To reach out to the Catholic and other faithful through the proclamation of the Word of God
We proclaim the Word of God primarily through Retreat Preaching in various languages to the different linguistic groups. Our mission is also to have intercessory prayers for the various intentions offered and pray for various people and their family needs. We also envisage to broaden our Ministry by proclaiming the Word of God in the parishes in and around Mumbai if and when invited, thus widening the scope of the ministry.
The Society of the Divine Word is popularly known as SVD (Societas Verbi Divini) and is founded by St Arnold Janssen in 1875 in Steyl (German – Holland border) to proclaim the Word of God in areas where it is not preached at all or insufficiently preached. SVD members landed in India in 1932 and began their work in Madhya Pradesh and today spread out in various parts of our country. We are working in 75 countries of the world with 6000 Priests and professed Brothers.
Divine Word Retreat Ministry
Divine Word Ministry is a Ministry that caters to the spiritual need and craving of the faithful. The Retreat Team of SVD (Society of the Divine Word) priests strives to preach and proclaim the Word of God through this ministry. The One Day Retreats, presently conducted at the Atma Darshan Chapel, Gyan Ashram Campus, Mahakali Caves Road, Andheri East, are centered primarily around the Word of God. Every effort is made to refer to the Biblical Teaching on various themes that touch our lives. Some themes comfort and console us, while others confront and challenge us. Some offer us means of salvation, while others warn us from falling into temptation. The Word of God, in all its richness and beauty is proclaimed in these retreats. Along with the proclamation of the Word of God, we also praise God, the Almighty and Triune God through Praise and Worship and adore Him in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. We unite in praying for our needs, needs of our families, parishes, relatives and friends, neighbours and well wishers during the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. We cleanse and purify ourselves through the meaningful celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) and strengthen our bonding by participating in the meal together. We get relieved of our burdens and tensions through the counselling by the priests and so on. So, every Retreat is a truly rejuvenating experience for all.
As a spontaneous response to the call of the Holy Spirit, the SVD Priests and brothers of India Mumbai Province (INM) for their Provincial Chapter (the Highest Decision Making Body of the particular Province/Region) came up with the suggestion that we could start the retreat ministry, here in Andheri, Mumbai. A retreat had been already organized by some of our interested priests and seeing the overwhelming response, this thought of continuing the retreat ministry blossomed during the Chapter in February 2017. Consequently, a team was formed and appointed under the leadership of the INM Biblical Coordinator, as suggested by the Chapter Fathers.
The Team then got together and discussed various details and modalities of the possibility and feasibility of conducting various activities. Given the ‘city culture’ of Mumbai, it was thought that week long, residential retreats would be difficult. Hence, short One Day Retreats were thought to be more practical and meaningful for our faithful. Hence, after working out all the details of the retreat, the One Day Retreats in Tamil and English were conducted, starting in March-April 2019 and the English Retreat on 22 June 2019. There was a huge number of people for the Tamil retreat, and similarly the English retreats were gaining momentum. However, the onslaught of covid-19, with its consequential complete lockdown in March 2020, put a devastating break on the growth of the Retreats. However, the fire that was kindled still kept burning and now, with the lifting of covid restrictions, the Retreats are once again becoming strong and far-reaching.
Regular retreats are conducted in Tamil, English and Konkani. Every first Saturday of the month one day retreats are conducted in Tamil. Every second Saturday of the month one day retreats are conducted in English. Every third Saturday of the month one day retreats are conducted in Konkani. These regular monthly retreats on Saturdays begins at 9:00 in the morning and ends by 4:00 in the evening. The registration is free and all are welcome. Lunch will be provided at the centre. Besides, there are various special retreats conducted all through the year like children’s retreat, couples retreat, youth retreat, retreat for widows and widowers, Advent and Lenten special retreats.
In spite of the difficult situation around the world, many of the Catholic faithful in and around Mumbai come in large number and participate in the various spiritual activities and receive the blessings of God together with psychological and physical healing. All this was possible because of the Divine Providence and the generous contribution, cooperation and prayerful support from our donors and well-wishers.
Our activities are aimed at reaching out to all sections of our people, keeping in mind the directive – “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Good News to the whole creation”(Mk. 16:15).