Ho Chi Minh City – Guanellian Sisters, Sr. Victoria and Sr. Malini, accompanied Fr. Rathinam on his canonical visit. They stayed in our community in order to visit some missionary sisters and get some idea of how they can start their own community in Vietnam. On the final day of their visit, we went on pilgrimage to Mount Vung Tàu, about 100kms from Ho Chi Minh City. A statue called Christ the King of Vũng Tàu stands 32 meters (105 ft) high on the top of 170 meters (558 ft) Nho Mount in Vũng Tàu with Jesus extending his 18.3 meter (60 ft) long arms. The nearby Mount also has a big statue of Mother Mary. We prayed to Christ the King and Mother Mary for the success of the 20th General Chapter.
Manila – The feast day of Blessed Clare Bosatta was celebrated at Holy Family, the house of the Guanellian sisters, in Fairview and attended by the priests, brothers, seminarians and sisters of the Guanellian family. The celebration began by praying the liturgy of the hours, followed by the celebration of Holy Mass. Fr. Battista, who was the main presider, focused his homily on the life of Blessed Clare and how she fervently wanted to help other people. The evening ended with a dinner shared by the Guanellian family. The real reason for the celebration was not forgotten, Blessed Clare who with humility and courage followed the ways of the Lord.
Cuddalore – The Guanellian Charism School of the Divine Providence Province for 2017 was held at St. Joseph’s Seminary, Samupillai Nagar, April 3–7th. The theme of the year is “Come, Let Us Go to the Roots.” The school was inaugurated with the prayer service conducted by the minor seminarians. Thereafter the purpose and objectives of the Guanellian Study Centre and charism school was narrated and explained. It is mainly to “Know the Founder,” to “Preserve the Guanellian Tradition” and to “Live the Spirit and Charism” in our context today. The major themes that were discussed in the charism school dealt with the death of Don Guanella, Mother Marcellina Bosatta and the DSMP’s, Ven. Aurelio Bacciarini, the successors of Don Guanella and the Guanellian Mission, and the Process of Beatification and Canonization of St. Guanella. On the last day of the Charism school, there was a day of Lenten pilgrimage to our Lady of Lourdes Shrine and leisure program in the amusement park at Villiyanur, Pondicherry.
The Charism School was a memorable one for all the participants of the Province. It was an enriching program for all the young Guanellians to educate themselves deeply with the spirit of our Founder. It enabled every individual to renew and revitalize their Guanellian commitment and consecration. Finally, our thanks to the Provincial Superior and his Council for their efforts at equipping the Province with Guanellian enlightenment.
Blessed Clare Bosatta was beatified by St. John Paul II on April 21, 1991. On April 20th we celebrate her feast day. Twenty-six years ago we were delightedly surprised by the Holy Father’s decision to beatify our Sister Clare. In expectation of the celebration of the event we lived intensely a period of great enthusiasm in order to acquire a deeper knowledge of our Sister’s holiness and, as from the day of her beatification, we have certainly experienced her protection as well as her encouragement to deepen our knowledge of her message and to imitate her example.
As the years have passed, she has become ever more familiar to us and has enabled us to better understand the holiness and spirituality of St. Louis Guanella. Indeed, we might say that her beatification gave a further impetus to promoting our Founder’s canonization. There is no doubt that Blessed Clare contributed with her prayers from heaven to ensure that Fr. Guanella was declared a Saint. We know that Blessed Clare had a crucial influence on the Founder’s journey to sainthood. Still today, those who kneel before their urns at the Shrine of the Sacred Heart in Como cannot but receive that holy incentive to integrate hard-working charity with the contemplation of the sources from which the grace of our activity comes. May the memory of Sr. Clare’s beatification revive in all of us gratitude to the Lord for our holy origins. Faithfulness to living their spirit and putting it into practice will increase our faith and love.
Walking towards holiness together, as Fr. Guanella, Sr. Clare and all the good people of God did will reinforce communion and collaboration among the people of God. We also want to renew our commitment of spreading the devotion to Blessed Clare and to ask our Blessed for her intercession so that her holiness may be proposed to the entire Christian world with her canonization. St. Louis Guanella loved Sr. Clare. In the beginning he was puzzled by Sr. Clare’s religious life style. He had an inspiration that Sr. Clare was a mystic. Fr. Guanella was moved to intensely study the works of St. Theresa of Avila. From then on, he understood that Sr. Clare was a saint and a mystic. She was the “little flower” of Guanellian spirituality.
Fr. Guanella wrote a biography of Blessed Clare. It is available at the St. Louis Center upon request.
Prayer for the Intercession of Blessed Clare Bosatta
O Jesus, Savior of the lowly, who made Blessed Clare Bosatta shine through the spirit of sacrifice, by rendering her an untiring apostle of Your Gospel among the poor; teach us her total abandonment in Divine Providence, her love of prayer, her patience in suffering, and her spirit of dedication to the most needy. Grant us, through her intercession, the grace … that we ask you for trustingly through Christ our Lord. Amen!
Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory Be … Blessed Clare, intercede for us!
