Chennai – While we program a busy schedule each month, the month of November does not exempt us from visiting the cemetery to pay homage and express our love towards our beloved ones who have gone before us to heaven from our family. We also need to know that there are plenary indulgences given by the Church in visiting the graveyard on particular days to pray for the departed souls. On November 2nd, All Souls’ Day, all the brothers of the DGMS Community went to attend Holy Mass held at the local parish cemetery, it was a great chance to visit and to pray for the departed souls of their families. Also at the request of a nearby parish, the brothers went for a day to bless and pray for the dead. It was all a blissful moment to gather as one family and pray for our loved ones in heaven.
The Servants of Charity were honored recently with a request from Very Rev. Bishop Earl Boyea of the Diocese of Lansing, MI to provide the Diocese with one of their priests to assist in dealing with a shortage of priests in the area. As a result, Fr. Satheesh Caniton was chosen to fill that role, and was assigned to Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Michigan Center, MI, about 15 miles southwest of SLC. On Monday, October 22nd Fr. Satheesh was installed in a formal ceremony by Bishop Boyea in which all of the members of the local Servants of Charity Community were present, including Very Rev. Umberto Brugnoni, Superior General, and Bro. Franco Lain, 3rd General Councillor from Rome. The Mass and installation ceremonies were beautiful to behold, and a large number of parishioners from Fatima Parish along with many Guanellian Cooperators from the area were present to wish Fr. Satheesh well. Before leaving Michigan, Fr. Umberto also appointed Fr. Satheesh as the new Superior of the Michigan SdC Community.
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.
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.
Dindigul – It was in 2013 that the Guanellians took over a new parish, St. Antony’s Church, Kallathupatti. Fr. John Paul was the first parish priest and has successfully completed five years of shepherding the parish. On June 10th he was given a farewell after Mass. Fr. Lawrence Thambusamy was appointed second parish priest of St. Antony’s Church. Before the inaugural and installation ceremony there was a procession from the main road of the village welcoming the Provincial Superior, Fr. Soosai Rathinam, and Fr. Lawrence with a garland. Then the installation ceremony began. Fr. M. A. Antony, the Vicar Forane, conducted the ceremony. Fr. Lawrence presided over the mass. Fr. Soosai preached the homily, explaining the Word of God, thanking the people for their support and insisting that they extend their full cooperation to the new parish priest. After Mass the people thanked Fr. John Paul and welcomed Fr. Lawrence with a shawl. They also honored all the fathers who were present especially Fr. Visuwasam and Fr. Kulandai Samy, Provincial councilors. Thereafter sisters from religious communities thanked and welcomed the parish priests with a shawl. Hearty congratulations and a sense of gratitude to Fr. Achariyam who served as the assistant parish priest for the past two years. To close the event, Fr. Visuwasam thanked the gathering and advised the people to grow in spirituality and unity.
Kumbakonam – It was indeed a great joy for our Parish to celebrate the Parish Feast of Our Lady of Divine Providence. The feast began on May 7th with a flag hoisting and solemn Mass celebrated by Fr. T. Deva Doss, VF. For each of the seven days of novena the Rosary was prayed followed by a Novena Mass celebrated by diocesan and other religious priests. During the homily, the priests shared their reflections on Mother Mary and the virtues that we must learn from her. Every day after Holy Mass, the parish people shared different sweets and snacks with one another. The culmination of the celebration was on the eve of May 12th. Msgr. A. Amirthasamay, Vicar General of Kumbakonam, presided over the solemn Mass and blessed the procession which followed. The car carrying the statue of Our Lady of Divine Providence was processed through the streets of our substations. On the following day, Fr. M. Phillip Santiagu, Procurator of Kumbakonam, celebrated the feast day Mass and lowered the flag ending the celebration. The guidance of the Parish Priests, Parish Council, and Pious groups made this celebration a successful and fruitful one, bringing us the intercession of Our Lady of Divine Providence and the grace of her Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
Legazpi – Throughout history there have been supernatural apparitions and signs that go to the heart of human events. The message of Fatima is still lively evidence to the world of an urgent call to conversion and penance to draw us to the heart of the Gospel. On December 6th, the Diocesan Commission on Youth and World Apostolate of Fatima organized a show named FATIMA@100 for the benefit of the Diocesan Commission on Youth – Legazpi. The show recounted the apparitions of Fatima and helped residents, novices and priests gain a universal understanding of the event. Furthermore, the event helped to strengthen and empower our belief in the power of the Rosary and in the warning of Our Lady’s message to the world.
