Vincentian Retreat Centres Around The World

T he preaching ministry of the Vincentian Congregation is based on the spiritual traditions bequeathed by St. Vincent-de-Paul. Vincentian spirituality is bifocal. While concentrating on the personal spiritual renewal of the individuals by a deep realization of the saving love of God, it leads everyone to accept the challenge of caring for the poor and the marginalized in society. The overwhelming experience of God’s love takes flesh in the self-sacrificing love for “the least of the brethren” of Jesus (Mt.25:40).

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor” (Lk.4:18). This mission-statement of Jesus, declared at Nazareth, was taken by St. Vincent as a special motto of his own ministry and of the Congregation of Priests that he founded. In the preamble to the Common Rules that he wrote for his priests he states: “We are called to continue the mission of Jesus Christ by preaching the Gospel to the poor”. The Vincentian fathers fulfill this special call by preaching Popular Mission retreats in parishes and through the preaching of the Word of God in various prayer and retreat centers.
  • Around 1580

    St. Vincent De Paul was conceived in a poor family in the town of Pouy in Gascony, France.
  • By 1592

    St Vincent finished his first schooling under the Franciscan Fathers at Dax. Such had been his advancement in four years that a respectable man picked him as sub preceptor to his youngsters, and he was accordingly empowered to proceed with his studies without being a burden to his parents.
  • In 1596

    He went to the University of Toulouse for religious studies.
  • 1600

    He was appointed cleric at the University of Toulouse.
  • In 1605

    On a voyage via ocean from Marseilles to Narbonne, he fell under the control of African privateers and was taken as a captive to Tunis. His imprisoned for around two years, until Divine Providence empowered him to influence his getaway.
  • By 1610

    After a concise visit to Rome, he came back to France, where he moved toward becoming preceptor in the group of Emmanuel de Gondy, Count of Goigny, and General of the galleys of France.
  • In 1617

    He started to lecture missions.
  • By 1625

    He established the frameworks of a Congregation which a short time later turned into the Congregation of the Mission or Lazarists, so named because of the Priory of St. Lazarus, which the Fathers started to involve in 1633.
I t is difficult to count everyone crafted by this worker of God. Charity was his dominating ideal. It reached out to all classes of people, from neglected youth to seniority. The Sisters of Charity likewise owe the establishment of their Congregation to St. Vincent. In the midst of the most diverting occupations his spirit was in every case personally united with God. Although respected by the affluent and important people of the world, he remained profoundly humble and rooted in simplicity. The Apostle of Charity breathed his last in Paris at the age of eighty.
His feast day is commemorated on 27th September.
He is the patron of charitable societies.

Popular Mission Retreats

Preaching Popular Mission is the specific and distinctive charism of the Vincentians. Through this specific form of preaching the Word of God, they are trying to enkindle faith in the hearts of the people and help them towards their renewal and building up of a true Christian community. St. Vincent De Paul, the Heavenly Patron of the Congregation, started it for the spiritual enhancement, and nourishment of the sacramental life of the poor village folk in France in the 17th Century.

Mar Augustine Kandathil, the late Archbishop of Ernakulum Archdiocese, a great supporter of Vincentian Congregation instructed the pioneer members that the purpose of the Vincentian Congregation is to preach Popular Mission in the parishes, and it should be done free of charge.

B ecause of the ardent desire to preach a Popular Mission in the Vincentian style and method the pioneer members planned a retreat based on the directory of the Popular Mission of the Congregation of Mission.
  • In 1952

    The first Popular Mission in Kerala in its full form was conducted in St. George Forane parish, Angamaly. The team members were well trained for it by Fr. Fernando CM, the then Novice Master of the Congregation.
  • In 1972

    The appointment of Fr. Xavier Elambassery as the first formal Director of the Popular Mission gave a new impetus to Popular Mission.

Popular Mission continues to be the most effective form of Retreat for the renewal of the Parish and families.

