October 9-13, Pastoral Institute, Ibadan: A time for Retreat is always a time for great spiritual exercise. Thus, it was that within the period indicated above, the entire members of the Congregation, Sons of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Claretian Missionaries, West Nigeria Delegation, converged from all corners of their various missioning posts to observe the Annual Retreat of the year 2023 at the Pastoral Institute, P.I., Ibadan, Oyo State, West of Nigeria.

The retreat moderator was a young dynamic Franciscan, Fr Ezeihejeafor Uchenna, OFMCap. He called the attention of the retreatants on the need for a life lived to the truth of the Gospel and in accordance with the charism of our holy Father Founder, St Anthony Mary Claret as enshrined in our hallowed documents.

Basing his reflections on the sacred documents of the Claretian Congregation, the smooth-talking Capuchin, Order of Friars Minor, reminded us that Padre Claret was a man that resolutely followed Christ and directed his missionaries to imitate him. Any mission or style of missioning not in tandem with the spirit and life of Christ is illusory, already an aberration heading towards failure. After all, the mission is Christ’s. No minister can brag about his mission or ministry as personal. All work is from Christ and is done in the manner of Christ.

The intensive spiritual encounter, marked by daily devotion to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, ended with the sacrament of reconciliation on Thursday, October 12. All departed on Friday, October 13, after the 6am Mass and blessing.

We believe that the spiritual renewal will sustain us in our missionary lives and bequeath upon us the expected divine nourishment to our souls and bodies throughout the coming year. Amen!

Mary, Mother and Foundress of our Congregation – Pray for us!

St Anthony Mary Claret – Pray for us!

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