After 50 years of carrying the torch of the Guanellian charism in silence for the German Diaspora, it gives me great joy to announce the fulfillment of an age old dream. Just before the first anniversary of the Canonization of Saint Louis Guanella, our long attempt to bring his sons to this promising vineyard has been approved. My circle of life will now be complete through Divine Providence, as everything has happened as foreseen. Our vicar Bishop, Monsignor Rainer Klug, wished to discuss the details of the arrival of two Guanellian confreres at the end of 2013 with a delegate of Father General Alfonso Crippa. As agreed, on October 16th I joined acting provincial Fr. Luigi and Fr. Tobia Bassanelli, the general delegate of Italian missions in Germany, at the bishop’s office in Freiburg. Mons. Klug welcomed the Guanellians to his Archdiocese and thanked Fr. Alfonso for keeping his word to send two priests of our congregation as soon as possible to Germany. After stating the conditions of the physical presence of Guanellian religious on German soil, he urged the two candidates to visit in January 2013, to participate in a German language study program on the Telekolleg, and prepare for a six-month immersion in our language within the archdiocese. An interesting fact is that two former pupils of the St. Calogero Seminary at Naro/Sicily will be the carriers of the Guanellian spirit to Germany. I for the past 50 years now, along with one of the other two priests who will be joining us, are also natives of our faraway, generous island. Now Fr. Guanella will definitively have put not one, but both feet in a new geographic area of activity. It was a memorable day not only for our Procure but also for the entire Guanellian family.
The following day, I took Fr. Luigi to the Catholic hospital of the Daughters of St. Josef at Pforzheim, who with their sisters at the Abbey of St. Trudpert in the Black Forest, have been the real precursors of this success, because they have been promoting the Pious Union since January 10, 1920! We also visited Deacon Ihle in the Deaconate of Pforzheim and had a short talk with Prior Theis of the Knights of St. Lazarus nearby in our district capital. These emotional days closed with a simple ceremony at St. Alexander Church in Tiefenbornn where Fr. Lugi celebrated a Mass in Italian with German translation, and two new Italian brothers took our habit. Ignazio Minotta and Enzo Urso of the Italian Cultural Club will become supporters of our Guanellian Mission. I’ll propose to dedicate the same to Divine Providence or simply the Don Guanella Mission in Deutschland. There will be a lot of work to do when our confreres arrive, but we are all confident that our Lord has already chosen the right paths, solutions and partners. Yes, now the long journey from Sicily to Germany comes to an end, and the circle of life makes sense! Magnificat anima mea Dominun! Praise the Lord my soul for all his gifts!
Gero Lombardo, German Guanellian Procure (GGP)