The Guanellian Cooperators: Apostles of Charity

The world, like an area subject to earthquakes, suffers tremors and shocks threatening to destroy it. Yet, it will survive because the spirit of charity, spreading in our midst, will disable the evil activities of the spirit of darkness.
Charity will rekindle Faith. In turn, Christian practice stirs up charity. How can we love our suffering neighbor without loving God, without giving Him the worship of our faith? How can we believe that we see the face of God in the poor when we do not hasten to help and serve them? To help this work of charity and faith and to assist the poor, gathered in the Houses of Divine Providence, it will be useful to establish Committees or Pious Associations in each House. The Servants of Charity, the Daughters of St. Mary of Providence and local Superiors should follow them with great zeal and imagination. It serves no purpose to assume this is too difficult an undertaking. All good works meet great difficulties. It is precisely these difficulties that are a sign that what we do is good. Where there is a will there is a way. We should first gather one or two people; then we will add more as Divine Providence will send them to us. It is not realistic to establish a master plan valid for everyone and everywhere. Experience teaches that we should adapt and review it case by case according to the regions and their means. Pious Associations, even the small ones, are admirably useful to the development and stability of the Houses, and do great good for families and places where they are active. It is essential that the Houses of Divine Providence do not isolate themselves. They should share their spirit and activity all around because their nature is wide-ranging and has to be expressed, not only inside the walls of the House but also outside, in the cities and towns where the Houses are located, trying their best to spread and stir up faith and charity everywhere. Many good people do not engage in meaningful activity. Sometimes a simple invitation to cooperate or some good is enough to transform them into active workers in the field of charity. Each House should make effort to spread our Magazine that carries the monthly news regarding noteworthy events happening in the House, in general, and the ministry, in particular. The more distribution the Magazine has, the more the House will be helped. The Magazine will be useful to increase the connection of the Houses to the Motherhouse to keep alive the relationship between the Daughters of St. Mary of Providence and the Servants of Charity, to enkindle their determination, and increase their zeal. All Houses should show great regard to the Cooperators and Benefactors. Keep a list of their names and keep them in your prayers. Invite them to the celebrations held in the House and take an interest in their life’s events. Be present to comfort and help them when in need. The Daughters of St. Mary of Providence and the Servants of Charity will see their Houses prosper and their efforts succeed when, by acts of charity, they work hard to gain not only the hearts of the good people but also the hearts of the irreverent ones. They should be discrete in their action, and moved only by the right desire to do good. The Salesian Cooperators are not just thousands but hundreds of thousands. The Association is increasing in number and no boundary of town or country can stop it from spreading. We should do the same thing and imitate our teachers Fr. Bosco and Fr. Rua. It will be healthy publicity, a protest against false respect in obedience to the evangelical precept, “Your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.” We would like to extend this exhortation to all our faithful friends because nothing goes beyond our desire for the good of society for the glory of God and the salvation of souls.
One last prayer: We encourage the committees and sub-committees of the big and small towns to care for this humble Magazine whose purpose is to share the news of Divine Providence’s family to far away children and friends.
To make it more interesting, I ask those who are capable of writing articles, to send us the news and events of your Houses. The more the Magazine of Divine Providence is spread and read, the better the Houses will be supported.”

By St. Louis Guanella

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