The second week of Easter is always set aside for the annual updating and retreat of all the SSS Religious of POLA except for those who cannot come for very valid reason(s). This year, it took place on April 23 to 29 at the Saint Scholastica’s Center for Spirituality. In order to be relevant to the current focus of the Philippine Church in preparation for the celebration of the 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines, the theme of the retreat was, “The Parish: Communion of Communities”.
The updating was given by Fr. Mark Honesto del Rosario, SSS, who discussed the following: characteristics and different types of personality disorders and effective strategies for dealing with difficult individuals; importance of the formation of a healthy sexual identity as an integral part of the sexuality of clergy, religious and candidates for initial formation; common issues in identifying and dealing with various addictions and how one goes about facilitating an intervention when someone is in need of treatment; necessity of good self-care, healthy boundaries, and resilience; and prayer as the bloodstream of SSS religious.
Bishop Renato Mayugba from the Diocese of Laoag, Ilocos Norte, was the Retreat Master. He was great! He gave two conferences every day and, in each conference, he tackled the very core of communion – communion in the Word of God, communion in the Eucharist, communion in the Priesthood/Ministry, communion in the Religious community, etc. Each input was punctuated by personal sharing and other relevant stories that complemented and heightened the practical side and application of the topic.
By Fr. Joseph Matitu, SSS