XX (20th) General Chapter of the Servants of Charity

In the beautiful Alpine hills of the Lombardy region of North Italy, at the Casa Don Guanella in Barza, the XX General Chapter of the Servants of Charity was conducted from April 8th – April 28th and whose theme was “Charism, Interculturality and Prophesy.” The setting was fitting as the house was, and continues to be, a house for formation of novices and many confreres, throughout the years, have spent some of their most memorable times in this house. It also serves now as a place of formation for those preparing for perpetual profession as well as a local spirituality, pastoral and cultural center.
The chapter opened on the evening of April 8th at the motherhouse in Como with the celebration of the Eucharist by Bishop Oscar Cantoni, bishop of Como, in the shrine church of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. This was followed by a dinner where chapter members entered into the spirit of fraternal communion which marked the chapter. The chapter fathers gathered in the morning of April 9th in the chapter hall and the initial acts of the chapter began with the reading of the convocation letter by Fr. Alfonso Crippa, Superior General, the singing of the Veni Creator Spiritus and then his opening remarks. This was followed by the election of the two moderators and two secretaries for the chapter. Br. Franco Lain of the Our Lady of Hope Delegation in Africa and Fr. Mauro Vogt, provincial superior of the Cruz del Sur Province in Brazil, were elected as moderators. Fr. Alessandro Allegra of the St. Joseph Roman Province and Fr. Francesco Sposato, a member of the Sacred Heart Province of N. Italy, were elected as the chapter secretaries. As is the custom, the two youngest confreres attending the chapter became the tellers or observers for the chapter and they were Fr. Tiago Boufleur of the Cruz del Sur Province and Fr. Jude Anamelechi of the Our Lady of Hope Delegation. This day also was inspired with a reflection given by Bishop Paolo Martinelli, a Capuchin friar and auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Milan as well as episcopal vicar for men religious in the archdiocese, whose theme was “The Intercultural Characteristics of the Christian Experience.”
There are significant and essential acts of the General Chapter which mark it and one such act took place during the next morning and part of the afternoon with the presentation of the report of the Superior General. Fr. Alfonso gave a panoramic view of the life of the entire congregation and the chapter members, in various groups, had an opportunity to discuss the report and present to the chapter assembly their findings. In the midst of this work, the report of the various provincials and delegate superior were also presented.
The chapter itself takes on a certain rhythm and a multitude of tasks are assumed by the chapter fathers. These are done in view of the General Chapter being “a singular moment of revision and discernment by which we strengthen our religious family according to the Gospel and in harmony with the times and directives of the Church” (Constitution n. 112) and whose “primary task…is to guard the charism of the Founder and whatever constitutes the spiritual patrimony of the Institute with fidelity in order to render them operative in its life and apostolate.” (Constitutions n. 113) In order to fulfill the spirit of these directives, duties of the chapter such as the report of the General Treasurer and a discussion of and presentation by the various workgroups on the report took place. In addition, the formation of five commissions among the chapter fathers helped also to realize the direction given by the Constitutions. These commissions were: Charism, Consecration, Ecclesiastical Life and the Guanellian Family; Fraternity, Interculturality and Prophesy; Vocation Ministry and Initial and Permanent Formation; and Economy, Governance and Animation and Organization of the Congregation. The commissions worked diligently in establishing inspiring principles, identifying lines of action and developing motions and proposals for presentation to the chapter assembly for voting at the end of the chapter. Finally, as part of this essential work, revised texts of the Regulations were presented for review and possible modification and these texts were also voted upon and, with the outcome of the vote, will now be included as revised regulations.
Unique and special moments are welcomed during the General Chapter and this was reflected in a presentation given by Fr. Mario Aldegani, Superior General of the Josephites of Murialdo on the theme of the chapter; an overview given by Sr. Neuza Giordani, Vicar General of the Daughters of St. Mary of Providence and Dr. Antonio Valentini, president of the Guanellian Cooperators of N. Italy and Switzerland on the mini-chapter of the Guanellian family which took place in Rome from November 10-12 of last year and, on that same day, a visit to the Cathedral of St. Lawrence in Lugano, Switzerland where the body of Venerable Aurelio Bacciarini is buried; and the Eucharistic Liturgy celebrated by Archbishop Mario Delpini, Archbishop of Milan.
This is a fitting point to note that the General Chapter and its members were continually spiritually nourished throughout the chapter with the liturgical celebrations. Daily Mass celebrated by many of the chapter fathers as well as Eucharistic adoration and benediction along with the celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours were rich times for its members and helped to sustain them in the work of the chapter.
In a sense, the zenith of the General Chapter is reached with the vote taking place for the Superior General, Vicar General as well as the 3 remaining General Councilors. These are historic moments in the life of the Congregation and this chapter proved to be no different. The election occurred on April 25th and it was prepared for by a personal hour of reflection and adoration in the chapel as well as Eucharistic Benediction with the chapter fathers.
The members then returned to the assembly and the following were elected as the new leadership of the Institute of the Servants of Charity: Fr. Umberto Brugnoni, Superior General; Fr. Nicola (Nico) Rutigliano, Vicar General; Fr. Soosai Rathinam; Br. Franco Lain; and Fr. Gustavo De Bonis. The composition of this council is certainly one that is historical in nature with, for the first time, a general councilor from India and a religious brother being elected; representation on the General Council from three nations – Italy, India and Argentina; and five continental mission experiences within the General Council – Europe, Asia, Africa (where Br. Franco has served for 25 years), South America and North America. One can say that this Holy Spirit led effort responded to the theme of the General Chapter, “Charism, Interculturality and Prophesy” and the motto of the General Chapter, “Rooted in the Charism for the Universal Mission.”
The General Chapter ended as it began with a Eucharistic Liturgy taking place, on April 28th, at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Como and celebrated by the newly elected Superior General, Fr. Umberto Brugnoni. The General Chapter proved to be a prophetic witness to the charism of the Institute; a reflection of the growing inter-cultural nature of the Congregation; and a living out of a fraternal and family spirit so desired by our holy Founder, St. Louis Guanella. May God continue to shower his blessings upon the Servants of Charity! Mary, Mother of Divine Providence, pray for us! St. Louis Guanella, pray for us!

