A planned retreat came to reality when the whole staff of the Institute of Spirituality in Asia (ISA) went to Hong Kong from March 20-25, 2017. The group had a retreat at Shek O, which is run by the Carmelite Fathers from Indonesia. They were welcomed by none other than the Prior of the community, Fr. Heribertus, and by Fr. David.
Shek O is a place that shows the other face of Hong Kong. Less than 45-minute away (without the traffic jam) from the city proper, it is very conducive to meditation. Fr. Rico Ponce, O.Carm. facilitated and guided us during the retreat entitled “drinking from our own well”.
An unforgettable experience in Carmel, the retreat proved to be a sharing of experiences of life’s journey, joy and love that somehow sustain each one of us and show us the hand of God, making us thankful for the gift of Carmel.
We arrived in Hong Kong on Monday, March 20 at around 12nn (no time difference with Manila) and at Shek-O itself at around 3 pm. We had the retreat up to Wednesday, May 22. The next day we went to Mong Kok for a quick lunch and some souvenir-buying. And then we were off to Macau.
We arrived at 4:30 pm and had the chance to attend and celebrate Holy Mass at Mt. Carmel Church. At around 7 pm we were fetched by Ms. Karen Karen Arano Tagulao, a very good friend of Fr. Rico, and her husband. We reached their place very quickly and enjoyed a sumptuous dinner she herself prepared.
With our benevolent host as guides, we then had a quick tour of some of the best spots of Macau before catching the 10 pm ferry to Hong Kong.
On the last day we celebrated the Holy Eucharist at 10 in the morning. We left for the airport at 1:30 pm for our 5:30 pm flight to Manila. Looking back, it was a short five-day stay in Hong Kong but it was worth the genuine brotherhood and sisterhood and the Spirit of Carmel as we drank from our own well. #
Fr. Edgar Cayanan, O. Carm.