The Istituto Santa Famiglia (ISF) made their 12th Annual Retreat and Convention last January 25-28, 2024, at the Maryridge Retreat and Renewal Center in Tagaytay City, Cavite.
It was a lively gathering of 48 members and candidates, and three SSP priests from the different parts of the Philippines, divided into Chapters: Manila (the gracious host for meeting 2024), Cebu, Bohol, and Bacolod. Those from Davao did not make it due to unavoidable circumstances.
The annual retreat and convention had always been the most anticipated event for each one, when all the members would come together to be spiritually nourished, to be reunited as one big vibrant family, where one feels at home, truly belonging to a family.
The conferences were given by Fr. Celso Godilano, the Provincial Delegate and Retreat Master. He focused on “the Spirit of the House,” on what Blessed James Alberione would call the substance or DNA of the Institute. There were also discussions and shared moments on the Pauline spirituality: Jesus Teacher (Master), Way, Truth and Life; St. Paul as model, passionate for Christ; and Mary, the first “Editor” of the Gospel, giving us Jesus incarnate.
A day was dedicated to the planning session for the next Annual Retreat and Convention, for the reporting of apostolic endeavors of members in different localities, and for the sharing of the reality as a parent, as a family, as a religious. The evening of the third day was just fun, with a fellowship program where each group presented their performances in colorful costumes, combined with music and dances, songs and laughter.
The retreat concluded with a solemn Mass, presided by Fr. Mario Sobrejuanite, the Provincial Superior, during which 11 made their renewal of vows. He highlighted in his homily the importance of family life, that evangelization starts and bears fruit in the family. He exhorted everyone to be a Pauline everywhere and have that spirit of closeness as one Pauline Family.