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Parish Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Kumbakonam – The official inauguration of “Our Lady of Divine Providence” parish was August 20 , 2006. As St. Guanella believes in God’s providence, we too look back with satisfaction and joy for this belief. Over the past ten years, the Parish has seen a lot of growth and development. Fr. Ligory expressed his desire to offer a thanksgiving Mass to mark this event and took the initiative to organize it. Fr. A. John Bosco, the Parish priest joyfully accepted his request. Mass was con-celebrated by nine priests: Frs. Ligory, S.P. Samy, Dhurai Raj, Bakthis, George Vinsula, Arputha Raj, Loyola,  Amal Raj,  Vincent and Fr. A. John Bosco. Bro. Kalai Kovan, and Srs. Arputham and Kumari also attended. A historical recollection was shared by Fr. George after communion. Mr. Balu, Vice President, welcomed the Confreres while parishioners and Parish Councilors honored them with shawls. Fr. A. John Bosco presented a brief history of the erection of the Parish, dedication by the Very Rev. Bishop Peter Remigius and he mentioned the ‘Pioneer Priest,’ Fr. Paneer Raja, and Fr. S.P. Samy and Deacon Durai Raj. He thanked the Lord for His blessings throughout these 10 years. The celebration closed with coffee and a social. May Our Lady of Divine Providence help us with her providential hand that the parish may witness her love and care in the years to come.

Language Month Celebration

Manila – This year’s Buwan ng Wika had the theme “Filipino: Wika ng Karunungan.” ( Language of Wisdom) The beloved persons with disabilities who live nearby and the residents of Guanella Home for Special Children participated in the festivities at Guanella Center. Many activities were planned for the children such as watching Filipino films, creative drawing and coloring, and playing Filipino games. The program began in the morning with a parade where the children joyfully walked the grounds wearing national costumes prepared with the help of the staff and their parents. In the end the one proclaimed as the best Filipino costume was Katrina Peredo (female category) and Kevin Visabal (male category), and Patrick Halili as “crowd favorite.”

Four New DEACONS OF MERCY

four men in white albs lay prostrate befire the altar of a beautiful church in Rome.

The doors of the Church are wide open as Pope Francis notes, “God never ceases to demonstrate the richness of His mercy over the course of centuries.” This year has richness of grace in the Church as well as well as in the congregation; in this moment four theologians were ordained as deacons on March 6th in the Basilica of St. Joseph Trionfale, Rome.

‘Deacon’ stands for διάκονος which means minister or servant. The ministry of deacon is the vocation to serve in 3 areas; the Word, Liturgy and Charity. The four deacons, who were perpetually professed October 24th in Como, were happy to receive the ordination of diaconate during Holy Mass presided by Mons. Enrico dal Covolo, SdB. The deacons to be ordained were Eustace, Oscar, Marc and Selvakani belonging to the Delegation of Our Lady of Hope and Divine Providence Province. The parents, relatives and friends of deacons arrived from various parts of Italy and there were almost 70 priests around the altar to testify to the grace of the Lord for 4 young men of Christ.

