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Ignatian Eco Retreat in India, November 2012

14 August 2012

Sawantwadi, the venue of the retreat, nestles on the banks of a beautiful lake near Goa on the Konkan Railway line. The lake and lush green hills close by make it a place to commune with God via nature.

Rappai Poothokaren, SJ

An eco retreat is planned for Jesuits to experience and relish the presence of the Lord in His creation.  It would follow the Ignatian approach to God’s creation and our relationship with Him in Nature.  Robert Athickal, SJ, who has been initiating a “new Cosmology for our Times” for more than two decades agreed to animate this retreat.

God created the Earth.  Adam (human) was created from Adamah (topsoil), and so is permanently linked to God and the Earth.  Father Kolvenbach says that this relationship is “so closely united that a person cannot find God unless he finds him through the environment and, conversely, that his relationship to the environment will be out of balance unless he also relates to God.”

Ignatius affirms a “three-fold relationship of subjects” between God, humans, and the rest of Creation.  This relationship is particularly evident in the Principle and Foundation and the Contemplation to attain Love, the beginning and the culmination of the Spiritual Exercises.  In the Contemplatio, it is clear that Creation is both a source of God as well as a pathway to God.  The activity of God and the mystery of God are in Creation.  God dwells in all creation.  God labours and works in Creation.  Father Kolvenbach states, “In the environment, the human person finds the Creator ‘in all things.’  We experience the goodness of God through the creatures around us.  When we experience this goodness, we spontaneously want ‘to praise, reverence, and serve God.’”

The Ignatian Eco Retreat will be held from 8 to 17 November 2012 at the Navsarni Diocesan Pastoral Centre in Sawantwandi, Sindhudurg, India.  For more information, please get in touch with Fr Rappai Poothokaren, SJ through his email rappaisj(at)gmail.com.

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