Monday, January 2, 2017


It is nearly the end of the first day of the brand new Year 2017 as I begin to write this post. It seems now that 2016 just flew past swiftly...and another year of my life is history. Makes me wonder what 2016  means when I am one day hopefully at Heaven's gates!

I do not make  New Year resolutions the way I used to in my pre-Divine days. Even then, I was not one who made many New Year resolutions personally like some of my friends who actually had a list of New Year resolutions. I made a few in my mind and that essentially provided the impetus or zeal in what I tried to achieve in that year.

The older I get the more I value the potential of what each New Year could mean. Perhaps it is because when I was younger, death was like some distant destiny and there was so much to do and to live for. For some reason, I never entertained the thought that I could also die young until my elder sister did - when she was 43. 

By then, I had started thinking on and off about what the meaning of my life was but it were little episodes in a hectic lifestyle I was leading in the corporate wold.

Until God decided that I should be aware that I have a plan to fulfil for Him too!

God has a plan for each of us. Yet how we choose to respond to God's Call is entirely up to each of us. Once we say "YES", how we choose to  live for Christ is based on our journey of faith and our deepening personal relationship with Jesus. It cannot be static. I know the difference of my relationship with Jesus when I first realized He has a plan for even for me (during my 1st Divine retreat in February 1998) and now nearly 19 years later!  Like in any relationship, we need to commit our time and heart to Jesus and learn to do His Will. Learning to do God's Will and not our own is the difficult part. It is easy to say but difficult in reality to live purely to do God's Will. First we need to let go of our pride, ego, personal will and learn humility and being a handmaid/servant of Jesus. 

The last month of the year is always an intense time of prayer and reflection of how I have lived my life for Jesus and what should I focus on in the New Year. It is a difficult time as it is also the busiest period of my ministry where I am really exhausted each day. It is the time that I most want to "hear" what God wants of me and to get assurances from Him - that there is no reason to be afraid. God is in control. This is something many of my Catholic friends overseas have also shared with me regarding their careers and of their church/apostolic ministries. How do we know if God wants us to continue with our ministry, which ministry should we focus our efforts, should we look at taking up new ministry initiatives and so forth. We want to have the security of God showing us a clear sign of what we should do. Yes, it would make our choice  easier if we know what is in store  for us.

For me, I have found the need at year-end to seek the spiritual guidance of a priest. Somehow in having to articulate my fears, concerns and personal ministry initiatives for the New Year, I feel Christ's Peace and very often clear signs and "revelations"  during the year-end Divine Thanksgiving Adoration service and the New Year Vigil homily. Spiritual guidance is crucial because sometimes we are too close to our problems/concerns to recognize the "root" of what could be troubling us or the need to refocus on our spiritual call. Our focus is on the "worry" and not "what" could be causing the "worry" and of trusting God in a tangible way

When we we choose to live God's Plan for our lives, I have found personally some areas I must always be aware of:

  • Daily Personal Prayer and Bible Reflection
  • Ongoing discernment of how I am living for Christ.
  • Whose will am I living for? God's Will or my will?
  • The courage and honesty to share my own personal weaknesses, anxiety and concerns in living God's Call to me with a Spiritual Director.
  • Listening and being ready to recognize when God is speaking to my heart. It may feel like God is not saying anything. Yet Jesus reveals to me what I need to know.
  • Do I trust God enough to believe in His Providence? 
  • When I say "YES" to God's Call, I need to truly trust He is going to  be there with me through the good and bad times. I am never abandoned. 

Whether we are serving in church ministry, full-time ministry or in our personal life as a committed Catholic, I am reminded in a very powerful way this year by the Word of God that discipleship is costly. However, God's Providence which is what truly matters is promised to me - to gain the crown I hope for eternity:

“If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, 
and take up his cross and follow Me
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; 
but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.
(Matthew 16:24-25)

The hymn at the at the top of this post "MY HANDS, MY HEART, MY VOICE" by SELAH - spoke so powerfully to my heart when I heard it for the first time tonight. I  encourage you to please take the few minutes to let the lyrics flow into your heart to be touched, anointed and strengthened in how you will live with deep commitment and purpose for Jesus in 2017. 

