Chennai – As the part of the program of theological formation, Don Guanella Major Seminary Brothers went on a four day vocation promotion to different parts of Tamilnadu and Andhra Pradesh during their semester holidays. It is the practice of the Major seminary to send brothers to encourage young boys who show an interest to become future priests. This year five groups were organized to go, to invite and encourage the youngsters to serve the Lord through the Servants of Charity congregation. Brothers were organized in a systematic way to approach different parishes, schools and boarding schools to collect the names of the interested. After four days, the brothers returned to the seminary for their academic program. Thanks to the vocation promoter of the province and the good hearts of the seminarians who helped in this endeavor.
Bangalore – What a wonderful thing it is to help the little ones understand how unique and beautifully they are made. On the October 14th Rainbow Brush group led by Christine, Guanellian Cooperators and GLM members organized a workshop at Guanella Preethi Nivas for the Oratory children. It was indeed a very fun filled day. The workshop began with some warm-ups, and a little Zumba dance to pep the little ones. The children were very excited to participate and learn new moves. Christine then narrated a small story where she made the children understand how they have been made so unique and beautiful. Some lack gifts but are not to be kept aside. We are to accept them and walk together. She also told the children not to bully anyone for their appearance but we need to always look into the heart of each person which is so beautifully created by God.
After this the main part of the workshop began, coloring a giant puzzle. The children were not sure what they were coloring until each piece was put together and they could see the exact picture. The student volunteers were trained at Rainbow Brush accompanied by their parents. We also had a group of volunteers from the University who helped us to coordinate activities, to organize sumptuous snacks for the kids and to give small gifts for the children to take home.
On October 5, 2018, St. Louis Center was honored to host Director Nick Lyon, the Director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, (MDHHS). He was accompanied by his Senior Deputy Directors, Farah A. Hanley and Dr. Herman McCall. Also in attendance were Janet Snyder and Kadi Prout, representing the Michigan Federation for […]
Kumbakonam – Guanella Nagar Parish joyfully celebrated the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary at the Jebamalaipuram substation. This substation has more than 30 Catholic families. This is the only Church dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary in the Kumbakonam Diocese. The feast began on the October 12th with Our Lady of the Rosary flag hoisted by Fr. M. Andrew, CMF, Youth and Vocation promoter, Kumbakonam. Then he celebrated Holy Mass and gave an inspiring Homily on Mother Mary and the importance of praying the Rosary. The culmination of the celebration was on October 13th. Fr. V. Soosai, Sacred Heart Hospital, Kumbakonam, celebrated Holy Mass and preached the homily. After Mass he blessed the car and the faithful prayed the Holy Rosary through the streets of Jebamalaipuram. On the following day, Fr. A. Sundar, OFM, Sivapuram, celebrated the feast day Mass with many faithful attending. In his reflection, he spoke of the current world problems and gave two solutions: the Word of God and praying the Rosary. The flag was lowered bringing the celebration to an end.
Vatluru – On October 9th the boys of Guanella Karunalaya went on pilgrimage to Gunadala, the Marian Shrine at Vijayawada about 60 kms away. The pilgrimage began at Sacred Heart Parish with prayer. The boys and their guides made their journey by train. Fr. Bernandas, Fr. Christuraj, Fr. Bala and Deacon Rambabu accompanied them. The pilgrimage was a grace filled one since the boys prayed the Rosary at the shrine, Holy Mass was celebrated by Fr. Christuraj and the boys had a Calvary journey to reach the hill top where the Blessed Mother appeared. “The little child lets himself be gently guided by his mother’s voice,” St. Guanella. The boys were overjoyed to spend time with Mary.
Bangalore – This year was the first time in the history of the Guanella Preethi Nivas community that children prepared and celebrated World Senior Citizens’ Day in a grand manner. The Senior Citizens were the shining stars of the program, well-dressed and full of smiles, as always, accompanied by the young like their grandchildren. They enjoyed singing and dancing with the children. The children also shared their love by giving flowers and performing dances, speeches and songs for them. Fr. Adaikalam addressed the gathering, speaking about the importance of the day, being grateful to the elders and honoring them for all their life sacrifices and loving gestures. It was truly heartwarming for senior citizens experiencing the love of these eighty angelic kids. The program ended with open dance and giving snacks to the children.
Krishnaperi – God is so gracious and showers His blessings to those who trust in Him, His arms protect us and His light leads us. The Divine Providence Province bore one more child according to God’s plan. The wing of Divine Providence grows larger and larger. Jesus says, in My Father’s home there are many rooms for the people likewise, there is room for everyone in the Servants of Charity especially for the special ones, God’s good children and the orphans. Jesus takes the children and says unless you become little children you cannot enter the kingdom of God. Don’t stop them; let the children come to Me. These words remind us to live a life pure in heart, a life of holiness. For these small ones a new community was installed at Krishnaperi.
