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Our Lady of Sacred Heart International School

 New Ireland Province, Papua New Guinea, Years Preparatory - 12

"Continuing the Mission of the MSC Sisters"


On Wednesday 10th of February, we had our Retreat Day at Luakis Bungalow. A great time of talking, discussing and reflecting on the way we apply ourselves to our studies, our behavior both in school and at home, how we act towards friends and family and finally our relationship and personal journey with the Lord.

Our theme for 2021, was “Who am I”. The purpose of this retreat was to spend a quiet and prayerful moment with the Lord, placing ourselves before Him, to open up to Him, commit ourselves and reflect on our life- journey in high school. To settle down and prepare ourselves for what the future may bring.

Father Julius guided us throughout this retreat. We indeed learnt a lot from him and very much enjoyed listening to the stories, personal experiences, teachings and encouragement he gave us. Here are a few lessons I picked out from Father:

  1. Every human being has journeys and goals to achieve, behind everything there is always a source, and that is the good Lord himself.
  2. Our path has been chosen and guided by God, we all just have to observe, pray and follow what our heart tells us.
  3. We are all unique in our own ways and in the eyes of God.

We had two sessions during the retreat. In the first session we had a short devotion: song, prayer and a reading was shared. The reading was taken from Genesis 1:4. After Father Julius gave a few teachings, we were asked to answer two questions;

  1. What do you want from this retreat? Or what do I think God wants me to look for?
  2. What is God’s calling in the present context of my life?

Our answers were placed at the foot of the cross on the table that Father used. Father said every time he said Mass, he would commit our answers and pray for us.

Some advice Father gave to us during this session include;

  1. Through bad and good times always praise God, you’ll receive blessings when we don’t expect it.
  2. God wants us to respect ourselves and always take care of our lives. Always have God close by our side.
  3. Always respect other’s dignity.

The last thing we did in Session 1 was to quietly think about and write down our answers if we wanted to about two questions:

  1. Reflect on Isaiah 43:4 “I love you because you are precious in my eyes” How is myself image based on this text?
  2. Self-knowledge exercise, what are my good qualities and what are my bad qualities?

In Session 2 after lunch, Father Julius shared St Paul’s life experiences, being a prosecutor and how he turned his life around to God. After going through the program, Father gave us a few words of encouragement;

  1. In order to achieve things (goals) in life, tune in to what God has set for us.
  2. Attention to God will lead us to the open, into a spacious and free life.
  3. Always start you day with God and end it with him.
  4. The manual of our life is the Bible.
  5. To achieve what you want in life, progress and sacrifice is the way, there is no shortcuts.

The atmosphere of the day was on point; drizzling and cold, a great weather to reflect and think to yourself. While at the same time enjoy the sounds of the waves, raindrops and feel the cold breeze, just a great and wonderful location for recollection.

The Retreat day meant a lot to me, because it is a time to really focus on my spiritual side, to strengthen my relationship with the Lord, to have a clear, positive and right mindset throughout the rest of the year, with God always by my side. As this is our final year, we want to be remembered and have permanent footsteps here in OLSH.

What my fellow classmates and I will remember from this Retreat is what Father taught us, the advice and encouragement necessary for life ahead of us.

I would like to say thank you to Father Julius, Mrs Baiwan, Mr Baiwan and Mr Rangatin for organizing this day for the Year 12 class and we really do appreciate them.

Owen Butler

Red House Captain 2021