Annual Retreat – A Journey with St. Teresa of Avila

AUXILIUM BANDEL: On 28th December 2013, 62 sisters from 21 communities of the province began their spiritual journey with St. Teresa of Avila, the patroness of the Institute. The retreat began with the talk of Provincial Sr. Maria Pettayil and followed by the Holy Eucharist.

Rev. Fr. Tony Marshall OFM the retreat preacher enriched the sisters with the ‘Spirituality of St. Teresa of Avila: her early life, entry into convent, her struggles in the progress of her spiritual journey followed by her contemplation and the different stages of prayer in attaining the mysticism. The retreats were assured by St. Teresa that once the soul experiences the bliss of God he/she will not prefer the worldly pleasure. In order to have these types of mystical experience the soul needs to be completely detached from worldly attachments and constant efforts will lead to attain the real experience of the Divine contemplation. The formulae to attain this are love, faith, good resolutions and a virtuous life. The awe inspiring meditations on Abraham ‘the father of faith’, with historical, geographical and spiritual facts made the sisters to travel through the desert of Egypt to Mesopotamia and to the Promised Land. Abraham’s humility, prompt- listening, simplicity, obedience and openness to the will of God were highlighted.

The time spent before the Bl. Sacrament was a real source of energy to draw inspiration from the Eucharistic Lord. The good night  thoughts of Sr. Provincial on St. Teresa of Avila, Don Bosco, Mother Mazzarello and encyclical of Pope Francis ‘Evangelii Gaudium’ were enriching and thought provoking.

The retreatants commenced the New Year with newness of heart with the reception of the sacrament of Reconciliation. The personal and animated thanksgiving adoration from 8.30 pm to 11.00 pm followed by the Eucharistic celebration was another wonderful opportunity to venture in to the New Year with the Eucharistic Lord. After the Mass everyone exchanged New Year’s greetings to each other. The New Year day was spent in the company of Mother Mary, by praying the Rosary at the grotto and writing letter to her, the sure hope and guide in our life.

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At the end of the retreat an outing to Aqua –Marina deepened the bond of communion and family spirit. The sisters made use of all the opportunities to enjoy to the full through games and delicious lunch. The outing was concluded by praying the Rosary at the shrine of Our Lady of Bandel. After the eight days of spiritual renewal sisters thanked the provincial Sr. Maria Pettayil, Preacher            Rev. Fr. Tony Marshall OFM, Bandel community and all those who supported them during their retreat.

Sr. Basanti Ekka

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