Towards Sanctification of the Soul

Bangalore – Recollection is a time to build up our personality and spirituality. Individuality is assembled with all the little pieces collected from the past and through in depth spiritual reflection. Therefore, the past can help us to bring changes in our lives for the spiritual enrichment. The body and soul are inseparably united, the purification of which is essentially demanded of us as Christians. While the inner spirit is revived, both soul and body are cleansed of all stains of sin. To achieve this goal, St. Guanella Mercy Church planned a Recollection on April 2nd for the Guanellian Lay Movement and parishioners. Fr. Benson, SdC, was invited as preacher, motivating the group with his Spiritual sessions by making them realize their journey of life and prompted each to come closer to God. During Eucharistic Adoration in a special way people praised and thanked God. Meanwhile, they were meditating and preparing themselves for Confession, the most important Spiritual activity to prepare them for Holy Week and peaceful participation in the Passion, Death and Resurrection of our Lord. The day ended with the solemn Eucharistic Mass celebrated by Fr. Gnanraj, Rector and Superior of the GPN Community. The faithful had a fruitful experience through this Spiritual event.

There is no End to Charity

Bangalore – “Until there are no longer poor and neglected to be assisted there is no end to our charity,” this is an inspiring quote from our Founder that motivates every Guanellian. The Cooperators and Lay members in Bangalore are working towards experiencing the true Guanellian spirit. Following their mission experience in Nazareth Illam, they spent a day at Don Guanella Aged home which cares for abandoned elderly men. The day was spent with the Grandpa’s grooming them, chatting with them, feeding them and cleaning their worship space. It is absolutely true that you can only understand the feelings of others when you spend time with them. As a regular practice we gather for an hour of Adoration on the last Sunday of every month, helping to spiritually nourish the Grandpa’s. Most Saturdays the members volunteer to do service. These Good Samaritan acts by the Cooperators and Lay members’ draws the attention of their family and friends who are awestruck by the service and in turn wins many good hearts that come forward to support the mission.

Healing the Inner Self

Bangalore – We are products of our childhood experiences and knowledge, and any deep childhood negative experience affects our growth and everyday lifestyle. It is possible to be healed by means of psychological therapies. Six of the novices attended an eight-day Inner Healing session conducted by Sr. Mary Lyn, an experienced and renowned therapist. She instructed the novices about how negative, unpleasant experiences can bring psychic wounds to an individual. One’s personality, thinking pattern and character is formed by past experiences. She facilitated the novices to share their own stories confidently and dealt with them in a group. Everyone’s sharing brought understanding to the other with more love and clarity. Several exercises and workshops were held to deal with different issues experienced by individuals. This session created self-awareness and self-confidence; along with a healing of hurts, forgiveness and a newness of self. Submitting oneself to God in prayer helped the novices to embrace their past with optimism and gratitude. The novices felt an ultimate change in their disposition towards their companions. There was also individual therapy conducted for those who were in need. The professional and affectionate personality of the therapist added color and vigor to the fruitfulness of the sessions.

Mission Experience

Thalavadi – Lent is a time when everyone makes an effort to grow in spirituality. This year, the Guanellian Lay Movement (GLM) and Guanellian Cooperators (GC) from Bangalore went on a mission experience to Thalavadi to serve intellectually and developmentally disabled patients (I/DD). It was a two day program aimed at Good Samaritan work. On the first day, the members received an orientation from Fr. Lawrence, the Director of the mission house. The members were amazed to learn how our Fathers, Brothers and helpers can take this mission forward with great compassion. We also learned that some patients were transformed and returned home. Several homes catering to these patients chain them and at times treat them harshly. This was not the case here. Fr. Lawrence and Fr. Ligori told us we only give them love and dignity, and it is God who leads us all in what we do. This was a wonderful lesson learned as a Guanellian. We organized ourselves to get closer to these patients and share their stories. The members actively participated in the residents’ physical activity and we entertained them in the evening with music and dance. The following day the members cooked two sumptuous meals. The Community accommodated us with great care and we appreciate their hospitality.

Recollection for Guanellian Cooperators

Bangalore – One’s soul is nourished through spiritual formation, serving the poor with love and compassion. A first recollection was organized for our Cooperators on March 11-12th, building the group spiritually and providing an opportunity for everyone to get to know one other. The event was led by Fr. Prakash and Fr. Adaikalam. Fr. Prakash led the group with the theme, “The Aimed and Expected Purpose of a Guanellian”. He emphasized that our Founder considered relationships very important and always respected the feeling which is “Love”. He took this from scripture, where he adored the love of Abba Father, and always loved everyone. Fr. Prakash took the parable from John 15:1-17 “The Vine and the Branches” and explained how we need to stay connected to God down to the roots, so that we will bear fruit. The Cooperators meditated on each verse in the Guanellian Way and reflected on how Father Guanella would have responded. Fr. Adaikalam then emphasized the formation to help each Cooperator see God in everything. The day concluded with a talk by Fr. Gnanaraj who spoke of the Paternity of God. As a Cooperator, the life of every individual must be based on spirituality and moral values.

