BANGALORE, India - Lent is a season of grace. In order to receive the grace, one needs to empty all the unwanted things from the heart. So that the faithful can prepare well to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus on the Easter Sunday. The Catholic Church in India takes much interest in organizing retreats, confessions and Way of the Cross meaningfully with fasting, prayers, abstinences of eating meat, egg and consumption of alcohol. The Montfortians in India especially in the southern part take up Lenten retreats both individually and as a group to preach retreats to the faithful in the parishes. The Montfortians preach Lenten retreats and spread the devotion to Mary to the faithful in the parishes. These retreats are giving the Montfortians a new identity among the faithful. Many who did not know about Saint Louis-Marie de Montfort are coming to know our spirituality through these retreats.
Today, Indian Church is in need of renewal of Faith and therefore these retreats bring a lot of awareness in the understanding of Mary and Montfort. These retreats are conducted for one day, two days and three days. We have young people who accompany for the praise and worship. We have intercessory group who prays for the retreats. These retreats are for the renewal of the faith within the Catholic Church and at the parish level. Even though we lack the full-time preaching team in the Vice-Province but we the Montfortians are making our efforts in the available time. Most of these retreats are on weekend according to the availability of the faithful in the parishes. Some of the retreats are preached in the evening beginning from 5pm to 9 pm.
The structure of the retreat is: Rosary, praise and worship, listening to the word of God, preaching, hearing confessions, adoration, healing prayers and Eucharist. The parish priests invite us to preach the retreats and we form the team to preach according to the availability of the priests. The church needs renewal of faith and practice of this faith in our daily life. Let us be united in prayer so that the zeal of Montfort in preaching the Word of God is carried out according to the signs of the times.
Fr. Prem KUMAR, SMM