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ANNUAL RETREAT 2016: Re-affirming the DWCL Family’s Missionary Commitment

For the first time, the entire DWCL family – the faculty, personnel and administration, were gathered together for the annual retreat, a totally different set-up in previous years wherein there were 2 to 3 batches. Held last April 1 to 2, 2016 at the NSCC Convention Center, Caoayan, Ilocos Sur, the retreat was facilitated by Fr. Arlo Bernardo S. Yap, SVD, the SVD-PHC Coordinator for Bible Apostolate and Communications.
In less than two-days, the group was led into prayers, interactions and reflections, anchored on the observance of the year 2016 as “The Year of the Eucharist and the Family in the Jubilee Year of Mercy” by the Catholic Church.

Through inspiring stories, film clips/videos and songs blended with his display of wit, humor and name-recall ability, Fr. Arlo was able to create moments for everyone to realize how the SVD characteristic dimensions are manifested in everyone’s life being co-missionaries. Despite the difficulty of having to deal with quite a large and highly diverse group, the retreat master ably laid the foundation toward an understanding of the role each one assumes in the SVD’s education apostolate and take pride in having the “Tatak SVD”.

Considered as highlight of the retreat is the session/activity on the sacrament of penance/reconciliation and the adoration of Blessed Sacrament, which provided a venue for each one to get into a personal encounter with the Lord. The mass which served as finale was likewise a totally different experience with everyone really having that feel of being in a family with God present.
Undoubtedly, the retreat has touched the participants in so many ways leading them to a lot of realizations – the importance of having a sense of gratitude, saying thank you….appreciating things, no matter how insignificant they are….humility of service…..a life centered on Christ …looking at eventualities, bad or good, as blessings….creating a chain of good deeds, among many others which are resonated in the following personal reflections:
“Through the retreat, I now have renewed courage and faith to accept the realities of life in general and my work at DWCL in particular, without having to become disillusioned, bored and disgruntled. I have spent decades in this institution but I still want to say with passion that I am doing exactly what I want to do and I am doing it for God’s glory. I have gained somehow strength to face head on the “ if onlys” or “what ifs” that kept on haunting me all these years. Although I know that there would still be times that I will stumble but with the thought that I am in a mission….and with God’s guidance and blessings …I have all the reasons to be on my feet again and continue the journey”… resn2016

“Natutunan ko kung gaano kasarap ang pakiramdam pag ikaw ay magpasalamat, mag-thank you sa lahat, kasama ng pagpapatawad, kahit ikaw ay nagawan ng masama, kasi ang lahat ng mga bagay, karanasan o pangyayari sa buhay, masama man o mabuti ay mga blessings. Talagang natuwa ako at lubos na nagpapasalamat kay Fr. Arlo sa isang kakaibang experience kahit ito ay maikli lamang”…….nilds
“Presentation was simple and explanations were very clear…With Fr. Arlo’s pronouncement that, huwag tingnan na ang school ay pagmamay-ari lang ng mga pari…I can say- I am proud to be a part of the DWCL community….because we are partners….we are co-missionaries of the SVDs.
Though the retreat was too short, it was worth it…the lessons made me feel great. Thank you Fr. Arlo for the experience, thank you to the SVD fathers and DWCL for bringing me closer to God …teaching me how to appreciate every little thing I have …I am proud to bear the TATAK SVD…komartin
“What touched me most is the session where Fr. Arlo talked about BLESSINGS. I have learned about the two kinds of blessings – first, when something good is given to you and secondly, when somethin not good is given to you”.
I actually experienced receiving two blessings almost simultaneously– the joy of getting an unexpected amount and the pain of losing my mother. I believe that such contrasting blessings may come in our lives at the same time, but this should make us thank God in all circumstances – during happy times, as well as in bad times, for indeed God is so good all the time”……cmacugay

The retreat has helped me to fall more deeply in love with God, my relationship and commitment to Him. I am reminded that each day, Jesus is with me, my companion in joy and sadness. The retreat was an awesome one. It is nice to know and feel I am loved and always be loved. I know that I am God-sent. Thus, I am not afraid to face tomorrow. Through this retreat, I believe that God has taken me out of my “zone” and challenged me to grow…to love…to serve…and be very proud to say…MY BEST!….jnvaldez

The retreat brought about that feeling….so complete…because everyone, administrators, faculty and personnel alike listened, laughed, and prayed together…the family spirit was really there. Considered by me as an experience worth remembering for a lifetime, the retreat provided physical as well as spiritual nourishment, so simple, down to earth, yet very deep, reaching my inner being as a human person. Truly, openness to the spirit is the real language of the game…….ushering a real beginning of a better DWCL if we all give OUR BEST. This will be so if we are treated and will treat other members of the institution not just mere employees but rather as co-missionaries in the real essence of the word….Indeed, GOD is so good all the time !!!…may God be glorified”… ….ebacidera