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Easter is an important moment to walk with Jesus and live his passion, death and resurrection. Around the Philippines the Verbum Dei community held various activities. Easter encounters were in Tagaytay, Bohol and Cagayan de Oro while a disciples' retreat was held in Cebu. These encounters and retreats were attended by members of the local communities as well as various new people.
A National Disciples Retreat was held in Tolo-tolo, Consolacion, Cebu starting March 28 to April 1. It was attended by around 100 lay members from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The theme was “I shall draw all people to myself” (see John 12:32). The fruit of the 4 days of silent prayer in the NDR was a renewal in the relationship of each one with Jesus, as well as a stronger desire to help the risen Lord draw all people to himself.
High up at the Holy Name University Mission and Spirituality House in Banat-i Hills was held the Easter Encounter starting Holy Thursday until Easter Sunday. There were around 56 participants. The theme of the encounter was "Why? ...Because of You."
Cagayan de Oro City:
The theme for this year's Easter Encounter was "What are you looking for?...Come and see!" cf. Jn 1:38-39. This year's encounter was stay-in because for the last 2 years participants were to stay out at end of every nights' activities. The encounter was held in the Calabrian Children's Foundation house with over 100 participants consisting of Couples, Singles, Teens, Youth and Kids. The kids had their own program during the EE while the rest were separated or regrouped during sharing. Committees were composed mainly of the Couples Branch and the LCM since the disciples are on their SE in Cebu. It was a bit challenging working with few manpower but we were also privilege to have the presence of the 3 branches through the participation of missionaries from other branches working together: Percy, who accompanied the teens, Charisma with the kids and Filipe with the liturgy. We are glad to witness people, both young and old, able to recognize that a deeper relationship with God is what they are really looking for. Most of the fruit of the new participants were on the importance of prayer and everyday encounter with the risen Lord.
“It is the Lord.” This was the theme of the Easter Semi-Silent Retreat in Tagaytay. We were 54 persons of different walks of life. For most of the participants this was their first contact with the Verbum Dei Spirituality. The Lord granted us a wonderful experience of his Love, which made us pass from death to life, with the desire to live it out in our daily lives. We count on your prayers for our perseverance
Let us ask for the grace as an evangelizing community to be faithful to the mandate of the risen Lord “go into the whole world and share the gospel to all.”
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