by Lester D'Mello
NORTHERN ARABIAN VICARIATE, APRIL 21, 2014: During the Holy Season of Lent, a retreat was planned, for the members who served the Lord, through the various Ministries of the parish, on Saturday, April 12, 2014. The retreat was preached by Fr. Franco Pereira sdb, Catechetical Director of the Northern Arabian Vicariate.
A novel concept called 'Retreatainment – Evangelization and Gospel Values through Media' was used, that involved the screening of a movie, which not only left the participants teary-eyed but it also opened a new avenue in their hearts and minds, that allowed them to understand the spiritual practice of 'Forgiveness', the theme of the retreat. Following the movie, the participants were presented with some thought-provoking and soul-searching questions which enabled them to get a deeper understanding of the topic of 'Forgiveness'. The participants then spend some time with the Lord, after which priests heard their confessions.
In line with the directives of Bishop Camillo Ballin, Fr. Franco explained, in brief, two of the Church's documents of Vatican II, namely, 'Gaudium et Spes– Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World' and 'Lumen Gentium – The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church'. The celebration of the Holy Eucharist by Fr. Franco was the finale of the retreat. The retreatants left the church with a very powerful message embedded in their hearts and souls, 'If I am a follower of Jesus, Forgiveness is not optional'.