Claudina Pinto

MUMBAI, OCTOBER 23, 2009: The annual retreat of the Salesian cooperators of Don Bosco Mumbai was held at Vinalaya, Andheri on October 19-20, 2009.

Fr. Isaac Arackaparambil sdb, Director of Amrut Dhara, Gujarat animated the retreat. The retreat began with a welcome address by Fr. Elias Dias, Salesian family delegate of Mumbai province. He welcomed all the cooperators and Fr. Isaac. He especially thanked Fr. Isaac for his availability in spite of the sad demise of his dad last week.

The theme of the retreat was ‘The Discipleship of Our Lady’. The catholic laity faces a lot of flack from other Christian denominations for the importance they give to Our Lady in their prayers and devotion. With a view of affirming their affection for our Blessed Mother and to put to rest their apprehension created by the assaults posed by anti Marian protagonists, Fr. Isaac chose this topic. He based his talks on the book “Quiet Places with Mary” by Rev. Isaias Powers. The purpose was to help the cooperator to develop their relationship with Mary as a model and a partner in their prayer life. The themes portrayed Mary involved in similar situations that cause contemporary Christians pain and stress. Mary’s imaged responses help today’s adult to discover peaceful solutions to heal those in pain and provide practical approaches and ease their stress. Applying the insights of Fr. Powers, Fr. Isaac engaged the retreat- ants in linking their experiences with those of the mother of God in simple, yet practical ways by providing Gospel words and settings to our daily problems, frustrations and hopes. It is consoling to realize quietly that Mary faced the same round of questions. It is strengthening when our questions turn into quiet moments of prayer in the presence of Jesus.

The retreat concluded with the Vote of thanks proposed by Claudina Pinto, Provincial Coordinator. She thanked the preacher for his excellent and practical insights that he shared with the group. She also thanked Fr. Elias for organizing the retreat. It was a very rich experience for the cooperators to know so much more about our Blessed Mother.