Guanellian Charism School

Cuddalore – The Guanellian Charism School of the Divine Providence Province for 2017 was held at St. Joseph’s Seminary, Samupillai Nagar, April 3–7th. The theme of the year is “Come, Let Us Go to the Roots.” The school was inaugurated with the prayer service conducted by the minor seminarians. Thereafter the purpose and objectives of the Guanellian Study Centre and charism school was narrated and explained. It is mainly to “Know the Founder,” to “Preserve the Guanellian Tradition” and to “Live the Spirit and Charism” in our context today. The major themes that were discussed in the charism school dealt with the death of Don Guanella, Mother Marcellina Bosatta and the DSMP’s, Ven. Aurelio Bacciarini, the successors of Don Guanella and the Guanellian Mission, and the Process of Beatification and Canonization of St. Guanella. On the last day of the Charism school, there was a day of Lenten pilgrimage to our Lady of Lourdes Shrine and leisure program in the amusement park at Villiyanur, Pondicherry.
The Charism School was a memorable one for all the participants of the Province. It was an enriching program for all the young Guanellians to educate themselves deeply with the spirit of our Founder. It enabled every individual to renew and revitalize their Guanellian commitment and consecration. Finally, our thanks to the Provincial Superior and his Council for their efforts at equipping the Province with Guanellian enlightenment.

Lenten Journey… Fasting From…?!

As we embrace our Lenten journey, let us reform and reorganize our life. Our Holy Father invites us through his meaningful message, “The Word is a gift. Other persons are a gift.” Today we are dominated, to a terrifying extent, by ritualism, legalism, and resigned spiritual mediocrity. Does our almsgiving proceed from a genuine love of God and neighbor? Fasting from wounding words and constant unwanted gossiping by means of social communication would be a way of almsgiving. Let us try to develop a rhythm of withdrawal and return, because we are called to discern within ourselves that we may be sinking and drowning with a storm of our passions and evil habits. The rich man’s real problem was the failure to heed God’s word. As a result, he no longer loved God and grew to despise his neighbor.
Lent is the favorable season for renewing our encounter with Christ and a realization of our nothingness, weak flesh and sinfulness. Father Guanella left us as his last will ‘Pray and Suffer.’ While he was preaching a sermon- the seven last words of Jesus on the Cross on Good Friday at St. Mary’s House in Lora in 1908 along with Father Bacciarini, he was explaining the words “I thirst,”- “Jesus is thirsty for our sanctification, for my priestly soul, that I do not pursue enough.” At a certain point his voice broke down and he was unable to continue and then burst into uncontrollable tears of sorrow. Father Bacciarini, moved by such humility and sincere sorrow, took the pulpit and finished the Seven Last words. What is God going to do for me in these next forty days? We focus our attention on physical health, diet or body building but how seldom do we talk about spiritual health! Lent is a fitting time for deepening our spiritual life through the means of sanctification offered to us by the Church: fasting, prayer and almsgiving.
Fr. Soosai Rathinam

Honoring a Hundred Years as Shepherd of Souls

Manila – On January 21st, the Guanellian theological seminary in Quezon City celebrated the centennial anniversary of the episcopal consecration of Ven. Aurelio Bacciarini. Following his devotion to Our Lady, they went on pilgrimage to the Shrine of Regina Rosarii in Tanay, Rizal. Fr. Battista Omodei, SdC, the formator of the brothers, concelebrated Holy Mass in the morning. After Mass, they prayed the Rosary while climbing the hill where the biggest statue of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary is located. When they reached the top, they made an offering to the Blessed Sacrament, the first copy of their project and programs for a fruitful outcome in the life of the community.

Annual Retreat for Confreres and Sisters

Bangalore - annual retreatBangalore  – In the special year of the Centennial celebration of the heavenly birth of St. Louis Guanella, the Guanellian family in India organized a special retreat. Guanellian fathers and sisters attended this special retreat preached by Fr. Umberto Brugnoni, the Vicar General of the Congregation, at St. Joseph Nivas August 15-20th. It was a renewal of Guanellian life and spirituality; reliving the life of the Founder according to the needs of the present day. Fr. Umberto reflected on various aspects of the Guanellian charism: the “fiery sword in the holy ministry,” Guanellian prayer, the importance of work, pray and suffer, to serve the poor and to irradiate the charity of Christ. Further, he highlighted the lives and spirituality of the first confreres and sisters: Mons. Aurelio Bacciarini, Bl. Chiara Bosatta, Bro. Giovanni Vaccari, Sr. Apollonia Bistoletti and Alessandrino Mazzucchi. The retreat activities helped participants to cherish the richness of Guanellian spirituality.

