A refreshing Consideration

- Marlinda Angbetic Tan () - March 25, 2012 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The late Julio Cardinal Rosales blessed the opening of the Redemptorist Retreat House on the feast day of Our Mother of Perpetual Help in June 1969. With the missionary dynamism of the Redemptorists in Cebu, the retreat house developed a following among the local schools and universities. It came to be known as the Holy Family Retreat House-Redemptorists. That was how I knew it when we had “Days with the Lord” and some retreats within its premises, when I was a college student of the University of San Carlos. I was together with other students from St. Theresa’s College, Colegio de San Jose Recoletos, CIT, etc. The Holy Family Retreat House holds for me many precious memories of spiritual renewal.

Why the name evolution? It was only recently that I found out from the Assistant Director of the Retreat House, Fr. Emy Maningo, C.Ss.R., that the name change has been unclear even among the Redemptorists. Their adopting of the Holy Family (Jesus, Mary & Joseph) as the patron for the retreat house enabled the faithful to recall it as such. Well, the Redemptorist Fathers and Brothers are reclaiming the original name of the House. Hence, they would want their retreat house henceforth to be known as THE REDEMPTORIST RETREAT HOUSE – HOLY FAMILY (RRH-HF).

And what better time for a renewal of identity than during Lent, when the whole Roman Catholic Church goes into a process of spiritual renewal. RRH-HF, in turn, is inviting the faithful to REFRESH! This is a 2-day spiritual break for lay men and women. The schedule is convenient: For Women – March 30 5pm until 8am April 1 (Palm Sunday); For Men – April 5 10am (Holy Thursday) until 8am April 7 (Holy Saturday). This way, couples can take turns in supervising the home. And, Saturday & Sunday are kept intact for family activities.

Suicide, domestic violence, murder and indiscriminate killings by people of all ages and skin color hug the media headlines these days. Out of the mayhem and despair, out of the blood and tears, this truth prevails – that godlessness is one of the causes of violence and despair. If we do not know how to pray, if we do not believe in a Higher Being, then we have no conscience to guide us and hope is nonsense.

Even for those of us who profess to belong to a religion, if we don’t take time out to reflect on the tenets of our faith, then religion becomes just a series of rituals and motions remaining outside the core of our being. The significance of our Baptismal Consecration would be beyond our ken; the sanctity of the Sacrament of Reconciliation would hold no value. Hence, it is essential to renew our understanding of the tenets of our religion, to situate ourselves in the universal order of things, to evaluate our priorities and to revalidate our faith life.

All these can take place in the 2-day Refresh Get-away at The Redemptorist Retreat House-Holy Family, as the retreat master and his team will be dealing with mundane issues that bother our minds these days, and bruise our sensibilities. The retreat team will not shy away from discussions on controversial issues, if these issues come up as personal concerns of the retreatants themselves. One can approach the retreat team on the topic of one’s homosexual propensity, or one’s entanglement with some of the many forms of extra-marital relationships, or one’s experience with infidelity to one’s calling, one’s advocacies on poverty and climate change, among others. Nagging doubts and confusions may be addressed, so that the retreat is not “other worldly” but becomes as relevant as the breaking news in our television screens. The Redemptorist Fathers and Brothers are moving along with the times, as dynamic as they have always been in their missionary work.

Refresh with the Redemptorists at the Redemptorist Retreat House-Holy Family. It is just a bit beyond Marco Polo Plaza Hotel in Nivel Hills, sitting on a wooded and quiet promontory facing the lights of the city at night. Contact: tel #s 232-6564, 231-2984 or Fr. Emy at 0919 865 5941.

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