Chennai – Suppose Christmas was celebrated with the Don Guanella Evening School students December 22nd. Fr. Soosai Rathinam, Provincial Superior was the guest of honor. He delivered the message that sharing gives true joy and everlasting happiness like Santa Claus (St. Nicholas). Every student was given a blanket for a Christmas gift. The celebration was grand and enjoyable with colorful dances and drama performances by the students. The celebration concluded with the exchange of gifts with ‘chrisma christi friends.’
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.
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.
Manila – This year the provincial superior traveled to the Philippines for his canonical visit with the secretary general. The visit included meetings and dialogues with some of the priests and significant persons in the community. The canonical visit includes as well the meeting with the pastoral ministries of the Servants of Charity of the Manila community, which will fall on the last day of the provincial visit, July 8th.
Bangalore – The GPN community celebrated our Founder’s feast on October 23rd. A novena to our Founder began on October 15th to prepare for the feast, and was followed by a solemn procession featuring a relic of our Founder. The Rosary was prayed from the Don Guanella Home for the Aged to the chapel. A flag was blessed and hoisted by Fr. Soosai Rathinam, Provincial Superior. Then 150 members of the laity participated in the novena mass.
The novena reflected on the Founder’s life on various topics shared by fathers, brothers, sisters, Guanellian Cooperators, the Guanellian Lay Movement and our aged people. To prepare themselves intensively, the whole community fasted on Friday and offered a half-day adoration. During the Novena, all aspired to live in the spirit St. Louis Guanella. On Sunday, October 23rd, the Guanellian community anticipated the celebration of the feast of St. Louis Guanella. The Holy Mass was presided over by Fr. Sagaya John, Director of NBCLC. The event was attended by the Guanellian family, benefactors, Cooperators, lay faithful and friends. Approximately three hundred people attended the celebration, were filled with the spirit of our Founder and shared a festive meal.
Thalavadi – August ended with showers of blessings for the Nazareth Illam community. Fr. Soosai visited to study the community project. He met confreres and the residents on the first day of his visit. The second day, there was a campus blessing following Holy mass. Accompanied by our residents, staff and confreres, he began the blessing ceremony beginning at the entrance and ended in the chapel. The necessity of blessing the campus was to remove any negative energy over the house and to bring forth God’s blessings to Nazareth Illam. Our residents actively and piously participated by singing devotional songs. Fr. Soosai was very happy that God made use of him to bring His blessings during his visit. The community also was very happy indeed because with the blessings of God the month ended and with a new spirit would enter the new month, the month of Mother Mary
Nearly forty people gathered on the morning of Friday, June 24, 2016 to witness the leadership of the Divine Providence Province of the Servants of Charity bless the grounds of a vacant field where the new St. Louis Guanella Village will be constructed beginning this summer. Guests included seven priests, twelve residents, and the direct […]
Chennai – Don Guanella Special School grandly welcomed Fr. Soosai Rathinam for a canonical visit on July 15th. Fr. Soosai toured all the classes in the school. After the tour, Fr. Samson; Fr. S.A. Lourduraj, the director; Fr. Praveen, assistant director; Regent Bro. Rajarathnam and all the staff gathered for the examination of the school project and for fraternal sharing of the mission. Fr. Soosai gave a motivational address on how a Guanellian educator should differentiate from secular ways of educating good children. As part of the meeting the staff expressed their way of teaching, the plans they have for the children and the new proposals for the development of the school. At the end of the visit the children entertained Fr. Soosai with a cultural performance.
Chennai – The DGMS community enjoyed a provincial visit on July 14th. Fr. Soosai Rathinam, SdC, Provincial Superior, shared his reflections on the spiritual and corporal works of mercy; summarizing the 2016 CRI brochure: 5 focus areas and 40 action plans by Fr. Joe Manath, SDB. He asked us to include the works of mercy in our personal and community projects. A theological forum followed about Fr. Domenico Saginario, SdC, the pioneer spirit of the Indian mission. Fr. Francis introduced the topic of the forum; stressing the importance to learn about our own confreres.Fr. Soosai spoke in his presidential address about the deep spirituality of Fr. Saginario as a missionary. He also emphasized the missionary spirit of Fr. Saginario and advised the young seminarians to have a thirst for theological knowledge and a missionary spirit.
This month, we celebrate the loving memory of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary which looks to eternity and gives us hope. Our mother country, India, is also leaping and dancing for joy for the celebration of her 69th Independence Day. When I thought of writing this article, my eyes moved towards our DPP’S bookshelf and my attention was drawn to “The Art of Power” by Thich Nhat Hanh, a national bestselling author who promotes peace in every step. His approach towards power is different. What does power mean to us? Why are most people willing to use power and desire so much to hold onto it?
The subject of power has focused primarily on the state’s monopoly on violence, its proper legal use, and the legitimacy and behavior of those who control it. Thich Nhat Hanh begins his inquiry into power at its very base, its most “organic level” which means with the will and our deepest intention of love and goodness.
What does power mean to us? Why are most people willing to do almost anything to get it? Most of us seek to be in a position of power in order to control our life situation, namely wealth; professional success; fame; physical strength; military might and/or political control. To facilitate and maintain power, we drain and strain our relationships. The purpose of having power or freedom means to become the best version of oneself such as being free from addiction, fear, despair, discrimination, fundamentalism, or anger.
Many great teachers and leaders like Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed, Moses and Gandhi had their profound desires for peace; relieving the sufferings of the most vulnerable in society and to bring about religious harmony and universal brotherhood.
We will change the world and our country simply by behaving like a committed Christian and living in the presence of God by focusing on our spiritual power. When we suffer in our personal lives with heavy workloads, constant stress, unrealistic expectations, and worldly attractions, we will be bound with various slaveries. Let us be happy and relaxed so that we bring joy and hope to everyone!