Chennai – For Guanellians, the month of June remains a Month of Fervor as our Founder mentions, because in this month the perpetually professed confreres renew their vows. On June 8th ten priests at Don Guanella Major Seminary renewed their vows in the Devotion of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Fr. A. Periyanayagam presided over Mass and Fr. Soosai Rathinam, Provincial Superior, gave the homily. He spoke of the devotion that our founder had to the Heart of Jesus and reminded us that our hearts must be like the heart of Jesus burning with love for the poor, needy and all those who say I have no one. At the end of the Mass the confreres renewed their vows to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Chennai – After a six week summer vacation Don Guanella Special School reopened on June 6th. Fr. Samson, Superior, celebrated the Mass of the Holy Spirit in the presence of Fr. S. A. Lourdu Raj, the director, Fr. Michael the assistant director, staff, children and their parents. It was a grace filled time for the children and parents, after the long gap of their summer holidays. There were 30 new admissions this year, which is a sign of God’s desire for the Guanellian mission to extend to far places. During the inaugural Mass Fr. Samson emphasized that God loves us and therefore He entrusts the vulnerable to our loving care, hence with joy and vigor we need to love our mission.
Chennai – Don Guanella Major Seminary organized a workshop on Siddha Medicine (a Tamil form of natural medicine) June 1st – 4th. Dr. B. Sundhara Meenal BSMS was the presenter. She started the course by explaining the importance of the natural herbs that are available in and around us. She further taught that though it takes time to heal, there will surely be an effect on the diseases. She mentioned many times, health is wealth and it needs to be well cared for and above all, we need to show love and care because it is God’s unique gift to each individual. Brothers were happy that she taught them how to administer first aid with the natural herbs available in our garden. When there was time for questions, she clarified their doubts and the brothers benefited greatly. Towards the end, Fr. Samson, Superior, thanked Dr. Meenal for spending her time teaching the brothers the value of Tamil natural medicines available all around us.
Stephon Gohler, a St. Louis Center resident, graduated from the Washtenaw Intermediate School District Young Adult Program on Wednesday, June 6th. He was a favorite among his peers and was chosen to give the introduction to the media presentation “The Class of 2018.” Stephon was also given the “Martin Gersh Student Recognition Award,” chosen by […]
Kumbakonam – It was indeed a great joy for our Parish to celebrate the Parish Feast of Our Lady of Divine Providence. The feast began on May 7th with a flag hoisting and solemn Mass celebrated by Fr. T. Deva Doss, VF. For each of the seven days of novena the Rosary was prayed followed by a Novena Mass celebrated by diocesan and other religious priests. During the homily, the priests shared their reflections on Mother Mary and the virtues that we must learn from her. Every day after Holy Mass, the parish people shared different sweets and snacks with one another. The culmination of the celebration was on the eve of May 12th. Msgr. A. Amirthasamay, Vicar General of Kumbakonam, presided over the solemn Mass and blessed the procession which followed. The car carrying the statue of Our Lady of Divine Providence was processed through the streets of our substations. On the following day, Fr. M. Phillip Santiagu, Procurator of Kumbakonam, celebrated the feast day Mass and lowered the flag ending the celebration. The guidance of the Parish Priests, Parish Council, and Pious groups made this celebration a successful and fruitful one, bringing us the intercession of Our Lady of Divine Providence and the grace of her Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
A gentleman who calls me his friend, among other questions about the Church asked me: “Isn’t the Church’s teaching discriminatory against homosexuals?” Not at all.
The Church does not discriminate against homosexuals. It revolves around the distinction between homosexual activity and homosexual persons. First is the Church’s belief that Homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered. They are contrary to the natural law. Under no circumstances can they be approved (Catechism, # 2357). The Church also insists, however, that men and women with same sex attractions are valued members of the human family and must be treated with the same respect and love as every other child of God. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. Hatred, persecution, prejudices and ridicule of homosexuals is a grave sin and must always be treated as such.
The teaching of the Church does not intend to offend our homosexual brothers and sisters, and we recognize that for some individuals and their families, especially parents, questions of sexual identity and behavior can be very difficult and emotionally charged. To those individuals and their families we offer our sincere concern and prayerful support
As a society, however, we have to understand the possibility, sometimes the necessity, of loving and respecting their inappropriate or immoral behavior. Parents have to do that with their children once in a while.
