BIS #7098 Salesian Family Retreat at DB Lonavla

By Mrs Marie Rodriques for BISMumbai

The annual retreat of the Salesian Family was held at Don Bosco Aspirantate, Lonavla,  from the evening of 27 October to 29 October 2023. Around 56 participants consisting of members from the Association of Devotees of Mary Help of Christians (ADMA), Salesian Cooperators and Past-pupils, from various units of the Salesian Province of Bombay attended the retreat. The retreat was animated by Fr Shaun D’Lima. 

Fr D’Lima’s first session on ‘Mary our Mother’, created a deeper understanding of Christ’s love for humanity. The participants were filled with deep emotion at the end of the session. The next session on  ‘Relationships’ was truly enriching as the participants were made to understand that in every relationship, it is essential to have the presence of God as no relationship is whole without Him. The talk on ‘Forgiveness’  gave a deeper understanding of forgiveness to the gathering. A two-page questionnaire was given to the retreatants to prepare themselves for the sacrament of reconciliation. 

The morning meditations animated by a member from the Wadala West unit were a profound experience of spiritual connection and inner peace, The evening adoration before the Blessed Sacrament, conducted by Fr D’Lima which included bhajans, hymns and petitions was a time to reflect on the day's events and offer gratitude for the blessings received.

After the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the retreatants took part in Holy Mass. The superb animation by the Baroda unit helped them take part in the Mass in a meaningful manner.  The candle-lit rosaries led by a member of the Kurla unit, along the campus path created a family-like atmosphere of praying together.

Overall, the talks, interactive works-shops, songs and video clippings provided a spiritually enriching, valuable and inspiring experience. 

Fr Diego Nunes, Provincial Delegate for the Salesian Cooperators, was very appreciative of all those who attended the retreat from various units of the province. He stressed the need for spiritual nourishment for the Salesian Family and encouraged the members to take part in the many programs conducted at the province level throughout the year.

The participants thanked Fr Nunes and the provincial team for planning the retreat and especially for his excellent choice in inviting Fr D’Lima to preach the retreat. The weekend retreat was very lively and spiritually motivated. The retreat concluded with participants experiencing a strengthened relationship with God, their souls reignited, and their spirits elevated.