Unbelievable, but true. Germany has become our 21st Guanellian nation!
A new page in the annals of the Servants of Chairty has been opened with the physical beginning of a long pastoral effort; first among the great Italian community in Germany; then step-by-step toward other targets which Holy Providence has foreseen for the development of our presence in Germany. On January 19, 2014, our confreres Fr. Wieslaw Baniak and Fr. Arokiadoss Antonyraj will be solemnly introduced in their parish church called “Barfüsser Kirche” in downtown Pforzheim. Present will be Father General Alfonso Crippa, the two “contributing” Provincial Fathers; Fr. Nino Minetti and Fr. Soosai Rathinam, General Councillor Fr. Luigi De Giambattista and neighboring Provincial, Fr. Marco Grega.
The past weeks have featured many highlights concerning the inner workings of the Procura, as well as our external contacts with ecclesial and civil authorities. First we celebrated the birthday of our Vicar Bishop, Rainer Klug, to whom we addressed the personal wishes and greetings of Father General Alfonso and our small flock of Guanellians.We believe that he will recommend our congregation to his successor for other parishes in the Archidiocese. So with that, we ‘ll start to look to other horizons to expand our Guanellian charity.
Another important event was the first step of a German Pious Union at the Abbey of St.Trudpert. During their annual convention, Sister Bernita reported the new initiative to join the forces and hands of both congregations in India, and begin a Pious Union there. We will inform Fr. Mario Carrerra, General Director of the International Pious Union and the Provincial Council of DPP, in order to create a proper document in the near future.
With our Cooperators and Italio-German friends, we continued to decorate the religious residence of our two new confreres at the first “St. Louis Guanella Center” at Pforzheim. The plan is to also rent the second floor of the house to work among the German-Italian youth, and eventually young people from Poland and Spain for joint pilgrimages to the Way of St. James at Santiago de Compostela. Now everything is prepared, and our confreres will find a warm home with spartan furnishings, but with important details which Inge has created in order to assure Fr. Wieslaw and Fr. Rocky a comfortable and homey atmosphere.
Finally, Holy Providence has continued to pour down, with unexpected support for all of the projects we had submitted to our special benefactors at Missio Munich and Kindermission-Aachen. The contract for the Physical Therapy project at Quezon City is complete, and Fr. Viray has received the funds. We have thanked Mrs. Stephanie and Heidrun with a small Christmas gift. And for both projects in Sivagangai and Vatluru, Kindermission has informed us that the awards commission has analyzed both requests. We believe we will achieve final approval within the next month. Mrs. Steiner and Mrs. Stenner, the ladies responsible for Project Legapzi and for both projects in Sivagangai and Vatluru, have each been thanked with a small present. Meanwhile, our Guanellians in Congo have sent our Procura requests for two new projects at Bateke; one for an irrigation system and the other for a new ambulance for transportation of the disabled. Fr. Guido Mattarese has begun a direct contact with Mrs. Beate Jantzen of Kindermission.
The long awaited magical year of 2014 has begun with the certitude that around the cradle of the Divine Child and the three Magi, there will also be a small Guanellian flock of priests, volunteer laity and Cooperators. These days my mind is whirling with the motto I selected for my vestition ceremony in1953 at Anzano-Como. “Indue me Domine novum Hominen” Clothe me, O Lord, with a new habit make me a new man! I wish all readers to become volunteers in this beautiful vineyard of God, as there still much to do! Have a blessed New Year and be sure that you and I are not alone, as we’ll be carried in His arms, and sometimes when we are tired – even on His shoulders! Always swim against the stream, but keep yourselves firmly anchored in the arms of God!
Gero Lombardo, German Guanellian Procura