I found my sense of purpose

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I found my sense of purpose

By Nontobeko Mhlongo

“Lord I need to meet you there”“River” by Brian Doerksen


In my short time of being a spiritual director and a giver of the Spiritual Exercises, I have had the privilege of meeting people of all ages and from all walks of life. These people were in search of their purpose in life, of their identity, of God and of so much more. I was reminded of how I was in the same place a couple of years ago before I made the Spiritual Exercises and received training as a spiritual director from the Jesuit Institute South Africa. In these two journeys of discovery, I found my sense of purpose – to help others in their search in life.

I now work at the Retreat Centre in St Lucia Estuary (in KwaZulu-Natal, north of Durban) in the pristine iSimangaliso Wetland Park, declared as South Africa’s first World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The five ecosystems include the second- highest vegetative dune in the world. Lovely forests abound with birds and antelopes. The walks along the beach are awesome, and there is swimming for those who enjoy it. The natural beauty of the marine life offers an encounter with the mystery of the ocean through snorkelling or deep-sea diving.

The town of St Lucia is quiet, providing a perfect environment for the Retreat Centre to host different groups for workshops or guided and preached retreats. It is a haven for those looking for a restoring and peaceful environment. The Retreat Centre is unique. It is set in an unparalleled natural environment that lends itself to communion with God and nature in the spirit of Pope Francis’ encyclical, “Laudato Si’”. This place is so full of possibilities to “find God in all things”, as St Ignatius puts it.

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