E ven though so many retreat teams and centres have emerged in the recent years, and Bible Conventions are wide spread, the priests and faithful unanimously agree that none of these make a lasting effect in the parishes as the popular missions. The spiritual renewal of the parishes was greatly appreciated and admired by the Bishops and the parish priests. Always we can see a great enthusiasm from the part of the members to preach Popular Mission retreats. Now the Congregation has popular mission teams and a director for its coordination in Kerala, Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh, North India and in East Africa. The following are the Popular Mission Centres of the Congregation:

Retreat And Prayer Centers

Potta Ashram was established in 1977 as the centre to coordinate the Popular Mission retreats. Members of the Popular Mission team began to reside there for prayer and preparation for the retreats. It helps the Popular Mission to flourish rapidly. The Popular Mission preachers felt the need to have a follow up program for the people who participated in the retreats in order to keep up the spirit and fervour which the faithful obtained from the retreats. This led to the beginning of the daily prayers and retreats at Potta Ashram in 1983. Soon people began to crowd to the Ashram seeking spiritual solace and liberation from the evils of alcohol and drug addiction. The sick and the broken-hearted came in large numbers. God’s compassionate love poured in. The loving presence of Jesus was powerfully felt by everyone. The sick were healed, the sinners were forgiven, the fetters of vices were broken and the Good News of salvation was preached to all. There was a time when 20000 to 25000 people used to come on Saturdays for the One-Day retreat.

T he facilities at Potta Ashram became inadequate for the growing numbers of people converging for the week-long residential retreats held in Malayalam. A sprawling locale was acquired at Muringoor, on the banks of Chalakudy river, six kilometers away from Potta, and was named Divine Retreat Centre. By the grace of God, the retreats preached here attracted people and thousands of them came from all over the world to attend the retreats. This necessitated the opening up of new facilities and retreats started in six other languages also.

Because of the persistent request of the people and of the ecclesiastical authorities from various parts of the World, the Congregation was inspired to start a number of retreat and prayer centers in different parts of India and abroad. Now there are 51 prayer and retreat centers all over the World. The following are the Vincentian Prayer and Retreat Centers:


  1. Adichira - Paritrana Retreat Centre, Adichira, Perumbaikadu P.O., 686 028, Kottayam, Kerala
  2. Ahmednagar - Divine Retreat Centre, Link Road, Kedgaon, Ahmednagar, 414 005, Maharashtra
  3. Ambattur (Chennai) - Arulalayam Retreat Centre, 347 M.T.H. Road, Ambattur, 600053, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
  4. Ballarpur - Divine Vachan Ashram, Ballarpur P.O., 442701, Chandrapur Dt., Maharashtra
  5. Bengaluru - Logos Retreat Centre, 29 Prakruthi Township, 1st Main, P.B. No 4326, Babusahib Palaya, Bengaluru, 560043, Karnataka
  6. Chopra - Vincentian Retreat Centre, Chowdhuri Gach, Chopra P.O., U. Dinajpur, 733216, West Bengal
  7. Coimbatore - Divine Dhiana Illam, Chinthamanipudur, Coimbatore, 641103, Tamilnadu
  8. Denkanikotta - Anpalaya Retreat Centre, Denkanikotta, 635107, Krishnagiri Dt., Tamil Nadu
  9. Dumka - Divine Retreat Centre, Hathiapathar P.O., Dumka, 814101, Jharkhand
  10. Elavur - Divine Mercy Retreat Centre, Elavur P.O., Gummidipoondi, 601201, Thiruvallur Dt., Chennai, Tamil Nadu
  11. Faridabad - Divine Retreat Ashram, Bathola, Baroli P.O., Tigaon Road, Sector 82, Faridabad, 121 002, Haryana
  12. Gumto - Divine Prayer Centre, Gumto, P.B. No.1, Doimukh P.O., 791112, Papumpare Dt., Arunachal Pradesh
  13. Hazaribag - Vincentian Retreat Centre, Dibugarh, Mariam Toli, Hazaribag, Jharkhand
  14. Hubli - Jnanodaya Retreat Centre, Gopankoppa, Keshwapur P.O., 580 023, Hubli, Karnataka
  15. Jalalkhali - Divine Love Retreat Centre, Jalalkhali P.O., 741102, Nadia Dt., West Bengal
  16. Jamshedpur - Divya Jyoti Renewal Centre, Patel Bagan, Sundernagar P.O., Jamshedpur, 832107, Jharkhand
  17. Joram - Vincentian Mission Centre, Joram, Ziro P.O., Lower Subansiri Dt., 791120, Arunachal Pradesh
  18. Jowai - Divine Mercy Retreat Centre, Ladrymbai NH 44, East Jaintia Hills Dt., 793160, Meghalaya
  19. Kalyan - Tabor Divine Retreat Ashram, Kamba Village, Varap P.O., Kalyan-Murbad Road, Kalyan, Thane Dt., Maharastra
  20. Kattappana - Krapalaya Retreat Centre, P.B. No: 13, Kattappana, 685508, Idukki Dt., Kerala
  21. Khetri - Divine Retreat Centre, Khetri P.O., 782 403, Nalgadera Village, Kamrup Dt., Guwahati, Assam
  22. Kolkata - Emmaus Retreat Centre, 2/8b Sarat Bose Road P.O., L.R. Sarani, Kolkata, 700020, West Bengal
  23. Mangalagiri - Divine Mercy Dhyanashram, Divine (Babuji) Nagar, Nidamarru P.O., 522503, Mangalagiri (Mandal), Guntur Dt., Andhra Pradesh
  24. Mangalore - Divine Prayer Centre, Permannur P.O., 575 017, Kerabail, Thokkottu, Mangalore, Karnataka
  25. Margherita - Divine Renewal Retreat Centre, Margherita P.O., Tinzukia Dt., 786181, Assam
  26. Mariamnagar - C/o Shantir Rani Parish Church, Mariamnagar, Kashipur, 799008, Agartala, Tripura
  27. Meerganj - Popular Mission Centre, Churai Road, Meerganj P.O., Bareilly Dt., 243504, Uttar Pradesh
  28. Mumbai - Vincentian Prayer House, 504, 12th Road, Chembur, 400071, Mumbai, Maharashtra
  29. Muringoor - Divine Retreat Centre, Muringoor, 680309, Chalakkudy, Thrissur Dt., Kerala
  30. Potta - Popular Mission Centre, Potta, 680 722, Chalakkudy, Thrissur Dt., Kerala
  31. Premagiri - Sinai Divine Dhyanashram, Premagiri, Nandanapall P.O., 518452, Kurnool Dt., Andhra Pradesh
  32. Puthuppady - Vincentian Retreat Centre, P.B. No. 1, Puthuppady, 673 586, Kozhikode Dt., Kerala
  33. Tissa - Divine Light Retreat Center, Tissa, Khonsa , Tirap Dt., 786630, Arunachal Pradesh
  34. Trichy - Divine Mercy Retreat Centre, Choriyampatti, Muthalwarpatti P.O., Madhurai Main Road, Opp. N.H. Office, Marungapuri (TK), Trichy Dist., 621305, Tamilnadu
  35. Zhadima - Ave Maria Divine Retreat Centre, B.P.O., Zhadima Village, Kohima, 797105, Nagaland


