St Vincent de Paul Retreat  – Southampton

The turn - out (45 people) was just as impressive as the warm weather , the delicious  home cooked food and the  rich content of the retreat.  Our Parish Priest,  Father Tomy, started us off with a brief overview of the life of St Vincent de Paul, which set the tone for the day.

 

Father John the main retreat facilitator begun the retreat by drawing our attention to the power of The Cross. There is no glory/resurrection without the Cross…’ Sin, our sin is what lead Christ to the Cross. Christ’s thirst from the Cross is a thirst for souls – our souls - all Sin is ugly. Ugly like the sight of Cancer cells. When we see cancer forming on the exterior, it is ugly, like sin.  So many of us suffer from depression and all kinds of anxiety because we do not take the opportunity to make a good confession. A good confession brings relief to the ‘aching heart of man’ and removes the burden of sin.

 

The explanation and guidance were clearly presented by Father John who gave us each, a copy of the text for ‘Examination of Conscience for Adults & Teens’ from The Fathers of Mercy 1808.

 

Father John started us off praying the Holy Rosaryand then read us a letter from Bishop Philip, written in Lent 2014. The importance of prayer and fasting are ‘weapons of penance’ in the Lenten season, for spiritual warfare.

 

Practical examples described the meaning of the Seven Capital Sins and what is means to be an ‘Accessory to Another’s sin’.  Although Father’s examples were so true to life and made some of us even laugh, it did draw many of us to a deep soul -searching silence before the Blessed Sacrament Exposed.

 

The time of Adoration was also the time to avail ourselves of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.There was a steady queue towards the confessional.

 

A few minutes before 3pm, Father encouraged us to prepare to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet, which was led prayerfully by a parishioner.

We resumed silent Adoration before Father gave us theBlessing with the Oil of St Raphaelwhich he was offering those who wished.  Raphael means ‘Gods’ medicine’.

 

Father celebrated Holy Massat the end of the day and parishioners remain thankful. The positive feedback and happy looking faces in the photo below is evidence of a rich retreat on mothering Sunday 2019.

St Vincent Retreat – Southampton

Feedback:

‘Brilliant experience and a well spent Mothering Sunday’.

 

‘I would like to thank Fr Tomy & Fr John for hosting the retreat and bringing us to healing and celebration’.

‘Sunday was amazing. It very simple but a lot of time for reflection and great to learn about how important the Sacrament of Confession is and I quite liked how Fr John answered questions- I quite liked that…’.

 

The Marriage & Family Life Office had the privilege of recommending and introducing Father John Lavers to Father Tomy. Fr Tomy and many parishioners as well as the lay Faithful from as far as Bournemouth & St Boniface, would love to welcome Father John again.

Father John Lavers is a priest living the Franciscan Charism in our diocese. He is the Regional Port Chaplain for the Apostleship of the Sea - Stella Maris for Southampton and the Southern Ports

 

Father John Lavers is a priest living the Franciscan Charism in our diocese. He is the Regional Port Chaplain for the Apostleship of the Sea - Stella Maris for Southampton and the Southern Ports

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contact


 Aba Shields : mandfl@portsmouthdiocese.org.uk

 

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