At peace in the presence of God

Attending services at the Divine Retreat Centre, Somersby, is unlike any other experience. When you are there you are made to feel like family. Even those who have attended just one service have reported the same thing.

I have attended this Vincentian Missionaries’ retreat at various times since it opened in 2013. The services consist of praise and worship, preaching of the Word, Adoration, Mass, and a walk with the Lord present in the Blessed Sacrament during the Stations of the Cross. Whenever I am there I feel an immense amount of peace, joy and most importantly God’s presence.

As with any Catholic church, here you get to encounter God in a very strong way. The preaching is not restricted by time, so the breakdown of the Word is very comprehensive. Through this, my faith, along with that of many others, now has solid foundations. Encountering God at the retreat turned me from a lukewarm Catholic to a person with great zeal for God and His people. It pushed me to step out and start ministry for young people to help them encounter God too. Through this, I have been able to meet many other like-minded young Catholics and create an amazing support system. 

I learnt so much about the Catholic faith at the retreat. It highlighted my lack of knowledge in my own faith, which was causing me like many others to take a relaxed approach to faith-based conversation, Sunday Mass, prayer and the way I lived my life. The preaching allowed me to reflect upon all these areas and convinced me to make some real changes in my life to become more Christ-like.

Above all this, I have always found every aspect of the services from the preaching to the celebration of Holy Mass to be entirely Spirit led. Before going to the retreat centre, I always thought everything I did was through my own ability. It was only after learning more about God that I realised that He helps me through everything and gives me the ability to continue.

All my life I have heard that God provides, but I have witnessed and experienced that in reality at the retreat. The Divine Retreat Centre is a non-profit organisation, but God has always provided for it to continue its ministry. Seeing this, it strengthened my faith and helped me understand that God will provide for me too.

I witnessed several testimonies of healings and blessings at the retreat. These included receiving jobs, houses, healings of cancer and other ailments, and quick recoveries from serious illnesses. I have met and listened to someone who shared his story of being declared dead but was brought back to life by God 45 minutes later. These testimonies really brought to life the words from the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke that nothing is impossible for God.

The ministries at the retreat centre have changed the lives of many, strengthening their faith and parish presence. If you feel like you are one of those people with no answers when a person asks you questions about God or Catholicism, then it will benefit you to attend some services to learn more about our faith. The Divine Retreat Centre has weekly services and various ministries that cater to all ages. Most services are free to attend.

If you are looking to have a God experience in your life and deepen your love for Him, attend a service.


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Melinda Rego

Melinda Rego is a primary school teacher in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle

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