Our CLC/Tertian retreat commenced just over a month ago in Baldivis, a new suburb on the southern outskirts of Perth. The parish is so new that while they have a lovely primary and high school, they are about to begin to build their first church. The parish is very diverse with many different nationalities represented and for many, English is a second language. Baldivis is situated in a beautiful area surrounded by lots of trees and greenery and offered a very peaceful location.
Our tertian was Fr Rajesh Jose Punchathalackal SJ of Kerala Province of Society of Jesus. He comes from Kottayam, the central part of Kerala and belongs to St. Thomas Christians (Syro-Malabar rite). Since 2012 he has been involved in a new ministry promoting ecological spirituality. He is also a Yoga Master and offered some yoga sessions to any interested parishioners.
The FSE retreat was held on Saturday and Wednesday mornings and Tuesday evenings, over the four weeks. Fr Geoff Aldous, the Parish Priest was very supportive of the retreat and offered his hospitality and support. This parish is also linked to three other parishes in a new collaboration called a ‘hub’, so members of the other parishes were also invited. About 25 in total began the retreat, although not all completed it due to work and other commitments. Those who did finish, wrote very warmly and enthusiastically of their experience of God.
“It made me think about all the love and gifts I have in my life.”
“I gained a spirituality to live by and new ways to pray”.
“I came closer to the Holy Trinity.”
At the conclusion of the retreat, an outdoor Mass was held in a local Children’s Forrest, which proved a very moving opportuni-ty for us all to gather to celebrate our retreat and the beauty of the environment around us.
Thanks to CLC’ers Kerry Cirillo, Margaret Swinbourne and Chris and Jenny Gardner for sharing in leading the retreat and of course to Fr Rajesh.