CARMEL CONVENT HIGH SCHOOL - KALOMBOLI, STD X RETREAT
June 21-22, 2013: ninety Three students along with four teachers were privileged to go up to the hills of Khandala, during this rainy season, for an annual retreat for the students of Standard Ten. Fr. Glenford Lowe sdb, Director of Don Bosco Youth Services and Archdiocesan Value Education Centre preached the retreat. The theme for the retreat was ' Life is sacred, Live it abundantly'.
The natural settings: the mighty waterfalls, the lush greenery, the deep ravines and the cool misty winds added to the prayerful atmosphere. The students were very well disposed to learn and be challenged on various aspects of life and of making a worthy contribution to the world. The first session focused on the 'Sacredness of Life". With the help of a hand out and personal testimonies, Fr. Glenford was able to draw the attention of the students to their personal life journey: The PAST, the PRESENT and the FUTURE. "Every retreat is an opportunity to withdraw into the depths of one's past, draw inspiration and wisdom to realign one's present with the glorious future that beckons each one", he added. It was interesting to see the students share the story of their life with each other and also in small groups.
In the next session, the students were invited to review their life in the context of a 'RIVER ME' metaphor. Identifying fourteen different stages of the River and comparing it with one's own journey from Conception to final destination was a very fruitful and deep reflective moment. They even took time to share their own personal journey in small groups and some even were courageous enough to step in front and share their life's history. With the heaving rain lashing on the window panes and rooftops, the silent moments for reflection were often interrupted. Nevertheless, the students really took the time to reflect and share their own faith journeys.
In the evening, the students were divided into eight groups, representing their various house colours. The various Values that were taught during the day's sessions were now enacted through skits and songs. It was interesting to see how the students used the medium of drama and song to communicate some very important Values that uphold the sacredness of life and the investment of of time too.
The following morning's mediation focused on the importance of Prayer. Fr. Glenford Lowe, with the help of a lot of personal testimonies, enabled the students look at prayer not as a 'beggar-king' model but as a personal loving relationship. Miracle happen when faith meets a deep sense of relationship, expressed through an intimate prayer life that is sincere and true. He took time also to help the students to focus on personal commitments for the future. He then said the final prayer and blessed the students