Vadapatti – On January 15th the Pongal feast was celebrated at St. John de Britto Church. That morning the Pongal was cooked by the parishioners and the Pongal ceremony was blessed by Fr. Vanathaiyan SdC, and Pongal holy Mass was celebrated. Pongal special games were played for everyone on the parish campus, many people actively participated. The whole event went well with games, yoga, and various competitions for the various age groups of people. Prizes were distributed for the winners of the games. The chief guest of the program was Fr. S. Periya Nayagam, SdC the parish priest and Mr. Ignatius. The following day Pongal was celebrated at St. Paul’s Boys Home, Krishnaperi. Pongal Holy Mass was celebrated by Fr. Vanathaiyan SdC in the morning and then according to class, the games were conducted for the boys. The boys very actively and enthusiastically played all the games. At the end Fr. J. David, SdC, Director, distributed prizes to the students. The boys were encouraged and elated by the programs.
Bangalore – Don Guanella Oratory children went on an educational tour on October 28th. These slum children were so excited to go on a tour; they boarded the bus smiling. The first stop was “HAL Aerospace museum”. The guide explained to the children about the growth and achievements of the institute, “Hindustan Aeronautic Limited” which began in 1940. She passionately shared how it has supplied the nation with many defense planes, helicopters and machinery. The children learned about the evolution of flight and they received knowledge and pride. The audio visual about how each flight served the nation in various ages and sectors was inspirational and exciting. The next stop was to see for themselves the different types of flights and helicopters. Next they visited “Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium”. The children were thrilled and excited by the galaxies of stars in 3D vision. They learned many things about the galaxy and planet earth. After lunch they were taken to the Aquarium, where varieties of fish were kept for admiration and knowledge. The last stop was for free rides for the children at Cubbon Park. Being fully exhausted from the games, rides and the tour which ended at dusk, they returned cherishing evening snacks while dancing playfully on the bus. We give thanks to God the Almighty for this wonderful outing.
Grass Lake– Since Fr. Satheesh has been installed as pastor at a Diocesan parish, Fr. Leo Joseph has been named chaplain of Huron Valley Catholic School in his place. Fr. Leo has quickly found favor with parents and students alike. He can often be seen interacting with the students and helping them with their work. In October the preschoolers were learning about color mixing. Fr. Leo dipped his hand in blue paint and a student in red. They high-fived and then stamped their hands on paper to see the results. Fr. Leo had just as much fun as the children.
Vatluru – The rich who are financially sound with generous hearts can contribute materially to the poor but not someone who is alone and working with minimum pay. “Charity begins at home,” is an old saying with a deep meaning. Yes, charity began in her heart, she who has no one, an unknown lady without any selfish motives approached our institute willing to contribute her savings to buy clothes for all the boys. She brought all the boys to the garment shop, allowed them to choose with discretion and shared her joy with them. On October 24th, the feast of our Founder, she also offered a dinner at her expense. She expressed that she felt at home, as if she was buying clothes for her own children. The words of Jesus come to mind, “I tell you the truth,” He said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others,” Lk 21,4.
Bangalore – What a wonderful thing it is to help the little ones understand how unique and beautifully they are made. On the October 14th Rainbow Brush group led by Christine, Guanellian Cooperators and GLM members organized a workshop at Guanella Preethi Nivas for the Oratory children. It was indeed a very fun filled day. The workshop began with some warm-ups, and a little Zumba dance to pep the little ones. The children were very excited to participate and learn new moves. Christine then narrated a small story where she made the children understand how they have been made so unique and beautiful. Some lack gifts but are not to be kept aside. We are to accept them and walk together. She also told the children not to bully anyone for their appearance but we need to always look into the heart of each person which is so beautifully created by God.
After this the main part of the workshop began, coloring a giant puzzle. The children were not sure what they were coloring until each piece was put together and they could see the exact picture. The student volunteers were trained at Rainbow Brush accompanied by their parents. We also had a group of volunteers from the University who helped us to coordinate activities, to organize sumptuous snacks for the kids and to give small gifts for the children to take home.
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.
Bangalore – Don Guanella Evening School celebrated Independence Day joyfully with the oratory children on August 19th. The children participated in many events, especially enjoying the parade. The Chief Guest hoisted the national flag and then everyone recited the pledge of our nation before singing the national anthem. Subsequently the chief Guest, fathers and children gathered in the tent of love. Then children performed their talents, and the elderly were brought to the program. The Chief Guest addressed his inspiring speech to the children. To close the event, delicious snacks were provided for the children and all the spectators.
Chennai – Don Guanella Special School organized Family Day on August 16th for all the families of the school. DGSS extended its invitation in order to rekindle the spirit of St. Guanella and to walk in his footsteps. The event began with physical nourishment which was provided in the form of party games to the parents. A fancy dress competition was held for the children. The chief guests for the day were Fr. Samson and Fr. Francis, who distributed prizes and encouraged the parents and children to actively participate. At the end of the program gifts were given to the winners as tokens of appreciation. The event ended with a blessing and a happy spirit.
Mysore – Don Guanella Evening School celebrated Independence Day on August 15th in Harohalli. The local Panchayat president and other councilors presided over the program. The children welcomed the gathering and honored the guests with flowers before presenting different types of programs like dancing and giving speeches about India and the freedom fighters. Brothers from Preethiya Sevakaru performed a dance for the national anthem. At the end of the program children were given cakes and sweets.
Kumbakonam – It was a great joy for Guanella Nagar Parish when ten parish children received First Holy Communion. Holy Mass was celebrated by Fr. A. John Bosco. In his homily he said, First Holy Communion is a Catholic ceremony which marks a child’s first reception of the Sacrament of the Eucharist. The Holy Eucharist refers to Christ’s body and blood present in the consecrated host on the altar, and Catholics believe that the consecrated bread and wine are actually the body and blood, soul and divinity of Christ. It was highly spiritual and emotional for them. Fr. Vincent and Srs. Juli and Siron prepared the children spiritually for the past twenty-seven days. Hence, their parents, God-parents, relatives and friends were very happy. The saints in heaven were delighted to intercede for us.