In connection with the 12th death anniversary of St. Pope John Paul II, Radio Veritas is displaying for veneration his first-class relic at its chapel (Veritas Tower, 162 West Ave. and Edsa, QC; tel. 9257932-39 local 132) until April 7.
Karol Wojtyla (May 18, 1920-April 2, 2005) was archbishop of Krakow starting in 1964 until he was elected pope in 1978, the first non-Italian pope in more than 400 years. His advocacy for human rights contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union and totalitarian communism in Europe. Pope for 27 years, he was the second longest-serving pope in modern history after Pope Pius IX.
He was also the most widely traveled pope in history, visiting 129 countries. He visited the Philippines twice—in February 1981, when he beatified the first Filipino saint, Lorenzo Ruiz, in the first beatification outside of Rome in history, and in January 1995, when some 4 million people attended the Mass he celebrated to close World Youth Day, considered the largest single gathering in Christian history.
His feast day is celebrated on the anniversary of his papal inauguration on Oct. 22.
Caleruega Philippines, the retreat center in Nasugbu, Batangas, near Tagaytay ridge in Cavite, is famous for its Chapel of the Transfiguration where many weddings have been held. Its extensive gardens and parks are a magnet for romantic couples as well as those seeking silence and contemplation.
True enough, Caleruega will hold the Lenten Retreat for Married Couples April 7-9.
Now on its third year, the retreat will have nine sessions, from 2 p.m., April 7, to 3 p.m., April 9. Retreat speakers are Fr. Deng de la Cruz, OP; Fr. Allen de Guzman, OP; Jun and Marion Cruz of Ligaya ng Panginoon Community; Angelo and Bernadette de la Cruz; and Raul Roque.
Retreat fee of P9,000 per couple will include meals, cottage accommodation and retreat materials.
“The retreat aims to help married couples renew their relationship with each other and with the Lord, and reflect on how Holy Week can heal and inspire the love they shared since their wedding day,” said Fr. Allen de Guzman.
He assured those who would join the retreat of the utmost privacy.
“We can assure you that there will be no obligatory group sharing of personal stories,” he said.
“The retreat offers a team of veteran resource speakers in retreats and conferences,” the Dominican friar added. “Having our sought-after speakers in one retreat is a blessing, and we hope to share this Caleruega retreat experience with you.”
But why on Palm Sunday weekend? Father Allen said this would allow retreatants to join their families and loved ones later in observing Holy Week.
Married couples who had joined the retreat in the past swore to its efficacy.
“We are now somewhat equipped to handle the different situations of married life,” a couple said.
“It surpassed my expectations,” said one spouse. “I came to realize how important love is in our relationship. It renewed our view on how to live a married life.”
“The retreat surpassed my expectations,” another couple said. “The registration fee seemed too small for what was given us during the retreat. The topics were great eye-openers for us couples.”
“I was able to know more my weaknesses, the hindrances to our intimacy,” a husband said.
“It helped us in a big way by giving us the tools to understand where each of us is coming from,” another couple said. “All topics are very helpful. I really pray that this kind of retreat would reach more married couples.” Call 09218304226, 09212709890; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org