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.
Good-Bye and Hello
Dindigul – It was in 2013 that the Guanellians took over a new parish, St. Antony’s Church, Kallathupatti. Fr. John Paul was the first parish priest and has successfully completed five years of shepherding the parish. On June 10th he was given a farewell after Mass. Fr. Lawrence Thambusamy was appointed second parish priest of St. Antony’s Church. Before the inaugural and installation ceremony there was a procession from the main road of the village welcoming the Provincial Superior, Fr. Soosai Rathinam, and Fr. Lawrence with a garland. Then the installation ceremony began. Fr. M. A. Antony, the Vicar Forane, conducted the ceremony. Fr. Lawrence presided over the mass. Fr. Soosai preached the homily, explaining the Word of God, thanking the people for their support and insisting that they extend their full cooperation to the new parish priest. After Mass the people thanked Fr. John Paul and welcomed Fr. Lawrence with a shawl. They also honored all the fathers who were present especially Fr. Visuwasam and Fr. Kulandai Samy, Provincial councilors. Thereafter sisters from religious communities thanked and welcomed the parish priests with a shawl. Hearty congratulations and a sense of gratitude to Fr. Achariyam who served as the assistant parish priest for the past two years. To close the event, Fr. Visuwasam thanked the gathering and advised the people to grow in spirituality and unity.
Renewal of Vows
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.
Provincial Superior Visits
Legazpi: Fr. Soosai Rathinam, Provincial Superior visited Legazpi during the Local Assembly Meeting in Manila. Fr. Soosai visited February 22nd – 23rd. During his stay, he shared with the novices the the main points which were discussed during the provincial chapter meeting. He listened to their feelings, opinions, and difficulties after their first six months at the novitiate house. He also listened the confreres and their struggles, sharing their sentiments in the service of the Lord. In the presence of staff, residents, priests, novices and builders, Fr. Soosai dedicated the new guest house after five months of construction.
Jesus is Born in the Poor
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.’
When do you Celebrate?
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.
Meeting of Superiors and In-Charges
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.
Novena and Feast
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.
Shower of Blessings
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