The Gospel of the day was Luke 15,1-3, 11-32, the parable of the prodigal son, which interpreted by Mons. Enrico in such a way it remains a milestone for the Servants of Charity. He called them, “diaconi della misericordia,” Deacons of Mercy; saying that they are called to be the mercy servers to the emerging needs of the world.

He recalled three practical verbs indicated by Pope Francis during his special Audience to the Guanellian family on November 12th in Paul VI Hall, Vatican; namely to trust, to look and to hasten.

To trust: The parable of the prodigal son is a story of Father’s unlimited trust and Mercy. The father trusted the son and divided his property. At the center of St. Guanella’s life was the certainty that God is a merciful and provident Father. The two lines go hand in hand; the trust in God and trust in poor that are the prodigal sons and daughters in our Guanellian centers.

To look: The father “saw” his son. There is a great deal in that word, ‘saw.’ God has such a way of seeing men and women that you and I cannot understand. He sees right through us like He saw in the Gospel; Matthew, Zaccheus and a rich young man with a glance which sees our past, present and future.

When he was yet a great way off, He felt compassion for him and ran and embraced him and kissed him. St. Guanella had the same look of mercy in which these new deacons will ‘see’.

To hasten: In the ancient Jewish culture, it was difficult for the respected persons with dignity to come down and receive the young son back in to the family. Mons. Enrico echoed the living words of St. Guanella, “We cannot stop as long as there are poor to be assisted.” Dear loving deacons, Poverty cannot wait. Let us feel the compassion for the poor, and run, embrace and kiss. (v.20) Today is the special day because 4 young hearts receive the extraordinary grace to be called, ‘deacons of Mercy.’

Then he ordained the deacons, the holy mass ended with the Jubilee blessing along with prayers for Pope Francis. A sumptuous dinner and feast for the invitees was served in the Theological Seminary, Rome. Fr. Umberto Brugnoni, the Rector thanked the Lord for these new deacons to the Church and congregation.

 

Pope’s Address to Spiritual Family of St. Luigi Guanella

“I am going to try to imagine what he would say to you to confirm you in faith, in hope and in charity. … I thought of three concrete verbs: to trust, to look and to hurry”

Today, Pope Francis received in audience the participants in the Pilgrimage of the spiritual family of St. Luigi Guanella.

Here is a translation of the Pope’s address to those present at the meeting.

* * *

Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!

I thank you for the words you addressed to me. Not only did you present your work to me, but you also wished to receive me in some way in your Family. Today is an important Solemnity for you: you celebrate the Mother of Divine Providence, who is your Patroness, and above all, she is in fact for you the Mother of the Family, as Saint Luigi Guanella desired.

You have just celebrated the first centenary of his birth in Heaven. I am going to try to imagine what he would say to you to confirm you in faith, in hope and in charity. He would certainly do so with his sincere and genuine simplicity; and then I thought of three concrete verbs: to trust, to look and to hurry.

To trust. Don Guanella’s life had at the center the certainty that God is a merciful and provident Father. This was the heart of the faith for him: to know himself as an always loved son, whom the Father takes care of and, therefore, brother of all, called to infuse trust. God is Father and is unable not to love us, nor is He capable of being far from His children. If we are far from Him, we are awaited; when we come close to Him, we are embraced; if we fall, He lifts us up; if we are repentant, He forgives us. And He always desires to encounter us. Saint Luigi so believed in this concrete and provident love of the Father, that he often had the courage to surmount the limits of human prudence, to put the Gospel in practice. Providence, for him, was not “poetry” but reality. God takes care of us and wants us to trust Him.

I think the heavenly Father is very displeased when He sees that His children do not trust Him completely: perhaps they believe in a distant God more than in the merciful God. The doubt can arise in many that God, although Father, is also a master. Then it seems better not to trust Him completely, because He could ask for something that is too demanding or even send a trial. But this is a great deceit: it is the ancient deceit of the enemy of God and of man, who camouflages the reality and disguises evil as a good. It is the first temptation: to distance oneself from God, intimidated by the suspicion that His paternity is not truly provident and good. Instead, God is only love, pure provident love. He loves us more than we love ourselves and knows what our true good is. Therefore He desires that in the course of life we become what we are at the moment of Baptism: loved children, who are able to overcome fear and not fall into lament, because the Father takes care of us. Are you convinced of this?

