May was a preparatory time for several activities of our Procure. We have finally identified the four pillars of our German Procure on which our mission will be developed.
The first is the work of the home office for cultivating and nurturing direct contacts with key persons at Catholic and Lutheran solidarity agencies. The way is being paved for current Guanellian projects and new projects discovered by Fr. Joe Rinaldo during his last visit to India. Meetings are scheduled for late June and throughout July.
The second is assisting the parish priests of the Italian communities at Pforzheim and Mühlacker to prepare the annual pilgrimages to Lourdes and Fatima. This continuous contact should facilitate the start of the apostolate of our first Guanellians here in 2013 if Divine Providence allows. Vicar Bishop Klug and Fr. Gen. Alfonso Crippa have exchanged information; so we hope that during the General Chapter at Barza in July the request of the DPP to send a confrere to the Italian parish at Pforzheim will be unanimously accepted.
In this context our Procure has become the meeting point for family connections for three diocesan priests from Tamil Nadu, India and two from Kinshasa, Congo working in the dioceses of Freiburg and Stuttgart. They enjoy friendly conversation and homecooked meals which our Martha (Inge) prepares for them. They all know Guanellians in their countries and contact with lay Guanellians in Germany is proof that our charism has spread worldwide and that the spirit of St. Guanella is still alive among his sons.
The third pillar is intensive cooperation with the St. Lazarus Order for delivery of collected donations to Eastern European destinations like the Guanella Center at Skawina/Krakow, Poland in June, the house of the Guanellian Sisters in Jasi, Romania during July and finally to an elder house in former Prussia. The Children’s Village at Klaipeda, Lithuania will also receive a truck filled with needed goods. Our relationship with Prior Theis of the St. Lazarus Order will speed up the registration of the first Guanellian NGO in Germany and improve funding for a trade school at Kinshasa and a disabled center in Owerri, Nigeria. Both projects will be supported by the Catholic organization Kinder Mission, Aachen. In May, more than fifty friends of our Guanellian entourage have become members of the German Pious Union, continuing cooperation with the Daughters of St. Josef of the Abbey St. Trudpert at Münstertal. Thanks to Sister Bernita, St. Guanella is at home here.
The final pillar is renewing contact with my former business associates in countries where our confreres are now present; the Philippines, India, Congo, Ghana and Nigeria. The names and addresses of the contacts will be sent to Fr. Luigi in order to foster relationships and increase the numbers of local benefactors; everybody should consider the old saying, “God helps those who help themselves.” Divine Providence increases when we put forth our own initiatives to fulfill urgent projects for the benefit of our beloved ‘Patrons.’
I pray that Mary has looked upon you with the eyes of a tender mother during the month dedicated to her eternal love for those children Jesus commited to her under His Redemptive Cross.
Let us join hands and embrace all Guanellian brothers who diffuse the Good News in a World that day-by-day is moving away from the Right Path.
Gero Lombardo, German Guanellian Procura