April 9

The author reflects on her experience of giving retreats to members of her own congregation first, and then to sisters of about one hundred other religious orders. Retreats can have a deep impact, provided we let the Word of God touch us and transform us.

In women’s circles these days, and especially among women religious, the focus of our discussions is often about gender justice, gender equality, gender sensitivity, empowerment of women, etc. When I was the Leader of my Congregation, I used to reflect about who would empower us. One of the ways to make my religious sisters to experience gender equality, as the Spirit inspired me, was to empower them to preach retreats to our own members. I consider this ministry as participating in the preaching mission of Jesus: Mt: 4: 23. When we evaluated this mission, it was very positive and encouraging.  As the leader of my Congregation, I had the opportunity to preach many retreats to my own sisters. After I completed my term as the Leader, my experience motivated me to take up this ministry. The more retreats I preached, the more positive feedback I received from various groups. I have had the privilege of preaching retreats to nearly one hundred religious congregations – religious women, religious brothers, priests and the laity – both in India and abroad.

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Sr Inigo Joaquim SSA

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