngsters.”