For Filipino Bishop Pablo David it was almost like speaking with his own priests at home in the Philippines as he delivered the annual Archdiocesan Clergy Retreat at the Living Skies Retreat Centre (formerly St. Michael’s Retreat). At least 10 of the 55 priests in the audience were from the Philippines and serving in various parishes throughout the Regina Archdiocese. None of the Filipino priests came from Bishop David’s Caloocan Diocese but they had heard of him and were pleased that he was there to deliver the retreat. Bishop David also took the time to celebrate the regular Saturday afternoon mass at Holy Child Church which has a large Filipino population.
Bishop David based his talks on the biblical passage in which Jesus joins two apostles on the road to Emmaus. There are several biblical references to this particular episode and the Bishop chose the version in Luke’s Gospel as the basis for his talks.
Archdiocesan Chancellor Reverend James Owolagba said the organizing committee wanted a scriptural scholar for this year’s retreat and Bishop David was recommended by an acquaintance, “And I remember he spoke at the Eucharistic Congress in Philippines last year so I contacted him. Bishop David had visited Canada on previous occasions but this was his first visit to this area of Canada.”
Usually the priests provide all the music for the masses and retreat but this year the parish choir from Lumsden’s St. Jerome Church performed. The week-long retreat included several talks by Bishop David and at least two masses. In between the sessions priests were asked to use the time for quiet reflection; conversation was encouraged at meal times.