About Divine Retreat Centre
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Potta-Divine Retreat Ministry is part of the renewal Movement of the Vincentian Congregation in India, based on the spiritual traditions bequeathed by St. Vincent de Paul. "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor" (Lk 4:18). This was taken by St.Vincent as a special motto of his own ministry and of the Society of Priests that he founded. The Vincentian Congregation patterned on the Society of Priests founded by St. Vincent de Paul, was started in India in 1904. The two main aims of the Vincentian Congregation are: Preaching the Good News to the Poor. Caring for the Welfare of the Poor and Afflicted. Since 1950, the Indian Vincentian Fathers have been conducting the Popular Mission Retreats in parishes in Kerala, India. The effect has been overwhelming – bringing about a dynamic spiritual transformation in the lives of the people. In 1977, Potta Ashram was established as the centre to direct and to coordinate Popular Mission Retreats. Full time preachers began to stay over here to pray and prepare together. Large crowds of people began to crowd the Ashram – the sick, the broken-hearted, and those seeking spiritual solace from all 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 huge numbers of people converging for the week-long residential retreats held in Malayalam. A sprawling locale 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 started in six other languages – English, Konkani, Kannada, Telugu, Tamil and Hindi. Today, Divine Retreat Centre is the largest 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 back-to-back non-stop every week of the year. It is truly an achievement only possible through the grace of God!