Place of retreat, restoration

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Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Divine Mercy Center (upper-left) in the Benedictine grounds in Corte, Carmen, entrance lobby of the Divine Mercy Center (lower-right), meeting room (lower-left) and retreat or Conference Hall (upper-right). (Contributed Fotos)


THERE are times one seeks to be “away from it all,” to reflect and figure out where he is going and what to do with the rest of his life. In times like these—particularly like this Lenten season—one looks for a place he can retreat to, whether alone or with others of the same mindset. This is when retreats, offered usually by the religious community, become a welcome break from the daily grind of living.

One of qualities of a good retreat place is that, it should be somewhere not very accessible to ensure isolation. With that said, the Benedictine priests in Corte, Carmen, have such a facility they call the Divine Mercy Center. 

Inaugurated last year and blessed by His Excellency Jose Palma, Archbishop of Cebu, the center is a place for retreats, recollections, seminars or Bible study classes.

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Situated up Corte hill, a few kilometers away from the main road going to northern Cebu, it is isolated, thus, is also an ideal place for renewal programs of families, couples and singles, and for training programs for catechists, the Catholic youth, and the laity in general and its leaders. It can also be a place for meetings, workshops and conferences and training programs for non-profit organizations.

The center can accommodate 50 people, and is available also for prayer reunions and extended family gatherings under the guidance of priests or consecrated persons of leaders from Catholic organizations. It also welcomes individuals and families for personal or group sharing, counseling, healing prayers and the sacrament of reconciliation.

With the Monastic guesthouse, the Divine Mercy Center can offer closed retreats, as well as preached retreats for consecrated persons, seminarians and candidates in formation to priesthood or the consecrated life. The guesthouse can accommodate 24 persons. The congregation aims to expand the facility, with Phase 2 of the project in the works, to accommodate more of the faithful who desire a place “away from it all.”

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 29, 2015.

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