Manila – Two Guanellian sisters, Sr. Mich and Sr. Tess, renewed their vows on March 19th during the Mass at Guanella Center. Holy Mass was presided by Fr. Dong Cerbito, and was concelebrated by Fr. Battista and Fr. Charlton. The good children, the whole seminary community and people living nearby were their witnesses. The two Sisters renewed their vows of poverty, chastity and obedience after three years. Sr. Nenita, local superior of the Daughters of Saint Mary of Providence, was the one who received their vows. Fr. Charlton preached the homily and afterward had special words urging the sisters to be faithful to their vows.
Manila – The Carmelite Missionaries hosted this year’s communion event which was held March 8th at the Carmelite Missionaries Convent. Communio is celebrated every single year to foster camaraderie and tighten the bond between our neighboring religious congregations. The Daughters of St. Mary of Providence, Caritas Sisters of Jesus, Sisters of St. Dorothy and the Servants of Charity participated in the different activities. Everyone was prepared well for their presentations. Before the day ended, there was an exchange of names that had become their prayer partners until communion next year. A beautiful Mass presided by Fr. Charles was offered, con-celebrated by Fr. Loyola, Fr. Battista and Fr. Charlton.
On November 12, 2015, Pope Francis received in audience the participants in the Pilgrimage of the spiritual family of St. Louis Guanella on the occasion of the first centenary of Fr. Guanella’s death. Perhaps the enthusiasm, the celebrations, the traveling, the lodging, the souvenirs and other concerns placed the Holy Father’s words on the back burner. A year later is the best time to go back and meditate again on the message given to us by the Holy Father.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
You have just celebrated the first centenary of his birth in Heaven. I am going to try to imagine what he would say to you to confirm you in faith, in hope and in charity. He would certainly do so with his sincere and genuine simplicity; and then I thought of three concrete verbs: to trust, to look and to hurry.
To trust. Fr. Guanella’s life had at the center the certainty that God is a merciful and provident Father. This was the heart of the faith for him: to know himself as an always loved son, whom the Father takes care of and, therefore, brother of all, called to infuse trust. God is Father and is unable not to love us, nor is He capable of being far from His children. If we are far from Him, we are awaited; when we come close to Him, we are embraced; if we fall, He lifts us up; if we are repentant, He forgives us. And He always desires to encounter us. Fr. Guanella so believed in this concrete and provident love of the Father, that he often had the courage to surmount the limits of human prudence, to put the Gospel into practice. Providence, for him, was not “poetry” but reality. God takes care of us and wants us to trust Him.
I think the heavenly Father is very displeased when He sees that His children do not trust Him completely: perhaps they believe in a distant God more than in the merciful God. The doubt can arise in many that God, although Father, is also a master. Then it seems better not to trust Him completely, because He could ask for something that is too demanding or even send a trial. But this is a great deceit: it is the ancient deceit of the enemy of God and of man, who camouflages the reality and disguises evil as a good. It is the first temptation: to distance oneself from God, intimidated by the suspicion that His paternity is not truly provident and good. Instead, God is only love, pure provident love. He loves us more than we love ourselves and knows what our true good is. Therefore He desires that in the course of life we become what we are at the moment of Baptism: loved children, who are able to overcome fear and not fall into lament, because the Father takes care of us.
The second verb is to look. The Creator Father also arouses creativity in those who live as His children. So they learn to look at the world with new eyes, made more luminous by love and hope. They are eyes that enable one to look within oneself with truth and to see far in charity. With these eyes, others do not seem like obstacles to surmount, but brothers and sisters to welcome. Thus, as Fr. Guanella said, one discovers that “love of neighbor is the comfort of life.”
Problems are never lacking in the world and, unfortunately, our time witnesses new poverties and many injustices. However, the greatest lack is that of charity: useful above all are persons with eyes renewed by love and looks that infuse hope. Because “love will enable one to find ways and discourses to comfort those that are weak,” said your Founder. Sometimes our spiritual sight is myopic, because we are unable to look beyond our ‘I.’ At other times we are long-sighted: we want to help someone who is far away, but we are not capable of helping someone who is beside us. Sometimes, instead, we prefer to close our eyes, because we are tired, overwhelmed by pessimism
And, finally, to hurry. “The poor are the favorite children” of the Father, said Fr. Guanella, “one who gives to the poor, loans to God.” As the Father is delicate and concrete in regard to His littlest and weakest children, so we also cannot have brothers and sisters in difficulty waiting, because according to Fr. Guanella, “misery cannot wait. And we cannot stop while there are poor to be helped!” Our Lady hurried to reach her cousin Elizabeth. We also hear the Spirit’s invitation to go in haste to meet those in need of our care and our affection because, as Fr. Guanella taught, “a Christian heart that believes and feels cannot pass before the indigence of the poor without helping them.”
Your Family springs from trust in the Father, under the gaze of Jesus and in the maternal hands of Mary. I thank you for the good you do and I encourage you to continue, without tiring. I bless you all affectionately and I ask you, please, to pray for me. Don’t forget!
By Fr. Joseph Rinaldo, SdC
The world, like an area subject to earthquakes, suffers tremors and shocks threatening to destroy it. Yet, it will survive because the spirit of charity, spreading in our midst, will disable the evil activities of the spirit of darkness.
