(India) The Vice-Province of Majella conducted its annual retreat from the 30th of September to the 5th of October 2021. This was followed by a day’s workshop on Partnership in Mission and a day’s workshop on Media and its challenges in Religious Life Today. These 8 days of being together were held for the first time in the V. Province’s newly renovated Retreat Centre named DASYA in Porvorim Goa. 31 Confreres of the V Province gathered together for these 8 days while the rest followed the retreat and the workshops from their communities or places of study either through making the retreat through the recorded talks and following the workshop through zoom.
The Retreat: The V Province annual retreat from the 30th of September to the 5th October 2021 was preached by Br. Jeffrey Rolle, C.Ss.R., General Consultor. Br. Jeffrey recorded his talks 11 in all and sent them as video files. The confreres gathered together to listen to each talk once in the morning and once in the afternoon and prayed together at morning prayer, the Eucharist, and evening adoration for an hour taking the points from the talks to reflect on personally and in community. Br Jeffrey took up the theme of the sexennium “Witnesses of the Redeemer in solidarity for Mission to a wounded world” and called on us to introspection through Conversion, Restructuring personally, and Reconfiguration. He took up the important issues of leadership today and its challenges in Community, the vocation of the Brother in the Redemptorist community, and the need to look ahead and reimagine the Redemptorist of the future. Every confrere was deeply moved and touched by Br Jeffrey animating the V Province through his talks which were so topical, thought-provoking, stimulating, and above all very contextual touching the life and culture of the V Province in India today. The Retreat was a time of grace as we prayed personally and in the community as each community of the V Province animated each day’s liturgy which was very vibrant and spiritually uplifting. The V Province is very grateful to Br Jeffrey for guiding us in this retreat.
The Workshop on Partnership in Mission: The workshop on Partnership in Mission was conducted by the General Secretariat as well as the Conference Secretariat for Partnership in Mission led by Anne Walsh, Portia, and Roksan. All the confreres of the V. Province participated from Goa and from wherever they were through zoom. The confreres of the Province of Bangalore belonging to the commission for Partnership in Mission too participated. It was conducted through zoom. Fr Jovencio Ma the Conference Coordinator addressed the group and stressed the importance of this workshop for the Vita Apostolica of the V. Province at the outset after the opening prayer and welcome. The Sessions took up the Document on Partnership in Mission which was presented and explained in detail with vivid images through the power point, testimonies of Lay Missionaries of the Most Holy Redeemer, Lay Associates, and Lay Collaborators. The presenters were clear and took great pains in preparing their presentations through videos sent earlier. There was an open forum for questions and clarifications and finally Fr General came online despite his busy schedule to address the group which brought much joy and enthusiasm to the V. Province at his presence through zoom. In the afternoon each community of the V Province met to answer the guide questions reflecting on how to take Partnership in Mission forward in the V Province at the level of each community and the level of the V Province. This was the first effort in the history of the V Province to take forward Partnership in mission.
The Workshop on Media and its challenges today for Religious Life: The workshop on Media and its challenges today for Religious life was conducted via zoom for the confreres gathered in Goa and for all the confreres in the V Province. Fr Biju M, the Provincial of Liguori Province in Kerala in India conducted the sessions with two presentations on the topic. This was followed by an open forum for questions, clarifications, and discussion. Yet, again a very essential topic especially in Covid times was discussed, the information given, and a moment of ongoing formation for all the confreres in the V. Province.
This was also an occasion for the V Provincial to address the confreres on different happening in the V Province and projects taking place.
The Confreres enjoyed the time together of sharing, being, praying, celebrating our brotherhood considering that last year due to Covid-19 no formal gathering together was possible but this was an occasion as Covid restrictions ease and the situation eases in India. We give thanks to the Lord for these 8 days of grace and blessing.
Joseph Ivel Mendanha, C.Ss.R.