On July 15, 2015 the Guanellians landed in Sivakasi, which belongs to the Archdiocese of Madurai, with the permission of Archbishop Antony Pappusamy, DD., STD. On that auspicious day the residence emerged with the help of Fr. S. Periyanayaga Samy, Fr. Vellington in a ceremony blessed by former Provincial Fr. Soosai Rathinam. After three years, St. Paul’s Boys Home, the mission of Sivakasi took shape. On October 6th, new Provincial Fr. J. Ronald installed the community in a Holy Eucharistic celebration. During Mass, as is the tradition of our congregation, the new superior, Fr. S. Periyanayaga Samy, made a profession of faith. Father provincial assigned a new obedience to the fathers. Fr. S. Periyanayaga Samy is Superior of the community and Parish Priest of Krishnaperi mission. Fr. J. David is 1st Councilor and vice superior, administrator and director of the boys home. Fr. A. Arockia Vanathaiyan is councilor, assistant director of the boys home and assistant parish priest in Krishnaperi. Let us support the new community with your powerful prayer.
“Holiness is one of the most beautiful gifts a human heart can offer to God.” – Mother Teresa. We know well that life is a precious gift of God to all of us and what we make out of our lives is our gift to God in return. I was told that in the culture of the United States as also of India, when you go to visit a family, never go with an empty hand. I wonder what gift we need to carry when we go to our eternal home (heaven) to our Father. We know well that we cannot carry anything but our pure soul and the good things we did here on earth. We fatigue a lot to earn so many things just to leave them to others as the proverb says “When he dies he will carry nothing away” (49;17). Each one must now reflect what gift we will be carrying to our Father once we are done with our pilgrimage here on earth. What good do we possess or cultivate? Humility? Forgiveness? Patience? Love? Charity? Kindness? Sharing with the needy? Endurance in suffering? What is the gift that I will present to God?
We begin this month remembering and honoring our ancestors who lived before us and returned to the Father. November 1st, we honor All Saints and November 2nd, we commemorate All the Faithful Departed. St. Bernard says the lives of the saints assure us that holiness is possible, they teach us by their lives and their writing how to serve God, and they can intercede for us when we need God’s help. Honoring the saints and millions of others who have tried to live a good and holy life, including those who have fallen along the way, but who have gotten up and kept on going. Saints are people who lived their lives according to the design of God and helped others also live their lives well. When we live our life fully and help others as to live well, then we become holy ones in the eyes of God.
Live: Whether we know it or not, we all have a vision for our lives. We all have a philosophy that sets out how we want to live and what we want to accomplish. It’s this vision that guides many of our decisions and actions. At the heart of our vision is the desire to do what makes us happy. As we mature, our vision gets refined and sharpened. It also becomes increasingly selfless. Our life is not just made of what this world has to offer us. Remember that we are the children of God and that heaven is our true home. We need to tell ourselves that we are more than our job, our skills, our wealth or education. We are precious to God and He delights in us. This is the call to live our life fully, meaningfully and joyfully.
Let Live: As we journey on earth God is asking us to love our neighbor as a commandment. God asks us to take the risk for the sake of His people. Our Founder, St. Louis Guanella, and Mother Theresa didn’t try to solve all of the world’s problems: they simply lived their life in radical service and love of their neighbor. Hindus, Muslims, and Christians alike saw in them a role model. They invite us to let others live with a simple program of life, “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier. At the end of life, we are going to be judged on the basis of our love for one another.” Fr. Guanella invites his followers to attain holiness with this simple program of life, “in doing our daily duties with love, we embrace holiness.” I would like to quote a passage from The Imitation of Christ. “How many people will remember you and pray for you once you are dead? So do all you can now, for you do not know when you will die or what you will face after death. Gain merit for eternity now while there is time and concern yourself only with your eternal salvation.” (Ch. 23; 8).
The month of November for the Catholic Church is special because the militant church commemorates its relationship with the triumphant church and the penitent church through the celebration of All Saints Day and All Souls Day. These two celebrations remind us of the temporality and the eternity of human existence. In other words they reiterate our fundamental vocation as Christians to become holy or saintly. Be perfect as your heavenly father is perfect. (Mt 5,48)
This month gives us, Guanellians additional privilege and joy since we celebrate the feast of the mother of Divine Providence. It is very evident from the life of our founder that the concept of Divine Providence was very close to his heart that he named his autobiography The Ways of Providence, that he named the first institution House of Divine Providence, that he called the bulletin of that house The Divine Providence and named the sisters the Daughters of St. Mary of Providence.