Charity will rekindle Faith. In turn, Christian practice stirs up charity. How can we love our suffering neighbor without loving God, without giving Him the worship of our faith? How can we believe that we see the face of God in the poor when we do not hasten to help and serve them? To help this work of charity and faith and to assist the poor, gathered in the Houses of Divine Providence, it will be useful to establish Committees or Pious Associations in each House. The Servants of Charity, the Daughters of St. Mary of Providence and local Superiors should follow them with great zeal and imagination. It serves no purpose to assume this is too difficult an undertaking. All good works meet great difficulties. It is precisely these difficulties that are a sign that what we do is good. Where there is a will there is a way. We should first gather one or two people; then we will add more as Divine Providence will send them to us. It is not realistic to establish a master plan valid for everyone and everywhere. Experience teaches that we should adapt and review it case by case according to the regions and their means. Pious Associations, even the small ones, are admirably useful to the development and stability of the Houses, and do great good for families and places where they are active. It is essential that the Houses of Divine Providence do not isolate themselves. They should share their spirit and activity all around because their nature is wide-ranging and has to be expressed, not only inside the walls of the House but also outside, in the cities and towns where the Houses are located, trying their best to spread and stir up faith and charity everywhere. Many good people do not engage in meaningful activity. Sometimes a simple invitation to cooperate or some good is enough to transform them into active workers in the field of charity. Each House should make effort to spread our Magazine that carries the monthly news regarding noteworthy events happening in the House, in general, and the ministry, in particular. The more distribution the Magazine has, the more the House will be helped. The Magazine will be useful to increase the connection of the Houses to the Motherhouse to keep alive the relationship between the Daughters of St. Mary of Providence and the Servants of Charity, to enkindle their determination, and increase their zeal. All Houses should show great regard to the Cooperators and Benefactors. Keep a list of their names and keep them in your prayers. Invite them to the celebrations held in the House and take an interest in their life’s events. Be present to comfort and help them when in need. The Daughters of St. Mary of Providence and the Servants of Charity will see their Houses prosper and their efforts succeed when, by acts of charity, they work hard to gain not only the hearts of the good people but also the hearts of the irreverent ones. They should be discrete in their action, and moved only by the right desire to do good. The Salesian Cooperators are not just thousands but hundreds of thousands. The Association is increasing in number and no boundary of town or country can stop it from spreading. We should do the same thing and imitate our teachers Fr. Bosco and Fr. Rua. It will be healthy publicity, a protest against false respect in obedience to the evangelical precept, “Your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.” We would like to extend this exhortation to all our faithful friends because nothing goes beyond our desire for the good of society for the glory of God and the salvation of souls.
One last prayer: We encourage the committees and sub-committees of the big and small towns to care for this humble Magazine whose purpose is to share the news of Divine Providence’s family to far away children and friends.
To make it more interesting, I ask those who are capable of writing articles, to send us the news and events of your Houses. The more the Magazine of Divine Providence is spread and read, the better the Houses will be supported.”
By St. Louis Guanella
This year we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of Blessed Clare Bosatta’s beatification in Rome. On this occasion we are launching a campaign of prayers and sacrifices for the Canonization of Blessed Clare. Through a prayer list, supported by all the Guanellian Religious and the Guanellian Cooperators we will pray to assist us in our spiritual and physical weaknesses. We invite all the people of God to join the Guanellian Family in the effort to have the Church recognize the sanctity of Blessed Clare.
We ask everyone connected to Blessed Clare, to let us know of any graces received.
Anyone can request Holy cards and biographies of Blessed Clare.
Clare was a young girl who at the young age of 29, reached the summit of sanctity, not only that which is known to God alone, as it is for the majority of Christians, but one proposed as a model for all the Church with her beatification proclaimed in Rome, by the Pope, now St. John Paul II, on April 21, 1991.
St. Louis Guanella had a strong influence on Clare’s spirituality. We can understand how his deep relationship with Sr. Clare was decisive for his experience as a Christian, priest, spiritual guide and founder.
Through the writings of Father Guanella, we feel brought to our knees and pray to obtain the mystery of Spirit that opened the road in the life of this young woman. Their relationship was a flowing conversation between two saints who poured their hearts, thoughts and prayers to each others heart.
For Graces received through the intercession of blessed Clare, or request of holy cards or Biographies, please write to:
Blessed Clare Bosatta
St. Louis Center
16195 Old US 12
Chelsea, MI 48118
Tel: 734 475 8430
Cuddalore – The confreres of St. Joseph’s Seminary joyfully celebrated the solemnity of St. Joseph, the patron. The neighboring religious priests and sisters were invited for the celebration. The young seminarians were busy decorating and preparing the festal premises. The luminous and colorful atmosphere was well appreciated by all. The participation of Guanellian sisters, GLM, Guanellian Benefactors, beneficiaries and other well-wishers enriched the feast. The feast included a procession, Solemn Holy Mass, honoring the achievers of the Sports Meet, Guanella Quiz, and Cultural Evening. A fraternal agape meal was shared bringing the feast to an end. Viva San Giuseppe!!!