Retreat : From the 28th to 30th of August, two of us Juniors along with Deacon Learoy, Dean of the Juniorate at XTC guided a Retreat for20 Catholic boys of St. Xavier’s High School, Kolhapur. It was indeed a Retreat for them, in the literal sense of the word, since it was a time for them to turn from their busy schedule of study, games and distractions to a quiet and secluded place for reflection and prayer. The venue of this Retreat was Rosary Church, Rukdi. We tried to offer them a 3-dimensional view of looking at themselves. The Retreat was divided into three parts, with its first part focusing on God’s Love for us, second focusing on oneself and the third calling us to reach out to others. Short sessions based on gospel values and its practical application to one’s life were conducted. We had a combination of various activities, sessions, action-songs, sharings and much more that enabled the boys to get to know themselves and others better. The inspirational movie ‘Spirit’ was shown. The boys brought out their talents in presenting the parables of Jesus in the modern context in the form of skits. Along with all these the boys cherished the short and simple methods of prayer which gave them an experience of silence and personal reflection. Fr. Mario added richness to the Retreat by celebrating the Eucharist for us. We summed up all with an activity of friendship, from which the boys could gain much. Reaching out to these boys and sharing with them our experiences was quite an experience. We also experienced the warm hospitality of the people of Rukadi.

Schs. Sumit & Ambrose (Juniors, XTC)

Parish: The Feast of the Nativity of Our Lady/Our Lady of Good health was preceded by a nine days Novena and Mass in the evenings. Large number of parishioners participated in the Novena with great devotion to invoke our Blessed Mother for graces and blessings. The Novena had different themes on Our Lady daily and was conducted by the children and youth under the dynamic leadership of Sr. Marina. This Novena is a very popular devotion amongst the Bardeskars. There was a solemn High Mass on the Feast Day with Fr. Xavier Pinto, the renowned Redemptorist as the main celebrant. He made the Mass extra special with his inspiring and interesting homily in Konkani and English. On the Feast Day Mass the Church was packed to capacity with several parishioners standing outside. Cake and tea were served to all after the Mass.

Fr. Mathew also celebrated the Feast Day Mass in Rukadi and Ichalkaranji where the parishioners gathered daily for the Novena prayers and Rosary daily. Fr. Mathew also participated in an inter-religious meeting at the CIBER Institute where he spoke on Christianity. CIBER is a company, consultants in Business Enginnering Research.

School: Teachers Day was an event to remember. This year it was celebrated with a difference and entirely organized and prepared by the boys of the tenth grade. The day began with an elaborate assembly and prayer service invoking God’s blessing on our teachers. A skit and a dance, besides a beautiful song added punch to the assembly. The students did a remarkable job which was greatly appreciated by the teachers. The teachers received floral bouquets and a useful gift which made them all happy. The climax of the day was a sumptuous lunch at a restaurant outside.