Full of joy and enthusiasm, the solemn-professed brothers from Gardianat Assisi, Gardianat San Damiano Depok, Gardianat La Verna Atambua, Gardianat Greccio Yogyakarta, and the filial community of Magalau South Kalimantan, took part in the annual online retreat. The theme of this retreat is: “The Meaning of the Year of Brotherhood: Living with Brothers with Disabilities”. This retreat was led by Brother Peter Beto, OFM from 23 August to 27 August 2021. In addition to the presentation by the retreat facilitator, in each retreat session the participants were given the opportunity to ask questions and share experiences related to relationships, services, and encounters with brothers with disabilities.
Through this retreat, the participants were encouraged to have more respect for people with disabilities who are often excluded from society, and were invited to re-examine themselves as vulnerable individuals. In addition, through this retreat the participants were also invited to be aware of discrimination against brothers and sisters with disabilities within the Church. By looking at the dire situation, the retreat participants were invited to do repentance. The call to repentance is in line with Pope Francis’ call to stop all forms of discrimination against brothers and sisters with disabilities, which he refers to as a form of sin in the modern world. The retreat was then closed with a joint evaluation of the ongoing retreat process.
Br. Irfan Afriyanto, OFM