Kumbakonam – It was a great joy for Guanella Nagar Parish when ten parish children received First Holy Communion. Holy Mass was celebrated by Fr. A. John Bosco. In his homily he said, First Holy Communion is a Catholic ceremony which marks a child’s first reception of the Sacrament of the Eucharist. The Holy Eucharist refers to Christ’s body and blood present in the consecrated host on the altar, and Catholics believe that the consecrated bread and wine are actually the body and blood, soul and divinity of Christ. It was highly spiritual and emotional for them. Fr. Vincent and Srs. Juli and Siron prepared the children spiritually for the past twenty-seven days. Hence, their parents, God-parents, relatives and friends were very happy. The saints in heaven were delighted to intercede for us.
Chennai – God is ever-faithful to those who call on Him with hope. Don Guanella Major Seminary is ever thankful to God for helping them realize His work. In fact it took many long years to actualize this project. With all the strenuous efforts taken by the community fathers and the major superiors, the work to build a residential home for the first time in India began February 12, 2017 when the foundation stone was laid. It is a memorable day in the history of the Guanellian family as the work was finished June 29, 2018. Fr. Soosai Rathinam, the Provincial Superior, unveiled and blessed the house. He celebrated the holy Mass in the august presence of 30 priests, other religious and the faithful. During his homily Fr. Rathinam expressed his sincere thanks to the community fathers for carrying out this project meticulously; he presented them a gift as a token of appreciation. Fr. Samson, Community Superior, thanked all the benefactors and well wishers for their generosity towards God’s work for the needy and unloved in society. And he also said that Fr. Guanella is happy and blessing us from above for this work. A fellowship meal was shared in remembrance of this celebration.
Chennai – Don Guanella Special School is grateful to all the generous hearts who help in its daily activities. On June 22nd Mrs. Sundaravalli, the collector of Thiruvulur District, donated two wheelchairs and 17 walkers for our special children. We are always grateful for their generous contribution to our mission. Fr. S. A. Lourduraj the director of DGSS approached the collector’s office to request the wheelchairs and she was generous enough to provide them knowing the need and mission that DGSS offers for the special children of the greater Thiruvulur District. On receiving the items Fr. Lourduraj expressed his vote of sincere thanks to the collector. We firmly believe that God’s providence never stops knocking on the door of the needy and abandoned.
Dindigul – It was in 2013 that the Guanellians took over a new parish, St. Antony’s Church, Kallathupatti. Fr. John Paul was the first parish priest and has successfully completed five years of shepherding the parish. On June 10th he was given a farewell after Mass. Fr. Lawrence Thambusamy was appointed second parish priest of St. Antony’s Church. Before the inaugural and installation ceremony there was a procession from the main road of the village welcoming the Provincial Superior, Fr. Soosai Rathinam, and Fr. Lawrence with a garland. Then the installation ceremony began. Fr. M. A. Antony, the Vicar Forane, conducted the ceremony. Fr. Lawrence presided over the mass. Fr. Soosai preached the homily, explaining the Word of God, thanking the people for their support and insisting that they extend their full cooperation to the new parish priest. After Mass the people thanked Fr. John Paul and welcomed Fr. Lawrence with a shawl. They also honored all the fathers who were present especially Fr. Visuwasam and Fr. Kulandai Samy, Provincial councilors. Thereafter sisters from religious communities thanked and welcomed the parish priests with a shawl. Hearty congratulations and a sense of gratitude to Fr. Achariyam who served as the assistant parish priest for the past two years. To close the event, Fr. Visuwasam thanked the gathering and advised the people to grow in spirituality and unity.
Chennai – For Guanellians, the month of June remains a Month of Fervor as our Founder mentions, because in this month the perpetually professed confreres renew their vows. On June 8th ten priests at Don Guanella Major Seminary renewed their vows in the Devotion of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Fr. A. Periyanayagam presided over Mass and Fr. Soosai Rathinam, Provincial Superior, gave the homily. He spoke of the devotion that our founder had to the Heart of Jesus and reminded us that our hearts must be like the heart of Jesus burning with love for the poor, needy and all those who say I have no one. At the end of the Mass the confreres renewed their vows to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Chennai – After a six week summer vacation Don Guanella Special School reopened on June 6th. Fr. Samson, Superior, celebrated the Mass of the Holy Spirit in the presence of Fr. S. A. Lourdu Raj, the director, Fr. Michael the assistant director, staff, children and their parents. It was a grace filled time for the children and parents, after the long gap of their summer holidays. There were 30 new admissions this year, which is a sign of God’s desire for the Guanellian mission to extend to far places. During the inaugural Mass Fr. Samson emphasized that God loves us and therefore He entrusts the vulnerable to our loving care, hence with joy and vigor we need to love our mission.
