Time to withdraw and leave younger people to building the future in this new tent of charity. As the rumors of the official introduction of our new confreres has passed and all visitors have returned to their apostolate domiciles, the daily normality has begun for Fr.Wieslaw as the director of the Guanellian community, while Fr. Rocky continues his German lessons at Freiburg until April 1st. Everyone knows that new beginnings are quite difficult, and one must be careful moving during the first steps in an unknown environment. But our two pioneers are doing their best to obtain sympathy in their new pastoral field.
The daily work of the MCI absorbs the attention of Fr. Wieslaw, and the weekends also fulfill the apostolate of Fr. Rocky, who is working between Freiburg and Pforzheim.
New relationships have been established with the St. Josef nuns at St.Trudpert Catholic Hospital, where our confreres are celebrating Holy Mass twice a month for the thirty sisters there; most of them from Kerala, South India.
Fr. Wieslaw has been introducted to the director of Charitas Pforzheim, Mr. Lemke, who during the meeting on February 6, 2014, made a surprising offer to help our confreres obtain practical experience in his numerous disabled and elderly homes. He also offered to channel the efforts of our Procura into a districtwide fundraising campaign in favor of the project which Fr. Mimi had so longingly dreamed; the creation of a special center for the children of parents with leprosy on Mindanao in the Philippines. He was also open to eventually support our new presence in Ho-Chi-Mihn, Vietnam. Meanwhile we are waiting for feedback from Fr. Charlton Viray in Manila and Provincial Treasurer, Fr. Joseph Rinaldo, for the new religious and disabled residence in the former City of Saigon.
Another interesting initiative was our contact with the Mother General of the St. Josef Daughters in the Abbey of Münstertal, in order to join forces in India between the Guanellians and the DSJ in Kerala, AP and TN with the intention of creating a common Pious Union in India. During the short visit of Provincial Fr. Rathinam, we have detailed this project, and in a short time we shall get a formal reply of the DSJ of St.Trudpert after the return of Mother Simone from India and the translation into the Keralian/Tamilian language of the Pious Union targets.
Holy Providence has furthermore blessed our efforts for a significant Project in R.D. Congo, where Fr. Guido Mattarese has conceived a five hectars irrigatiton project at Bateké in order to redeem several disabled boys and girls through manual labor. This project will be approved on 3/27/14. We ask our Indian communities to pray also for the positive results of both projects; a van for Sivagangai and a kitchen for Vatluru. Both will be submitted at the end of March to the awarding commission of our greatest benefactors, Kindermission at Aachen.
Finally in my introduction, I stated my firm decision to slowly withdraw from my activities. Starting in April, Fr. Rocky will begin contributing to our DPP bulletin, while Fr. Wieslaw will write about some issues for the Italian and Polish news.
The time of Gero as precursor is coming to an end, and soon I will take up a better task; that of the silent carpenter Josef helping my community to construct a new building on a solid basis. In case the procurator nomination is not renewed in December 2014, I’ll resign and eventually find someone else to continue the precious work of this Guanellian entity. Somehow it will be a pity because “begging” for unknown poor people is a very sensitive art which requires tact, savoir faire and a real passion to dedicate someone’s whole personality into the solidarity of love. If this happens “our Patrons” will be the ones who are abandoned, and they will continue to suffer injustice! Still, I did not start singing the ‘Canticle of Simeon,’ because I’m convinced that in God’s vineyard there is still a need for old, experienced arms, minds and especially inflamed hearts!
To all our readers around the globe, I wish copious Blessings from God, and a Joyful Easter Season. May the Lord inspire and link the minds of all those who have to decide about the future presence of Guanellians in my blessed and very generous adopted Homeland.
Et nunc, Domine, dirige animam meam quia nemo Profeta in patria sua est!
Gero Lombardo, German Guanellian Procura