by: Lorna Buenviaje – PPC Head Servant
When Fr. Willie Ramos took over as PCJ Parish Priest a year ago, he saw a vibrant parish community who selflessly offer their time, talent and treasure in the service of the Lord’s vineyard. He also discerned that the parish servants are ripe for a further deepening of their spirituality.
Hence, last March, during the annual out of town parish retreat, a different kind of retreat was offered to the PCJ parish servants. The overnight retreat was held at the St. Scholastica’s Retreat House in Tagaytay, with two separate groups going on a retreat on succeeding days last March 19-20 and March 20-21, 2018.
Sis Tess Espino, who heads the newly formed Ministry of Spiritual Direction in PCJ was the main resource person/speaker. Sis Tess focused her series of talks during the retreat on introducing a technique in prayer, the Consciousness Examen of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Thru the five simple steps in the Examen: Gratitude, Petition, Review, Forgiveness and Healing, and Renewal, one enters into a prayerful reflection on the events of the day in order to detect God’s presence, our response to Him and discern His direction for us. The retreat participants were given the opportunity to practice the Examen, and were afterwards divided into groups for a spiritual conversation in small groups – the sharing of one’s own prayer experience.
From the open forum at the end of the retreat, there was very positive feedback from the participants and eagerness to incorporate this new prayer technique in their prayer life. Indeed, through the practice of Daily Examen, you can review each day in a way that will help you grow in self-awareness and free you to follow God’s will.
The Consciousness Examen is just the first step in the journey towards the deepening of the spirituality of PCJ servants. Other spiritual practices will be introduced in the future which will help us in our journey towards God’s kingdom as kalakbay, kaakbay and kaagapay.
Those parish servants who were not able to attend the retreat last March, are enjoined to attend any of the following retreat dates: August 9-10, August 10 -11, September 18-19, and September 19-20.