The Sisters of Our Lady Mother of Divine Love, better known in the Diocese as the “Ntaba Maria Sisters”, founded 50 years ago by the Pallottine and first bishop of Queenstown, Johannes Baptista Rosenthal, wanted, in occasion of their golden jubilee year, a special retreat and asked Father Edward Tratsaert, also a Pallottine and Priest in Charge of the St. Theresa’s Mission in Queenstown, to conduct this retreat which started on the 24th of June and ended on the 2nd of July.
The retreat master put a strong emphasis on three points and these were:
1. God is Infinite Love, and, driven by that Love He created us in accordance to his own image and likeness and does not want that even a single person amongst us gets lost.
2. After mankind forgot about Him, it was He Himself who took up again contact with us. He sent us His only Son to bring the Good News of Salvation and Life everlasting. By dying for us, His Son destroyed death and opened the doors of heaven, through which He, as the Good Shepherd wants us to lead to the House of the Father with the words: “Come and follow me”
3. In the religious world, that “Come and follow me” is called “Vocation” and is considered as an extreme generous gift of the Son of God towards the people he “calls”. We always have to be very conscious about the fact that it was not us who chose Him but that it was He who chose us.
Every day started with a guided meditation by the retreat master in the form of a real conversation with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, and, the height of every day was for sure the Holy Mass, which was very solemnly celebrated.
The Rosary with it’s 20 Mysteries was prayed in a meditative form and this happened also with the Stations of the Cross on Friday.
The retreat master who is pretty well acquainted with the “Vita Sanctorum”, advised the Sisters strongly to read more hagiographies, because they give us abundantly examples and inspiration of how to live daily through, with and in Christ.
And, in the evening, there was every day a film about either a Saint or a religious event in the past which could lead to the uplifting of the daily spirituality. People like Pope John Paul II, Bernadette Soubirous, St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi, Elizabeth Bailey Seton and Joan of Arc do have indeed still to say something in the world of today.
The retreat ended on Monday the 2nd of July with a solemn High Mass and the Papal Blessing.
There was a God blessed atmosphere in the Ntaba Maria Convent, where every body was happy with the experience they just had lived.
May God’s Blessing continue to dwell in that community of Ntaba Maria!
Fr Edward Tratsaert SAC