God surprises His people on earth with blessings that seem so unlikely and unexpected...and one of God's great blessings for many of us whose lives has been transformed is Divine Retreat Centre, Muringoor, Kerala, India. It is truly amazing that over 10 million retreatants from all over the world have had a personal God-experience right here in Muringoor - a small village in India! Weekly retreats are held in English and 6 Indian languages (Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Konkani and Kannada) every week of the year - that means consecutively for each of the 52 weeks of the year beginning every Sunday and ending on Friday. My life for Christ truly began when I first stepped foot into Divine Retreat Centre's English campus on 14 February 1998. At that time, I remember my whole world as I perceived it, literally turned upside down as I heard Fr. Augustine Vallooran V.C. preach and celebrated Holy Masses and Adoration services with such holy awe and reverence and the gifted lay preachers and music ministry teams during my very first retreat. Jesus who seemed "distant" from me became a REAL, PERSONAL, LIVING SAVIOUR to me! I can never thank God enough for this absolutely Grace-filled week of my life. It was the moment I knew Jesus was living in me but how was I going to live for Jesus? On 18 June 2004, I was given the wonderful grace to serve full-time in the Divine-Potta ministry and so began my personal faith journey that is etched in my heart deeply...
Now that I have served nearly 11 1/2 years full-time in Divine Retreat Centre, what is truly amazing is to have personally witnessed and learnt of the thousands of retreatants' lives still being transformed and so many miraculous healings that have taken place in the retreat centre. All Glory and Praise to God! Divine Retreat Centre is fondly known to millions as "God's Own Abode" situated in Kerala, the southern most state in India which has its tourism tagline as "God's Own Country." How apt. I have personally seen Divine grow from a simple retreat centre to an international retreat centre with facilities to cater for the ever-increasing numbers of international retreatants from across the globe. Yet, the fondest memories for many of the earlier retreatants (including me) was the sheer simplicity of the accommodation in the earlier days (dormitories!) and the large dining hall that served everyone with simple Kerala meals. It was a time when all the trappings of the world we lived in were stripped away and it was just Jesus who made His Presence known - one-on-one with each of us. It is here in Divine so many hearts have truly had a personal God-experience and our lives tangibly changed to live with a 'Divine" purpose.
I look to the mountains;
where does my help come from?
My help will come from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
The Vincentian Fathers of the Divine-Potta ministry are from the Mary Matha Province of the Vincentian Congregation of India (V.C.).
The two main aims of the Vincentian Congregation of India are:
- Preaching the Good News to the Poor
- Caring for the Poor and Afflicted
Divine Homes of Love:
◦ St. Vincent's Home (for AIDS Patients)
◦ Divine Villa for Senior Girls
Please do pray specially for all the Vincentian Fathers of the Divine-Potta ministry, the lay ministry volunteers and for the evangelization and charitable works of Divine Retreat Centre as we begin with thanksgiving our 25th Silver Jubilee Anniversary celebrations!
In this New Year of 2016, Fr. Augustine Vallooran V.C., on behalf of all of us at Divine Retreat Centre, extends prayerfully to each of you and your loved ones
A MOST BLESSED & GRACE-FILLED 2016 FILLED WITH GOD's BLESSINGS, JOY & HOPE!
Youtube Video: SERVE OTHERS - BE THE DIFFERENCE!