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Br. Teofilo in Mozambique, Africa


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17/07/2009: Mozambique


Br.“ Retreat is a time to pray, to meditate and to reflect but primarily it is a time to listen more intensely to the Lord living in me,” ( proclaim His kingdom by John Fuellenbach, page 9) and Jesus had such moments many times during his life on earth. The Gospel tells us that after working, he had some time alone with God. Time alone with God is very essential especially for us who are the perpetuators of his Kingdom. It is important to re-fill our spiritual life. Some say from time to time we need spiritual re-charging. Our routines can easily drain our reservoir to evangelize the youth. We need quiet moments to answer the very question God asked Adam, “ Where are you?” It is not a geographical question certainly and does not require a geographical response. It is rather all about relationships with God, self, others and nature. It becomes an individual or personal question and at the same time it can also carry a community dimension. It can only be answered when we are clear of our goal related to our vocation and mission.

Here you see Br. Teofilo, all the way from Rome to Mozambique to facilitate the annual retreat of the Brothers here in Mozambique. The photo you see of Teofilo is taken inside the Matola noviciate. At this time Brother was preparing to go to Maputo to renew his passport which is now full due to regular travellings giving workshops on Marist Spirituality. So if passports need renewal why not our spiritual life.
The retreat will be held in Beira at a centre run by Missionaries of Africa. It is more spacious and has an ambient to put one into contact with God.

I recall the retreats of the early Brothers with our Saint Marcellin. After the retreat he was doing transfers or introducing a change even when he saw that it would be controversial like silk stockings or new teaching method. I am sure this one will have nothing to do with all these things. It will only provoke the essence of our profound experience of God, our community life and our mission. When we go things without a moment of sitting down and reflecting we may feel our success comes from our abilities and giftedness. A retreat brings us back from detours to our right path as evangelizers of the young people entrusted to us by the church, the institute and our community. For me a retreat is like going back to Galilee where all started after the frustrations, challenges and disappointments of our daily tasks. It is a grace moment to be re-energized spiritually.

Thank Br. Teofilo for facilitating this important aspect of our life. You talks may sometimes not touch their hearts but the Spirit will certainly do on your behalf. May the same Spirit illumine our participants and give them extra stamina for mission. As you say you have gone to twenty six countries, it means you are rich with Marist experiences which can enrich our participants and re-charge them for mission. All us will accompany our brothers in our prayers and at the same time we ask them to pray for us too.
We know after here you go to Brazil, share with them our complements and our best wishes. Union of love and prayers.

Simeon Banda, fms, Matola.

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