Chennai – Don Guanella Major Seminary organized a workshop on Siddha Medicine (a Tamil form of natural medicine) June 1st – 4th. Dr. B. Sundhara Meenal BSMS was the presenter. She started the course by explaining the importance of the natural herbs that are available in and around us. She further taught that though it takes time to heal, there will surely be an effect on the diseases. She mentioned many times, health is wealth and it needs to be well cared for and above all, we need to show love and care because it is God’s unique gift to each individual. Brothers were happy that she taught them how to administer first aid with the natural herbs available in our garden. When there was time for questions, she clarified their doubts and the brothers benefited greatly. Towards the end, Fr. Samson, Superior, thanked Dr. Meenal for spending her time teaching the brothers the value of Tamil natural medicines available all around us.
Kumbakonam – It was indeed a great joy for our Parish to celebrate the Parish Feast of Our Lady of Divine Providence. The feast began on May 7th with a flag hoisting and solemn Mass celebrated by Fr. T. Deva Doss, VF. For each of the seven days of novena the Rosary was prayed followed by a Novena Mass celebrated by diocesan and other religious priests. During the homily, the priests shared their reflections on Mother Mary and the virtues that we must learn from her. Every day after Holy Mass, the parish people shared different sweets and snacks with one another. The culmination of the celebration was on the eve of May 12th. Msgr. A. Amirthasamay, Vicar General of Kumbakonam, presided over the solemn Mass and blessed the procession which followed. The car carrying the statue of Our Lady of Divine Providence was processed through the streets of our substations. On the following day, Fr. M. Phillip Santiagu, Procurator of Kumbakonam, celebrated the feast day Mass and lowered the flag ending the celebration. The guidance of the Parish Priests, Parish Council, and Pious groups made this celebration a successful and fruitful one, bringing us the intercession of Our Lady of Divine Providence and the grace of her Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
Bangalore – The seven novices of the Guanella Preethi Nivas community went on a ten-day desert experience under the guidance of Fr. Gnanaraj. They went to the Servarayan Hills, at Sagayapuram in the Thiruvannamali District. It is a desolate mountain top with a substation church. They had a spiritual awakening by spending lot of time in prayer, meditation, discerning their vocation, speaking to God and journeying into one’s own self. It was an atmosphere conducive to listening to the voice of God and to be enlightened to one’s true self. After morning Eucharist and instruction all went into the forest, having no contact with anyone except God in solitude. Fr. Gnanaraj beautifully guided each novice to discern their vocation through fasting, prayer and spiritual direction. Everyone would return in the evening, share their experiences and collectively prepare dinner. They had inexplicable Tabor experiences on that mountain. On the way down the mountain, they visited the Cloister of Poor Clare nuns. Talking to those spiritual giants was awesome and enlightening for the novices at the threshold of their Religious profession.
Cuddalore – On March 22nd, to conclude the academic year, Annual Day was celebrated with the Evening School Children in the auditorium of St. Joseph’s Seminary. The celebration began with the welcome address given by the rector of the seminary, Fr. Assisi. Fr. Amal Raj, vice-rector of the seminary, was also present and Sr. Maria, Principal of St. Mary’s Mat. High Secondary School was the chief guest. In her speech, Sr. Maria spoke about the Evening School as a great opportunity for the children as well as for their families. She invited the children to make good use of it for a better future. One of the parents shared her feelings and her gratitude to the Institute and to St. Guanella for the precious service given to their children. Fr. Assisi distributed prizes for various the competitions: regular attendance, best student, best attitude. After the vote of thanks given by Fr. Arockia Raj, Annual Day concluded by sharing a delicious meal. The children were very happy. They made the celebration much more joyful with their cultural programs.