Koppakka – The first event of St. Guanella Evening School was held at Guanella Bhavan on August 8th. The Italian volunteers, Olga and Carolina, were the special guests for the function. Though it was raining, around 200 children participated from all the villages; rides were arranged to transport them. The gathering began with a song and welcome address. The children rocked with their colorful performances in singing, dancing and acting. The seminarians also entertained the children with dancing. Olga and Carolina spoke to the children and praised them for their talents and courage. Then notebooks and study materials were distributed to the children and a sumptuous meal was provided for everyone to end the gathering. Fr. Ronald was very helpful in preparing the seminary for the function.
Andhra Pradesh – Guanella Bhavan, the minor seminary in Andhra, kick-started the 2015-2016 scholastic year. This year 14 young seminarians are discerning their vocations to this Order. These candidates come from different states of North India. The common factor that brings them together is their Christian identity. The congregation, which is exploring ways to extend the Word of God in the northern part of India, welcomes these students with great hope. The seminary aims at introducing them to basic catechism, Christian prayers, Holy Mass, other spiritual activities, English proficiency, and pre-university and university studies. The seminary is very grateful to God and to all those benefactors who sustain this program.
Cuddalore – The 4th Classical Academy of the 2014–2015 year was held November 8–10th at St. Joseph’s Seminary under the leadership of Fr. Ronald (Rector of Guanella Bhavan). The academy, “Annihilation of Arts,” was conducted by the higher secondary students. To invoke God’s presence into this event, brothers sang devotional folk songs. They showed their love and gratitude to the chief guest, Fr. John Paul Britto, by presenting him with a shawl. Three speeches were delivered: Bro. Idhayan (History of Arts), Bro. Kishore (How the Arts Destroy) and Bro. Ajis (How the Arts Innovate). To further entertain the audience, Bro. Antony Paul & co. performed a colorful folk dance. Last but not least the president of the academy, Fr. Ronald, evaluated the presentations and expressed appreciation to those who participated. Giving thanks is integral to Indian culture so, Bro. Vimal, with his beautiful voice, thanked the gathering and led the community in singing the papal Anthem.
Andhra – During the Dasara holidays a picnic was planned for all the evening school children of Sacred Heart Church. On Friday, October 3rd the children gathered at Guanella Bhavan in Kopaka to depart for the Shrine of our Lady in Samaldeev, located on the shore of the Bay of Bengal. The priest and seminarians led the 141 member group in prayer to Mother Mary upon arrival at the shrine. The group ate lunch before heading to the sea shore for a swim. Though there were many small children, everyone got home safely with the help of God and the protection of Mother Mary.
Vatluru – The Feast of St. Joseph gave birth to the Guanellian Lay movement (GLM) in Vatluru. The Guanellian parish, Sacred Heart Church, with its 9 sub- stations has become the locus for its establishment. For the past 10 years Guanellians have been entrusted with the pastoral needs of the people. The Guanellian presence has brought out changes in the ethical and moral values of the people and made CHARITY the center of every activity. The Superior, Fr. Peter Sebastian, and confreres felt it was time to establish the GLM. Invitations were sent to people of five substations, the Guanella Bhavan area and the Minor Seminary to become GLM members. Nearly 30 members attended the inaugural session at Guanella Bhavan. The meeting began by invoking the Lord’s blessings with prayer. A short biographical book on Fr. Guanella was distributed and recommended to read. Fr. Peter spoke of the importance of the GLM and the laity in the Church. He highlighted the changes in the functioning of the Church since Vatican II. The pyramid has become circular, bridging the gap between the religious and laity. Teaching about the GLM, he said that Fr. Guanella started two religious congregations DSMP for women and SdC for men. He started the cooperators as a third order; making the laity members of the Guanellian Family. Therefore, the family would be incomplete without the laity. He thanked them for helping to spread the love of God to the least in society. He encouraged them to work in an organized manner through the GLM. Doubts were clarified and members expressed their happiness to join the GLM. A solemn mass was celebrated by Fr. Charles Borromeo in honor of St. Joseph. The meeting ended with a delicious meal. A similar group was also started at the parish creating two GLM groups for the local Guanellian family.
Koppaka – The Feast of Our Founder was celebrated October 24th in the evening at Guanella Bhavan. Despite the rain all the brothers were busy preparing. The guests from the villages started to arrive when it was still drizzling. By the grace and intercession of our Holy Founder the rain stopped completely by 5 pm and didn’t start again until 11 pm, after all the guests left. The Holy Eucharist was celebrated by the new bishop of Eluru Most Rev. Jaya Rao Polimera and con-celebrated by many priests from the area. The celebration was very meaningful with the participation of good children, elderly and orphan boys from our Boy’s Home, Guanellian and other religious sisters. The elderly and good children were given a small blanket by Guanella Bhavan; distributed by the Bishop and Fr. Peter Sebastian.
Koppakka – The Month of January is a month of special blessings for all the residents of Guanella Bhavan because of the many important events. The arrival of the aspiring Deacons also brought new life and blessings to our house. They remained from January 4th to 16th as part of their preparation for their Final vows. Their presence created many memories for the house, especially the initiation brothers; the brothers were edified by the way of life of the Deacons. They attended classes on Emotional Maturity by Sr. Jayasheela, JMJ. They all participated in a week-long session on Spiritual orientation by Sr. Sagaya, SSCC.
Koppaka– The Vatluru community celebrated the feast of our Founder St. Louis Guanella for the first time at Guanella Bhavan, the Minor Seminary in Andhra Pradesh. The festive Holy mass was celebrated by Most Rev. Mathew Cheriankunnel, PIME. The first anniversary of the canonization of our founder was a landmark in the history of the local. Priests and women religious from in and around the city of Eluru attended, and the Legion of Mary from the parish took a leading role in the Feast. The most special guests were the children of Guanella Oratory. About 500 people participated in the Holy Eucharist and received the blessing of St. Guanella on the gracious occasion. After the Holy Mass the young, energetic seminarians portrayed the life St. Guanella through a 40 minute skit. Everyone enjoyed learning about his life in that art form. A festive meal was served to end the joyful, educational celebration.
Vatluru – Before the new scholastic year in Andra Pradesh began, the Divine Providence Province made some personnel changes. On June 9th, Fr. Soosai Rathinam arrived to officially install community members into their new offices; Fr. Kulandai Samy as Superior, Fr. Charles as Vice-Superior, Fr. Peter as Treasurer and Formator of Guanella Bhavan, Fr. James as Vice-Parish Priest, Bro. Christuraj as Regent of Guanella Karunalaya and Bro. Abraham as Regent of Guanella Bhavan. Fr. Kuriakose, who served as Superior, was transferred to Thalavadi. The confreres were formally introduced to the faithful on June 10th, the feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, by Fr. Soosai Rathinam during the Eucharistic celebration.