Pondicherry – The Divine Providence Province’s Fourth Provincial Chapter began as the chapter fathers gathered at Prsahanth Vanam on November 20th. Fr. Alphonso Crippa, Superior General, enlightened the confreres with inspiring thoughts during his recollection talk. He highlighted three important points: Wisdom of God, Guanellian Simplicity and Mission. He underlined the fact that we are gathered here not merely just to make some governing proposals or administrative rules, but to seek what the Lord wants from us. He stressed the importance of dialogue and fraternity. The chapter continued until the evening of the 24th. The chapter fathers went to St. Joseph’s Seminary for the Silver Jubilee of their presence in India and Golden Jubilee celebration of Fr. Joe.
Our earthly life is described in a variety of ways with the help of metaphors and images. Some of us consider it a challenge and some of us view it as a battle or an opportunity. The Christian scripture looks at our life as a journey. The idea of pilgrimage or sacred travel runs deep in many religious traditions and more so in the Judaic tradition as we find in Ex 3,13-17. The paradigm shift that took place in the Catholic Church after the Second Vatican Council is from a Triumphal Church to a Pilgrim Church. The Church as the people of God is called to be a Pilgrim of Pilgrims. In this process each of us is requested to value the true sense or purpose of our pilgrimage: a true movement to God and our connectivity with others.
I feel one with you all at this juncture of nearing the celebration of the New Liturgical Year in our Catholic Church. We celebrate the Nativity of Our Lord or Christmas every year. But how close are we to a true movement toward God? And how are we connected with others who are true images and likenesses of the same creator who created us as individuals? Let’s be reminded of the single motive of Jesus’ entry into our world as a human. He entered into our world in order to enter into our lives. He came to share what we are, to give meaning to what we do, to heal the wounds, to give life. Are we prepared to let Him into our lives? From the Angel’s opening statement to the shepherds of Bethlehem in Lk 2,10, we derive the worth of the celebration of Christmas for three reasons: It is personal (I bring you), It is positive (Good news of great Joy), and It is universal (for all people).
Out of these three reasons, it is quite fitting for us Servants of Charity as Guanellians to make the Christmas celebration a universal one including everyone regardless of any differences like race, gender, caste, religion, physical fitness and so on. During the month of December every year we bring the differently-abled children (Buoni Figli) to the forefront in public by conducting various events for them and honoring them with the distribution of gifts. Is it a mere external celebration without a deeper meaning? Or is it a worthy celebration illustrating that each of us has received life as a most precious gift from God? Basically children are blessings to humanity and are to be treated as such. This becomes meaningful in our Christmas celebration as Jesus came for all. Hence, it is a mandate for us to respect, know and love them as equals. The birth of Baby Jesus our savior should be an event for these underprivileged to recall over and over. It is important that we bring hope into their lives and make their existence joyful.
We, as Servants of Charity, have initiated so many residences all over the world, caring for these differently-abled children whom we call – like our Founder – ‘Good Children.’ Without ever discriminating against them we are called to be sensitive to their originality as human beings created ‘in the image and likeness of God’ (Gen 1,27). By helping them enjoy and cherish the most precious gift of life from God we must learn to do the same with regard to our existence. In doing so we would be fulfilling our moral obligation to be pro-life in every aspect as our only Master, Jesus Christ, Who was Word become flesh (Jn 1:14). I wish you all a Pro-life Christmas celebration.
Kumbakonam – Guanella Nagar Parish celebrated the feast of St. Anne in the substation Santhanalpuram with great joy. The feast began on July 18th with a flag hoisting and solemn Mass celebrated by Fr. A. Antoine, parish priest of Mathur. The homily was preached by Deacon Martin, SJ, in which he said that the parents of our Mother Mary were simple people of great hope. Each day of the novena, the Rosary was prayed, Sacrament of Reconciliation was offered and then the Holy Mass was celebrated by different priests from the Diocese of Kumbakonam. Day seven was a special devotion to St. Paul the Hermit. Fr. S. Felix Samuel, Trust Director of Kumbakonam, gave a reflection on reconciliation, peace and unity that God alone can give. After Holy Mass there was a music program and a fellowship meal was provided for more than two thousand people. Devotees came from many different places.
