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.
Chennai – Though the 21st century fascinates us with all its advancements and innovations, the place to be truly happy is still reserved for the family because it is the place where everyone is recognized and strengthened. At Don Guanella Major Seminary the memory remains fresh of the Family Day celebration on August 15th with the Guanellian Lay Movement and their families. Fr. Michael was the main celebrant of the Holy Mass and other community fathers concelebrated. He rightly preached that the Family of Nazareth must be the paradigm of our families to lead ourselves to be the specially chosen people of God. After Mass, Theology brothers entertained the families with their thundering songs and colorful dances. Agape was served in the spirit of fraternity and joyfulness. Representatives from the Guanellian Lay Movement thanked Fr. Samson for hosting such a beautiful event and Fr. Francis for organizing it well.
Grass Lake – The aroma of freshly cut pine and evergreen branches was in the air at the Pious Union of St. Joseph on Sunday, November 30th, the First Sunday of Advent. On that day we held a Guanellian Family Day and made Advent Wreaths from real evergreen branches.
After 10AM Mass, all were invited to the Pastoral Center where each family worked together to make an Advent Wreath for their home. It was beautiful to see each member of the family taking a turn to place an evergreen branch into the wet floral foam as the wreaths were assembled.
The Guanellian Family Day has been a tradition at the Pious Union, where we give opportunities to our area families and pilgrims to have some spiritual enrichment. We recognize the importance of our Guanellian traditions, but also that family life is the foundation of our society. As Pope Francis has emphasized, “It is in the family, with its unique capacity to form each member, particularly the young, into persons of love, sacrifice, commitment and fidelity, that the Church and society …will find the resources necessary to renew and build up a culture of solidarity.”
The custom of the Advent Wreath is a simple tradition that helps us to await the coming of Christ. It is a custom rich in symbolism, as each part of the wreath has significance. As each family finished assembling their wreath, a prayer service was held. Each part of the prayer was not only an intercession, but also contained a short explanation as to what each symbol meant. Fr. Satheesh then blessed all the wreaths with holy water and all shared a potluck meal.
Grass Lake – Family Day at the Pious Union was held on May 18th. After Mass, the large group of active participants including adults and children processed to the Grotto of Lourdes singing hymns in honor of Mary along the way. A large Rosary was drawn on the asphalt to help organize the ‘Living Rosary.’ Five adults presented the intentions of the mysteries while the Hail Marys were led by the children standing on the Rosary beads. To complete the devotion, the statue of the Madonna was crowned and the entire group recited the Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Fr. Paul released a white dove as white balloons carrying each person’s prayer ascended into the sky. The afternoon came to a close after a potluck lunch was shared. It was a new step in the journey of the local church, those committed to deepening and living in a family environment that rests on reasons for faith and witness.
Legazpi City -The staff, their families, residents, seminarians and priests gathered at Mayon Resort, St. Domingo, to celebrate life as a family. It was beautiful, everyone shared their time, love and care with fun. Upon arrival at the resort everyone began to share their joy of being together by swimming and playing. It was like the early Christians sharing meals and works with one another. At mid day, Fr. Battista granted a public farewell to Fr. Benson, who is going to India for good, and Bro. Christian who will be going to Manila for postulancy. After the simple sendoff, the family continued their joyful togetherness for the remainder of the afternoon.