As 2017 begins, I take this special opportunity to thank God for all our Friends of Divine especially those who have stepped forward in helping Divine's evangelizatiion and charitable initiatives. There is much I have learnt and gained personally in coordinating Divine's 2016 evangelization missions in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore from the parish priests, dedicated retreat organizing team members, and many Catholics who have stepped forth for new Divine evangelization initiatives in Asia-Pacific. Each of you have added a depth to my personal ministry in Divine. The Friends of Divine network that we have is a vibrant and integral part of our Divine-Potta ministry - your prayers and deep commitments make the Christian difference to many other hearts in your parish, country  and the world to have a God-experience.

May each of you, Friends of Divine, be blessed mightily to be Christ's ambassadors to the world!

Have a Joyous and Fruitful 2017! To God be all Glory!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

DIVINE ADVENT MISSION IN HONG KONG by Rev. Fr. Michael Payyapilly V.C. [02-05 Dec 2016]

Advent has a twofold character: for it is a time of preparation for the Solemnities of Christmas, in which the First Coming of the Son of God to humanity is remembered; and likewise when, by remembrance of this, minds and hearts are led to look forward to Christ’s Second Coming at the end of time. For these two reasons, Advent is a period for devout and expectant delight

Universal Norms on the Liturgical Year and the Calendar, 39

In this sacred season, may God's Grace help us to prepare our hearts to receive Christ worthily in the upcoming 4-Day Advent Retreat [02-05 December 2016] at the St. John Paul II Formation Centre, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong. 


"EMMANUEL - GOD IS WITH US" (Matthew 1:23)

[Talks in English with simultaneous Cantonese Translation]

Led by

Rev. Fr. Michael Payyapilly V.C.
Director - Vincentian Missionaries

Rev. Fr. Joseph Edattu V.C.
Associate Director - Divine Retreat Centre Ramsgate
Kent, UK

Praise & Worship by:
Jude Amalraj
Divine Retreat Centre Somersby

Friday, November 11, 2016


The word "Advent" comes from the Latin "advenio", "to come to", and refers to the coming of Christ. Let us thank God for this special grace to prepare our souls to receive Christ worthily in the upcoming  3-Day Advent Retreat [10-12 December 2016] at the Church of Holy Family, Kajang, Selangor


"EMMANUEL - GOD IS WITH US" (Matthew 1:23)

Led by

Rev. Fr. Michael Payyapilly V.C.
Director - Vincentian Missionaries Australia

Rev. Fr. Joseph Edattu V.C.
Associate Director - Divine Retreat Centre Ramsgate
Kent, UK

Praise & Worship by:
Jude Amalraj
Divine Retreat Centre Somersby

No. 11, Jalan Gereja
43000 Kajang
Selangor Darul Ehsan 

10 December 2016: 8.30 a.m. - 8.30 p.m.
11 December 2016: 2.30 p.m. - 8.30 p.m.
12 December 2016: 10.00 a.m. - 5.00 p.m.

RM35/- per person (7 years old and above)

28 November 2016

For Registration information: please contact:
Church Office: 03-8733 1154
Brian Jude: 016-905 7816
Helena Netto: 014-679 1145
Mary Fernandez 012-975 6766

or email team at:


We request you to inform your family and friends in Selangor of this Divine Advent retreat conducted by the Vincentian Fathers of the Divine-Potta ministry during this sacred season of Advent.

Sunday, October 23, 2016



Pope Francis' quotes on Faith encourages every Catholic to truly live Christ's Call to each of us. The hymn "WE ARE CALLED" is sung by David Haas who own all the copyrights to this music.

In his WORLD MISSION SUNDAY 2016 Message, Pope Francis exhorts the Merciful Love of Jesus to every Catholic –"The Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, which the Church is celebrating, casts a distinct light on World Mission Sunday 2016: it invites us to consider the "missio ad gentes" as a great, immense work of mercy, both spiritual and material. On this World Mission Sunday, all of us are invited to "go out" as missionary disciples, each generously offering their talents, creativity, wisdom and experience in order to bring the message of God’s tenderness and compassion to the entire human family".

World Mission Sunday is celebrated by the Catholic Church - this year on 23 October 2016.

