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Retreats in the Province Norandina

01/09/2011: Colombia

The first Provincial Retreat took place from 16th till 23rd of July 2011.  47 brothers aged between 46 and 70 participated to a retreat in the BETHANY RETREAT HOUSE located in Valle de los Chillos, Ecuador.  The retreat was led by brothers Emili Turu (Superior General), Eugene Kabanguka and José Maria Soteras (both General Counsellors).  The subject chosen was the first call of our General Chapter: “A new consecrated life deeply rooted in the Gospel, that promotes a new manner of being a Brother”.

The second Provincial Retreat took place from 25th till 31st July 2011 in Fusagusuga, Colombia.  37 elderly brothers of five different nationalities participated coming from three continents.  The oldest is 91, the youngest –a Provincial Counsellor- 38.  As in the first retreat, brothers Emili Turu (Superior General), Eugene Kabanguka and Joseph Maria Soteras (General Counsellors) led the Maristasretreat accompanied and helped by the Provincial and his Counsel.  The place chosen this time was the RETREAT HOUSE OF LA SALLE, located in Fusagusuga.  It is one and a half hours away from the capital city of Colombia.

The day always started by a morning prayer led by a facilitator, then was continued by the Lectio Divina highlighted by Brother José Maria Soteras.  At 8.30 p.m. the days was concluded by the reading of the day, a prayer and sometimes the adoration of the Holy Sacrament.

 

First day:  Review of the year under the perspective of the Provincial Plan.  We need to wake up and connect with our inner being.  We need to get free from prejudice and accept ourselves realistically.  In the afternoon, we divided into six groups to study the reality of the Province and try to emphasize successes and challenges that were then mentioned during the Eucharist.

Second day:  Silent day consecrated to the “Spiritual Path”.  We tried to discover the false ME, my ego and its characteristics.

Third day: Day dedicated to conversion going through a deep personal reflection.  Three different dynamics were proposed: 1) Awareness Walk; 2) Consolidation (writing down how one feels and perception of the general atmosphere); 3) Discover the Ego under the light of divine experience –as ego usually flees away from light-.

Fourth day: During the day we remembered the deceased, especially the last ones who left us.

Fifth day: During the day we celebrated the Jubilee of the participants.  The subject of the day was to re-centre our lives in Christ and his Gospel.  We are facing a new world that is challenging us.  In the afternoon, there was a long time of dialogue with the Superior General and his two Counsellors.  We wrote a letter to the Superior General that was given to him at the end of the Eucharist.

Sixth day:  During this day we tried to be aware of the reality of our Province.  There was a long dialogue with the Provincial and his Counsellors.  We finished this beautiful experience with a solemn Eucharist and a fraternal dinner.  That is how this six day retreat was ended.

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