Hungary – Online Lenten Retreat for Young People

25 March 2020

(ANS – Péliföldszentkereszt) – The Salesians in Hungary gave young people the chance to go on a virtual Lenten retreat. On March 21, four Salesians gathered in the Salesian Retreat House at Péliföldszentkereszt and animated the Lenten spiritual exercise online via a Facebook virtual community for those 60 young people who had registered but, due to the coronavirus situation, could not travel to the Retreat Center.

Students of Theology Kovács Sándor SDB, Ilodigwe Emmanuel SDB, and Tóth Péter SDB, along with Fr Csány Péter SDB, broadcasted the all-day spiritual programs live. “Retreat participants and retreat animators were united in spirit,” with animated meditations, prayers immersed in nature, the Holy Mass taking place at the Retreat House.

The target group for the spiritual retreat was young people between 18 and 25 years old. The registered participants, as mentioned above, were 60. But during live broadcasts, the retreat animators were surprised to see the number of participants increase to 250.

The title given to the virtual Lenten retreat in Hungarian was “VISzLeK”, which literally means “I take/bring you” - and in this case, it was meant both visually and spiritually.

The VISzLeK spiritual project began at 5.45 am with the Sunrise Prayer Worship on the hilltop: 375 meters above sea level, close to heaven and the natural surroundings of Gerecse. 

After descending the hill at 8.30 am, the “thought for the day” was delivered by S. Kovács Sándor. At 10.30 am, the retreat animators prayed in procession the novena to Mary Help of Christians as requested by our Rector Major. The procession ended at the Salesian Cemetery where they fondly remembered and prayed for their deceased beloved, especially Fr Havasi József SDB, the ex-provincial.

In viewers, the retreat animators rekindled the passion for God’s love by recalling the first love (vocation), the dreams that came true and showed new ways for a better spiritually renewed future.

At noon, the live Holy Mass was broadcast from the St. Vendel Salesian Chapel where the confreres of the local community enriched the Holy celebration with their prayerful participation and concelebration.

From 2 pm, the retreat animators were at the disposal for answering the questions raised by the viewers. Celestina Mama Coffee shop created a virtual community for young people to exchange ideas and experiences.

The Virtual Lenten Spiritual Exercise came to an end with the Solemn Adoration Service and final blessing of the Blessed Sacrament.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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