Be a Dynamite Guanellian- in the Divine Ministry!

We are going to memorialize the 149th ordination anniversary of Father Guanella on May 26th. It is worth reflecting on his vision and virtues of the priesthood and, above all, of his aspirations, attitude and motto “a fiery sword” in the divine ministry. What was his lifestyle and way of holiness and perfection? Nothing but the way of the cross, self-denial, struggle and mortification- his 49 year priesthood experience was both a tremendous and terrible one.
We could analyze three phases of his priesthood:

  1. Before the failure of Traona (Prosto, Savogno, Turin and Traona);
  2. After Traona- the nine months of confusion and humiliation (Morbegno, Milan, Gravedona, Olmo) and
  3. The years of his adventure (Pianello, Como, etc.)

There were internal as well as external hurdles and difficulties Father Guanella underwent- a wall of opposition expressed in distrust, envy, suspicion, malice, and prejudice. He also faced disappointing divisions, conflict, resentment, and discontent in many of the communities.
What is the “key word” Father Guanella used? This is none other than “God is good”- trust in God and His Providence. The so called evil forces had been transformed into graces because of his faith experience in the kneeling position before the holy tabernacle which led him to hope and certainty. A month before his Sacred Ordination, Father Guanella wrote about the gift of Priesthood as the “Blessed and glorious and the most beautiful day of my life!” The anointing is for a prophetic mission and, like Jesus, suffering in favor of the poor. Therefore our founder served with dedication, divine jealousy, burning zeal, maternal tenderness and, above all, the goodness of heart. As the sons of this affectionate father, let us resolve to renew our enthusiasm and our conviction.
Fr. Soosai Rathinam


“God Does it All!”

Inauguration 4.1Saigon – The words of Fr. Guanella are being realized in Vietnam; the first house of St. Louis Guanella is now established to open his arms, embrace and guide young men. After 6 years of hard work and rented houses, the confreres are finally resting under a roof of their own, a great sacrifice of our benefactors and friends from all over the world. On March 24th (which is Foundation Day of the congregation) the Archbishop of Ho Chi Minh City, Most Rev. Paul, blessed the new house. His Grace along with Fr. Gustavo De Bonis, Fr. Soosai Rathinam, and Fr. Truong (the local Parish priest) cut the ribbon and blessed the house. After the blessing ceremony, everyone processed to Ben Hai parish for a Thanksgiving Mass. His Grace, Bishop Paul presided over the Eucharistic celebration. After Mass, a simple meal was shared with 20 priests, 30 religious and about 350 friends. With God’s grace the blessing ceremony went on well. Now, the Servants of Charity open wide the doors and heart of the “House of Providence” to the young people.

To see more photos from this day’s events, please follow this link.

Opened Wide are the Doors to the ‘House of Providence’

by Fr. Joseph Rinaldo

Saigon  – On March 24, Congregation Day, the Servants of Charity dedicated their first formation House in Vietnam. The choice of this day was extremely meaningful. On this day in 1908, St. Louis Guanella and ten of his religious companions professed their vows at the Shrine of the Sacred Heart in Como, Italy.
The red ribbon, as the local custom calls for, was cut by the Metropolitan Archbishop of Saigon, Paolo Bui Van Doc. In attendance were Fr. Soosai Rathinam, Provincial Superior of the Divine Providence Province (USA, Philippines, India and Vietnam), and Fr. Gustavo De Bonis, Secretary General. Besides the local pastor, many religious from other institutes, in a communion of faith, blessed the chapel, the sacred vessels and the living quarters. Mass was celebrated at the nearby local parish church.
The three story building, with 250 square feet on each floor, was built in a small area donated by two former Vietnamese sisters. It can house up to twenty young men discerning the Guanellian religious vocation. In the future, they would like to serve the poor in their country according to the charism and the tradition of St. Louis Guanella.
The facility is dedicated to Mary, Mother of Divine Providence. In her honor a large statue was placed at the entrance. Presently, it is not possible for us to open any activities of charity. It is necessary to wait for the young Vietnamese to be ready to take over and spread the Guanellian charism in their own society. The Guanellians have been working in Vietnam for the last four years. Fr. Felicks was the first Guanellian to enter Vietnam. The following year he was helped by Fr. Jerin. In the beginning they relied on the Salesian community until they rented a modest house where they lived with a group of young men. The difficulties in the beginning were overcome with prayer, sacrifices and an adjustment to the new culture. They had to learn the language and develop a relationship with the local youth as well as their neighbors who accepted them with generosity and friendship.
The young men’s formation and education is proceeding well. One of them is in Legazpi, Philippines for his Novitiate. Two others are getting ready for it.  The faith in Vietnam is very strong. We hope that our Congregation will be enriched and increased by the love, enthusiasm and the work of these young men, the pioneers of the Guanellian Charism in Vietnam.

