Some 30 members of our clergy went on retreat at the retreat house of St Joseph’s Convent, Tobago, October 9–12. Organised by Vicar for Clergy Msgr Esau Joseph, and Associate Vicar, Fr Steve Duncan, the period provided the clergy with both a reawakening and rejuvenation of spirituality, said Fr Robert Christo, Vicar for Communications, in a phone interview with the Catholic News. Spiritual retreats are supposed to be yearly according to Canon Law and can be done either individually, or as a group.
Chargé d’Affaires at the Apostolic Nunciature, Msgr Julien Kaboré was the retreat director, and over the course of the four days, delivered talks on the ‘Identity of Priests’, ‘Spirituality of Diocesan Priests’, ‘Ongoing Formation’, and ‘Apostolic Life’.
He reminded those present, including Archbishop Joseph Harris, that in the words of St John Vianney: “A priest is a great gift of God to his people, and a good shepherd, a pastor after God’s heart, is the greatest treasure which the good Lord can grant to a parish, and one of the most precious gifts of divine mercy.”
“When we are overburdened, labouring and tired, in our apostolic life, may we find courage and new inspiration in those holy and passionate priests who have worked tirelessly in our local Churches – for example Archbishop Anthony Pantin – and mostly the example of St John Mary Vianney. Before anything else, let us always entrust ourselves to our Blessed Mother Mary, Mother and Protector of all Priests,” Msgr Kaboré advised.
The programme incorporated breakout sessions to facilitate discussion, daily Mass, and time for prayer and reflection. There was great fellowship among the clergy enhanced by communal prayer sessions, group meditation and beach excursions.