The Society of the Divine Word is popularly known as SVD (Societas Verbi Divini) and is founded by St Arnold Janssen in 1875 in Steyl (German - Holland border) to proclaim the Word of God in areas where it is not preached at all or insufficiently preached. SVD members landed in India in 1932 and began their work in Madhya Pradesh and today spread out in various parts of our country. We are working in 75 countries of the world with 6000 Priests and professed Brothers.
In 1961, the Society began a Minor Seminary in Kirem, for recruiting vocations for the missions and giving them the initial formation. Along with this, the SVD Fathers also rendered pastoral service in the parishes and schools of Mangalore Diocese. As time passed, we started looking out for more direct involvement in the pastoral activities.
At the beginning of the new millennium, we saw the need for spiritual renewal and faith formation, as there were crises in the society, families and at individual level due to various reasons. The faithful were seeking help in the spiritual realm and thirsting for the Word of God, as we read in the book of Amos (8:11). People who experienced renewal of their faith through retreats preached at Muringoor and Potta in Kerala wanted to continue their spiritual renewal. There were pressing requests from catholics from here and abroad to start a renewal retreat centre in Mangalore, assuring all co-operation , so that our people could easily attend these retreats. The SVDs studied the necessity and also the benefits of this venture to the Catholic families and began to look out for a suitable location for this venture.
A devout Catholic family offered us the present location, at a very concessional rate. Initially, Saturday conventions were held in the Mulki Parish Church. On October 1, 2004, the administrative block and the Twin chapels were blessed by Rev. Aloysius Paul D’souza, Bishop of Mangalore and inaugurated by Fr.Gregory Pinto SVD, Provincial Superior of India-Mumbai Province. The retreat centre is named as Divine Call Centre, Karnad, Mulki.
For some time, the one day conventions were held in a huge pandal and the weeklong retreats were conducted in the intercessory (upper) chapel. Meantime, a new block with a large hall on the 1st floor and kitchen and dining hall on the ground floor, was constructed for the Saturday conventions and the retreats.. Retreats were conducted at the centre as well as in many parishes of the Mangalore Diocese. A dormitory block and a building with self attached rooms were put up. Presently, the centre has the accommodation for about 800-900 people at a time amidst beautiful coconut trees, lawns and pathways which give a soothing ambience for prayer and meditation. All this was possible because of the Divine Providence and the generous contribution, cooperation and prayerful support from our donors and well wishers.
Our activities are aimed at reaching out to all sections of our people, keeping in mindthe directive – “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Good News to the whole creation”(Mk. 16:15). We conduct regular weekly retreats – twice a month in Konkani, once a month in English and once in three months in Kannada. Every Saturday, from 9.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m., there is a day of prayer. Besides these, there are retreats for children, youth, couples, senior citizens, alcoholics and drug addicts as and when time permits. Requests for retreats in parishes and schools are also accepted. Every Sunday evening from 5:00 to 6:00 we telecast Holy Mass on Namma T.V.which is repeated on Monday at 4.00 p.m
Presently Fr. Cyprian Lewis, SVD (Director) Fr. Abraham Dsouza, SVD (Programme Co-Ordinator) Fr. Anil Kiran Fernandes, SVD (Preacher) Fr. Evan Josefred Gomes (Media Incharge), Fr. Alwyn Pinnto (Administrator) along with some dedicated lay people carry on the various facets of our ministry through preaching, music, singing, intercessory prayers, counseling, production and sale of audio CDs, magazines, website. Thousands have visited this Centre and experienced renewal, healing and new life.
Enriched by the word, proclaim to renew the world.
We commit ourselves to proclaim the Word to lead people to Jesus, in order to bring about healing and transformation and to bear witness to Him, in collaboration with lay people and people of other faiths to build the kingdom of God.
Staff of Divine Call Retreat Centre:
Cyprian Lewis (Superior & Director)
Divine Call Centre, Karnad
P.O. Mulky, Mangalore - 574 154
Tel : (0824) 29 83 523
Email: [email protected]
Website : www.dccmulki.in