Navinta Retreat House

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Official name Navinta Retreat House
Country / Continent India / Asia
Director of the institute Fr. Justin Panakal O.C.D., Ph.L., S.T.D.
Legal holder of the institute The Archdiocese of Dehli
Sponsor of the institute Navinta is run solely by the income of the programmes conducted here
Year of foundation 1986
Number of staff (employees, freelancers, volunteers) 12
Staff members of your institute Priest Director, women belonging to Secular Institute, lay people.
Contact Sukhdev Vihar

Okhala Road

Jamia Nagar PO

New Delhi 110025



Particulars of your pastoral institute

Official name

Navinta Retreat House. Archdiocese of Delhi has not pastoral institute in the strict sense of the term. But it substitutes the end of the pastoral institute through its other Catholic institutions. Navinta is one among them.

Director of the institute

Fr. Justin Panakal O.C.D., Ph.L., S.T.D.

Legal holder of the institute

The Archdiocese of Dehli

Navinta is run solely by the income of the programmes conducted here. Navinta has 47 rooms which can accommodate 94 persons. Throughout the year Navinta has almost house-full programmes thanks to the cheapest fee offered here. For food and accommodation it charges Indian rupees 130.00 per day per person for the lay people of the Archdiocese of Delhi, and Indian rupees 250.00 for priests and religious (men and women) per day per person working in the Archdiocese; and Indian rupees 300.00 per day per person for those coming from outside the Archdiocese. With the income coming from these programmes, Navinta is self-supporting since six years, and it does not indulge in triumphalism. The Director, Fr. Justin Panakal, is a Dicalced Carmelite Priest who follows the advice of his Mother Foundress St. Teresa of Avila who wrote to her nuns: " It seems very wrong, my daughters, that great houses should be built with the money of the poor." (Way of Perfection, chapter 2) The director took this advice as a challenge and runs Navinta without asking any subsidy either from the Archdiocese of Delhi to which it belongs, or from in and abroad and he wants to show that an institute of this sort can be run without financially depending on others, and he has succeeded it to the satisfaction of all concerned. All those who came to utilize the facilities of Navinta went back home satisfied and with full-throated praises to the institute.

Vision / mission statement

Spiritual renewal of the individuals as well as communities.

Main areas of work

Among Christians to have a thorough spiritual renewal.

Addressees of your work (course participants[1])

Priests, Diocesan and Religious, sisters, lay people, Protestant, Pastors and lay people.

Year of foundation


Organisational structure of the institute

Priest Director and auxiliary staff.

Number of staff (employees, freelancers, volunteers)


Staff members of your institute[2]

Priest Director, women belonging to Secular Institute, lay people.

Qualifications of staff members of your institute

Four women, who belong to the Secular Institute known as “The Disciples”, have only Hindi medium rudimentary school education without any working knowledge of English which is the language of the cultured in India. Since the work of these four women belonging to the Secular Institute is to do marketing for Navinta and to supervise the work of the rest of the seven auxiliary staff, their lack of education does not in any way affect the running of the institute successfully. The rest of the seven auxiliary staff is without any school education.

Questions relating to the work of your institute

What pastoral options do you feel obliged to?


What are the pastoral focus areas of your institute?

Spiritual renewal and happy social life.

What pastoral aims does your institute pursue?

Spiritual renewal.

What pastoral services does your institute provide?

It provides for various Catholic groups like Jesus Youth, Charismatics, Vincent de Pol society, other pious associations of the lay people, Diocese and religious priests, religious sisters and lay people at large.

What pastoral processes have you initiated or accompanied recently?


What does this mean for the areas of catechesis, deaconry and liturgy?


What notion of God inspires your work?

God is our Friend and Beloved.

In how far does Christian spirituality shape your work?

Without personal prayer our work is only farce and drama.

What processes do you use or develop to analyse reality? How are these elaborated and how are they linked to pastoral care? How do you pass these processes on?


What prophetic approaches does the institute put into practice with a view to shaping society?

Inviting people of all Christian denominations for spiritual renewal which alone makes a man hundred percent human, sociable, companionate, kind and affable.

What does the work of the institute involve exactly? (Framework conditions? Publications? Courses? Lectures? Congress?...)

Many of the groups coming here bring their own animators.

What magazines, periodicals, books, manuals, work aids, methodological instructions etc. does your institute publish?

No publication.

What do you consider to be the most important service of your institute?

We create here an environment in which people are enabled to experientially feel the presence of God in the depth of their hearts.

How do you evaluate the work of your institute?

Satisfactory because people are coming here in large numbers almost daily for spiritual renewal.

What are the most important developments that you are dealing with at present?


What are the main difficulties your institute is confronted with in its work?

No difficulties.

What challenges do you perceive for your institute at present?

Nothing special.

What hopes, dreams and visions do you have for your institute?

Real peaceful ecumenical co-existence.

To what extent does your institute support laypeople in the Church and in society?

Lay people form 80% of those who come here for renewal programmes.

How do you communicate your experiences and results to the respective local church, to neighbouring local churches and to other addressees (e.g. institutions affiliated to you)?

Living testimony to Christian values.

To what extent does cooperation with the Bishops’ Conference of your country or with your diocese take place?

All have expressed their full satisfaction in the working of Navinta.

What linkages/networks are in existence at national level?

Many national programmes already took place here.

What linkages/networks are in existence at international level?

Many international Protestant programmes take place here.

What kind of interreligious cooperation does take place with non-Christian religions?

So far unable to offer the non-Christians the facilities of Navinta.

What kind of ecumenical cooperation does take place with non-Catholic churches?

Ecumenism is the happy core experience of our institute.

Which theological mergers/associations are you affiliated with (personally or as an institute)?

The Director is a professor of Dogmatic Theology, Mystical Theology and World Religions in two Indian Theological Faculties.

How can we assist you with your intercontinental exchanges and with exchanges between the continents?

At present we don’t require your financial assistance. But you can give publicity to our institute which runs well with its won income and without receiving any subsidy either from abroad or from within for its day today functioning. It is self supporting with fees received from the participants who come over here.

  1. It would be interesting to know among other things whether course participants are active at parish, diocesan or supra-diocesan level and whether courses are attended by priests, religious or laypeople.
  2. It would be interesting to know among other things whether the staff members of the institute are priests, religious or laypeople.