Manila – The Ven. Aurelio Bacciarini Theologate (VABT) in the Philippines under the supervision of Fr. Rajesh conducted its 1st Theological Symposium on October 13th. The topic was ‘The Childhood of Fr. Guanella’ 1842-1854. Br. Mark Lanuza, 1st year theology student, presented the story of the early life of young Louis, and it was followed by Br. Erwin Azurin, 2nd year theology student, with his theological perspective. Br. Christian Magdaong, 2nd year theology student, facilitated the simple panel discussion with Fr. Charles, Fr. Charlton and Br. Mauro as special guests. The VABT community is grateful for the active participation of the confreres and seminarians. This event prepared them for a solemn celebration of the feast of St. Louis Guanella this year.
Chennai – On July 19th the ‘See and Learn’ program was scheduled. About 35 special children and the staff journeyed to Besant Nagar, Our Lady of Good Health Church, St. Antony Church, Palavakkam and Athistalakshimi Temple at Chennai. The purpose of this program is to give faith formation to children. Fr. S.A. Lourduraj led the journey by explaining the purpose of this visit and they also made time for the children to enjoy relaxation of the mind. The program ended with the blessings and good experience of the children. Don Guanella Special School was happy to welcome Fr. Soosai as he made his canonical visit. After the visit Fr. Samson, community superior, and all the staff gathered for the reading of the school project and the fraternal sharing of the mission. The Provincial gave a motivational address on how a Guanellian educator should differentiate from a secular way of educating the good children. At the culmination of the meeting, the school staff presented the new proposals for the development of the school. With the celebration of Mass the canonical visit successfully came to an end and all shared a fellowship meal.
Cuddalore – “Intelligence plus Character formation is the Goal of our Education”. St. Joseph’s Evening School for the year 2017 – 2018 was solemnly inaugurated on July 15th by Fr. Visuwasam, Superior of the Cuddalore Community, in the eminent presence of Fathers in charge of the evening school both past and present and other community fathers. This education program is mainly to assist and enhance the moral and academic formation of the poor children in the area. Fr. Visuwasam with his kind words thanked the previous in charge, Fr. Amalraj, for his tremendous work and achievements and welcomed the new in charge, Fr. S. Arockia Raj, to lead the group. In his message, Fr. S. Arockia Raj revealed his beautiful plan for this year’s education program, “Intelligence plus Character formation equals the Goal of our Education. Let us educate the poor to excel.”
Sivagangai – The finest music often comes out of the saddest moments in life. As the postulancy program began with great joy and pleasure by the ways of the heart of St. Louis Guanella, July 7th-9th a music class was conducted for the brothers to improve their quality of learning music with special care. Fr. Arputha Raj, SdC, was invited to teach the music class. He led the class with full involvement and commitment. He enlightened their minds to assimilate music in many possible ways. Karnatic and Western lessons were taught through scales and mind blowing songs. “Music is a universal language of mankind,” he said. At the very atmosphere we nourished our minds and thoughts through his homily. All those who participated benefited by this music and vocal class.
Legazpi – Disability audits are a part of the activities during National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week celebrations. Establishments such as food chains, malls, offices and public places are visited by a group of representatives from DOJ, DILG, DPH, CHR, DENR, SIMON of CYRENE and SAGRADA FAMILIA, which checks if these establishments comply with the accessibility laws. The ramps, parking area, priority lane, discounts and comfort rooms are also being evaluated. Proper measurements of ramps and comfort rooms are also evaluated in order to be accessible for PWDs. For those buildings operating without proper accessibility, a report is given to the engineering department for them to validate, which may result in cancellation of the permit to operate for non – compliance of the law. For those who comply, a certificate of compliance is awarded to show their support to our brother’s and sister’s with disabilities.
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.
Chennai – The DGMS community began the new academic year by celebrating Mass to the Holy Spirit on the Solemnity of Pentecost, June 4th. Fr. Soosai Rathinam, Provincial Superior, presided over the Eucharistic celebration and brought the blessings of the Holy Spirit to all the brothers and community members. After Mass, Fr. Samson, Superior of the DGMS community, thanked the provincial and all other fathers who participated in the Eucharistic banquet. With the blessings of the Holy Spirit DGMS community stepped into the new academic year joyfully.
Cuddalore – The St. Joseph’s Minor Seminary for Guanellian Aspirancy Formation happily began the 2017-2018 academic year on June 3rd with a solemn Eucharistic celebration presided by Rev. Fr. Visuwasam, SdC, superior of the Cuddalore Community. Fr. Visuwasam exhorted the seminarians during his homily to be open vessels, to be filled with the three important nourishments of religious formation such as Spiritual, Human and Charismatic dimensions. Fr. Assisi, rector of the seminary, presented the formation project for the year which seems to be in Line with the theme of our general chapter, “Going Back to the Roots of Guanllian Formation – By Ways of Heart”. He then welcomed all the candidates to live their lives in Conformity with Jesus Christ. Let the future pillars of Guanellian life and mission be strongly rooted in the spirit of Christ and the footsteps of our Holy Founder.
Manila – The Servants of Charity are grateful to the Lord of the harvest for guiding Br. Alfie Matulac, SdC, throughout his theological studies. On Saturday, May 27th, he received two diplomas, a Bachelors Degree in Sacred Theology and a Masters in Systematic Theology. His stay at the Recoletos School of Theology, an affiliate of the Royal and Pontifical University of Santo Tomas, Manila helped him deepen his faith and conviction to promote the Kingdom of God among the poor in the footsteps of St. Guanella. The Guanellian Community also extended their joys for Br. Arun David and Br. Christian Magdaong for participating in the RST academy awards 2017.