PUNE-MAHARASHTRA, OCTOBER 30, 2013: The brothers from Don Bosco Youth Centre, Koregaon Park, Pune, made their annual retreat at the Lord's Ranch, Pune, from 20th Oct to 26th Oct, 2013. Fr. Elias Dias, sdb was the retreat preacher.
Fr. Dias, age 73, is a Salesian for the past 48 years, a man of God, truly a Salesian at heart with a wealth of wisdom and experiences. He gave a number of talks over the course of 5 days which were not dry, academic lectures but reflections of life's fundamental directions seen in the light of the Gospel and Salesian religious life. The morning sessions were based on religious life, which consisted of topics like self – identity, the three vows viz. Chastity, poverty and obedience, community life and reconciliation. The afternoon sessions focused on Salesian spirituality and covered topics like historicity of Don Bosco, Salesian pedagogy and spirituality. There was an hour's adoration everyday and the day concluded with a Salesian goodnight.
The venue of the retreat i.e. the Lord's Ranch contributed a great deal in making this retreat an enriching and a memorable experience. The Lord's Ranch which is about 86 km away from the Pune city is located on a mountain that is 3500 feet above sea level. It is surrounded by mountains, valleys and is clothed with natural beauty. Many of the brothers described it as a transfiguration experience. Mr. Patrick Corda, the inchage of the Lord's Ranch, along with his team meticulously planned the logistics, right from the pickup from Kothrud, the journey by boat and comfortable lodging. All in all, in nature's bounty God bestowed his love and helped the brothers rest in His arms.