Cuddalore – The 6th Annual Guanellian Lay Movement Meeting was January 20th-21st. This two-day program allowed office bearers and the delegated members from Andra, Bangalore, Chennai and Cuddalore to gather with great enthusiasm. It was a wonderful journey for the laity to experience and share the Guanellian spirit. Fr. Visuvasam, Provincial Delegate and local Superior, welcomed the group reminding them of the words of Pope Francis about the participation of the Laity and how our Founder encouraged the participation of the Laity in the mission. He spoke of the Guanellian Charism, “Paternity of God,” encouraging the laity to live their vocation, carry their cross and walk the Calvary with Christ as the focus. Fr. Rosario gave the next talk. He spoke of Christian Virtues, quoting from the Bible how Christ Himself showed trust in Abba Father by praying in silence before doing anything. Without God at the center we are only doing social service. We must spend time in prayer to gain strength to do God’s will. In prayer God will reveal and inspire us with a plan, show us the method to execute and fulfill His will.
The second day began with Adoration and Holy Mass. Fr. Francis gave the first talk, speaking about the three Virtues taught by our Founder. He said when we allow evil to be the sower the harvest will be pride, greed and lust. Whereas, when we allow God to be the sower the harvest will be humility, poverty and mortification through which we can overcome evil and do great good. A Guanellian Cooperator shared her journey from being a benefactor, GLM member and finally a Cooperator. Her experience inspired the members and helped them to understand how they too can become Guanellian Cooperators. The members’ spirits were strengthened and renewed to continue their good work.
Cuddalore – St. Joseph’s Seminary celebrated Christmas in a grand and meaningful manner for the evening school children. The program began on a spiritual note and also included singing, dancing, party games, gift-sharing and competitive programs. Fr. Francis Assisi, the chief guest, was very happy and amazed by the little works and gifts of charity rendered to the poor children. A thought provoking message about Christmas and New Year was given by Fr. Arockia Raj. His motivation and encouragement made the participants feel more energized and strengthened.
Chennai – Suppose Christmas was celebrated with the Don Guanella Evening School students December 22nd. Fr. Soosai Rathinam, Provincial Superior was the guest of honor. He delivered the message that sharing gives true joy and everlasting happiness like Santa Claus (St. Nicholas). Every student was given a blanket for a Christmas gift. The celebration was grand and enjoyable with colorful dances and drama performances by the students. The celebration concluded with the exchange of gifts with ‘chrisma christi friends.’
Thalavadi – A group of students from St. John De Britto School, Sathy, brought the Christmas message to our residence on a recent visit. Around 80 students of 6th-10th standard prepared a cultural program to bring the Christmas message alive for our residents. They enjoyed the dancing and singing, helping them to forget the worries, anxiety and trauma of their daily lives. It was also a good chance for the young students to learn the life situation of the patients and gain knowledge of their lives. This visit made an impact on them and inspired St. Joseph’s Matriculation School, Sathy, to also come for a visit, providing much needed rations and basic necessities for the residents. They are now able to give witness to the ministry.
Cuddalore – On December 19th, our Founder’s 175th birthday, and to honor his holy birth, life and his charitable patrimony St. Joseph’s Seminary, Don Guanella Boys Home, Sahaya Matha Parish, Divine Providence Convent, Guanellian Lay Movement and all the beneficiaries joined as one family to celebrate. The celebration included solemn Mass, during which three GLM members made their promise and became Guanellian Cooperators, cultural performances, gift sharing and an Agape meal. It was a time of revitalizing the spirit, mission and vision of St. Louis Guanella.
Bangalore – Guanella Preethi Nivas celebrated suppose Christmas, Family Day and the birthday of our Founder on December 19th. GPN was opened to all the GC, GLM, Youth, Sisters, beneficiaries, staff, and all well wishers for the occasion. It was an event to rekindle the spirit of St. Guanella and evangelize the Charism in his footsteps. The event began with Solemn Holy Mass celebrated by Fr. Jegan. Following this spiritual nourishment, physical nourishment was provided in the form of cultural programs and a delicious meal. Gifts were given to the staff, GC, GLM and youth as tokens of the love of St. Guanella.
Chennai – December is a special month for all, especially the Guanellian family, when we bring all our special children together to make them feel loved and respected in society. The people of the parishes we serve on weekends ask us about the celebration for Differently-abled day, because they know it is a traditional feast celebrated by the Guanellian family. On December 10th, Don Guanella Major Seminary held the event. It was a time of grace for all who attended and were involved in the program. The day began spiritually with Mass. Fr. Soosai Rathinam, SdC, Provincial Superior was the celebrant and he delivered a thoughtful homily, explaining the importance of the special children in and around us. He also quoted Pope Francis when he commemorated a day for the Special Children. Many dignitaries from different Government departments of Tamilnadu were present. Each of them had a chance to address the gathering, saying it is a challenging and awesome ministry that the Guanellian fathers are doing. They thoroughly enjoyed the celebration. The program continued with the special children displaying their talents: speeches, songs and performances. We thank God for the support and choicest blessings He showers on the Guanellian family. The children were fed and gifts distributed before they went home.
Bangalore – Guanella Preethi Nivas was filled with joy December 5th by the visit of Fr. Joseph Rinaldo, Provincial Treasurer. The occasion was the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood, a delight and festival to all. The whole community took endeavors to solemnize and congratulate him. Children offered their felicitation in the form of flowers, dancing, singing and party games. All gathered to thank God for His mercies to Fr. Joe and his glorious jubilee of 50 years, which is 18,250 days or 438,000 hours. More than this we admired his dedication to the congregation for the growth of our mission in USA which will be historically unforgettable. Fr. Joe was very happy to share his experiences with the Evening school children, giving them encouragement for their futures. At the end children were given sweets and they were sent safely home.
Thalavadi – For World Special People’s Day all the institutions from the Erode District, including Nazareth Illam, were invited to attend the program organized by DDRWO of Erode. Mr. Prabhakaran, collector, and MLA’s of east and west constitution of Erode district were the guests for the day. In the cultural events many differently-abled people showcased their talents, one of our residents performed a beautiful dance on stage. It was a joyful moment for Nazareth Illam and the Congregation to receive the best institution award with a certificate and a trophy from Mr. Prabhakaran. Fr. Ligory, Community Superior, was awarded for rendering best service for the people. It is apparent that everyone appreciated our institution and our service.
Bangalore – On December 2nd the Guanellians celebrated World Special People’s Day in Bangalore. The celebration began with a solemn Mass celebrated by Most Rev. Bernard Moras, Archbishop of Bangalore and concelebrated by many priests. World Special People’s Day is one of the biggest and most awaited events celebrated every year at Guanella Preethi Nivas. About 2000 people, including 1,350 good children from 40 institutes around Bangalore participated and the rest were our benefactors, friends, Guanellian Cooperators and GLM members. For the past 11 years the Guanellians used this day to teach and exhibit to everyone how to accept, love and celebrate the gifts of these beloved children of God and how they are favorable to God. They were the heroes and heroines of the day. This year 190 volunteers worked selflessly for the success of this event and they are deeply touched by our mission. Guanellian Lay Movement members were happy to collaborate closely for the success of this event and set a good example for all attendees. The good children gave beautiful performances, they were entertained, honored, fed with nutritious food and given gifts. The Archbishop congratulated and thanked the Guanellians for their marvelous service to the deserving children of God.