Couples for Christ India (CFCI) Bangalore, organised a weekend retreat for working youth from 5 June to 7 June 2015, at Snehadaan, Bangalore.
The weekend retreat started with a short introduction to the program by Jimmy Xavier, CFCI Couple from Bangalore. He acquainted the participants on what the retreat was all about, emphasizing that the program was an opportunity to shut oneself from the cares of the world and focus on Christ, for a change. He then asked the participants to write down their expectations from the retreat, which was collected by the volunteers.
Aaron Lobo, CFCI Single, got the crowd together through two ice-breakers; human bingo and paint me a picture. The participants enjoyed themselves as this enabled them to interact and get acquainted with each other. This was followed by disciplinary instructions to the participants and the day came to an end.
The next day began with praise and worship followed by the first teaching on the Love of the Father given by Jimmy Xavier. He spoke about how God’s love as our father, is perfectly expressed in the parable of the prodigal son. He also shared instances of his life where he found God working and showing his perfect love.
Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.-Rom 8:39
The participants were then split into groups where they shared instances of God’s love in their life. The second teaching, given by Kim Xavier, spoke about Jesus and what it means to be a Christian. She explained the uniqueness of Jesus and interesting facts about him and his life on earth in a way that absorbed the participant’s attention. Following this, the participants split into the same groups where they shared who they felt Jesus was to them.
Post lunch, the session on Sin was given by Biron D’Souza. He presented an overview of the Ten Commandments, the sins that correspond to not obeying each of these commandments, and the differences between venial and mortal sins. This allowed the participants to introspect and identify areas of sin in their lives that they were unaware of. The participants were also encouraged to spend time at the Blessed Sacrament so they could introspect and ask God to reveal areas of sin that were ignored. After this, the participants split into groups as they shared the areas of sin that they discovered through the talk and ways they would actively make efforts to overcome them.
After dinner, the participants came together to pray the rosary. The participants walked through the campus of Snehadaan and towards the grotto of Mother Mary as they prayed the rosary.
The third day began with praise and worship followed by the teaching on Faith and Repentance by Maria Laveena. She spoke on the misconception on faith and repentance and explained what they really mean.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.-Heb 11:1
The participants involved themselves and asked a number of questions regarding the same. They were then split into their groups for discussion, where they shared about their understanding of faith and repentance and how it has changed after they heard the teaching. They were also encouraged to share with the group animator, the area of sin and other areas that they were unable to share as a group.
After the one on ones with the group animator, the participants were encouraged to make a good confession through the sacrament of reconciliation. This was followed by the Holy Mass celebrated by Rev. Fr. Antic.
The retreat ended with Praise Fest and the participants sharing their experiences during the three days.
Report by Kim Elaine de Araujo, CFCI Singles Bangalore