Quepem Campus Retreat

The CFCI Singles of the Porvorim Chapter organized their first ever “Campus Retreat” for the students of Pope John XXII Higher Secondary, Quepem on the 12th and 13th of September 2018, with Joshua Silveira heading the Retreat Team. The service team began preparations in earnest but with very less time in hand and scepticism about the receptiveness of the participants’ stirred nervousness as the morning of the retreat dawned. However, the team approached the situation with strong trust and faith in God, holding on to the promise that the Lord would go before them and prepare the path.

The Campus Retreat started off with a lively icebreaker and action songs that lifted the spirit of all the students. The first session was on “Gods Perfect Plan” for each one of us, where the speaker emphasized the importance of having a personal relationship with God for His unconditional love for us. In the afternoon a “Talk Show” was conducted, during which three singles through their personal sharing shed some light on the various struggles the youth goes through and how to overcome them.

The highlight of the second day was Adoration and Confessions which was a grace-filled and liberating experience for the participants. God was at work in the heart of each student and truly moved in mighty ways. The final session was on “Tools of the Catholic Faith” wherein the speaker spoke about the significance of the Rosary, Eucharistic Adoration, Scripture reading and other tools, and how they can help us in fighting the evil forces of the world, maintain our relationship with God and lead us to holiness. The Retreat ended with the energetic Music Ministry leading the jubilant participants into the Praise Fest.

The Campus Retreat was truly an enriching experience not only for the participants but also for the service team members. At the end of the day, each single left the venue with a joyful heart, praising God for providing the opportunity to serve Him in His vineyard and to be a blessing to others.

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2 Responses to Quepem Campus Retreat

  1. Matthew 11:29-30
    “Take my yoke and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit; and you will find rest. For the yoke I will give you is easy, and the load I will put on you is light.”

    When you think you have done enough for God and you’re comfortable just where you are now, God still reminds us that there is a lot more work to be done and a lot more you can do.

    “Call to me, and I will answer you; I will tell you wonderful and marvellous things that you know nothing about” – Jeremiah 33:3
    And that’s exactly what happened to me, a leader of the Porvorim singles music ministry, at the outreach retreat program in Quepem.

    In my youth days, I was not a very good listener. If a friend came to me to have a conversation while I was busy with something or even just being idle, I would just stare at the person and just nod (pretending to listen) not because I didn’t want to talk to the person. Ireally wanted to listen but I’d just be easily lost or distracted throughout the conversation. I’m still like that sometimes, though I’ve improved a bit since then because if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have volunteered for the outreach program.

    When I joined the organising team, I came to know that we were just a team of 8 singles (that later became 9) having a retreat for 80 youngsters of 11th and 12th standard in Quepem and we had less than a week to plan it. That meant when we would be having group discussions with them and I’d have to take up the responsibility of a group leader for the group assigned to me. Never in the 3 years that I’ve been in the community have I ever been GD head or even GD head’s assistant for that matter. At that moment I should have felt frantic about it, but I was more focused on practicing the action songs and hymns that the thought of being GD head just slipped my mind.

    Day 1 started with our arrival at Don Bosco vocational training institute, Quepem. I felt God was true with us that day. Everything went well, we immediately got their attention through the action songs, activities and the talks we gave them. They were surprisingly well-behaved students. However, when it came to group discussion, I was nervous. But with the questions in hand, I felt at least a little prepared. What they shared really touched me and I could relate to them while they spoke about the sins they were struggling with. Without hesitation, I was able to help them overcome them through my sharing and advice. Even when they shared other experiences of God’s love and what plan God has for them saying things like “ I do not have the fear of being on stage anymore”, or “God helps me to speak properly now”, or “God saved me from so many near drowning/death situations.”- just hearing this from them made me experience God on a whole new level. God assigned these boys to me not only because I was able to relate to them, but I was also able to help them through prayers that remind them of how much God loves them and that God truly has a plan for them.

    Even though dinner was ready, that didn’t stop them from sharing and listening to what God had to say to them through me. When the discussion was over, 2 boys from the group said to me, “It was nice sharing and talking to you.” I was overwhelmed and filled with so much joy and goodness. Hearing that, gave me satisfaction and confirmation that I’ve done God’s work and God’s will. There is no limit to the work we can do for God because God will teach you even the things you can’t do!

    For nothing is impossible when you’re doing it for God.

  2. Having recently joined the community, this was the very first time wherein I got the opportunity to be a part of the outreach program held at Quepem. I was also given the opportunity to be a part of the talk show ‘Coffee with Aldrin’ and during this program, we shared about the struggles we faced and how we overcame them. This Talk show made the students more comfortable and open to sharing similar struggles that they experienced, with us. Also, being the GD head for the first time, it was a completely new experience for me. During the programme, I came across so many girls who opened up and shared their difficulties and I was glad that I could relate to them and help them through my sharing.
    Also, during the 02-day retreat, God moved every single person’s life and worked beautifully.
    My bond with other community members grew stronger as we shared endless stories and treasured memories. The Quepem Retreat was an amazing experience and it was so enriching to have met such beautiful people. I will always cherish these memories.