The second verb is to look. The Creator Father also arouses creativity in those who live as His children. So they learn to look at the world with new eyes, made more luminous by love and hope. They are eyes that enable one to look within oneself with truth and to see far in charity. To this look, others do not seem like obstacles to surmount, but brothers and sisters to welcome. Thus, as Don Guanella said, one discovers that “love of neighbor is the comfort of life.”

Problems are never lacking in the world and, unfortunately, our time witnesses new poverties and many injustices. However, the greatest lack is that of charity: useful above all are persons with eyes renewed by love and looks that infuse hope. Because “love will enable one to find ways and discourses to comfort those that are weak,” said again your Founder. Sometimes our spiritual sight is myopic, because we are unable to look beyond our I. At other times we are long-sighted: we like to help someone who is far away, but we are not capable of bending over someone who is beside us. Sometimes, instead, we prefer to close our eyes, because we are tired, overwhelmed by pessimism. Don Guanella, who recommended that one look at Jesus from His heart, invites us to have the look of the Lord: a look that infuses hope and joy, capable at the same time of experiencing a “lively sense of compassion” in relating to those that suffer.

And, finally, to hurry. “The poor are the favorite children” of the Father, said Saint Luigi, who liked to repeat: “one who gives to the poor, loans to God.” As the Father is delicate and concrete in regard to His littlest and weakest children, so we also cannot have brothers and sister in difficulty waiting, because – these are still Don Guanella’s words – “misery cannot wait. And we cannot stop while there are poor to be helped!” Our Lady hurried to reach her cousin Elizabeth (cf. Luke 1:39). We also hear the Spirit’s invitation to go in haste to meet those in need of our care and our affection because, as Saint Luigi taught, “a Christian heart that believes and feels cannot pass before the indigence of the poor without helping them.”

Your Family springs from trust in the Father, under the gaze of Jesus and in the maternal hands of Mary. I thank you for the good you do and I encourage you to continue, without tiring. I bless you all affectionately and I ask you, please, to pray for me. Don’t forget!

Now I invite you to pray to Our Lady: Ave O Maria …

[Original text: Italian]

[Translation by ZENIT]

