Giving primacy to spiritual formation, the faculty and staff of Saint Michael College embarked on a journey of faith, prayer, and silence in a retreat held on October 17-19, 2013 at the Jesuit Retreat House, Good Shepherd Road, Banawa Hills, Cebu City. The facilitator was Miss Isabel S. de los Santos.
The spiritual event commenced with the celebration of the Eucharist in the evening of October 16 followed by an orientation and pre-disposition activity facilitated by Mr. Chris Sagun of the Jesuit Retreat House.
As a sacred time consecrated to God, each day of the retreat was punctuated by a Eucharistic celebration, time for private prayer and reflection, and silent adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. An atmosphere of prayerful silence aided the retreatants in entering deeply into communion with the father.
On day one, Ms. De los Santos led the participants in the proclamation of the good news of one’s life. Through this session, everyone was encouraged to recall his or her life experiences to recognize God’s presence during those moments. The facilitator also touched on the foundation of faith and emphasized on God’s unconditional love for each person. She further made clear that man’s response to this love of God is faith anchored on trust and confidence.
Day two revolved around the themes of mission and service. The retreatants reflected on Matthew 16:13-15 and John 21:15-17 where they tried to discover their own understanding of who Jesus is and what attracted them to Him. Sharing then followed.
Appropriation and synthesis ended and second day where the retreatants reviewed their retreat experiences through sharing. They focused on the lessons they learned during the two-day spiritual adventure.
The highlight of the second day was the pilgrimage to the Marian Shrine in Simala, Lindogon, Cebu. It was a stupendous experience of faith and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The shrine is renowned for the miraculous image of Our Lady of Fatima that shed tears a number of times.
The retreat culminated with a Eucharistic celebration presided by Rev. Fr. Victor J. Helly of the Society of Jesus and the resident priest at the Jesuit Retreat House. After the Mass, Mr. Nico Michael D. Huellma extended words of thanks to the staff of the retreat house especially to the retreat facilitator. “I hope you will come back and be our resident choir,” Fr. Vic, captivated by the angelic voices of the retreatants, jokingly commented after the Mass.
The retreatants found the journey insightful and fulfilling. For them, it was one of a remarkable faith moments in their life. “I am already looking forward to next year’s retreat,” Mrs. Proserpina A. Cruiz, school librarian, excitedly said after the retreat.
Truly, to find God is the greatest human achievement and to fall in love with God is the greatest romance.

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