Pforzheim – June was an intensive month. It was rich in events and new experiences, but it also provided us with an opportunity to reflect deeply to rediscover our old roots, our own DNA. We found our traditions, family ties, and devotion to our saints with plenty of hilarity! After the first pilgrimage to Lourdes, our two Guanellian parish priests accompanied an additional pilgrimage to a famous German shrine. This one is known as, Our Lady of Zwiefalten, where more than 1000 Italian devotees of our confederate State of Baden-Württemberg met with the archibishop of our original diocese in Agrigento; Monsignor Montenegro. The Pforzheim Group enjoyed the opportunity and made our confreres happy by demonstrating so much faith and devotion to God’s Mother!
In mid-June we had the pleasure of a visit from Vicar General Fr. Umberto Brugnoni, who stepped onto German soil for the first time and felt with his hands and heart the progress of our presence in this beautiful and generous country after only six months. After a casual meeting at our Procure in Tiefenbronn, we toured the northern part of the large Guanellian parish, which will be served by Fr. Rocky after his vacation in India.
On June 21st we celebrated the traditional St. Calogero Feast. Father Umberto presided at the solemn Mass, and was assisted by Frs. Wieslaw and Rocky. Every last seat in the small Church was full. A short procession with the statue of our black patron, Calogero, took place through the city center of Pforzheim, and ended with the benediction of homemade devotional bread. As Sicilians practice around the globe in all Naresi communities, many devotees offered donations. At the end, our co-organizer and President of the St. Calogero Committee, Mr. Ignazio Minotta, presented an envelope with 400 Euros for the disabled children at Poonamallee, India. My emotion and that of our confreres, was overcome by the presence of twelve former alumni of the St. Calogero Institute at Naro; crowning the feast with a souvenir picture of he and our confreres. Most of them arrived in Pforzheim in the early 60s, and are still great supporters of the Guanellian parish along with their growing families and friends. The next appointment will be at the 2015 St. Calogero Feast when the newly re-founded Commitee of the Friends of St. Calogero will be more active in fundraising for other Guanellian projects in the missions of Africa and/or Asia.
As far as our work at the Procure is concerned, we patiently wait for an answer concerning the Sivagangai Projects. We spoke recently with Fr. Kulandaisamy during the Provincial Meetings in the USA, and asked for his patience until the end of June. Please pray that this project, the other new projects for Vietnam and the supported “Don Mimi Leprosy Center at Tale/Mindanao, Phil.” may find generous donors in the coming weeks. For these specific projects, we have entered a new phase with Sr. Cecille, FMM, who is coordinating the documents with Fr. Charlton Viray so that the testament of Fr. Mimi can be combined with them.
I would like to say a few words about beloved Sr. Giulietta Saginario, the last surviving member of this generous family who has granted the Guanellian family three priests and a nun. She has given a testament and left the inheritance of her family to the Leprosy Center at Tala for children of leper parents. She is very sick and all the friends of Fr. Mimi should accompany her in this delicate moment of her earthly life. As an adopted brother of the Saginarios, I invite you to join me in this prayer crusade around the world: But Fiat Voluntas Dei also for Sr. Giulia!
Let us praise the Lord that he allows us to be his “cooperators” in seeking and distributing funds to his “precious and weak sisters and brothers.”
Laudate Dominum quia mirabilia fecit :
Praise the Lord Who works miracles every day!
Gero Lombardo, German Guanellian Procura