09 May 2022
09 May 2022

Giri Nugraha Retreat House

Palembang (Indonesia)

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In its history, on September 8, 1981, inaugurated Wisma Giri Nugraha Training Center in Km 7, Diocese of Palembang – South Sumatra in Indonesia. The Wisma Giri Nugraha Training Center is a collaboration of two congregations, the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (SCJ) and the Congregation of the sisters of St. Francis of Charitas (FCh). On May 3, 1991, its name was changed from Wisma Giri Nugraha Training Center to Giri Nugraha Retreat House (RRGN). The present Bishop at that time, Mgr. Yosep Soudant, SCJ gave a positive response and strongly supported the existence of the Giri Nugraha Retreat House.

What does the Giri Nugraha mean? In many cultures and traditions, the word Giri Nugraha has an implied meaning and is generally associated with the life of man and God the Creator. Giri Nugraha is taken from the word giri which in Javanese means Mountain. In the tradition of Scripture, the mountain has always been a good place to encounter with God. Moses encountered Yahweh on Mount Horeb. Elijah felt the presence of God in the slight breeze on the mountain. And at the culmination, we can see God’s great work at the top of Mount Calvary. The mountain is symbolically a very conducive environment in which man experiences an encounter with God, the Creator. The word Nugraha means mercy or blessing. So Giri Nugraha means Mount of Blessing or Mount of Mercy.  If we come to the retreat house of Giri Nugraha, we are invited to climb the mountain to encounter with God and receive his blessing.

Vision and Mission

Giri Nugraha Retreat House (RRGN) Palembang is a place to serve the mental and spiritual growth of God’s people in the form of pastoral care with method of retreats, recollections, seminars, talk shows, workshops, upgrading and cadre of young people with motto only in love and fraternity (simple love and fraternity).

RRGN’s vision is as follows: “Giri Nugraha retreat house as a house of independent house ministry, serving in the field of fostering and developing Christian human being through mentoring, learning and human service in the spirit of the prophet of love (SCJ) and servant of fraternity (FCh) in order to form human being who, live evangelical values in society”.

To achieve the vision as a house of ministry, the mission is formulated which is expected to be able to actualize that vision in the reality of service to God’s people.

  • Giri Nugraha Retreat House as an independent non-profit service house.
  • Serve with the spirit of the prophet of love (SCJ) and the service of fraternity (FCh).
  • Accompaniment ministry to children and young people through civita-style retreats and being developed in accordance with the needs and progress of the times.
  • Serving cadre assistance or leadership training for adolescents and young people.
  • Serving on going formation for pastoral ministers and categorical groups in the archdiocese of Palembang.
  • Serving the provision of facilities and infrastructure for meetings of various groups or agencies that hold meetings or coaching with a Christian spirit.

Giri Nugraha Retreat House Team

Considering the existing vision and mission, Giri Nugraha Retreat House tries to live up the spirit and spirituality of the Congregation as both a Dehonian and a Franciscan with the aim of providing the gradual and sustainable guidance and development of Christian people who are active in the local church development. So, the existing team consists of priests, brothers, and sisters(nuns) from two Congregation, namely SCJ and FCh who have competence in retreat assistance, who are able to work together as a team in accompanying young people, pastoral care and categorical groups, especially families.

Drawing From Dehonian Spirituality: The Temple of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Chapel of Perpetual Adoration of Leo Dehon

In conducting retreats, as Dehonians, we include elements of SCJ spirituality such as Love, Commpassion, Readiness and Sacrifice (Lo-Co-Re-Sa). We are also assisted by the existing the Temple of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Chapel of Adoration which is very useful for the cultivation and development of Dehonian Spirituality. Every First Friday some devotees come to pray in front of the statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and also to the Chapel of Adoration. Then in every year, on the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we celebrate the Holy Mass in front of the Temple.

The Leo Dehon Adoration Chapel is located at the front of the retreat house, precisely at the entrance of the main gate in front of which there is already a statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The extraordinary and not only coincidental thing, 4 years ago precisely in 2019 the Chapel of Perpetual Adoration Leo Dehon has been blessed by the scj Superior General, Fr. Carlos Luis Suarez Codorniú SCJ, during his canonical visit to the Province of Indonesia. Today many young people and families who have retreat here, draw the spirit from the Sacred Heart in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. Families or couples who hold counseling guidance with Rm. Paulus Guntoro, SCJ are always invited to pray in the Adoration Chapel before or after counseling. The results are remarkable, many couples who experience enlightenment and restoration experienced in unity with the spirit of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Moreover, in the situation of the covid 19 outbreak, the Adoration Chapel also continues to serve all of God’s people via online or streaming with the main programs Adorasi and Hora Sancta, via the youtube channel of Giri Nugraha Retreat House, every Monday and Thursday, at 6:30 p.m.

Pastoral Challenges

The retreat house team continues to enhance themselves by improving the management which is more practically and systematically. Moreover, human resources (HR) also continue to transform by being assigning people who have the quality and skills to provide better retreat and spiritual accompaniment. Each team member is required to be able to build togetherness (collaboration) in teamwork as a strong team and continue to be willing to learn and support each other.

From the written data that is available every year or in an academic calendar, the Retreat House Team can serve almost 1500 children or young people spread across Palembang Archdiocese and its surrounding. Moreover, every year there are also nearly 500 married couples or couples who are members of family categorical groups, especially ME (Marriage Encounter), CFM (Catholic Family Ministry) which includes True Catholic Men (PrisKat) and Catholic Wise Women (Waberkat), in addition there is also a CFC (Couple for Christ) community that has grown and developed in the Archdiocese of Palembang.

The presence of retreat houses in this modern era continues to be challenged by the progress of the times that run so fast. Many people continue to run after worldly things, so that they feel the life is shallow and empty without meaning. Uniquely, the retreat house offers a deeper life through Dehonian and Franciscan spirituality which is presented in its coaching and accompanying. For children, teenagers, young people, as well as parents in these days, getting into silence is a challenge that is not easy or difficult. Yet all of that is a retreat dynamic that requires openness of heart to listen and follow the movements of God’s own Spirit. Therefore, it takes real struggle and intention within oneself and a supportive situation as well as a qualified guide becomes the answer to a man and woman who longs for the spiritual “oasis” in his/her life.

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