It was a wonderful experience for each of us who attended the annual retreat conducted by
Rev. Boby Jose Kattikkad, OFM Cap. It was certainly an occasion to be renewed by the Spirit of Holiness. Indeed we experienced the retreat as a renewed invitation from our Lord himself to Come and See, Learn, Rest, Dine and Inherit what has been prepared for us from the very beginning. The talks were very meditative, inspiring and challenging carefully laced with wit, anecdotes and personal experiences. The retreat preacher constantly reminded us of the need to be guided by the thought that our ministry is a service to restore the dignity of our brothers and sisters, especially those that are vulnerable, lie exposed and naked.
Life, when we pause and reflect, we realize, is filled with blessings. And a priest/ religious must live with a sense of indebtedness not only to those who have given us their all but also to those who accept our service. All the participants were challenged by this all important issue: Does Jesus know me or will he say to us on the judgment day – “Go away from me for I never knew you.” The retreat master exhorted us repeatedly that may we be people who live in the light, who have the faith of Jesus. May our Lord and master find us as people who are watchful and ready with our lamps lit, loins girded, shoes on feet, staff in hand so as to cast the net into the deep so that we be people who are truly fishers of men who seek no glory, profit or praise for ourselves, instead will say when we have done everything we were told to do: ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’ May we hear from him on the judgment day, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”
The reflections were excellent. But that alone would not have made the retreat such a great experience. The extra-ordinary hospitality of Fr. Baby and community largely contributed in creating the ambience for the retreat. And finally one name deserves a special mention – Fr. Roy Veliyath. His large heartedness was truly visible in the refectory. Hats off to all the organizers, especially to Roy and Dipu!!
– Fr. George Areeckal CSsR