Teacher’s Retreat

Retreat for teachers by Father Jijo Manjackal on May 28, 2021.

A teacher’s retreat was organised by Sr. Alpana and the management of Sophia High School to orient our focus on the Centrality of God in our lives.

A charismatic personality, Fr. Jijo Manjackal MSFS, Vice Principal of SFS College and Principal SFS Evening College has begun the session with “Everything in life ought to begin in the name of God.”

He stressed on the need to depend on this higher power. He gently reminded us that God is loving and protective even in times of crisis.

The session was replete with beautiful hymns and inspiring videos. He urged us to become aware of the “duplicate” things of life and hence stressed on the need to communicate.

Interestingly he said that the spelling of communication is ‘Listen’. Through numerous examples from life experiences he reiterated the need to find clarity in the many confusing answers of life. He went on to impress upon us that we are expected to be leaders in our own situations of life.

Father Jijo very aptly quoted Aristotle.”Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all” Strengthening one’s inner self is the core of character formation. He drew parallels from the story of Noah’s Ark and reminded us to turn to the Ark as the symbol of hope and trust.

Father aptly pointed out the origin of the word Retreat. Originally used in the context of war or battle, the purpose was ceasefire. Retreat now is used to examine the past, heal the present and plan for the future.

“Learn to acknowledge and appreciate, it will never make you weaker but it may make someone feel stronger, “an important lesson in gratitude was delivered through those powerful words.

The Story of a lighthouse set in Norway was beautifully narrated with the message that even if one is going through a trying time keep the flame of faith and trust in God, alive.

Father Jijo urged us all to become ‘Mad’ in life which translates to ‘Making a difference.’ As teachers we must take our roles seriously because a teacher affects eternity and one can never tell where the influence stops. Every Disappointment can become an ‘Appointment with Him’ -all we have to do is erase the letter ‘D.’ Change our mindset and look at life through a positive lens. As individuals and more so as teachers we should have a “Skin of a rhino but heart of a dove.’ He very rightly pointed out to give time to help them learn and not just impart knowledge.

Father Jijo’s three hour session concluded beautifully with the reassuring words that the Divine anchor is with us, who is even more precious than a diamond.