History And Description
Vincentian Congregation is a religious and clerical society founded in the Archdiocese of Ernakulam-Angamaly of South Kerala, India, on 20th November 1904 by Fr. Varkey Kattarath with three diocesan priests based on the common rules of St. Vincent De Paul. The Congregation has taken its motto, "The Lord has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor..."(Luke 4:18) which was a source of inspiration to St. Vincent himself. The pre-eminent purpose of this Congregation is the evangelization of the poor. This is recognized in parish retreats, preaching ministry and missionary work through charitable social and educational apostolate. The Congregation is divided into three provinces having 480 priests as its members. It was raised to Pontifical Status on 11th Feb 1968. One of the most popular ministries of the Congregation emerged as Potta-Divine Ministry is spread around the world. Divine Retreat Centre Kerala is the largest Catholic Retreat Centre in the world. There are 46 other such centres in Europe, Asia, Africa, North America and Australia. Vincentian Fathers have been coming to Toronto for the last 15 years. Most of the programs were hosted by Family Prayer Mission. It was the desire and dream of the people of Canada to have a Divine Retreat Centre.
Origin Of Divine Toronto
Divine Retreat Centre Toronto (DRCT) was initiated by fpm and Marymatha Province of VC.. The FPM has been inspired and encouraged by the Vincentian Fathers to spread the Good news in Canada. The reality of Divine Retreat Centre Toronto has become a reality through the providence of God and through the Family Prayer Mission. Receiving this divine call together with VC they started initiating a Divine Retreat Centre with the blessings of Fr. Matthew Naickomparambil VC and under the guidance of Vincentian Provincial Superior in consultation with the Archdiocese of Toronto. Lord Jesus in His eternal plan finally fulfilled this long cherished dream through the path of suffering and providence when the United Church was bought for this purpose. Trusting in God's providence the ministry had its Blessing and Inauguration on November 29th 2014, by His Grace Archbishop Lawrence Saldanha (Archbishop Emeritus of Lahore) in the presence Vicar General Fr. Ivan Camiliri, Msgr. Thomas Kalarathil, Director of Priests Personnel as well as many priests, nuns and hundreds of faithful. The word of God in Isaiah 56:7-8 "My house shall be called a house for all peoples." Fr. Joby Kachappilly VC is the Founding Director of Divine Retreat Centre Toronto. Within a short span Divine has church full of people for prayer service.
Divine Retreat Centre is entirely involved in spreading the Gospel through media. Books, DVDs and CDs published by Father Joby Kachappilly are available at the Centre. Also the leaflets published from the centre are available for free.
100 Days Letter
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
A great prophesy and the dream of Canadians came true on November 29th, 2014 as Divine Retreat Centre Toronto (Divine Toronto) was officially blessed and inaugurated by His Grace Archbishop Lawrence Saldanha, Archbishop Emertius of Lahore, in the presence of Rev. Fr. Ivan Camilleri, Vicar General, and Rev. Msgr. Thomas Kalarathil, Director of Priests' Personnel of the Archdiocese of Toronto. Around one thousand people witnessed the long awaited miracle of Westminster United Church becoming a Catholic Retreat Centre. Ever since, the faithful are flocking to Divine Toronto seeking the healing and blessing of the Lord.
People call Divine Toronto a "Miracle Church". Yes! It is a miracle church. Incurable diseases are healed, and after decades people have made confession through deep repentance. People are set free from smoking and alcoholic addictions. God's blessings are beyond words. Within 4 months of ministry till today, around 10,000 people have attended Divine prayer service.
With all humility and gratitude, Divine Toronto remembers God's mighty intervention in bringing the centre through Family Prayer Mission. Vincentian Congregation is indebted to Archdiocese of Toronto and all the well wishers, benefactors, volunteers and intercessors for their tireless effort, support and care in making Divine Toronto a beacon of hope in the shore of despair and worldliness. On behalf of Divine, I extend my heartfelt gratitude to each one of you for being with us and walking with us.
Fr. Joby Kachappilly VC