Sunday, September 21, 2014


The Director of Sumedha Centre, Jose Parappully, animated the annual spiritual retreat of the rectors and leaders of the Don Bosco institutions in the Salesian Province of Guwahati, Assam from 13th to 19th September. 

Parappully had done the same last year as well.

The  retreat was based on the theme of the 27th General Chapter of the Salesians held in Rome from 22nd February to 12th April this year - "Radical Following of the Gospel." Parappully was a delegate at the General Chapter.

There were 36 participants.

The  following are sentiments expressed by the participants at the conclusion of the Retreat:

"We thank God for this wonderful experience, for some of us a profound experience, a felt experience of God during these days of retreat, encountering God 'as we are'. 

A wilderness and paradise experience, confronting the demons of our lives and feeling the closeness of God, a burning bush experience, vine and branches experience.

As leaders of communities we are asked to be seekers of God, passionate pilgrims of the absolute. It was a call to shed our cultivated appearances and superficial securities.

We say, a school or college or a Parish is as good as the Principal or Parish Priest. Now, after this retreat, that a retreat is as good as the preacher. The preacher (Fr. Jose)  was excellent. He put us into the right mode, he created the atmosphere, the climate and he knew exactly what the desired objectives were for this retreat.

Fr. Jose, a Salesian who is convinced of his life, and believes in what he says, who walks the talk, who has a passion for living life to the full, who does not shy away from saying what needs to be said and says it with diction, clarity and stress wherever needed. 

Here are some impressions of the participants of the retreat:

1. Januarius Sangma: The preacher combines many essential elements for a fruitful retreat very well: well prepared reflection talks, animation at Eucharist and adoration and lots of time for personal reflection and prayer. Insistence of solitude and silence was really helpful. As leaders, the retreatants showed admirable maturity and seriousness.

2. Joe Almeida - It was thought-provoking - inviting to living GC 27 and bring about a change in our way of living salesian life.

3. Joseph Teron - This is a truly deep Salesian Retreat. So rich in input and deep in reflections!

4. Charles Sangma - In the light of GC 27, the retreat was excellent and the preacher really wonderful, who understood the minds of two Rector Majors Fr. P.Chavez and Fr. Artime.

5. Marcus Lakra - good, inspiring knowledgeable about salesian way of life and living. It was really good. Fr. P.O. Jose - excellent in delivery, makes people think - what and how a salesian should be.

7. KJ Thomas - Powerful, convincing, competent, well-prepared presentation of the radicality of salesian life, mission and governance by animation.

8. Johnson Parackal - very well prepared talks with great content, insights and reflections helped me make a good retreat and very well delivered too.

9. MC George - In his typical salesian approach, powerful messages were passed on with a smiling face and gentle persuasion. 

10. Emmanuel Marangar - Retreat was a unique one for me. The preacher excellent, well-versed with the Bible. He has a profound knowledge on the GC and Church's Teachings.

11. Abraham Kanattu- The preacher was convinced and passionate about the subjects he dealt with.

12. Milon Narjary - It was touching and evoking in the heart.

13. K.O. Augustine - It was so convincing that we get convinced.

14. Albert Tyrniang - Meticulous preparations of presentations, Mass and Adoration

15. Barnabas Mardi - Presenting the most up to date knowledge about the congregation.

16. Denis Sangma - Thought-provoking, forceful, fruitful and up to the point.

17. CA John - Excellent Job - well prepared talks on relevant topics presented with passion and conviction.

18. Stephen Mavely: You strike the right chord all the time...every time!

(Collated and presented by by John Parankimalil)

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