Please follow this link to view more photos from the day’s events.

Parish Feast

Dindigul – The new Guanellian Parish in Kallathupatti, Dindugal Diocese, celebrated their Parish Feast on February 10th. The celebration began with a Novena and flag hoisting on January 29th. Each day of the Novena, guest priests were invited to celebrate Mass and preach to the people. The novena concluded with a solemn Mass celebrated by Fr. Soosai Rathinam and followed by a grand procession. All who participated went away with God’s blessings. Dindigul 1


Chennai – On February 2nd, the members of the DGMS community gathered before Our Lady’s Grotto to celebrate the Presentation of the Lord. Fr. Provincial Superior was the chief celebrant of the day. The procession of candles was blessed. With lighted candles and singing hymns of light everyone processed to the chapel for Mass. In his homily Fr. Soosai invited everyone to celebrate and rejoice for the gift of consecrated life. He quoted the sayings of the Holy Father ‘the Church without religious would be incomplete.’ Detailing the guidelines Pope Francis gave in his Apostolic Letter, ‘Witnesses of Joy,’ Fr. Soosai asked us to give to God in humility and gratitude, give to the congregation and give to the suffering masses because religious are called to be prophets. He also suggested reflection on our present living; to live with joy and freshness, to step out of our comfort zone, to be consistent in word and deed, live with great vision and a daring attitude.

Formators Meeting

Bangalore – The Formatters of the Indian communities gathered at Guanella Preethi Nivas for meetings January 21-22nd focusing on the Human Dimension of the individual candidates. Fr. Soosai Rathinam, Provincial Superior, Fr. Samson, Rector of Don Guanella Major Seminary, and Fr. Amalorpavanathan, Vice-Rector of St. Joseph’s Minor Seminary, spoke on different themes; The Importance of Human Formation, Graded Formation and Challenges and Ways of Facing the Human Issues. In his presentation, Fr. Amal also added his ideas about formators in the vision of St. Guanella. Group discussions reflected on the questionnaire for graded formation. Two core values were derived from each dimension (human, spiritual, intellectual and charismatic dimension) which are to be essentially practiced at the outset of formation. The outcome of this meeting was meaningful discussions on network among the formators at different levels emphasizing among the unity among the formators and the importance of confidentiality among the confreres. Responding the call of the Superior General and his council to acculturate the Ratio in the local context, the gathered formators have proposed to publish a booklet entitled “Formative Directory of Provinces for India”. Form II (2) Form II (1)

