Start of the Retreat Centre
Since 1950, Indian Vincentian priests have been conducting parish retreats known as ‘Popular Mission Retreats’ in Kerala, India. The effect has been overwhelming – it brought out a dynamic spiritual transformation in the lives of people. There was a huge desire and inspiration for a permanent place where the people could come and attend retreats; hence, the Potta Ashram was instituted.
In 1977, the Potta Ashram was established as the Centre to direct and to co-ordinate popular mission retreats. Full time preachers began to stay over to pray and prepare together. Large crowds began to flock to the ashram – the sick, the brokenhearted, and those seeking spiritual deliverance from vices including alcohol and drug addictions. God’s compassionate love poured out in abundance and healed many, as the good news of salvation was preached to all.
The facilities at Potta ashram became inadequate for the large number of people converging for week-long residential retreats held in Malayalam. A sprawling residence was acquired at Muringoor, on the banks of Chalakudy River, six kilometres away from Potta – it was named Divine Retreat Centre. The mighty works of God spread far and wide, all over the world, and the pilgrims poured in. New vistas opened up and retreats began in six other languages – English, Konkani, Kannada, Telugu, Tamil and Hindi.
Today, Divine Retreat Centre stands as the largest Catholic Retreat Centre in the world. Since 1990, over 10 million pilgrims from all over the world have attended retreats here. Weekly retreats in 7 languages are held non-stop every week of the year. It is truly an achievement possible only by the grace of God.
Divine TV ministry
The Vincentians were concerned about those who, after attending the retreats from the Divine retreats and conventions, thirst and desired for the Word of God continually being preached. Therefore, Divine Vision, the TV Ministry of the Divine Retreat Centre was established. Divine TV focuses deeply on teaching the masses, the “Way of Christ” and enabled the Word of God to be spread across barriers and boarders of churches and Retreat Centres. “In this powerful way the word of the Lord kept spreading and growing stronger (Acts 19:20).
Divine TV is the 24-hour commercial-free television channel of the Divine Vision Network (DVN). It first went on-air in UK, Europe and the Middle East on 24 December 2008. This was quickly followed with the launch of Divine Vision Network in USA and Canada on 25 May 2009. DVN Online TV was officially launched on 4 October 2009, and is available 24/7 on the Internet.