Divine Retreat Centre, Muringoor
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The Divine Retreat Center is a Retreat centre situated in Muringoor, near Chalakudy, Kerala, India near. It is part of the renewal movement of the Vincentian Congregation of India, who have been conducting retreats in parishes in Kerala since the 1950s. It was inaugurated in 1987.
The Potta Ashram was founded in 1977 as the centre to direct and to co-ordinate popular mission retreats. It functioned as the headquarters and residences of the directors of the Center, Frs. George Panackal V.C. and Romulus Nedumchalil, etc., who used to conduct mission retreats and visitations from here. A few years later, Fr. Mathew Naickomparambil was transferred to Potta. Fr. Naickomparambil was involved with propagating the Charismatic Renewal. The Renewal movement that began in 1966 at the Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, U.S.A. was brought to India in February 1972.
Fr. George Panackal became impressed by Fr. Naickomparambil's sermons which were the result of his involvement in the Charismatic Renewal. Fr. Naickomparambil's propagation of the Charismatic Renewal drew in thousands of people. After a few years, a three-storey building was put up to conduct the retreats, primarily intended for the people coming to the Ashram for further consultations from places where the Vincentians' Popular Mission Retreats were being conducted. But as Fr. Naickomparambil's Charismatic Renewal retreats grew in popularity, the Potta Ashram itself became a center for numerous retreats.
As the Potta Ashram was inadequate for the increased numbers, under Fr. George Vempilly, the new director, a sprawling new site was acquired at Muringoor, on the banks of the Chalakudy River, six kilometers away from Potta, and Fr. Jacob Athickal was tasked with preparing a new and more extensive facility which was to be called Divine Retreat Center. At this new site, retreats were begun in six other languages besides Malayalam including English, Konkani, Kannada, Telugu, Tamil and Hindi. Since 1990, over 10 million pilgrims from all over the world have attended retreats here. Weekly retreats are held throughout the year. The Retreat Centre has 2 large campuses along both sides of the NH47 – one for the Malayalam retreats and the other for the English and other language retreats. The Divine Nagar Railway halt was opened in 1996.
The retreat centre also houses several homes attending to the sick and the marginalised section of society.
- The Divine Mercy Home for the aged
- St Mary’s Home for destitute women (also has a crèche for abandoned children)
- Samaritan Home, for school-going children aged of 3 to 17
- Shantipuram Care Centre, a home for the mentally challenged, was started in 2001.
- De-addiction centre.
- St Vincent Aids Home, that looks after the HIV positive and AIDS patients.
Divine TV ministry
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. Oommen Chandy, Chief Minister of Kerala, launched the telecast Divine Vision programmes are also broadcast by other channels such as Goodness TV in India on 20 November 2011 .
Other Vincentian Retreat Centres
- Divine Retreat Ashram, Faridabad
- Divine Mercy Retreat Centre, Elavur, near Chennai
- Arulalayam Retreat Centre, Ambattur
- Kovai Divine Dhiana Illam, Coimbatore
- Divine Grace Retreat Centre, Trichy
- Logos Retreat Centre, Bangalore
- Jnanodaya Retreat Centre, Hubli
- Sinai Divine Dhanashram, Kurnool
- Divine Mercy Dhayanashram, Mangalagiri
- Divine Renewal Retreat centre, Margherita, Assam
- Divine Retreat Centre, Khetri, Assam
- Divine Love Retreat Centre, Jalalkhali, Kolkata
- Emmaus Renewal Centre, Kolkata
- Parithrana Retreat Centre, Kottayam
- Jubilee Retreat Centre, Kozhikode
- Divine Mercy Intercessory Centre, Sherle Banda,_Maharashtra,near Goa
- "The Catholic Charismatic Renewal". ICCRS. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
- "Potta Divine Retreat Centre Then and Now". The Navhind Times. 2 January 2012. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
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