In general Divine Providence would mean that God governs and directs everything and therefore the entire universe is under His control. Moreover even when things go wrong, he can straighten up the crooked designs of human beings (Saul becoming Paul, the story of Joseph in the Old Testament) and produce good out of the bad which human minds design. Personally one can think of Divine Providence in terms of his existence, his family, his education and well-being etc.
Our founder does not stop with this idea of Divine Providence as God’s intervention in one’s life. He moves further to assert that human cooperation is a must to avail this gift: “It is God who does; we are only instruments in the hands of God”. He recommended his followers to merit Divine Providence through trust, work and sacrifice. For example, he was fully convinced that Divine Providence and poverty go hand in hand: “if you want to weaken the institution, let it become rich, to live in much poverty and to entrust ourselves completely to Divine Providence is a virtue of high perfection”. Divine Providence means human charity too: when the fortunate helps the unfortunate, the haves hold up the have-nots, when the healthy accompany the crippled.
Providence does not mean looking at the roof and waiting for some treasure from nowhere, it is doing what one can in his concrete situation: “If a man limits himself to be a zero, he is nothing and will never do anything. If instead he tries to be something, he does whatever he can, he becomes a positive reality, after all he has only to ask Providence to add one zero, two zeros, three zeros to his small number and immediately the small things become large”. As members of the Divine Providence Province with a lot of energy and enthusiasm, youthfulness and vitality, let us inculcate this teaching and exhortation of our founder in our minds and hearts: you try to provide first with what you are, what you have and God will do miracles.
I wish you fruitful celebration of the feast of the Mother of Divine Providence. On behalf of the province I extend my sincere wishes and prayers to our Guanellian sisters as they bear this name. I make this special plea for your ardent prayers (both common and personal) for the good health of our confrere Rev. Fr. Bala Yesu who is under treatment.
Fr. Ronald J, SdC
Dear loving Confreres, DSMP sisters, GC and GLM members, seminarians, benefactors, Parishioners, staff and residents of our facilities,
I send my simple and sincere wishes and greetings in the name of the newly appointed provincial council of Divine Providence Province.
We are not makers of history; rather we are made by history – Martin Luther King Jr.
I believe that what we are today as the Divine Providence Province is what our veterans and pioneers dreamt, toiled and shaped. It is good to recall that some of the pioneers went back to the Lord telling Him, “I have finished the race. Give me the crown prepared for me,” (2 Tim. 4: 7-8). Some others for different reasons are not able to be physically present in the province, yet we sense their countenance amongst us.
At this historical juncture, I would go unjustified, if we are not grateful to you, dear confreres our veterans. My mere thank you is a small way in which the entire province repays you for what you are to us.
Thank you dear Rev. Fr. Alfonso Crippa (Former Superior General) and his council for your paternal guidance and charismatic presence.
Thank you dear Rev. Fr. Gustavo De Bonis (Link councilor for DPP) for your edifying personal accompaniment.
Thank you dear Rev. Fr. Soosai Rathinam (former Provincial of DPP) for your simplicity and prudent leadership.
Thank you dear fathers Charlton, Visuwasam, Kulandaisamy, Dennis Weber, and Silvio De Nard for your encouraging animation.
Thank you dear Rev. Fr. Joseph Rinaldo for your tireless journeys and for your fatherly prodigality.
We are stepping into this new month of October, a moment very close to our heart. It is the moment when we bring back to our memory and relive the heavenly birth of our beloved founder St. Louis Guanella and the official recognition of him from the part of the church. We would be already in preparation for the festivities and dinners. At the same time we cannot be blindfolded to the fact that these are the days when our founder was bedridden and underwent pain and suffering. These last days of our founder are the touchstone of his program of life ‘pray and suffer.’ In other words, his yesterday’s pain has become my today’s joy. His carrying of the cross then is my exultation of the cross now. His fast has turned into my feast today. How apt it is to quote our founder at this moment “The Lord works in our soul little by little, like the chisel of the artist on the marble he wants to turn into a statue.”
I encourage all of you to continue this legacy of charity and relive it in our times. I thank you dear confreres for the religious witness you show forth and for being ‘fiery swords’ in your missions. My special thanks go to all those who take up new assignments for your generosity and availability.
Let me wish you a fruitful preparation and happy feast of our Founder.
Fr. Ronald J, SdC