All About the Divine Retreat Centre
Author: Dr. Charlene Rose Marie 27 Apr 2021
The Divine Retreat Centre (DRC) is the Largest Catholic Retreat Centre in the world. It is founded by Fr George Panackal. The Divine Retreat Centre is led by the Vincentian Priests who belong to the Congregation of the Mission Mary Matha Province.
The Congregation of the Mission which was founded by St. Vincent de Paul about 395 years ago on the 17th of April 1625. Hence, St. Vincent de Paul is considered the father and Patron of the congregation.
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor” (Luke 4:18) was the motto adopted by St. Vincent de Paul for his own ministry and that of the Congregation of Mission.
In India, Vincentian Congregation started in 1904 and the Indian Vincentian Priests started conducting Catholic charismatic retreats in Kerala, a Southern State in India as early as 1950. The Potta Ashram was founded by Fr. Mathew Naickomparabil VC in Potta, Kerala, India. These Spiritual retreats drew large crowds of devotees who found transformation, renewal of their faith, Divine connection, peace and solace through Prayers, Praise and Worship. The ‘Popular Mission Retreats’ were attended not just by local people but by people from the neighbouring Indian states and other parts of the world.
“Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” (Romans 10:17)
Due to space constraints and the inability to accommodate the devotees at Potta Ashram, The Divine Retreat Centre was established on a sprawling site in the picturesque village of Muringoor, near Chalakudy, in God’s Own Country – Kerala was inaugurated in 1987. Due to the ongoing pandemic and Lockdown restrictions, the Retreats are no longer held. These multi lingual residential week- long retreats were held in the designated halls which are spacious to accommodate thousands of devotees.
“ We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” ( 2 Corinthians 5:20)
Divine Retreat Centre (Kerala, India) is led by Fr. Augustine Vallooran, Fr. Mathew Naickomparabil , Fr. John Prince VC, Fr. Sebastian Vadakkumpadan, Fr. Paul Puthuva, Fr. John Kanichery VC, Fr. K P Philip, Fr. Tomy Punnassery, Fr. Philip Nedumthuruthil, Fr. Jacob Arimpur, Fr. Paul Parekattil VC and all other Rev. Priests, Spiritual Preachers, the Intercessors, Music Ministry, Volunteers.
Divine Retreat Centre (India) has various Ministries such as:
- The Spiritual Retreats have been attended by more than 10 million devotees from different countries worldwide. The retreats are held in several languages namely English, Malayalam, Konkani, Kannada, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. Since the past decades and prior to start of the Covid 19 pandemic in India,
2) Charitable Services: The Charitable Trust has nine Charitable Homes located on the Divine Campus. These include:
•The Divine Care Centre
• Divine Mercy Home
• At. Vincent’s Home for AIDS Patients
• Divine Villa for Girls
• Divine Palliative Care Centre
• Maria Santhi Bhavan
• De -Addiction Centre
• St. Mary’s Home and Project for Women’s Empowerment
• St. Paul’s Home for Boys
Divine Dairy Farm and other Charitable social initiatives.
3) The Praise and Worship Ministry including the Music Ministry.
4) Media Ministry which includes:
• Divine Vision Television is a Spiritual TV Channel available 24 hours and broadcasts Spiritual Preachings, Praise and Worship conducted at Divine Retreat Centre (Kerala, India).
• Divine Voice. is a Magazine published by DRC (Kerala, India) and is available in about six languages- English, Malayalam Konkani, Hindi, Tamil and Kannada. Mustard Kids is the Children’s English magazine.
• Divine Goodness TV is the YouTube Channel of the Divine Retreat Centre (Kerala, India) :
Since March 2020, live Holy Masses and Holy Adorations, Spiritual Reflections, Talks and Retreats have been live streamed daily on Divine Goodness TV.
5) Spiritual Guidance and Counseling
He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” (Mark 16:15)
The Cause of Evangelisation of the People was spread by the Vincentian Fathers to many parts of the world. This led to the establishment of The Divine Retreat Centres globally.
“ Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “ and I will send you out to fish for people” (Matthew 4:19)
There are about 51 Vincentian Prayer and Retreat Centres in the United Kingdom, Kenya, Uganda, Canada, United States of America, Australia, Germany, Austria and India.
