And Jesus said, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” Mark 6:31. These words of Jesus to his disciples, echo till date in the life of the followers of Jesus Christ and more importantly, priests who are shepherds.
The essence of retreat spells a lot for the retreatants, such as rejuvenation of the spiritual life, the brief rest from the stress of pastoral life, a quiet moment of prayer, and more importantly, re-strategizing for pastoral dexterity. It is for these reasons that the priests of the Catholic Diocese of Uromi embarked on the mandatory annual retreat. The retreat was from Sunday, 25th to Friday, 30th August 2019 at the beautiful and serene St. Joseph Retreat Centre, Ukpoke Inemen, Ugboha managed by the Oblates of St. Joseph. This period availed the priests of the Diocese the opportunity to become energized once again for the vocation to which they have been called to participate. It was also an opportunity to pray for the Diocese in general and for the parishioners who are ever in the mind of their dear priests. Also in the spirit of the retreat and fraternity, the priests of the Diocese marked the 20th priestly ordination anniversary of Very Rev. Frs. Patrick Ebhote and Samson Imhangbe.
This retreat was directed by the amiable Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Makurdi, Most Rev. Dr. Wilfred Anagbe. He journeyed with the priests of the Diocese of Uromi on a five day trip of internalization and prayers, and spiritual renewal.
The closing Mass was on the 30th of August. This indeed was a spirit filled retreat for all participants. To note also, this spiritual exercise is encouraged for all Christians, as it deepens one’s experience of the divine. It avails a Christian the opportunity to become more Christ-like especially when it is approached with the right attitude of abandonment and commitment, all in the bid to spend time with Jesus and “be alone and rest awhile.”