Johannesburg (South Africa). On 31 March 2021, the staff of the Holy Mary Nursery School in Fine Town, Johannesburg, experienced a retreat day at Bosco Youth Center in Walkerville, organized by Sr. Maria Nguyen, Daughter of Mary Help of Christians of Blessed Laura Vicuña Community of Johannesburg, in the Province of Our Lady of Peace (AFM).
The twelve participants, including some aspiring Salesian Cooperators, began the retreat by retracing the Stations of the Cross along the hill, led by Fr Vincent Hoang, Salesian of Don Bosco, to meditate on the suffering of Jesus, which continues in the lives of people today.
Among the intentions of the Via Crucis were prayers for Covid-19 patients, for the families of the victims, for the end of the pandemic, for heads of government, and for health personnel. The difficulties encountered in the climb allowed the participants to come closer to the path of Jesus towards Calvary. Arriving at the top, before the Eucharistic celebration, there was the opportunity to approach the Sacrament of Reconciliation. In his homily, Fr. Vincent emphasized: “Jesus loves us, even if we are sinners. Judas betrayed Jesus and sometimes we betray Him too, but He still loved Judas and He loves us, He forgave us our sins”.
At the end of the retreat, one of the participants expressed joy for the intense day of prayer, which for many was their first experience: “It was a wonderful day! Jesus, as a human being, managed to ascend to Calvary. He died and rose again. This is the hope: we too will overcome the sufferings of daily life”.