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.
Chennai – After a six week summer vacation Don Guanella Special School reopened on June 6th. Fr. Samson, Superior, celebrated the Mass of the Holy Spirit in the presence of Fr. S. A. Lourdu Raj, the director, Fr. Michael the assistant director, staff, children and their parents. It was a grace filled time for the children and parents, after the long gap of their summer holidays. There were 30 new admissions this year, which is a sign of God’s desire for the Guanellian mission to extend to far places. During the inaugural Mass Fr. Samson emphasized that God loves us and therefore He entrusts the vulnerable to our loving care, hence with joy and vigor we need to love our mission.
Chennai – A creative competition for the Don Guanella Special School children was held at the DGMS campus. Students were very active and full of spirit to participate. There was a drawing competition and a workshop for making different arts with the help of the teachers. Children performed their talents and displayed their final pieces made from grains, pigments, paper and various other materials. The amazing work of the children was priceless.
Manila – People all over the world celebrate United Nations’ Day October 18th; Filipinos, commemorate this event because they believe that love, peace and equality among nations should be implemented. Children with special needs from all Guanella Center programs, the Guanellian Staff, PT Interns, Priests and Religious brothers also participated. Each child represented a country by dressing in its traditonal costume. The event began with a ‘parade of nations’ inside the Servants of Charity compound; each participant presenting their country in their national costumes. As a special feature, Guanellian Boys, Ivy Mendiola (a mother of one of the special kids), Fernando (a patient with Torette syndrome), and Christopher (an amputee) performed their talents. A parent inspired the crowd by singing a lovely song.
Special awards were given to James Natabio for “Most Creative” and “Darling of the Crowd” to Katrina Peredo. The titles “Mr. And Ms. United Nations’ 2013” were awarded to Lito Escobar and Ellyca Bato for their outstanding, creative national costumes.
Legazpi – July 19th was a great day for STEP (Special Therapy Education Program), it was the celebration of the 10th anniversary of its founding. A parade of the STEP children, parents, volunteers, staff and well-wishers to the pavilion of Harong Kan Sagrada Familia for Mass started the event. After Mass everybody gathered for fellowship and a simple meal. The celebration continued on July 27, 2013 when former staff and parents of STEP gathered for a presentation on the history and future vision of STEP activities. HKSF expresses its gratitude to Fr. Paul Oggioni who was the inspiration for STEP; Fr. Battista Omodei, Fr. Matthew Weber, and Fr. David Stawasz who stabilized the program and to Fr. Robert Victor Raj who scientifically developed the program for the needs of the current children. The Sagrada Familia thanks God, the Providential Father, who makes everything possible for the good of children with special needs.
Legazpi – Special Therapy and Education Program presented its 2nd seminar entitled; Behavioral and Instructional Strategies for Children with Special Needs on July 28th in cooperation with Mr. Romy Tan, a well-known businessman, and Mr. Nino Ricky Tumadiang, the keynote speaker. The seminar was aimed at teachers from the private and government schools both from the secondary and elementary department, college students, parents of STEP children and other interested parents of children with special needs. The keynote address clearly expressed and demonstrated different strategies in handling the sometimes challenging behavior of special needs children. It was indeed a seminar that created an impact. The presentation by the STEP children and their parents amazed the audience.
A series of seminars is planned for the coming months to foster awareness among the community regarding how to appropriately deal with behaviors of children and youth with special needs.