Third Provincial Chapter of the DPP

Bangalore – The Third Provincial Chapter of the Divine Providence Province was not only a time of meetings, work groups and discussions, it was a time for confreres to grow in a ‘bond of charity’ and with a sense of belonging and direction for the future of the Province. The meetings, scheduled for January 12-17th, were opened, in the evening of January 12th, by Fr. Soosai Rathinam, Provincial Superior, invoking the Holy Spirit and His Seven Gifts and the singing of the Veni Creator Spiritus and the second year novices of the Daughters of St. Mary of Providence (DSMP) performed a native dance. His opening address, in which he welcomed the assembly in five languages, reminded everyone of the many blessings for us in the beginning of this New Year of 2015, including the Provincial chapter itself and the Year for Consecrated Life. He welcomed Fr. Gustavo De Bonis, the chapter assembly, the DSMP’s, who hosted the event, and the 4th Year Theologians who were assisting during the chapter. After this opening of the Chapter, the officers were elected as moderators, secretaries and tellers. The real work of the chapter was ready to begin.
For the following five days, the assembly members heard and discussed the Provincial’s report, the financial reports and engaged in group work. The real focus was important day-to-day issues affecting the province and the confreres: Vocation Promotion/Formation, Community Life, Mission as well as the theme of the chapter in the aspects of the Bond of Charity, Sense of Belonging and Fraternal Correction. Through the group work, their subsequent reports and assembly discussions some concrete motions and proposals were drafted on the topics.
Another task of the assembly was to go over the draft statutes of the province and to make any necessary changes to duties or guidelines. Once this full document was reviewed and updated, the changes were adopted by the assembly. The fruit of the group work was given over to a small team to develop a draft of motions and proposals for the chapter and these were reviewed and edited by the assembly. The final day of the Chapter was a day for any final edits and voting on the motions and proposals and the assembly adopted thirty-five (35) motions and proposals that have been submitted to the General Council. During closing remarks, Fr. Soosai expressed his gratitude for all the work that had been accomplished and for the ‘renewal of prayer and the bond of charity’ and then the Provincial Superior celebrated a closing Eucharistic Liturgy.
Though a great portion of the Provincial Chapter meant a lot of hard work and thought, the confreres were also blessed with moments of beauty, song, dance, prayer and fraternal solidarity and left with the feeling that the blessings Fr. Rathinam spoke of were added to through the fruits of the celebration of this Third Divine Providence Provincial Chapter.

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Christmas with Evening School Children

evening school christmasChennai – December 21 was a remarkable day for the Don Guanella Evening School Children, they celebrated Suppose Christmas. In spite of their unfamiliarity with Christianity, they enjoyed the celebration by the touching events organized by the leaders and those in charge. Rev. Fr. Soosai Rathinam, Provincial Superior, was invited as the Chief Guest for the celebration and gave an inspirational talk that touched the hearts of the children. He started the celebration with the blessing of the Child Jesus statue and the Creche. The children entertained the audience with their colorful dances, songs, skits and gift exchange. Moreover, they were delighted by the lunch bags that Fr. Soosai gave as Christmas gifts for all Seventy-two children. The children were refreshed by the snacks donated by the family of Rev. Fr. Pravin Vinodh Raj who came to celebrate with them. His family members also entertained the children with dance and song.

Joyful Celebrations at DGMS

8 Christmas in DGMSChennai  – On December 19, DGMS celebrated the synchronized mass in the evening. Our loving Provincial Superior, Fr. Soosai Rathinam who represents our Founder to us, presided over the Eucharist. His presence itself was a special grace to the community; making them feel the Founder’s presence through his presence, prayers and homily. The Guanellian Sisters joined the celebration, adding color to the event.
Later that day, DGMS celebrated Suppose Christmas. The creche was blessed and opened by Fr. Soosai. Christmas songs were sung to the new born child Jesus. A meal followed including sharing and a gift exchange. With priests, seminarians, and Guanellian sisters the community itself was like a creche on that day. Guanella Deepam 2014 on ‘Bond of Charity’ was released. It is the work of our confreres, fathers and brothers, who wrote articles for the publication. The Christmas season liturgy handout, which was prepared by our brothers, was also distributed.

Inter-Religious Christmas

2 Inter Religious Christmas CelebrationChennai – On December 20 the Don Guanella Major Seminary community, including fathers brothers and staff, went to Santhome School to participate in the Christmas celebration. Fr. Soosai Rathinam, Provincial Superior, was also invited as a guest of honor. It was an opportunity to learn more about Christianity in depth by hearing speeches from many Christian speakers. Everyone was happy that the good children received prizes from Mr. Stalin, D.M.K Party Treasurer. Many felt happy to see the state politicians and hear their speeches in person.