25-31 October 2020

The annual retreat this year was held during these trying times that CoVid-19 is still roaming around. This annual retreat of the first batch is quite special for a few reasons, namely:

For the first time, the preacher is a Timorese Salesian; All the retreatants are Timorese Salesians, without any missionaries among them; The retreat was held in a non-Salesian setting;

The talk covered the Sacred Scriptures, the Salesian Constitutions and Regulations, the Salesian Spirituality, the Evangelical Councils, the community life, and the personal experiences of the preacher: Reverend Father Anacleto Pires,SDB.

With the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit, the preacher was able to lead the retreatants to a deeper intimacy with God through his talks which were held over a series of five days. The talks were delivered animatively and inspiringly, encouraging the retreatants to form a deeper relationship with God.

The reflections flowed from the Sacred Scriptures (Old to New Testament), up to the Salesian Constitutions and Regulations and its applications in the life of Don Bosco himself. At the same time, the preacher invited the retreatants to look back into the main sources of the congregation and the personal experience of Don Bosco.

In addition to this, the weather of the place was quite cool due to location of the retreat house being settled on the highest place in Dili, which contributed greatly to setting the mood and atmosphere of the retreat to be very serene and calm— tremendously helping the retreatants in making better introspection and deep, personal reflections to better grasp the Sacred Scriptures, Salesian Constitutions, and the readings they had chosen personally.

After each talk, the preacher gave the retreatants guide questions for their personal reflections.

For the opening remarks, the provincial welcomed the retreatants and at the same time encouraged them to make use of this opportune time to rest in God’s presence and ask the necessary graces they need in fulfilling the mission entrusted to them in the Community, Province and the Congregation in the coming years, full of hope and determination.

In his concluding remarks, Father Provincial, Reverend Fr. Apolinário Maria Oranai Neto,SDB thanked the preacher and congratulated the retreatants, as well as impassioned them, as they go down from Mount Tabor to Galilee to preach and practice their meeting with Jesus they have met on the mountain.

By: Fr. Jolino Vieira SDB