What harm is done if the activity is between consenting adults? The fact that two adults consent to an action doesn’t make it morally right or socially acceptable. The “harm” is that such reasoning leads us down a very dangerous and permissive slope to the detriment of the common good and the spiritual impoverishment of the individuals involved. After all, two consenting adults can engage in drug use, prostitution, polygamy or other immoral activity. In other words, the determination of the morality of an action is found in the act itself and not in the consent of the people involved.
Same sex unions affect the family. We should recognize that in every culture and society throughout the ages traditionally defined marriage, as a stable union of one man and one woman, has been normative and has been given protection and respect. The definition of the family’s identity is a priority. Such marital and family stability does not only depend on the good will of concrete persons; it takes on an institutional character of public recognition by the State. The recognition, protection and promotion of this stability contribute to the general interest, especially of the weakest, that is the children.
In other simple terms, marriage as traditionally defined has always been a privileged institution, and that distinction should be recognized, preserved and applauded. Accepting other personal unions as equivalent to marriage undermines the special status afforded to marriage in every society and culture.
Examples of this point: in the classroom if all the students routinely get an “A” on their report card, the work of the real “A” student is devalued. In the Olympics, if everyone receives a gold medal, why bother competing? And if every intimate relationship between consenting adults is marriage, then marriage is nothing.
By Fr. Joseph Rinaldo, SdC
‘In every human person there is the imprint of God’- Pope Francis. The statement reminds us that each of us is created in God’s image and likeness. Our province has given birth to new houses for the good children in the United States and in India, on June 12th a formal dedication of ST. LOUIS GUANELLA VILLAGE along with the grand opening of four new CHILDREN’S HOMES for children with Intellectual and developmental disabilities and on June 29th, the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, DON GUANELLA RESIDENTIAL HOME for the orphaned special children respectively. These are the outcomes of the untiring efforts of our confreres along with the Staff, Parents, GLM, Benefactors and well-wishers. It is realized after 58 & 20 years of our ministry presence in USA and Chennai as per the sayings of our Founder St. Luigi Guanella, ‘A new house develops little by little according to the ways of Divine Providence.’ It is also a miracle of Providence. Fr. Luigi invites us not to put our trust in economic security or fixed revenues or human protection but in prayer, work, sacrifice and poverty. He not only expressed this by his words but by deeds of trusting in God and soliciting help from the people.
Every human person is born with a heart of compassion which reacts in accordance with the feelings of fellow humans. Compassion, love, affection and care are the innate qualities which make us human. It is these qualities that define the human person. All world religions ecumenically share and support this concept of treating others with courtesy and kindness. The best example of humaneness is the parable of “The Good Samaritan” in which a lowly Samaritan assisted a helpless man who had been waylaid and injured.
Therefore my humble reminder to all those associated with the Guanellian Mission in our province as we remember the foundation day of our ministry on July 3rd to inculcate a heart of compassion, love, affection and care to the differently-abled people who need love and compassion. Pope Francis rightly said in one of his audiences when he directly met the sick and the differently-abled people: “God has a special place in His Heart for differently-abled people.” Dalai Lama said: “Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries… without them humanity cannot survive.” So let’s always strive to be persons filled with compassion and love for humanity without any distinctions. Having the imprints of God in us, let’s see God’s imprint in our fellow humans.
Fr. Soosai Rathinam, SdC
Legazpi: To help overcome the struggles and difficulties of language and culture barriers in the local area the Cooperators, Novice Master and novices organized a camping trip on February 24th for children from Purok 6. The program started with heavy rain, a sign of blessing from God, for this inaugural event. The children and their parents enjoyed putting up tents, games, cooking, swimming and so forth. The adventure came to a close by Fr. Sagayaraj thanking God for the joyful and exhausting day.
Legazpi: Fr. Soosai Rathinam, Provincial Superior visited Legazpi during the Local Assembly Meeting in Manila. Fr. Soosai visited February 22nd – 23rd. During his stay, he shared with the novices the the main points which were discussed during the provincial chapter meeting. He listened to their feelings, opinions, and difficulties after their first six months at the novitiate house. He also listened the confreres and their struggles, sharing their sentiments in the service of the Lord. In the presence of staff, residents, priests, novices and builders, Fr. Soosai dedicated the new guest house after five months of construction.
Legazpi: The Servants of Charity community performed an act of charity on the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, February 2nd. They gave a helping hand to relieve the burden of the evacuees of a natural disaster, the Mayon volcanic eruption. The evacuees received rice, milk and biscuits which are their primary needs while they remain at the evacuation center.