by Lucia Almeida
North Arabian Vicariate, 15 April 2015: On Saturday, the 11th of April, a special half-day retreat was organized for the 120 children preparing to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. The retreat was jointly conducted by Fr. Franco Pereira sdb, the Catechetical Director of the North Arabian Vicariate, and Francis Sam, who assists Fr. Franco Pereira in his catechetical ministry.
After an opening prayer and a warm welcome from the Parish Priest Fr. Blany Pinto sdb, Fr. Franco began the retreat with a session on Prayer. He introduced the topic of prayer by explaining the importance of spiritual formation so as to allow the Holy Spirit to work within us. He then addressed the question "How to pray?" The children learned that prayer should not be selfish and only focused on "asking", but rather comprise of three basic elements – PRAISE, PETITION and finally THANKSGIVING.
He went on to explain the meaning of FAITH – Our faith is our God and what we profess i.e. Trinity. Faith is a combination of Scriptures + Tradition + Magisterium. He then spoke about the importance of the 3 R's of faith – Revelation (what I see), Revolution (wanting to do something after seeing) and Resolution (action taken to do something).
In conclusion, Fr. Franco introduced the children to a beautiful way of reading the scriptures, i.e. the seven steps of gospel sharing.
After a break, Sam Francis led the children into an interactive group game.
The children went on to learn the importance of a fruitful relationship with Jesus. With all they had learned that morning, the group went on to discuss richly the traits of a good catholic.
The retreat concluded with the celebration of the Holy Mass by Fr. Franco Pereira, followed by a vote of thanks by Hilda Alphonso.