Mission Experience of Novices

Bangalore – The six novices and Fr. Kennedy from Guanella Preethi Nivas Novitiate went for a one-week mission experience with mentally ill patients at “Nazareth Illam” in Thalavadi. This challenging mission is aided by the Government. Right now there are 63 people, the neglected and unwanted of society are brought from the roads, streets, bus stops by social workers and government officials to stay there. The Guanellian priests are rehabilitating them with immense love, medication and care free of charge. They organize various programs, games, therapy and other activities for their benefit. In fact, this mission has brought popular identity of our institute in the district. The novices were given an orientation and training session about the home, its service and the patients paving the way for a fruitful time of service. The novices participated in manual work, gardening, games, prayers, entertainment, fire dance, cooking, feeding, and exercise. They also assisted with personal care, giving haircuts, shaving them and making their beds. Most importantly, the novices listened to their stories, problems, and their family backgrounds. This attentive, empathetic listening enriched both. Novices were touched by the miracle of love happening there: the patients get healed in part by the family atmosphere. Once they are stabilized and rehabilitated, they are examined by a psychiatrist and many are reunited with their families. It is really a hall mark of our noble service to humanity in Tamilnadu. After the mission experience the novices returned to GPN with immense satisfaction and valuable learning.

Picnic for Oratory Children

Bangalore – From young to old everyone loves the fun of picnic, an adventure to the unknown wonder world. The Guanella Preethi Nivas community planned a one day picnic to Mysore for the oratory children, making their hearts overflow with joy. We visited many places: Sangam, Thipusulthan Fort,  the zoo, Chamundiswari Hill, and Mysore Palace. They learned many things during this picnic. While visiting the historical sites, the children eagerly listened to and asked many questions about the history of each place. The picnic made the children happy, and left them with unforgettable memories.

Republic Day Celebration

Bangalore – The Guanella Preethi Nivas community joyfully celebrated the 68th Republic day of India on January 26th. The day began with solemn Holy Mass. We remembered and prayed for the martyrs who suffered for India’s freedom from the colonial power of England. After Mass was the flag hoisting ceremony to show patriotic respect to our nation. Mr. Melvin, our elderly resident, and Fr. Adaikalam were invited as the chief guests. Bro. Babu gave a brief introduction to the ceremony, then Nov. Melvin led the parade from the chapel to the arena. He led the chief guest to hoist the flag while the assembly honored the flag with a salute and recited the pledge. Nov. Justin briefly explained the history of Republic Day and the suffering of the freedom fighters; making us all proud to be Indians. The ceremony ended by singing our national anthem. In view of celebrating this day we had volleyball and basketball tournament between fathers and brothers.

Inter-Novitiate Program

Bangalore – Consecration is a sacred purpose and it is a joyous sacrifice. Consecration of oneself is the core belief of religious life. Each and everyone offers themselves to God by saying ‘Yes.’ First of all we need to have a comprehensive understanding of what consecration means. To know this at the very beginning of religious life, our Guanellian novices and novices from other congregations, attended a course entitled, ‘Consecration for the Mission’ in order to consecrate for God’s mission. Fr. Jerry SJ, a world renowned and versatile person, gave a challenging insight on the demands of Consecrated life and the Mission of God. The program was organized at National Biblical Catechetical Liturgical Centre, NBCLC, Bangalore. Around 71 novices from 10 Congregations attended. The talk was so enriching and inspiring for the novices to live the mission of God through genuine dedication.

‘Pongalo Pongal’

Bangalore – Pongal Festival is an expression of thanksgiving to nature and God. The Guanella Preethi Nivas community fathers, brothers, sisters and the oratory children were so happy to celebrate this festival on January 14th. The staff and children dressed up in dhoti and saree creating a complete festive mood on the campus. The celebration began with traditional games and a cooking competition. The children were divided into three groups, provided with rice and ingredients to prepare the traditional food in an earthen pot. While the food was cooking, the children enjoyed games like tug-of-war, sack race and sugarcane eating. The highlight of this celebration was Rangoli. The groups presented massive, colorful works of art that were judged by the chief guests, GLM members Mr. Chinnaraj and Mrs. Shanthi Mary. Everyone was astounded by their creative and innovative Rangoli. When the Pongal was ready the crowd cried out, “pongalo pongal!” Fr. Ganaraj tasted each pongal and appreciated the groups who prepared it. Afterwards it was distributed among the children who went home with warm, sweet pongal and happy memories.