More on Zenit.org

Sister Clare and Father Guanella

by Fr. Joseph Rinaldo
Suor Chiara frescopgFr. Guanella wrote three biographies of Sr. Clare. The first two were discovered in Como in 1981, during the reorganization of the Archives of the Mother House in Como, Italy. The composition of the oldest, A Flower of Virtue Transplanted from Earth to Paradise, was presumably started shortly after the death of Sr. Clare, and was possibly completed the following year. The original is entirely hand written by the author in two pamphlets of 77 pages.
In 1907 he returned to write about his spiritual daughter and produced a more voluminous manuscript of 111 pages in four pamphlets. The twenty-two long chapters of Biographical Notes of Sr. Clare Bosatta follow the events of her life faithfully, narrated in a pleasant style, rich in content and details.
The last booklet reports the vast and detailed testimony that Fr. Guanella gave from August 8th-23rd, 1912, at the Diocesan Tribunal of Como for the process of the beatification of Sr. Clare Bosatta.
Both texts always show, though at various levels of intensity, Fr. Guanella’s strong emotional involvement. We can understand how his deep relationship with Sr. Clare was decisive for his experience as a Christian, priest, spiritual guide and founder.
The story is unique, narrated with a wealth of expressions and viewpoints. The future Blessed, the last of eleven children, was born in Pianello Lario, on May 27, 1858 and baptized Dina. She died in her hometown on April 20, 1887.
Dina was only three years old when her father Alessandro died. Her mother, Rosa Bosatta, was left with all her children. She entrusted Dina’s education to Marcellina, who was eleven years older. When Dina reached adolescence, she entered the convent of the Canossian Sisters in Gravedona to receive an adequate education.
The Sisters were happy to have her among their sisters. But the Mistress of Novices felt that she was not suitable for their institute. Back in Pianello, she was introduced to the Hospice of the Sacred Heart, started by her sister Marcellina and the parish priest, Carlo Coppini. Later on it was taken up and developed by Fr. Guanella as the first foundation of his religious congregations.
On June 28, 1878, she received the religious habit and the name Clare. In retrospect, she considered this day, after that of her first Holy Communion, “the most solemn and happiest day of her life.” The tasks entrusted to her were the care and education of little orphan girls and teaching catechism to the little girls preparing for their first Holy Communion. She also assisted the sick and elderly striving to pacify their souls and reconcile their resentments.
In 1881, Fr. Coppini died and Fr. Guanella arrived to guide the parish of Pianello. The encounter with the new priest was determinant for the spiritual growth of Sr. Clare. Soon a deep understanding between the two developed that permitted Fr. Guanella to truly recognize the soul of the woman religious. For this reason, he wrote her biography again and again and furnished his fundamental testimony in the process of her beatification.
From these documents, we detect the priest’s esteem for the young Sister, believed capable to reach a high degree of holiness, actively involved in the expansion of the institute which required difficult acts of obedience and more sacrifices. Sr. Clare guided the little expedition from Pianello to Como one night in April l886. At Como, Sr. Clare became seriously ill. She was one of the first victims of tuberculosis which spread throughout Italy. At the end of l886 Sr. Clare was brought back to Pianello, where on April 20, 1887 her earthly life came to an end.
Fr. Guanella tells that, in the last moments, the spiritual anguish “pointed like fire” that had accompanied her through her life “had considerably diminished; the weakened body would not be able to tolerate fiercer battles;” her great, definitive trust had taken over: “I will see my Lord.”
Even the physical features, of the little “martyr of penance” are delineated with grace and simplicity: “A young girl of rather small stature, thin and slender, with a transparent like appearance: the beautiful face of a little madonna, brunette with a tinge of red on her cheeks, like a vermilion veil that embellished it.”
This “angelic face” shows a personality of “great intelligence, of firm will and strong dedication, “of delicate and grateful heart.” But her main characteristic lays in the apparent contradiction between being “timid in character and at the same time decisive about things of the soul.” Certainly “the gift of tears” that comforted her and of which she was largely favored, is difficult to understand outside a mystical experience, but it makes clear the most precious side of her “sensitivity of spirit: she aspired to great things, but understood she could not reach them.”
In the complex spiritual itinerary of Sr. Clare, intense prayer, acceptance of mortification and constant sufferings are the main paths that lead her to total conformity with Jesus and urged her to the summit of Christian perfection like an eagle, as her spiritual director liked to compare her with. Clare09
Often, Fr. Guanella uses expressions of endearment, meant to trace the profile of Sr. Clare, besides the edifying idea of presenting her as a model of Christian Life. He himself the mountaineer priest, was profoundly impressed by her faith and wants everyone to know that this young girl deserves to be recognized as a saint. She was “an angel of innocence,” who lived day by day making herself “all to all.” Sr. Clare was a pure and transparent soul, “like the crystal clear water from the mountains.” She acquiescently allowed herself to be moved by the Spirit, who made “her surrender and attentive to the voice of God and of her superiors.” In one word, she lived entirely for God.
With the effective simplicity of these and other comparisons, Fr. Guanella, outlines a Sr. Clare that stands out bright and clear, highly contradictory for her human fragility but at the same time “divine” for her higher aspirations. She refines her spirit of faith; she strengthens herself, preparing for that radical detachment which will bring her to suffer the difficult experience of withdrawal and even absence on the part of God.

Official Inauguration of ‘100th Anniversary of the Death of the Founder’

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Rome – A Seminar on “Testimoni per Conoscere il Fondatore”, introduced two loving personalities dear to the Founder; Fr. Leonardo Mazzuchi and Sr. Marcellina Bosatta. The Meeting was organized by the Center of Studies of Rome and held at St. Joseph Trionfale. There were many resource persons like Sr. Franca Vendramin, Sr. Michla Carrozzino, Fr. Bruno Capparoni and Fr. Nino Minetti. They brought out the main features of the personality of St. Guanella, those aspects that revealed his character and spirit. On the third day of the seminar, the whole Guanellian family gathered in the Basilica for the official inauguration Mass celebrated by Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, Prefect of the Congregation of Consecrated life. He told of his appreciation for the works of the disciples of St. Guanella around the world. The Guanellian family (Servants of Charity, DSMP and Lay Cooperators) was present for the event. We thanked God for this testimony of love and charity through the Founder.

Festa di San Luigi Guanella

For our readers who speak and read Italian. And for those of you who do not, there is always Google or Bing translate.

In cammino con Cristo

Il 24 ottobre ricorre la festa di San Luigi Guanella, il sacerdote valtellinese canonizzato qualche anno fa,  che per “fare il bene per il bene”, come amava dire, istituì, tra la fine dell’ottocento ed i primi del novecento, in Italia e nel mondo centri di accoglienza per gli “ultimi”.

