Solomon Islands students experience “change” at spiritual retreat
By Fr Ambrose Pereira SDB. Nearly 60 boys spent a very reflective weekend at Don Bosco Technical Institute, Henderson, Solomon Islands on 20th and 21st July, 2012 doing their Annual Retreat, entitled: ‘With God all things are possible.’
The Retreat, an annual feature for each class, is a welcomed extracurricular activity, attended by both staff and students. “I have heard from my colleagues that the retreat is a special occasion that touches our hearts and enables us ‘make positive decisions’ that are for the good of each of us”, said Moses Parkinson, Junior Electrical student. “The retreat is a time when we surrender our wrongs and look forward to something better,” said Anthony Maena, Junior Carpentry student. “It was the first time that I have come across a programme that has really encouraged me to change my bad attitude and build up a relationship close to God,” said Jacob Lihu, Junior Electrical student.
Fr. Srimal Priyanga sdb, Spiritual Moderator, highlighted temptations that draw the youngsters away from their original goal. Reflecting on them and sharing their past experiences has helped them process their negative experiences and with mutual help and support. He organized the retreat with the help of the class advisors John Wayne, John Ramo, Bartholomew Anare and Juan Jaypee. Adrian Sudamai together with the other SRC members animated the singing and the liturgy, while Maria Kavoa and the others cooked the food for the programme.
At the Eucharistic celebration, Fr. Ambrose Pereira sdb, encouraged the students to reflect on their life and take on good resolutions for their future that will enable them raise the profile of their companions and families. He presented to them the example of Pita To Rot, a young Melanesian man, martyred for the faith by the Japanese in World War II, who was committed to build up his people through the sacraments, especially the sacrament of the Eucharist and Marriage. He encouraged all to be good examples to others.
It was wonderful to note that the students spent this time in reflection, sharing and prayer. “I have had the courage to share my experiences and this will change my attitude too”, said Moses Parkinson.
The film on Mother Teresa, screened after supper, for reflection and inspiration showed clearly that when one does good there will be many to put a stop to what is being done and hence the need to be constantly in touch with God to deal with all the opposition.
The retreat ended on a very positive note with the youngsters ready to make positive changes in their lives in the terms head.