The culmination of the celebration was on July 25th. Msgr. A. Amirthasamy, Vicar General of Kumbakonam, presided over the High Mass and blessed the car procession which followed. The statue of St. Anne was taken around the streets of all the substations. On the following day, Fr. Philip Santiagu, Procurator of Kumbakonam, celebrated the feast day Mass and in his reflection said, “We thank our grandparents for their prayer and good example.” The flag was lowered officially ending the celebration.
Vatluru – It was a great joy that the Daughters of St. Mary of Providence visited the boys of Guanella Karunalaya at the beginning of the school year. They encouraged the boys to study well. The students performed dances and displayed their talents. A meal was shared and the evening enjoyed. It was a memorable day for the boys. If you visit, you will also be filled with joy
Manila – This year the provincial superior traveled to the Philippines for his canonical visit with the secretary general. The visit included meetings and dialogues with some of the priests and significant persons in the community. The canonical visit includes as well the meeting with the pastoral ministries of the Servants of Charity of the Manila community, which will fall on the last day of the provincial visit, July 8th.
Manila – Two Guanellian sisters, Sr. Mich and Sr. Tess, renewed their vows on March 19th during the Mass at Guanella Center. Holy Mass was presided by Fr. Dong Cerbito, and was concelebrated by Fr. Battista and Fr. Charlton. The good children, the whole seminary community and people living nearby were their witnesses. The two Sisters renewed their vows of poverty, chastity and obedience after three years. Sr. Nenita, local superior of the Daughters of Saint Mary of Providence, was the one who received their vows. Fr. Charlton preached the homily and afterward had special words urging the sisters to be faithful to their vows.
Cuddalore – The Divine Providence Province, as one family of God gave thanks to God for the 25 years of sacerdotal blessing to Fr. A. John Bosco, SdC, the first Indian Guanellian confrere, on December 16th during the annual provincial assembly. The Guanellians present made the celebration very grand. The festive mood of celebrating the Jubilee inspired many young confreres to be more authentic, enthusiastic and committed in their priesthood. Fr. John Bosco thanked and blessed the gathering with his words of love and gratitude. He encouraged all to taste and see the goodness of God through the holy priesthood. He requested everyone to be more faithful to their vocations and to be fully consecrated to God.
Cuddalore – “How beautiful it is, when brothers live in unity and happiness”. To further increase community spirit and fellowship among the young scholastics at St. Joseph’s Seminary, the priests arranged a trip to Aarovil Beach, Pondicherry. This trip delighted the young brothers and gave them more space for fraternity. It helped them get to know each other better and relate more fervently in genuine family spirit.
Thalavadi – August ended with showers of blessings for the Nazareth Illam community. Fr. Soosai visited to study the community project. He met confreres and the residents on the first day of his visit. The second day, there was a campus blessing following Holy mass. Accompanied by our residents, staff and confreres, he began the blessing ceremony beginning at the entrance and ended in the chapel. The necessity of blessing the campus was to remove any negative energy over the house and to bring forth God’s blessings to Nazareth Illam. Our residents actively and piously participated by singing devotional songs. Fr. Soosai was very happy that God made use of him to bring His blessings during his visit. The community also was very happy indeed because with the blessings of God the month ended and with a new spirit would enter the new month, the month of Mother Mary
Nearly forty people gathered on the morning of Friday, June 24, 2016 to witness the leadership of the Divine Providence Province of the Servants of Charity bless the grounds of a vacant field where the new St. Louis Guanella Village will be constructed beginning this summer. Guests included seven priests, twelve residents, and the direct […]