By Fr. Joseph Rinaldo, SdC
In these days we experience the love of Christmas, which gradually draws us to the source of Christian joy. We are called to foster this joy among our relatives, friends and neighbors. It is important that we do not let ourselves be robbed of this joy.
Christmas is also accompanied by tears. The Evangelists did not disguise reality to make it more credible or attractive. They relate the birth of the Son of God as an event full of tragedy and grief. Quoting the prophet Jeremiah, Matthew presents it in the bluntest way: “A voice is heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children” (2,18). It is the sobbing of mothers mourning the death of their children in the face of Herod’s thirst for power. Today too, we hear this touching cry of pain, which we neither desire to ignore or to silence. In our world we continue to hear the lamentation of so many mothers, for the death of their children, their innocent children.
To contemplate the manger also means to contemplate this cry of pain, to open our eyes and ears to what is going on around us, and to let our hearts be open to the pain of our neighbors, especially where children are involved. It also means realizing that a sad chapter in history is still being written today. Can we truly experience Christian joy if we turn our backs on these realities? Can Christian joy even exist if we ignore the cry of our brothers and sisters, the cry of the children?
St. Joseph faced the atrocious crimes that were taking place. St. Joseph, the model of an obedient and loyal man, was capable of recognizing God’s voice and the mission entrusted to him by the Father. Because he was able to hear God’s voice, and was docile to His will, Joseph became more conscious of what was going on around him and was able to interpret these events realistically.
The same thing is asked of us today: to be attentive, and not deaf, to the voice of God, and therefore more sensitive to what is happening all around us. Today, with St. Joseph as our model, we are asked not to let ourselves be robbed of joy. We are asked to protect this joy from the Herods of our own time. Like Joseph, we need the courage to respond to this reality, to arise and take it firmly in hand. The courage to guard this joy from the predators of our time, who devour the innocence of our children. Innocence robbed from them by the oppression of illegal slave labor, prostitution and exploitation. Thousands of our children have fallen into the hands of gangs, criminal organizations and merchants of death. We hear these children and their cries of pain; we also hear the cry of the Church, our Mother, who weeps for the pain caused to her youngest sons and daughters. Today, as we commemorate the feast of the Holy Innocents, let us renew our complete commitment to ensuring that these atrocities will no longer take place in our midst. Let us find the courage needed to take all necessary measures and to protect the lives of our children in every way, so that such crimes may never be repeated. In this area, we support, clearly and faithfully, zero tolerance.
Christian joy does not arise on the fringes of reality, by ignoring it or acting as if it did not exist. Christian joy is born from a call to embrace and protect human life, especially that of the holy innocents of our own day. Christmas is a time that challenges us to protect life, to help it be born and grow. It is a time that challenges us to find new courage. The courage that generates ways capable of acknowledging the reality that many of our children are experiencing today, and working to ensure them the bare minimum needed so that their dignity as God’s children will not only be respected but, above all, defended.
Let us not allow them to be robbed of joy. Let us not allow ourselves to be robbed of joy, but guard it and nourish its growth.
E. Providence – Each year the students of Sacred Heart School celebrate All Saints’ Day November 1st by dressing as a saint. The entire school attends Mass which is followed by a parade of the Saints. The main purpose for this activity is to help the students learn about the lives of the saints, the Church Triumphant, and the contributions that they made to the Kingdom of God on earth. The parents get involved too, because they are helping to create the costumes, therefore the Annual All Saints’ Parade is an event to enrich the lives of the extended Sacred Heart School Community.
Cuddalore – On November 25th the foundation stone of the new parish church for Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, Samupillai Nagar, was laid by Fr. Alfonso Crippa, Superior General. This great event happened in the presence of Fr. Gustavo De Bonis, General Secretary; Fr. Soosai Rathinam, Provincial Superior; Fr. Visuwasam, Superior of the Cuddalore community; Fr. Periyanayagasamy, Parish Priest, and many other Guanellian priests and sisters as well as the whole parish community. Thus the dream of the parish is now becoming a reality in this jubilee year of the Guanellian presence in India. Let us pray that construction of the church goes on without any disturbance.