Divine Retreat Centre is the largest Catholic retreat centre in the world. Retreats are held every week of the year in English and 6 Indian languages. 

Over 10 million people have attended retreats here since the Divine-Potta ministry by the Fathers of Vincentian Congregation of India opened Divine Retreat Centre in late December 1989.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016


Rev. Fr. Augustine Vallooran V.C.

The worst circumstances often churn out the finest humans. It is in the darkest night that the glory of the galaxy is unveiled. It is from the furnace that pure gold is drawn. And Scripture affirms, “So are worthy men proved in the furnace of humiliation.” (Sirach 2:5) 

“The Lord Guides the Humble” (Psalm 25:9)

One of the darkest hours in human history and memory is the Holocaust where six million were wiped out by the Nazi regime in the most inhuman cruel manner. The enduring terror and sorrow of Auschwitz during the World War II however, revealed to the world the highest nobility of spirit that man can achieve through the person of Maximilian Kolbe whom the Church honours as a saint and martyr. This in short is the witness to godliness offered by St. Maximilian Kolbe, a hero of our modern times. As St. Pope John Paul II said, “Maximilian did not die but gave his life for his brother.” In doing so he reflected most powerfully the salvific self-offering our Lord Jesus made for humankind. “Greater love has no man than this, that he lays his life down for his friends.” (John 15:13)

St. Maximilian Kolbe was born in humble circumstances to a poor weaver on 8 January 1894 in Poland. His baptismal name was Raymond. As a child, he seems to have been very mischievous. On one occasion his mother scolded him and expressed her concern as to what would become of him. This question stirred something within the child and led to a spiritual experience that brought about a radical change in his behaviour.

He explains this transformation as the outcome of a vision he had of Mother Mary. He saw the mother of God and asked her what would become of him in the future. She held out to him two crowns, one white and the other red. She asked him whether he was willing to accept either of these crowns – the white one was a challenge for him to persevere in purity or the red crown was an offer of martyrdom. He chose to accept both! With this experience, he gained a deep conviction that he was headed to a heavenly destination gained by the very offering of his life through martyrdom. This conviction impelled him to make bold decisions in life.

The journey of his life witnessed one more conversion in its course. As a student, he excelled in mathematics and physics - subjects essential for military studies. His teachers predicted a brilliant future for him. He also had a passionate interest in military affairs. His deeply patriotic trend of thinking led him to the idea that he should become a soldier to save his motherland Poland from slavery. The initial longing to become a priest died out as his fiery patriotism directed him towards a military career. This did not in any way reduce his commitment to prayer and to cherishing the heavenly experience of his childhood. In time as light clarifies details, the hours of prayer revealed to him that the call of his life was to live for the highest mission which is the Love of God. He laid down his dreams of becoming a soldier for his country to become a priest of God. As time revealed he remained a passionate warrior all his lifetime. Only that this fighter attitude took a spiritual orientation. He realised the world was bigger than Poland and that there were more crushing slaveries than earthly ones that man was enduring in this world. This revelation led him to found the Crusade of Mary Immaculate called ‘Militia Immaculata’ with six other companions on 16 October 1917.

“Behold, Thy Mother” (John 19:27)
His total commitment to Jesus with Mother Mary made him so free of worldly dispersions that he was focused only to live for God. We are told that day after day he came to be “mad with love for the Immaculate.” This madness of love for purity and the graces of heaven emboldened him to choose the path of great sacrifices for the Lord. He lived out this madness of love until it culminated in his martyrdom at the Auschwitz death camp. He became a martyr not merely by one moment of heroic choice with the final act of charity where he took the place of another inmate in the starvation bunker - but in every decision and activity of his life, he persevered and practised a daily martyrdom for love for God and the Immaculate.

Kolbe reveals how precious was the faithful guidance of the Mother of God in drawing him to a life for Jesus. He writes “I felt that that the Immaculate was drawing me to herself more and more closely and I used to pray to her very fervently all the time.” His strong spirituality would gain great following. He founded the first Monastery of the Immaculate in Poland by name Niepokalanow.

