Germany: Historic Center of Solidarity

Pforzheim – The visit of our procure to the most generous and traditional donors of Northen Germany had been overdue for quite some time. Since the origin of our entity in Germany, we have not had an opportunity for such a visit. This year due to the numerous projects of our Province and those in Africa and Latin America, making personal contact with the directors of these Catholic agencies was urgent. The first appointment fell on November 12, 2012 on the feast of our Patroness, Our Lady of Divine Providence; a tangible sign that our mission was under her protection. Kindermission-Aachen, a Catholic Relief Organization conceived to assist youth around the world through the activities of other children, was our first stop. In the 1st Christian Empire of the Middle Ages in Europe, one still breaths the splendor of Charlemagne.

On Epiphany, January 6th, an army of children marches through every German town and stops at each house singing religious songs and wishing a good new year. It is a marvelous fact that they collect more than 15 million Euros. God’s capital is then distributed to the solidarity projects of the 120 religious orders in Germany. Since 2009, we have fostered a link to Mrs. Steiner and Dr. Aracic; and in the past three years they have made donations of 20,000€ for the Nutrition Program in Legazpi and 25,000€ for a van to Hogar Frantellizzi Mexico Ciudad. During our visit the Guanelllian way of working for those in need was revealed, and Divine Providence led us to an open door. Mrs. Steiner has known the Guanellians since her youth. She was born in Porto Allegre, Brazil where our confreres have worked wonders for more than sixty years. We submitted two new projects; the purchase of a mini-van for Sivagangai and a new kitchen in Vatluru. For our home in Legazpi, we obtained a firm promise that Kindermission would seriously consider the second nutrition program of Fr. Battista Omodei. He will contact a Brazilian team in the Philippines, recommended by Mrs. Steiner, to better handle the request for nutrition, physiotherapy and medical assistance.

That same day we also visited Missio, similar to the Munich institution, and met Mrs. Steiner‘s husband who is also involved in the solidarity projects of Africa.We shared our views and experiences of West Africa where I was active for almost three decades before my retirement.We presented him with the details of a project in D.R. Congo. Brother Mauro is creating a medical center for AIDS prevention and treatment there. Currently about 2,000 patients, mostly children and girls from the streets of Kinshasa who have already been infected, are in need of care.We hope that our positive relationship with his wife at Kindermission will be an advantage for the requested donation of 25,000€. We also visited other directors at Missio; Dr. Annette Meuthrath and Dr.Vogt, who are responsible for Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa.

The last stop was on November 13th at the Cologne General Vicariate of the Archidiocese. They donated 15,000€ in 2011 for the new church at Kumbokonam, India. Mrs Compier explained that her organization only funds the construction of religious buildings.

On December 9, 2012 we’ll travel to Missio-Munich and present plans for the Disabled Center in Manila to Mrs. Göttler and Schüller. This project will construct a physiotherapy center for disabled children, and we hope our visit will bring this project to maturity.

Advent is knocking at the door. We wish our readers around the world a grace-filled Season and an innocent, open heart with which to meet the Child of Bethlehem. May Jesus, Mary and Joseph be in all our homes; not merely as holiday figurines, but as effective members of our families and communities.

Adeste Fideles! Venite, adoremus!

Gero Lombardo, GGP German Guanellian Procure


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