CFCI Mumbai holds its first ever meet to usher in a new chapter
How do you build a better future? By revisiting the bones of the past and planning for the road ahead – with honesty and a spirit of openness.
Members of CFCI Mumbai and its various ministries – Kids, Singles and Youth all came together to usher in a brand new chapter in a gathering held on May 30-31 at the tree spotted locales of St. Mary’s Villa, Khandala.
This involved two days of bonding where all the ministries got an opportunity to interact with each other and see how they fit into the larger CFCI family. In the meet, the members of the new council, Oswald Beniz, Thelma Beniz, Christopher Colaco, Ivor D’Cruz, Joseph Chettiar, Joseph D’Mello, Paul Kurian, were introduced, along with the announcement of the new all Mumbai CFCI Singles couple coordinators – Rahul and Julie D’ Souza.
The meet started on an enthusiastic note with a praise and worship conducted by CFCI Singles, invoking the Holy Trinity to take control of all that was to transpire for the next two days.
With a couple of ice breakers, the CFCI members were all ready to get started. The first session was conducted by Oswald Beniz, CFCI Mumbai District Servant. Oswald reiterated the promises we make in our covenant – our call to personal holiness, call to family, call to living in Christian community and finally a call to witness. He spoke about the need to first build the basics to truly live out the covenant. The session was a powerful reminder that even though we have answered our call through our covenant, we often forget this covenant, and neglect to live it out fully in our daily lives.
This was followed by a session conducted by Christopher Colaco with the objective to understand where each of the ministries was, in their journey. It also aimed at learning what each of the ministries was involved in, what were their needs and expectations, followed by a group discussion among the individual ministries. One theme that stood out was the need for greater involvement from the sisters and brothers in the ministries immediately above them – Kids from Youth, Youth from Singles, and Singles from Couples. Through a spirit of sharing and openness, ideas were exchanged, dreams were shared, thoughts were expressed on how to faithfully follow the responsibilities that God had entrusted the ministries.
A very interesting session on communication was held by Oswald Beniz post lunch. Through a practical exercise, all the team members threw a ball around mimicking the various styles of communication. This session highlighted the importance of receiving and transmitting communication correctly, as well as taking up new mediums of mass communication to reach out. Through a group discussion, many members shared interesting ideas on how to take communication to the next level.
After a break fuelled by some games organized by the Game master – Ivor D’Cruz, the final session for the day was conducted by Joseph D’Mello, Chapter Servant, Mira Road. He reminded the members that as servant leaders we are called to pastor those under our care. Joseph spoke with conviction on the desired attitude and disposition of a true pastor.
Every meal together was full of joy and learning more about each other, followed by lovely games and impromptu singsong session together with a raging bonfire, under the light of the moon, stars and trees full of flickering fireflies.
At the dawn of day two, the members gathered for morning prayer through contemplation (from the Ignatian Spirituality) at the hillside. Each person experienced the presence and voice of God in a unique yet similar way which strengthened the message God was giving us.
The final session was conducted by Fr. George Cordeiro S.J. who spoke about time management from a unique perspective. Through a focus on how our brains work, Fr. George helped the members understand how men and women prioritise things differently and through an interactive session with the couples, he helped them relive the moments of their marriage.
Finally the two days spent together had come to an end. Closing the session with Mass, with renewed energy and relationships renewed among the members, it was time to bid good bye.
The objective of the meet was completely fulfilled. The efforts of the organizers – Oswald and Thelma Beniz, Chris Colaco, Ivor D’Cruz for the thoughtfully conducted games, and the speakers Fr. George and Joseph were all truly appreciated.
Report by Leanne Lima Fernandes & Roxanna Pinto, CFCI Singles Mumbai