Enlarging the Founder’s Family

IMG_1364Chelsea – The Servants of Charity have been cultivating rich soil in which to plant the seeds of the Guanellian charism in Chelsea Michigan since 1960. From the humble beginnings of the institute there, faithful people have wandered into St. Louis Center and have become nourished by the spirit and mission of the spiritual sons of St. Louis Guanella who worked there. One can only imagine the bountiful garden of souls that have come to learn and live the Guanellian mission over these past 55 years. Efforts to formalize the Guanellian Lay Movement in the Chelsea Community have had varying degrees of success, but many people nonetheless have continued to be drawn into the ‘Family’ through the spiritual and volunteer opportunities offered at St. Louis Center and the Shrine of St. Joseph in Grass Lake.
This year, being the Centennial of the Birth into Heaven of St. Louis Guanella, Fr. Joseph Rinaldo, SdC wanted to truly honor his spiritual father by firmly planting seeds in the Guanellian garden that has been so carefully plowed in Michigan. He decided to invite all of the Catholic people who have been growing stronger in their commitment to living the Guanellian mission and charism to make the formal promise of Guanellian Cooperators. About 50 people gathered at SLC on September 3rd to learn more about the commitment of becoming a Guanellian Cooperator and its spiritual benefits. They shared a meal, fellowship and heard a short talk by Fr. Joseph to prepare them for making their Promise.
On September 19th St. Mary of Chelsea hosted a special Mass in Celebration of the Centennial of the Birth into Heaven of St. Louis Guanella. Special celebrants during the Mass included the Most Rev. Bishop Earl Boyea of the Diocese of Lansing, Most Rev. Alfonso Crippa – Superior General of the Servants of Charity from Rome Italy, Provincial Fr. Soosai Rathinam from Chennai, India, Provincial Treasurer Joseph Rinaldo, Fr. Enzo Addari, Fr. David Stawasz, and Fr. Satheesh Alphonse from the Chelsea Community of the Servants of Charity, and St. Mary Pastor Fr. William J. Turner. At the end of Mass 65 people officially spoke their Promise as Guanellian Cooperators, an amazing gift to Guanellian Family on this solemn occasion. Bishop Boyea gave a blessing over the entire congregation with a first class relic of St. Louis Guanella to close the ceremony. About 200 people gathered for a celebratory meal in the parish hall.
There are now many sprouts that must continue to be nurtured in order for them to blossom into true spiritual sons and daughters of the Founder.

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