In Luke's Gospel, Jesus invites some of his disciples to go to the mountain with Him and pray. This experience is a proposal of closeness to the Father, which enriches the interior life and renews strength for the mission. For the disciples of Jesus, stopping a while in their life journey to pray and reflect is not an option but an essential choice to continue His path.
This experience is a proposal for every disciple-missionary at any time and place. For this reason, on March 26, 2023 the SVD education network leaders was invited for a weekend retreat to make this experience of living through the SVD Spirituality in Borda do Campo/Minas Gerais, Brazil. As the Congregation of the Divine Word prepares itself for its 150th foundation year in 2025, during this year 2023, the SVD members and lay partners in the mission are called to deepen their Spirituality, getting back to the Foundation Generation of SVD and their Spirituality. In this context, the weekend retreat was a call to rediscover and relive the SVD and Cristian Spirituality.
Fr. Anselmo Ribeiro, SVD, conducted the weekend retreat, and the theme was Spirituality and Leadership. The participants were invited to take an internal journey into their lives and to realize how Spirituality is essential to give meaning to their lives and work. More than 90 participants, including SVD confreres and the leadership team from our SVD, schools and colleges, participated in the retreat.
Fr. Anselmo introduced, along with the reflections based on the Gospel and poems of Brazilian culture, different methods and ways to deepen Spirituality during the retreat, like listening to God and others, with emphasis on the experience of sharing the Word of God in small groups in the mornings; meditation, through the exercise of silence; and the revision of the day through the spiritual exercise, so that each one could understand where they are and what they are looking for.
As every encounter with Jesus leads to the mission, at the end of the weekend retreat, each SVD school and college got together to plan further retreats to multiply their experience with their companions of the education ministry in our SVD schools and colleges.