Once a Visitor, Always a Brother

birthday partyManila – Oftentimes when a visitor enters a Guanellian Institute for the first time, they will comment on how different it seems than other institutes:  more warm and more welcoming—it is as if the visitor has come home.  This is due in large part to one of the great gifts passed on by St. Guanella himself:  family spirit.  For Father Guanella, the family spirit was intrinsic in all his works—it naturally follows that since God is a Loving and Providential Father who cares for His children, then we are all brothers.

When a person comes to Guanella Home for the first time, they find out that they have become a part of the family, and are always welcome to return—and very often they do. This was the case with Michelle, a young lady who worked with our children more than a year ago as a PT intern. She returned on January 20th to celebrate her birthday and this time she brought many of her friends (who visited us for the first time) as well.

The children were so happy to see Michelle again; to them, it was as if Michelle had never left.  This made quite an impression on the new visitors, Michelle and the staff. After singing, dancing, and playing games, a delicious merienda, not purchased, but prepared by Michelle herself, was served.  Candles were lit, Happy Birthday sung, cake eaten, and then instead of giving presents to Michelle, she gave gifts to all of the boys:  new shorts, toiletries, games, and candies. How thoughtful and charitable Michelle is—and the boys appreciated her too!

As the guests were leaving, there was a sense that at least some of them will be coming back soon to spend some time, treasure, talent, and love with their little brothers at Guanella Home.

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