Chelsea – Confreres in the United States are excitedly preparing for the upcoming visit of the Superior General and the Provincial Superior. In addition to the typical annual assemblies, this year promises to be memorable as the Congregation is celebrating the Centennial of the Birth into Heaven of the Founder. The priests and staff of the Communications Office are planning an event to commemorate the anniversary and give birth to a new movement of the Guanellian charism in Michigan. Mass will be celebrated at St. Mary Parish in Chelsea MI by Bishop Earl Boyea of the Diocese of Lansing on September 19th. During the Mass, a group of around 50 laypeople are planning to make their Promises as Guanellian Cooperators. The celebration will include time of fellowship and the sharing of a meal in thanksgiving to God for the gift of St. Louis Guanella.
Grass Lake – The dream to begin apostolic activities among Latinos in this area once again has come true. The Guanellian Family, with a commitment to live together in the spirit of Pope Francis and our Founder who remind us to share the sufferings and hopes of those in need. The Diocesan Bishop, Earl Boyea, has blessed us, the pastor, Father Bob Roggenbuck, greeted us with gratitude and the Latinos welcomed Fr. Paul Oggioni, Fr. Satheesh, Sr. Rosemary Bell, Paco Lopez and his wife Millie and other GLM members. Their joy was immense. Youth, adults, the sick, were touched and grateful to the Lord for this new ministry to which they feel called. During the celebration they expressed their faith with prayers and songs, pledging to evangelize, promoting unity by their daily witness. There are more than 13,000 Latinos in the county; we will visit them, gather and bless them so that, all will be “el pueblo que camina, juntos como hermanos, al encuentro del Señor.”
Grass Lake – Fr. Satheesh serves as chaplain at Huron Valley Catholic School in Ypsilanti. On October9th the school honored the students’ granparents with a special Mass and lunch. Bishop Earl Boyea celebrated Mass and spoke to the students afterward. Fr. Satheesh joined the guests for lunch and was also honored for his birthday.
Grass Lake – It has been a year blessed by God for the seasonal workers from Mexico and Guatemala who have been spiritually attended by Fr. Paul, Fr. Satheesh and Sr. Rosemary in the three different areas of the Diocese of Lansing.
A group of them came to the Shrine of St. Joseph in June seeking a special blessing for their work. They joined a bilingual celebration on the Solemnity of the Body of Christ including a procession with the Blessed Sacrament. A joyous gathering with a traditional Mexican feast followed.
Throughout the summer Guanellian Co-operators Dr. John Lopez, his wife Millie and other volunteers prepared them for the Baptism and First Communion of the children. The co-operators also ministered to some couples who were living together but desired to get canonically married.
Bishop Earl Boyea visited the camps giving First Communion to those children who were prepared and expressing his appreciation for our pastoral work with the Latinos.
On October 27th the workers wanted to be blessed before returning home. During the Eucharistic celebration three children were Baptized.
Chelsea, MI – On Sunday February 24, 2013, a packed church at St. Mary Parish in Chelsea, MI joined the Bishop of Lansing at 10:00 a.m. Mass to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the visit of St. Louis Guanella to the United States in 1913. The Most Rev. Bishop Earl Boyea presided over the Mass attended by 400 people, along with five priests from the local Guanellian community at St. Louis Center, and Rev. William J. Turner, Pastor of St. Mary Church. Forty St. Louis residents and staff members were in attendance, along with many families from the St. Louis Guanella Council of the Knights of Columbus. The Cardinal O’Hara 4th Degree Assembly provided the Color Corps for the Mass.
During his homily, Bishop Boyea spoke of the significance of St. Louis Guanella’s outreach to America, and the contribution of the Guanellian congregation of priests to the Diocese of Lansing. At the end of Mass, Fr. Joseph Rinaldo, SdC., presented Bishop Boyea with a gift of a relic of St. Louis Guanella in a new reliquary. The relic was a bone fragment of St. Guanella, which according to Catholic teaching, is worthy of veneration by the faithful.
After Mass, nearly 200 people remained for an “Italian Breakfast” that consisted of deli meats, bread, cheese, fruit, and yogurt. Fr. Joseph Rinaldo, Provincial Treasurer, spoke about the history of Fr. Guanella’s visit (December 15, 1912 – Feb. 8, 1913), the crowd was treated to a short film about the life of Fr. Guanella, State Deputy Michael Malinowski of the Michigan Knights of Columbus spoke of the importance of caring for persons with developmental disabilities, and Bishop Boyea gave a final blessing to everyone at the end of the program.
Fr. Louis Guanella was canonized as a saint of the Catholic Church on October 23, 2011 at Vatican Square in Rome, and founded the Servants of Charity congregation of priests in 1908. He made it his mission in life to care for the “poorest of the poor,” especially persons with developmental disabilities.
Grass Lake – The Pious Union of St. Joseph was born from the love of St. Louis Guanella for the suffering and dying. He understood that the last hours of people’s lives were the most important for every human being. The Pious Union of St. Joseph was officially approved by Pope St. Pius X, on February 17, 1913, and extended to the whole world on February 12, 1914. The Michigan branch of the Pious Union of St. Joseph was approved by the Bishop of Lansing, MI, on August 3, 1987. The Pious Union marked this anniversary with a special Mass presided by the Most Rev. Earl Boyea, Bishop of Lansing, on Sunday, December 1, 2012, at 11:30am. The Mass was followed by a lunch at the St. Louis Center. The members of the Pious Union who participated in this event offered their prayers to St. Joseph for an increase of faith and membership.
Grass Lake – On Saturday, December 1,2012 The Pious Union of St. Joseph in Grass Lake, MI will celebrate its 25th Anniversary with a concelebrated Mass with Bishop Earl Boyea of the Lansing diocese, along with the Servants of Charity of the St. Louis Center.
Fr. Germano Pegoraro, had a dream to start a Pious Union of St. Joseph in the United States just as Fr. Guanella started the original Pious Union in Rome. In 1987 Fr. Germano, as the first director, initiated the magazine Now and at the Hour, the official publication of the Pious Union of St. Joseph, in Springfield, Pennsylvania. He was inspired to paint a replica of the image of the Death of St. Joseph which adorns the sanctuary of the St. Joseph Minor Basilica in Rome. This painting is now revered in the Chapel of the St. Joseph Shrine in Grass Lake, Michigan.
In 1994 Bishop Kenneth Povish gave permission to establish the Pious Union of St. Joseph in his Diocese of Lansing. Fr. Germano moved his office and continued the publication in Grass Lake, Michigan. The property had a small house and an old barn situated on it. A benefactor came forward with enough money to get Fr. Germano started in rebuilding the existing barn into the Shrine to St. Joseph. Fr. Germano’s dream followed the exact path that St. Louis Guanella took in transforming a humble barn in Italy into the beautiful St. Joseph Basilica in Rome.
Now 25 years later the Pious Union of St. Joseph is grateful to God for the charism of St. Louis Guanella who founded this great confraternity promoting prayer for the suffering and the dying.