It took him great toil, stress and suffering for the establishment of this monastery. It is important to note that he took up this entire struggle in spite of his poor health. Towards the end of his studies in Rome, he suffered his first bout of tuberculosis and he became quite ill, often coughing up blood. Throughout the rest of his life, he was dogged by poor health but never complained - looking at every discomfort as a precious offering he could make towards his heavenly mission. The doctors had pronounced him incurable; one lung had collapsed and the other was damaged. It was with this ill-health that he built up the monastery of Niepokalanow. At first it consisted of a few shacks with tar paper roof. Nothing could stop it from flourishing. Within a few years, there were more than one hundred seminarians and the numbers were still growing. Before long, it became the largest friary in the world housing seven hundred and sixty two inhabitants! The priests in parishes all over the country reported a tremendous upsurge of faith which was attributed to the literature emerging from the Friary.

“You Will Be My Witnesses To The Ends Of The Earth” (Acts 1:8)
Fr. Maximilian Kolbe’s fighter attitude would not let him rest content in his native land Poland. He undertook a long journey in 1930 to Japan and came to reside in Nagasaki. The legendary experience of Maximilian in Nagasaki was nothing less than a testimony to the power of daily martyrdom. His only shelter was a wretched hut whose walls and roof were caving in. They slept on the straw and their tables were planks of wood. He knew not a word of Japanese and he had no money. In short all the odds were against him. Yet a year later he would inaugurate a monastery there by name ‘The Garden of the Immaculate’! It was built on the slopes of a mountain which was much criticised. The choice of this site in the suburbs was because of poverty but it proved a great blessing because in 1945 when the atom bomb razed Nagasaki to the ground, the monastery remained shielded from all the effects simply because of its location. Today it forms the centre of the Franciscan Province in Japan.

When Kolbe left Japan on his way back to Poland, he stopped by Kerala and established a printing press to spread the word of God. He left a trail of evangelistic work. 

His tireless hard work for the love of God was not limited to establishing monasteries. In his era, he was prophetic in the approach to using media for reaching the masses with the Good News of Jesus. When he returned to Poland in 1919, he started a monthly journal by name ‘Knight of the Immaculate’. Its aim was as he explained “to illuminate the truth and show the true way to happiness.” As there were no funds, he started printing 5000 copies. In a few years time, the circulation swelled to one million copies! He soon started a daily newspaper ‘Maly Dziennik’. The media ministry of Maximilian became so effective that the Catholic Church in Poland was deeply influenced. He also gained a radio licence to step up the fervour of faith among the masses.

“Do Not Be Surprised of the Trial By Fire” (I Peter 4:12)

When Poland was overrun by the Nazi forces of Germany in 1939, Kolbe was arrested under general suspicion. At what should have been a gloomy moment he encouraged his confreres - “Courage my sons! Don’t you see that we are living on a mission? They pay our fare in the bargain. What a piece of good luck! The thing to do now is to pray well in order to win as many souls as possible.” Indeed he had embarked on his last mission.
He was sent to the work camp in Auschwitz. Martyrdom as a way of life continued. He and other priests arrested with him were made to carry heavy blocks of stone for the building of a crematorium wall. Their work was overseen by a dreaded ex-criminal called ‘Bloody Krott’ who was known to despise priests. Krott came to single out Kolbe for brutal treatment. Despite the awful conditions and the cruel treatment in Auschwitz, it is reported that Kolbe kept deep faith and equanimity. On one occasion, Krott compelled Kolbe to carry the heaviest planks until he collapsed. He then beat Kolbe brutally and left him in the mud thinking he was dead. The fellow prisoners secretly took him to the camp dispensary where he recovered.

A marked characteristic about him was his consistent selflessness, always more concerned for the needs of his fellow prisoners - often sharing his meagre rations with them. He sent a letter from the camp to his mother: ‘Dear Mama, at the end of the month of May I was transferred to the camp of Auschwitz. Everything is going well with me. Be peaceful about me and about my health because the good God is everywhere and provides for everything with love. It would be well that you do not write to me until you will have received other news from me because I do not know how long I will stay here. Hearty greetings and kisses, affectionately. Raymond.’

This was the last letter of Kolbe from the camp and he would not live very long after that. It was shortly after this that the final tribulation was to set in.