In that day you will say: “Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted.” (Isaiah 12)
To name a few of the Prayer and Retreat Centres located worldwide:
• Muringoor – Divine Retreat Centre, Muringoor, 680309, Chalakkudy, Thrissur Dt., Kerala
• Potta – Popular Mission Centre, Potta, 680 722, Chalakkudy, Thrissur Dt., Kerala
• Kalyan – Tabor Divine Retreat Ashram, Kamba Village, Varap P.O., Kalyan-Murbad Road, Kalyan, Thane Dt., Maharastra
• Bengaluru – Logos Retreat Centre, 29 Prakruthi Township, 1st Main, P.B. No 4326, Babusahib Palaya, Bengaluru, 560043, Karnataka
United Kingdom :
• Divine Retreat Centre, St. Augustine Abbey, St. Augustine’s Road, Ramsgate, CT119PA, Kent, UK
• Nairobi – Vincentian Prayer House, P.O. Box 25158, 00603, Lavington, Nairobi, Kenya
• Kisumu – Vincentian Prayer House, Buoye, Kisumu, Kenya
• Exerzitienzentrum Der Goettlichen Barmherzigkeit, St. Clemens Kirche, Stresemann Str. 66 a, 10963, Berlin
• Masaka – Divine Mercy Renewal Centre, Kabulassoke, P.B.No. 613, Masaka, Uganda
• Nsangi – Vincentian Retreat Centre, Nzangi, P.B. No. 23, Kyengera, Kampala, Uganda
• Toronto – Divine Retreat Centre, Vincentian Prayer Centre, 69 William Street, Toronto, ON, M9N 2G6, Canada
• Perth – Vincentian Prayer Centre, Holy Family Church, Lot 375, Alcock Street, Maddington, 6109, Perth
• Sydney – Divine Retreat Centre, 160 Hensons Road, Somersby 2250, Sydney
• Vienna – Vinzentiner Haus, Zanaschkagasse 12/30/15-16, 1120, Wien, Austria
United States of America:
New Jersey – Divine Prayer Centre, 426, Route 57 West, Washington, NJ 07882, USA
Tampa – Divine Mercy Prayer House, 2905 S Frontage Road, Plant City, FL 33566, USA
“ For we are co- workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.” (1Corinthians 3:9)
History About The Divine Retreat Centre, Ramsgate ,UK)
The Divine Retreat Centre UK is located in St. Augustine’s Abbey in Ramsgate, Kent. Formerly, known as St. Augustine’s Abbey after St. Augustine, a Benedictine Monk belonging to the Benedictine Congregation of Subiaco . St. Augustine is considered as the “ Apostle to the English” and a founder of the English Church. St. Augustine was the first Archbishop of Canterbury in 597 and he was responsible for the Evangelisation of the people in the UK. Ramsgate is considered as the birthplace of Christianity in England.
St. Augustine’s Abbey is one of the first Benedictine Monasteries built in United Kingdom in 1860-1861. In 1881, it became a Priory and in 1896 it attained the status of an Abbey by Pope Blessed Pius IX.
The Vincentian Congregation purchased the St. Augustine’s Abbey in Ramsgate, UK and St. Augustine’s Abbey was renamed as the Divine Retreat Centre UK – Ramsgate on the 16th of March 2014. It was blessed and inaugurated by His Excellency Peter Smith, the Archbishop of Southwark. Since then, the Divine Retreat Centre UK has been conducted Masses, Holy Adorations, Spiritual Retreats, Praise and Worship, Spiritual Talks, Charitable Services, Spiritual Guidance and other Spiritual services. Divine Retreat Centre UK is responsible for the Re- Evangelisation of the Catholic Faith and Devotion in the UK
The Divine Retreat Centre UK is led by Fr. George Panackal VC, Fr. Joseph Edattu VC, Fr Antony Parankimalil VC and Fr Jose Palliyil VC, Intercessors, Music Ministry, Volunteers.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. ( John 1:1)
Divine Retreat Centre UK Ministries:
- Spiritual Retreats
Until March 2020, residential three days Spiritual Retreats were held in , Konkani ,Malayalam, Tamil.
- Youth Ministry:
• Youth Retreat “Hesed” – is a Spiritual Retreat for teenagers above 16 years of age and young adults.
- Praise and Worship Ministry including the Music Ministry:
• Prayer Tower – a 24hrs Intercessory Powerful Prayer Service conducted online via Zoom wherein Divine Retreat Centre UK Intercessors pray for those requesting Prayers from all different parts of the world.
Zoom ID : 890 6720 3785*
- Media Ministry:
• Divine UK – is the YouTube Channel of the Divine Retreat Centre UK.
Since March 2020, the Live Online Holy Masses and Holy Adorations of the Blessed Sacrament have been streamed daily at 17:00hrs. Special Spiritual Online Retreats are also conducted in English, Konkani, Malayalam, Tamil.
• Divine Youth Ministry: Under My Roof – is a Youth Programme that is held as a Live Webinar every Saturday.
• Divine Kids Ministry : Bambino – is a Children’s Programme which aims to teach children about Christianity through interesting stories, Bible passages/ parables, Cathetism lessons, games etc.
• Dewfall : Daily Spiritual Reflections by Fr. Joseph Edattu.
Kindly Subscribe to the Divine UK YouTube Channel to access the various ministries.
• Divine News / Newsletter : is a monthly Newsletter published online by the Divine Retreat Centre UK and can be accessed via the official website of Divine Retreat Centre UK or via the Divine UK App https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.divineuk.android or Newsletter Subscription. The Newsletter contains many Spiritual Articles, Transcribed Talks of the Homilies of the Divine Retreat Centre UK and other Spiritual enriching literature.
• Divine Radio is available 24hrs a day all throughout the year and in 5 languages such as English, Malayalam, Konkani, Tamil and Swahili. It can be easily accessed through the Divine UK Mobile App.
• Divine UK App
Launched in April 2021. Both iPhone and Android versions are available free of cost and can be downloaded from Play Store. It is totally user- friendly, easily accessible and with organized features. All the Ministries of Divine Retreat Centre UK such as the daily live Holy Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and Holy Mass, Dewfall, Bambino, Divine News/Newsletter and other features can be quickly and easily accessed via this App.
- Charitable Services
- Spiritual Guidance and Counseling
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. (John 10:27)
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