Venerable Aurelio Bacciarini, Servant of Charity; Bishop of Lugano, Switzerland 80 Years after his Death

by Fr. Joseph Rinaldo

frABacc10Bishop Bacciarini died on June 27, 1935. His legacy can be summarized in the words he pronounced right after his election as Bishop of Lugano, Switzerland. “The Bishop is the father of the poor, the friend of children, like Jesus Christ, the consoler of the afflicted who cries for the pain of all like it were his own and for all, he comforts, helps, saves.” A Saint is a living page of the Gospel; the incarnation of a bundle of Christian virtues in the life of a person; a handful of divine life that God wanted to make visible within the pilgrim Church here on earth.
Bishop Aurelio Bacciarini is a fragment of the infinite power of God who manifests His main trait in exercising a fatherly mercy.
Bishop Bacciarini went through a very complex and difficult life. Because of his constant physical suffering, Pope Pius XI called him, “Job of the Catholic Episcopate.” I don’t think it is too extravagant even portraying him as a new Moses praying on the mountain for his people. At Montecassino Abbey there is a statue of Moses praying with his hand raised to heaven. It is the true picture of those monks living at the monastery that, like satellite dishes, are always ready to receive God’s blessings on behalf of men.
The successor of Bacciarini in the See of Lugano, Switzerland, Bishop Joseph Martinoli, said of his immediate predecessor, “Bishop Bacciarini accepted a special mission from the Lord for the well-being of his diocese, a diocese that was going through a turbulent period of its life. I am convinced that his mission is not yet over. Perhaps, its most important part is not yet accomplished.”
The Church, the Christian life of the faithful of his diocese in Ticino, the members of the two Guanellian Congregations, the Servants of Charity and the Daughters of St. Mary of Providence, the many friends of St. Louis Guanella are the subjects of “this mission not yet accomplished” for bringing back the splendor of God’s grace in the soul of every person.
Eighty years have already passed since the departure of Bishop Bacciarini from this earth. In a time of hurry and of swift changes like ours, even people of recent history already seem ancient.
Instead, the models of holiness that populate the Church and bring new vitality to her are like new blossoms born from the roots of the century old olive tree of hers. God constantly gives extraordinarily great persons to His Church.
Bacciarini had been a great Bishop because he was a great man of prayer: a flower rich in virtue, especially the luminous virtue of prayer.
There is no problem today to fully subscribe to all the pastoral decisions that Bacciarini had made years ago. Everything that is solid and essential to the life of the diocese, and still exists today, should be ascribed to his holiness.
Bishop Bacciarini was essentially a contemplative in action. He acted with tireless readiness and zeal. But the soul of his apostolate was his constant prayer. He was aware that the Lord is always waiting for man to open himself to Him; that the privileged door, allowing the Holy Spirit to come in, is prayer.
The cause for his Beatification is already advanced at the Vatican. Experts are working to uncover those precious pearls that the Lord Himself had mounted in the heart of this holy Bishop.
Their job is to uncover the action of God’s grace in this holy soul, a soul that had carried out the virtues of faith, hope and charity in a heroic way together with all the other Christian virtues. Bishop Bacciarini was declared Venerable by the Church on March 15, 2008. In our times, we need his help and protection more than ever. May his intercession touch the Heart of Jesus to hold in His heart the poor, the handicapped the elderly, the oppressed and the persecuted.

Prayer for the Intercession of Venerable Aurelio Bacciarini

God, Father of endless love, through the Heart of Jesus your Son, you have revealed the mystery of your love for each of your children. By your power you alleviate our labor and suffering through the Holy Spirit. May you be praised forever. In your mercy you have sent to your Church your faithful servant, Bishop Aurelio Bacciarini, to strengthen the faith of your people as an example of your compassion for the poor and inspiration of hope in his long suffering. Through his intercession give us, your children, the grace we are asking with confidence … Give us the strength to accept and love your will where we firmly believe we can find our peace. We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.