“Blessed Are They Who Are Persecuted For The Sake Of Righteousness” (Matthew 5:10)
Three prisoners escaped from the Auschwitz camp. The camp leader vented his fury by ordering ten men to be starved to death in an underground bunker. One of the ten, was a certain Franciszek Gajowniczek. Struck by the harsh summons to death, he cried aloud in deep grief, “My wife, my children.” At this tragic scene Kolbe stepped forward, volunteering to take his place. The Nazi commander seeing a prisoner step out of line grunted, “What does this Polish pig want?” Kolbe pointed to the condemned Franciszek and fearlessly explained, “I’m a Catholic priest from Poland; I would like to take his place because he has a wife and children.” Rather shocked the commander ordered the change. Franciszek later said, “I could only thank him with my eyes. I was stunned and could hardly grasp what was going on. The immensity of it: I, the condemned, am to live and someone else willingly and voluntarily offers his life for me – a stranger. Is this some dream?”

Kolbe was led away with the other nine to the underground bunker where they were to be starved to death. The dark chambers of death were illumined throughout with prayer. Kolbe throughout the hours would lead the men in prayer, encouraging them to put their trust in God. Whenever the guards checked the cell, Kolbe would be seen kneeling in the middle and leading the others in singing hymns to God. As they were diminishing in their physical strength, the prayers continued as frail whispers. One by one the inmates of the starvation chambers fell to the ground lying on the floor. Kolbe remained kneeling as he looked cheerfully in the face of the prison guards.

Bruno Borgowiec, a Polish prisoner who had the duty of overseeing these prisoners later testified, “Fr. Kolbe never asked for anything and did not complain. Rather he gave courage to others, encouraging them and praying with them.”

Falling to the ground all of them died of dehydration and starvation. Only Kolbe survived and in order to empty the bunker they had to execute him with the administration of a lethal injection. Those who witnessed this say he calmly accepted death with his arms lifted up. His life mission on this earth was accomplished by his faithful response to live and die as a martyr. Kolbe once said, “Every man has an aim in life. For most men it is to return home to their families. For my part I give my life for the good of all men.” The spirit of martyrdom that animated Kolbe all through his life was indeed crowned in the final act of total giving.

Fr. Zygmunt Rusczak a fellow prisoner recollects later, “Each time I saw Fr. Kolbe in the courtyard, I felt within myself an extraordinary effusion of his goodness. Although he wore the same ragged clothes as the rest of us, with the same tin can hanging from his belt, one forgot this wretched exterior and was conscious only of the charm of his inspired countenance and of his radiant holiness.” This divine charm that expressed itself in the heroic self sacrifice was recognised officially by the canonisation of Kolbe in 1971.

Jerzy Bielecki, a Polish leader and Holocaust survivor, declared that “Fr. Kolbe’s death was a shock and yet was filled with hope bringing new life and strength. It was like a powerful shaft of life in the darkness of the camp.” His life and death was a sharing in the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ. As St. Paul, “If we have died with Him we shall also live with Him.” (2 Timothy 2:11). The death of Jesus was not the end of His life and mission but the culmination of it. The life of Kolbe that started as a martyrdom in daily sacrifices culminated in the ultimate offering through his death. The rays of the glory of the Resurrection were spreading all through his life and activity. In the desert of hatred in Auschwitz he sowed love and gentleness. The Polish bishops wrote “The life and death of this one man alone can be the proof and witness of the fact that the love of God can overcome the greatest hatred, the greatest injustice and even death itself.” For all of us who are living and struggling to cast out the evil in our midst, Kolbe is a great hero showing us the way.

Let Us Pray

Heavenly Father, we thank You for giving us martyrs who brilliantly point out to us the glory beyond this earth. We thank You for St. Maximilian Kolbe and every such prophet who in the hours of deepest darkness revealed to us that the Light of Heaven cannot be quenched or diminished by the deepest darkness. In the moments of our struggles, let us never lose heart. May we be able to find inspiration in Your Ever Faithful Presence. Your Son has promised us that He would never leave us alone. Let His Light shine upon us in the darkest moments of our life that we may be witnesses of hope.


