Mysore – Don Guanella Evening School celebrated Independence Day on August 15th in Harohalli. The local Panchayat president and other councilors presided over the program. The children welcomed the gathering and honored the guests with flowers before presenting different types of programs like dancing and giving speeches about India and the freedom fighters. Brothers from Preethiya Sevakaru performed a dance for the national anthem. At the end of the program children were given cakes and sweets.
By Fr. Joseph Rinaldo, SdC
One of the more meaningful and fulfilling parts of the Catholic doctrine that is not well developed in other Christian denominations is the incredible value of suffering. Sadly many Christians believe that Jesus suffered and died for us so that we would not have to suffer at all. While Jesus did suffer and die to save us and that the redeemed will one day have every tear wiped from their eyes, our path of salvation to the final, eternal reward in this life is to follow in His footsteps. Christ promised us that, if we are truly His disciples, we will suffer just as He did. Suffering for a Catholic is never meaningless; it is always meant for the sanctification of our souls and to prepare us for heaven, no matter what form it takes: sickness, financial troubles, emotional turmoil, family strife, religious persecution, natural disasters, government oppression and so on. Whether we will it or not, we must suffer. There are some who suffer like the good thief, others like the bad thief. They both suffer equally. Only one knew how to make his suffering meritorious and accept them in spirit of reparation. Jesus said to him, “This day you will be with Me in Paradise.” The other, on the contrary, cried out, uttered blasphemies, and expired in the most frightful despair. There are two ways of suffering: Suffering with love and suffering without love. The saints suffered everything with joy and patience, because they loved. We suffer with anger, because we do not love. If we loved God, we should love crosses and be happy to be able to suffer for the love of Him who lovingly suffered for us. The Cross is consoling! But, we must love while we suffer, and suffer while we love. On the Way to the Cross, only the first step is painful.
Our greater Cross is the fear of Crosses. Most men turn their backs to Crosses. The more they run, the more the Cross pursues them. He who goes out to meet the Cross and embraces it courageously is purified and detached from this world. The Christian lives in the midst of Crosses as the fish lives in the sea. When the good God sends us Crosses, we resist, we complain, we murmur and we are so adverse to whatever contradicts us that we want to be always in a box of cotton, but we ought to be put into a box of thorns. It is by the Cross that we will go to heaven. Illness, temptations and troubles are so many Crosses which will take us to Heaven. Our Lord is our model. Let us take up the Cross and follow Him who has gone before us. The Cross is the ladder to Heaven. The Cross gave peace to the world; it must bring peace to our hearts. Nothing makes us more like our Lord than carrying His Cross. We must never question where our Crosses come from. They come from God. It is always God who is giving us this way of proving our love for Him. One of the greatest gifts in Heaven’s treasury is an understanding of the Way of the Cross, a love for trials and sufferings. If we could just spend a week in heaven we should understand the value of our moments in suffering.
Bangalore – The Guanellian Lay Movement held an election for the 2018 – 2021 term on August 11th and 12th at Guanella Preethi Nivas under the supervision of Fr. Visuwasam (Provincial Delegate), Fr. Gnanaraj (Superior of GPN), and Fr. Adaikalam (Local Delegate). This meeting was inaugurated by Fr. Adaikalam invoking God’s blessing in the form of a prayer. The election process was initiated by Fr. Visuwasam. On the 11th was the election for the officers for the Guanellian Co-operators. On the 12th we had the election for the officers for the Guanellian Lay Movement. Fr. Visuwasam thanked the outgoing office bearers (Ms. Stella -former GC Secretary, Mr. Hubert – former GLM President, Ms. Sharmila – former GLM Secretary, Mrs. Estelle – former GLM Treasurer) for their immense hard work. The newly elected council members were felicitated by the fathers and other members of the group. The meeting was concluded with a prayer by Estelle (GLM member).
Chennai – Life is busy, but it is also beautiful. Don Guanella Special School organized a one-day picnic for special children to Kailasa Kona, a famous waterfall. Fr. Lourduraj, the director, along with the children, staff and parents gathered at the school on August 11th. The children were very happy to go on this adventure; it was a new experience for them and kind of relaxing. After having toured the park, the children ate lunch and completed the rest of the programs. After evening snacks and tea everyone arrived at the school. All were very grateful that Fr. Lourduraj organized this event.
It is with gratitude in our hearts for the many years of service from our outgoing Provincial Council that we wish them all a fond farewell as they transition into their new positions within the Congregation. With hopefulness we welcome our incoming Council and pray that they transition well into their new leadership roles.
Fr. Jesiah Ronald – Provincial Superior
Fr. Antonysamy Kulandaisamy – Vicar and First Council
Fr. John Samson Rajasegaran – Second Council
Fr. Alphonse Satheesh Caniton – Third Council
Fr. Selvaraj Francis – Fourth Council
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.