Cuddalore – St. Joseph’s Evening School celebrated the Pongal feast and Republic day on January 26th. Children from four different branches gathered for the fruitful and memorable event. All the children had very joyful moments throughout the day. There were around 120 together with the children, teachers and parents. The national flag was hoisted by Fr. Mathias, SdC, chief guest of the day. Afterwards he encouraged the children to always be happy, kind hearted and talented persons in their accomplishments and to aim for a bright future. Then the Pongal Celebration started. Games and sports were organized for the students, teachers and parents like pot breaking, rongoli for parents, musical chairs and many other competitions for the children. Then children from each branch presented their programs. Fr. Mathias, Fr. Anandhan and Fr. Amalraj distributed gifts for all the ninety students. Then they also distributed prizes for the winners of different competitions. Finally, Fr. Arockia Raj, the evening school director, thanked the gathering and encouraged the new branch students and teachers to make use of the opportunity for a better future. At the end, everyone enjoyed the sweet Pongal, sugarcane, tea and puffs. Thus the day went on happily and successfully.
Vadapatti – In the evening on January 25th St. John de Britto Church feast began. The main celebrant of the ceremony was Rev. Dr. Fr. J. Jaya Raj V.G of the Archdiocese of Madurai. He hoisted the flag of St. John de Britto, followed by the celebration of Mass for the first day of the novena. The concelebrants were Fr. S. Periyanayaga Samy, SdC; Fr. J. David, SdC and Fr. Vanathaiyan, SdC. The parishioners happily and actively participated in holy Mass. After Mass, Fr. J. Jaya Raj released the Novena Book and Parish Family Card. It was a remarkable and joyous day because it was the first year of the parish feast. By the grace of God and the cooperation of the parishioners the event was a success.
Festival of Farmers
Chennai – The month of January remains ever-special and unique for many, in particular for farmers because it is the month where the state gratefully thanks all the farmers. It is the day of celebration of harvest known as Pongal in Tamilnadu. This is the three-day celebration where each day has its significance and history to be felicitated. On January 17th, Don Guanella Major Seminary celebrated the feast by cooking Pongal, and gratefully recalling the hard work done by the farmers who cultivate crops for the nation. The sweet Pongal is a symbol of happiness to sustain life and sugar cane to have a life of success. The Holy Eucharist was celebrated by Fr. Samson and he highlighted the importance of Pongal. He invited the brothers to gratefully thank the farmers and pray for them for their support and care towards the world population. During the homily Dn. C. Jesu Doss highlighted the importance and hard work of farmers and urged everyone not to forget the farmers after the celebration of Pongal but to remember and pray for them always. The day continued by playing traditional games of the local culture.
Pongal Traditions Shared
Kulithurai – Once each year we express our gratitude for the season of harvest that is a boon for the farmers. That evening the celebration began at the substation Kattuvilai. People showed their gratitude by offering cooked rice to the Almighty and distributing it among the people. Though we live in urban areas we celebrated with the same enthusiasm. In a time of video games and gadgets we have almost forgotten traditional games, in order to keep the games alive, we conducted traditional games at Cherukol Karumputhottam parish and awarded the winners.
Conferral of Ministries
Chennai – On the feast day of St. Louis Guanella, October 24th, during holy Mass celebrated by Fr. Provincial Superior, three first year theology brothers received their rite of initiation, one third year brother received the rite of reader and one fourth year brother received rite of Acolyte. Fr. Provincial wished every one well and told them to be ardent servers at the table of the Lord while they serve at the altar. The celebration was a meaningful one where everyone witnessed the charism of St. Guanella through the homily of Fr. Provincial.
Feast of a Saint
Chennai – Don Guanella Major Seminary was glad to celebrate the feast of St. Louis Guanella on October 24th. In view of the solemn feast, the flag was hoisted by the Provincial Superior on October 15th and the novena began. Each day was organized with different themes and by a different resource person of the community. Different groups animated the nine days, including the Guanellian Lay Movement, Guanellian Youth Movement, Don Guanella Special School, Don Guanella Evening School and Don Guanella Major Seminary under the direction of the community fathers. On the final day there was a solemn celebration which included the religious from neighboring communities, GLM, GYM, Beneficiaries and other well wishers of our mission. The Mass was celebrated by Fr. Provincial. After Mass a festive meal was shared with all the guests.
Our Lady of the Rosary Feast
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.
Children Celebrate Senior Citizens’ Day
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.
Vice General’s Visit
Mysore – Our vicar general Fr. Nico Rutigliano, SdC visited Preethiya Sevakaru Sunday, August 26th. The fathers and brothers welcomed him with a garland and honored him with a shawl. He celebrated Mass giving a reflective sermon and inviting everyone to change and respond to the call of God qualitatively. After Mass, Mysore residents, aspirants and fathers took Fr. Nico to visit historical places of the area. A cultural program was celebrated that evening in the residence.
The Singing Vicar
Bangalore – On August 23rd Vicar General Fr. Nico arrived at Guanella Preethi Nivas. The Don Guanella Evening School children welcomed him with a welcoming song and a bouquet. The children were very happy, Fr. Nico also was very happy to see them. The next evening, August 24th, he entertained them with his beautiful singing and guitar playing. The children enjoyed his singing as well as his presence. He provided chocolate for all the children. He said good-bye in Italian, he assured his prayers for the children and he also asked them to pray for his Guanellian mission and service.