Spesso, però, sfugge l’esatta, la reale dimensione di chi sale agli onori dell’altare. Per molti, ormai, purtroppo, nella maggior parte dei casi, il tutto rimane circoscritto a poche righe o minuti dedicati dai media ad una notizia dal Vaticano in una domenica qualsiasi dell’anno. La verità è che dietro quei nomi, a volte, poco noti ai molti, si nasconde una vita vissuta all’insegna della carità vera e non di apparenza. La dimostrazione palese che tanti uomini e donne che scelgono la via del Vangelo, strada irta, di dolore, di sacrificio, di abnegazione, di dedizione al prossimo, senza spazi per la gloria…

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Message from the Superior General and his Council on the occasion of the feast of St. Louis Guanella!

St. Guanella and the mountains

collage of St Guanella in front of St. Peter's  BasilicaThe celebration of the feast of our Holy Founder has been generating in the recent past years a growing enthusiasm. This is a clear sign of our efforts and aspiration to imitate his virtues while keeping alive his memory. This year the celebration falls between two events of particular importance and significance to us: the Canonization of Don Guanella that took place two years ago and the upcoming 2015 centennial anniversary of his entrance into eternal life.

I consider this a time of particular grace that should inspire and be expressed through external events and programs. Should in a special way deepen our commitment, both on a personal and community level to strengthen the bond of fraternal communion within the Guanellian family and aware that we are all called to imitate St. Guanella’s Holiness by sharing with new enthusiasm his charism and his mission in the Church.

I therefore express my warm wishes to all of you dear confreres, sisters, co-operators, and members of the Guanellian lay movement, together with all the residents of our homes of charity, our parishioners and all the people whom we encounter in our daily ministry.

May the feast of St. Louis Guanella fill us with inner joy in the certitude of his intercession and protection from heaven! We are conscious of having a heritage, a precious grace to be cherished and developed, a vocation to continue the mission the Lord has entrusted to his generous heart as well to us, his disciples. It is a call which still resonates today and enriches many young people who live in a variety of cultures, a call therefore as universal as the Lord’s Charity! If we see and celebrate in Father Guanella a saint on fire with the love of God, we cannot but feel nurtured in our life with a burning zeal for the Lord, expressed through an active love and service to the poor.

Cordial greetings and Happy St. Louis Guanella feast day to all of you!

Fr. Alfonso Crippa & Council

Formation of the Formators

Servants of Charity Priests gather in Rome

Servants of Charity Priests gather in RomeRome – It was a gift of grace to experience and look back at the formative program using the text, Ratio Formationis. We thank the General Council for their effort to equip formators through this program to provide us with a solid accompaniment for seminarians. With grateful hearts, we thank the Provincial and his Council for allowing confreres Fr. Samson DGMS Chennai, Fr. Gnanaraj GPN Bangalore, Fr. Adaikalm GPN, Bangalore, Fr. Vincent Philippines, Fr. Jerin, Vietnam, and Fr. Francis, Rome, from the Divine Providence Province to spend 23 days in Rome. Fr. Umberto Brugnoni, the formator in charge, arranged everything with care and participated in every program, while the involvement of entire General Council was notable. Every daily meditation was led by General councilors, Guanellian sisters and other Guanellian fathers.

The first two days were about sharing the socio-political, cultural and religious backgrounds of the Asian, European, African and South American cultures and we shared our joys and difficulties about vocation promotion and formation. We deepened our knowledge in Ratio and shared our concerns. During the second week, scholars from Gregorian University, Fr. Victorio and Fr. Healy SJ, were invited to help us to understand the science of human formation. The General Council dedicated a very useful day for questions and answers, and we dedicated our last two days to meditating on the life of the great masters of Charism; confreres Piero Pellegrini and Attilio Beria. Among other experiences we participated with the Holy Father in fasting and in prayer for world peace and we attended a papal audience with Pope Francis, who spoke of the Church as “Mother.” We thank Fr. Alessandro and the community for their hospitality and welcome, and we thank God and all those contributed for this beautiful experience.

The most important things that we discussed in the final meeting were;

  • Creating a missionary spirit in the candidates.
  • Developing criteria for selecting the candidates for Rome.
  • Sending theological Regents to other parts of the Guanellian World.
  • Reading the Ratio on a provincial, community and personal level.
  • Encouraging regular personal prayer and Spiritual Direction.
  • Placing Residential Spiritual Directors in the major seminaries.
  • Learning the Italian language.