Tuesday, June 21, 2016


In about a month's time from 24 -29 July 2016, the CALLED...GIFTED...SENT FORTH 2016 Annual Retreat & Formation for Priests, Religious & Lay Leaders in Ministry will be conducted in Divine Retreat Centre. This retreat has transformed and converted the hearts of many who are serving in our Lord's vineyard. It is a blessed ocassion to commit yourself to a time set apart for Jesus - to allow Jesus to speak to your heart.

Is this retreat meant for you? If you are serving the Lord or want to serve the Lord whether it is in a church ministry or in a call God has placed in your heart, then it is meant for you. It is a special grace to come and experience in a personal tangible way how to answer God's Call and to truly serve Him with all your heart.

Is daily and ministry life so busy that I have no time to experience a personal retreat?

Am I busy ministering to others but have no time for Jesus to minister to 
my heart, my mind, my soul?

What is my Call from God - how am I answering His Call? 

Am I listening to what God wants of me NOT what I want to do for God?

Is my ministry bcoming burdensome, dry and rife with politics...just a routine?

Is there prayer, reflection, humility  and discernment in how I live for Jesus each day??

Is there joy, peace and love in my ministry?

If any of the above quesions has touched a chord in your heart, this Divine Annual CALLED ...GIFTED SENT FORTH 2016 Retreat & Spiritual Formation for Priests, Religious & Lay Leaders in Ministry is an anointed time of Grace to sit, listen, be renewed and empowered at the Feet of Jesus!

Many have asked what is the retreat all about. Come with an open heart and God touches each person in a unique and blessed way. Below are three (3) beautiful testimonies of Friends of Divine based in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong who have attended this retreat previously. We praise and thank God for touching their lives in a blessed way!

REBECCA POO, Singapore: PERSONAL TESTIMONY - Called...Gifted...Sent Forth 2012 

MOLLY CHAN, Malaysia: MY UNPLANNED JOURNEY TO DIVINE-Called...Gifted...Sent Forth 2014

The upcoming retreat is conducted by Rev. Fr. Augustine Vallooran V.C., Director, Divine Retreat Centre, Rev. Fr. Jacob Arimpur, Asst. Director, Divine Retreat Centre, Steve Ray - renowned Catholic Apologetic (USA), Lalith Perera - Community of the Risen Lord (Sri Lanka), Colin Calmiano - Spread Your Wings-Leadership Institute, (Bangalore) and other gifted preachers and music ministry leaders

Please join us to pray for a truly anointed and joyous experience for all the retreatants!

Thursday, March 24, 2016


In this Grace-filled Healing Adoration, "JESUS PROMISE: 'I WILL COMFORT YOU'"  by Rev. Fr. Augustine Vallooran V.C., Director of Divine Retreat Centre, Kerala. India we experience the Merciful and Compassionate Love of Jesus - our Divine Healer!

Fr. Augustine prayerfully leads everyone into the Presence of Jesus.

"My dear sisters and brothers, in thishour, we hear the Voice of God inviting every one of us 'Come to Me! -  Come to me you  who are tired and burdened. There is a burden on our body - a burden of our aches, our ailments, burdens on our mind, all the distress, all the fears and anxieties and above all - all the painful memories of our past."

"Let us bring it all to Jesus today and claim the Promise of the Lord - 'I will confort you.'"

Fr. Augustine exhorts every one of us to proclaim - 'I believe in  the Power of Jesus.'"

"HEALING ADORATION" is a weekly 60-minute TV programme conducted by the Director or Asst. Director of Divine Retreat Centre and produced by Divine Vision - the media wing of Divine Television Ministry.

For the past 8 years Divine Television has been telecasting 24 hours of commercial-free Catholic Gospel programmes in UK, Europe, the Middle East, USA, Canada and in India through Goodness TV., It is available on the Internet as DVNOnline TV in EVERY country around the world.

Divine's HEALING ADORATION can be viewed online weekly on

Divine Retreat Centre is the largest Catholic retreat centre in the world. Retreats are held every week of the year in English and 6 Indian languages.

Over 10 million people have attended retreats here since the Divine-Potta ministry by the Fathers of Vincentian Congregation of India opened Divine Retreat Centre in late December 1989.