Manila – Flores De Mayo, which means “flowers of May,” was celebrated by the Filipinos throughout the month of May in honor of and gratitude for the Virgin Mary. The Servants of Charity and San Isidro Labrador Parish offered this annual program for the children of Pantanco, San Agustin, Roque and the ‘good children’ from Guanella Center and Guanella Home. The purpose is to emphasize the Catechism and educate them about celebrating the month of May in honor of Mary. For the first time, the San Isidro Labrador Parish conducted a quiz bee which focused on topics in the Bible. All of the children participated. May 26th was the culmination of the Flores De Mayo celebrations, beginning with a question period by the seminarians. They quizzed the children on their knowledge of Flores De Mayo. Prizes were given to those children who were able to answer the questions. A series of presentations given by the children who participated in the Flores De Mayo program brought the month to a close.
Manila – The Way of the Cross this year was a bit different than past years. For this year, they related the events to modern daily life circumstances so that the people could understand more genuinely what Christ’s Passion means for each of us. On April 12th, the way of the cross was held in the different areas of the servants of charity compound. The event was presented by the Guanellian Youth Ministry (GYM), Guanellian Altar Servers’ Guild, Guanellian Oratorio Ministry, some from the Guanellian Lectors and Commentators and the seminarians. Though not trained actors, they effectively portrayed the beauty of Christ’s sacrifice. The goal of the presentation was achieved, and the audience deeply understood the Lord’s loving sacrifice for us. Fr. Charlton Viray congratulated everyone who participated and those who exerted efforts that made the event a successful one.
Manila – Two Guanellian sisters, Sr. Mich and Sr. Tess, renewed their vows on March 19th during the Mass at Guanella Center. Holy Mass was presided by Fr. Dong Cerbito, and was concelebrated by Fr. Battista and Fr. Charlton. The good children, the whole seminary community and people living nearby were their witnesses. The two Sisters renewed their vows of poverty, chastity and obedience after three years. Sr. Nenita, local superior of the Daughters of Saint Mary of Providence, was the one who received their vows. Fr. Charlton preached the homily and afterward had special words urging the sisters to be faithful to their vows.
On March 15th during a meeting at the St.Trudpert Abbey in Münstertal, we celebrated the 80th birthday and 50 years of Religious Profession of the Pious Union Director, Sister Bernita A generous donation for our Good Samaritan Pharmacy has been transferred to Brother Mauro in Manila as a result. With these funds, he’ll be able to purchase more life saving medicine. Just this week a young boy was successfully treated; thanks also to continuous support of the Pious Union and two German doctors he survived the complicated operation.
On March 16th we paid a visit to the bishop’s office in Freiburg to hand over a formal request for financial sponsorship of the 26 Indian and 4 Filipino Theology Students.
Gero Lombardo, German Guanellian Procure.
Manila – A Valentine program was held at Guanella Center February 14th for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The opening of the program was led by Sr. Fe Aguilar, a Guanella Center Staff, followed by an opening prayer led by the hearing impaired class of Sir Marvin Lava. The Guanella Home residents presented a dance number with the Physical Therapy interns and then the different booths were opened and the games were played. Lunch was served after the games followed by another dance number presented by another group of boys and girls. There was a contest to decide who would be awarded Mr. and Ms. Valentine 2017, the lucky ones were John Paul Dunglao and Hana Vanessa Almario, next were Maricar Marabillas and Marwin Ostras and last but not the least were David Torotoro and Fel Lorraine Canoy. The main theme for this year’s Valentine was “Anyone can catch your eye, but it takes someone special to catch your heart.”
Manila – On February 18th, the Guanellian Seminarians and professed brothers joined the “Walk for Life” against the culture of death such as extra-judicial killings that are becoming rampant in the Philippines, and the threat to bring back the death penalty. It was organized by the Council of the Laity Philippines and supported by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). The participants from the Servants of Charity began their journey very early in the morning; the usual time when the dead bodies were being found in the streets, and joined the gathering held at Quirino Granstand in Manila. This advocacy is an invitation to respect, defend and promote life by filling the streets with prayer. There were more than twenty thousand people who responded to this call as a sign that Filipinos are not silent on this matter and still believe in the sanctity of life.
Manila – Annually the Servants of Charity celebrate the feast of St. Niño. The day before the feast, the seminarians went around the area to invite children to come over for the feast. This year the celebration started with a procession on January 15th followed by Holy Mass presided by Fr. Charlton Viray, SdC. About 200 children came to participate. During the homily, Fr. Charlton gave the children some examples of how we should be humble and how easy we should forgive. After Mass, games were arranged for the children. The seminarians and the (GYM) Guanellian Youth Ministry were main facilitators of the games. The children really enjoyed the games and went home smiling. This day was really a celebration for the children.
Manila – The Guanellian Cooperators organized a Christmas Gift Giving and Outreach Program for the Guanella Homes Housing Project. The beneficiaries of the Housing Project are poor families with a special child/children who do not have decent housing. The children and parents also receive services at Guanella Center. Fifteen families received gifts and food and enjoyed several games and presentations during the event. Thank you to our Guanellian Cooperators who continually support the activities of the Servants of Charity and Guanella Center.
Manila – On December 8th a group of persons with disabilities received the Sacraments of Baptism and First Holy Communion. Presided by Fr. Charlton Viray and concelebrated by Fr. Battista Omodei and Fr. Loyola Diraviam, it was a joyful event not only for the families of these children but also for the Guanella Center community. Our Founder, St. Louis Guanella always insisted the importance of giving not only bread but first and foremost giving our Lord. As they received the Lord and the graces because of the reception of the Sacraments, let us pray that more and more special children may be privileged to receive the Sacraments. Unfortunately, very few parishes or dioceses have programs on how to catechize children with intellectual disabilities so that they can eventually receive the sacraments like ordinary Catholics do.
Manila – This year’s Buwan ng Wika had the theme “Filipino: Wika ng Karunungan.” ( Language of Wisdom) The beloved persons with disabilities who live nearby and the residents of Guanella Home for Special Children participated in the festivities at Guanella Center. Many activities were planned for the children such as watching Filipino films, creative drawing and coloring, and playing Filipino games. The program began in the morning with a parade where the children joyfully walked the grounds wearing national costumes prepared with the help of the staff and their parents. In the end the one proclaimed as the best Filipino costume was Katrina Peredo (female category) and Kevin Visabal (male category), and Patrick Halili as “crowd favorite.”