  1. Freudenstadt - Haus St.Vinzenz, Lindenstrasse 18, 72250 Freudenstadt
  2. Berlin - Exerzitienzentrum Der Goettlichen Barmherzigkeit, St. Clemens Kirche, Stresemann Str. 66 a, 10963, Berlin
  3. Trier - Vinzentiner Haus, Hauptstrasse 29, 55471 - Ravengiersburg


  1. Kisumu - Vincentian Prayer House, Buoye, Kisumu, Kenya
  2. Nairobi - Vincentian Prayer House, P.O. Box 25158, 00603, Lavington, Nairobi, Kenya
  3. Thika - Vincentian Retreat Centre, P.O. Box No.2009-01000, Thika, Nairobi Thika Highway, Kenya


  1. Entebbe - Centenary Vincentian House, P.O. Box No. 200, Entebbe, Uganda
  2. Masaka - Divine Mercy Renewal Centre, Kabulassoke, P.B.No. 613, Masaka, Uganda
  3. Nsangi - Vincentian Retreat Centre, Nzangi, P.B. No. 23, Kyengera, Kampala, Uganda


  1. Perth - Vincentian Prayer Centre, Holy Family Church, Lot 375, Alcock Street, Maddington, 6109, Perth
  2. Sydney - Divine Retreat Centre, 160 Hensons Road, Somersby 2250, Sydney

United States of America

  1. New Jersey - Divine Prayer Centre, 426, Route 57 West, Washington, NJ 07882, USA
  2. Tampa - Divine Mercy Prayer House, 2905 S Frontage Road, Plant City, FL 33566, USA


  1. Vienna - Vinzentiner Haus, Zanaschkagasse 12/30/15-16, 1120, Wien, Austria


  1. Toronto - Divine Retreat Centre, Vincentian Prayer Centre, 69 William Street, Toronto, ON, M9N 2G6, Canada


  1. London - Divine Retreat Centre, St. Augustine Abbey, St. Augustine’s Road, Ramsgate, CT119PA,
  2. Kent, UK
  3. Wales - Vincentian Divine Retreat Centre, Pantasaph, Wales, Monastery Road, Holywell, Flintshire, CH8 8PE.


  1. Divine Retreat Centre, Cyeru-Kanzenze, Bugesera, Rwanda.