27th to 30th June were days of God’s grace for the members of Kenya Mission as they gathered together for their annual retreat at Rosa Mystica, St. Mary’s Pastoral Centre, Nakuru in Kenya. The presence of Fr. Joseph Royan, C.Ss.R., coming all the way from India, to preach the retreat and conduct a workshop on Mission preaching, was indeed a great blessing for the Mission.
The retreat began on 27th June, the feast day of Mother of Perpetual Help, with the Eucharist celebrated by Fr. Paul Pazhangattu, the Mission Superior. After dinner, we had an introductory talk. Quoting from the gospel, “Come away by yourselves to a lonely place and rest”, Fr. Royan reminded the confreres that retreat is a time to be with Jesus and a time to rest in the bosom of the heavenly Father. It is a time of grace, renewal, rejuvenation, detoxification and transformation. He asked us to reflect on “what are you doing here?” As St. Alphonsus had narrated in one of his writings, can we say- we are hunting for God? For this, we need to enter into the cave of our heart- as St Alphonsus discovered his call and Mission in the silence of the grotto of Scala.
During the following days of retreat, we had reflections on Consecrated life, call to holiness, call to the priesthood, call to servant-leadership, the importance of the Holy Spirit in our lives, Fraternity in community and Mary, our mother. The place where we had the retreat was very conducive for reflection and rest. I can say that we all were filled with the grace of the Holy Spirit, renewed by the talks, re-energized by good food and re-juvenated by the prayerful ambience, we are determined to be ‘witnesses of the Redeemer in solidarity for the mission to a wounded world.’
After the retreat, we had our Mission Assembly on 1st July in which we had an evaluation of our pastoral and apostolic priorities, community life, and formation. We also critically evaluated the various suggestions our Provincial (Fr. Edward Joseph Raju, province of Bangalore) offered at the time of his visitation to the Mission and decided to work on it seriously. With almost thirty students in various stages of formation in Kenya, we look at the future of our Mission with great hope of expanding our wings to new horizons.
Fr. Paul Pazhangattu, C.Ss.R.
Mission Superior, Kenya