13 July 2021
Recently, the students of the Holy Child College, Ikoyi Lagos have been having Retreat in Holy Child convent in batches. One of the participants, Anaebonam Chiamaka shares their retreat experience with Sr. Henrietta Adindu, SHCJ:
At first the location came as a surprise to us but we understood the schools reason. We left by 4pm on Thursday taken by Sr Martina. When we got to the convent we were all warmly welcomed and we were assigned to our rooms and we got to know our roommates.
First and foremost our time table was read out to us and the first activity we had was an opening mass with the Rev Sisters at the convent, immediately we took up the duty of reading during mass and playing the instruments. After the mass another welcome by all the Rev Sisters we were introduced to our retreat director, Rev Sr Henrietta Adindu. Then we moved to the dining hall and had our dinner which was lovely.
That evening we arrived, after dinner we had our very first conference with Rev Sr Henrietta, we introduced ourselves and we were taught two songs which we sang through the whole retreat. Sr told us the importance of the retreat which is to reconnect with God and we should make good use of our time there. She urged us to make use of any of the chapels in the convent.
After a good night rest we started the day’s meditation then breakfast. First conference was by 8:30am and in the conference we started by singing praise and worship and the songs we were taught. One important lesson we learnt during the retreat was how to pray with the bible, many of us did not know that until then. It is called LECTIO DIVINA were we have to read the bible four times, deeply meditate then share our views on what the passage says to us.
At the end of the conference were given some bible passages to read ahead of the next conference. After the first conference we had snacks then we rested and went for rosary by 12 noon after which we had mass then lunch by 1 pm. In just one day we got so used to the place that when we entered the chapel for mass we set the alter by ourselves and arranged everywhere for mass.
After a little rest we went back for the second conference, each day ended with the exposition of the blessed sacrament. We followed the time table for the next day. We were applauded for our punctuality and quietness. On the second day after mass we had confession and some of us spoke with some old SHCJ sisters who added also to our retreat experience. Some of us at the end of the second day were having mixed feelings about coming back to school the next day which was on a Sunday. The Sunday mass ( All the masses) was lively, after the mass we thanked the priest for celebrating mass for us throughout our retreat, we also thanked the SHCJ sisters for their hospitality during our last conference with Sr Henrietta we all shared our experience in the retreat and how our relationship with God is at the moment, then we all thanked her for her love and support after which we took group pictures.
I cannot speak for all but from what I saw we made good use of the retreat. I never knew that Holy Child Girls could stop talking for a day but during the retreat we were silent for two days. When we did not have anything to do we always found ourselves in the chapel having individual prayers. Surely we did not leave the gates of the convent the same persons, there was a difference and we planned on how to share what we learnt with our sisters from other sets.
We are so grateful for this opportunity given to us by the school, we appreciate all efforts made to make us comfortable in the convent and for all that we learnt.