Dozens of priests attended the retreat which included a visit to the Diaconia, the “headquarters” of Shalom Catholic Community, which took place on 7th November.
Father Nicolas Lhernould, a French priest who lives in Tunisia, summarizes the retreat in two words: strength and delicacy. “Strength because, together with other priests, we feel the strength of God in us and the strength of God that works through us; and also delicacy for the guidance of God in our lives through the brothers who accompany us, who pray for us and the action of the Holy Spirit”. The priest also comments that the combination of strength and delicacy creates an atmosphere that pacifies and renews the gift of the priesthood.
Coming from the Diocese of Campo Limpo in San Paolo, Father Fernando Souza, ordained four years ago, took part in the retreat for the first time. For him, praying with other priests was a Pentecost experience. It was the consecrated members of the mission of the Shalom Community of Santo Amaro who invited him. According to the priest, the moments that most marked him were community prayer and the opportunity to meet presbyters with more years of experience.
Fra Fabiano Reis, of Imperatriz – MA, claims to have discovered the retreat through social networks: three years ago he tried to participate in the meeting, but due to other commitments he was unable to participate. This year however, thanks to the intercession of the members of the Community who live in the city where he also resides, he was encouraged to participate. “I had a very high expectation of the retreat, but what it offers is much more” he said. With regard to preaching, the priest comments that everyone gave and brought to the participants testimonies of life, rather than content.
Translation: Jhoanna Climacosa