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 – For Guanellians, the month of June remains a Month of Fervor as our Founder mentions, because in this month the perpetually professed confreres renew their vows. On June 8th ten priests at Don Guanella Major Seminary renewed their vows in the Devotion of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Fr. A. Periyanayagam presided over Mass and Fr. Soosai Rathinam, Provincial Superior, gave the homily. He spoke of the devotion that our founder had to the Heart of Jesus and reminded us that our hearts must be like the heart of Jesus burning with love for the poor, needy and all those who say I have no one. At the end of the Mass the confreres renewed their vows to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Chennai – Don Guanella Major Seminary organized a workshop on Siddha Medicine (a Tamil form of natural medicine) June 1st – 4th. Dr. B. Sundhara Meenal BSMS was the presenter. She started the course by explaining the importance of the natural herbs that are available in and around us. She further taught that though it takes time to heal, there will surely be an effect on the diseases. She mentioned many times, health is wealth and it needs to be well cared for and above all, we need to show love and care because it is God’s unique gift to each individual. Brothers were happy that she taught them how to administer first aid with the natural herbs available in our garden. When there was time for questions, she clarified their doubts and the brothers benefited greatly. Towards the end, Fr. Samson, Superior, thanked Dr. Meenal for spending her time teaching the brothers the value of Tamil natural medicines available all around us.
Chennai – If the world is a book, those who do not travel read only one page. To assist the theology students to read more pages, the Don Guanella Major Seminary community organized an annual two-day tour. The journey departed from DGMS on March 20th with the prayer of Fr. Samson. The first day was joyfully spent in Valparai visiting many tourist places and Churches. Breezy wind and natural sceneries offered peaceful relaxation and mesmerized the travelers. The second day journey began from Valparai to Palkad. The confreres enjoyed the day, sharing their togetherness and happiness with all the community members.
Chennai – March 19th is celebrated as Saint Joseph’s Day. This year on this special occasion the Don Guanella Major Seminary community invited the Guanellian family to be nourished spiritually and physically. A special Mass was celebrated by superior Fr. Samson along with all the community fathers and brought the blessings of the Lord amidst us. People who are sponsoring the seminarians were invited as special guests for the event. As a sign of gratitude, they were honored for their benevolence to our community and given a memento for their generous contribution to our congregation. Everyone enjoyed a delicious meal and Fr. Samson concluded the day with a final blessing.
Chennai – December is a special month for all, especially the Guanellian family, when we bring all our special children together to make them feel loved and respected in society. The people of the parishes we serve on weekends ask us about the celebration for Differently-abled day, because they know it is a traditional feast celebrated by the Guanellian family. On December 10th, Don Guanella Major Seminary held the event. It was a time of grace for all who attended and were involved in the program. The day began spiritually with Mass. Fr. Soosai Rathinam, SdC, Provincial Superior was the celebrant and he delivered a thoughtful homily, explaining the importance of the special children in and around us. He also quoted Pope Francis when he commemorated a day for the Special Children. Many dignitaries from different Government departments of Tamilnadu were present. Each of them had a chance to address the gathering, saying it is a challenging and awesome ministry that the Guanellian fathers are doing. They thoroughly enjoyed the celebration. The program continued with the special children displaying their talents: speeches, songs and performances. We thank God for the support and choicest blessings He showers on the Guanellian family. The children were fed and gifts distributed before they went home.
Chennai – After the flag Hoisting, the Don Guanella Major Seminary community organized a novena and prayed for the intercession of the Holy Founder each day. The confreres gave a reflection each day on different topics. On the 21st the evening school children participated in the novena. Fr. A. C. Periyanayagam shared his reflection on the Founder. On the 22nd, GYM and GLM celebrated the novena with a special prayer service and adoration followed by dinner with the community. October 24th was the grand celebration of the feast. The religious from the area, GLM, GYM gathered for the Eucharistic Celebration celebrated by Fr. Soosai Rathinam, Provincial Superior. Fr. Tony, who has been ministering in the Solomon Islands, gave testimony of his experience there. The novena closed with dinner in the name of St. Louis Guanella.
Chennai – In the footsteps of St. Guanella we walk to Christ. October is a special month in his honor at Don Guanella Major Seminary. A novena to the Founder began on October 15th when Fr. Soosai, Provincial Superior, hoisted the flag. Mass followed, celebrated by Fr. Soosai and during which three brothers received rites in the Church: Bros. Anil Merugu and Raja Rathinam received the declaration of Intent and Bro. Thambusamy received the order of Acolyte to serve the Lord at the Altar. After Mass, the community gathered for a meal and to congratulate the brothers.
Chennai – Don Guanella Evening School inauguration for this scholastic year 2017-18 was held on June 27th. Fr. Samson, Rector of Don Guanella Major Seminary, opened the event by lighting the lamp representing the light of Christ. The event included a speech by the chief guest where he asked the children to “gain knowledge that can never be stolen but rather shared with others.” Some of the students delivered speeches on the theme ‘How to be a successful student in the current scenario.’ Fr. A. C. Perianayagasamy appreciated their work and distributed prizes to the students from our evening school who secured high marks in their board exams last year. The program ended with the colorful songs and dances of the students and in the spirit of happiness snacks were distributed before the children went home.
Indeed it was a moment of grace and fraternal communion to have the superiors and in-charges of residences of the Guanellian communities of India around Fr. Soosai Rathinam, Provincial Superior, at Don Guanella Major Seminary, Chennai. The primary focus of the two-day gathering (July 25th-26th) was the animation of communities and accompaniment of confreres, which was viewed as the dire need of the time. There were input sessions from the part of the Provincial Superior who highlighted self leadership and relationship with the community. Other resource persons Fr. K. V. Abraham, Sdb; Fr. Francis Devasagayam, CRS; Fr. Peter Jeyagandan, SSS discussed in detail the role of the superior, the service of authority, and decision making. As a whole, the discussions reiterated very strongly some fundamental principles of animation of community life: primacy of God over all, mercy over justice, collegiality and participation in planning, patient listening in decision making, continuous proposal and dialogue in discernment, sustaining confreres in difficulties with prayers above all, regularity with room for exceptions and intervals, allowing space and time for maturity and growth of the individuals or in other words to walk an extra mile. In addition to these, some urgent orientations were given by Fr. Soosai in view of the forthcoming Provincial chapter and General chapter. He urged the animators to involve the entire community more effectively toward fruitful celebration of the chapters. During the program, there were moments of prayer and fraternity. The participants were given the opportunity to express their views, clarified certain doubts and thus contributed for the planning of the new scholastic year. To put it in a nutshell it was an exchange program, where confreres felt the bond of charity, encouraged one another and enriched one other. May the good Lord continue to guide and animate the communities.