Language Month Celebration

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.”

Nutrition Month Observed

Manila – This year’s Nutrition Month was celebrated at Guanella Center with a special costume parade and party for persons with disabilities. Many of the costumes were beautifully prepared by the parents of special children who believe in the importance of providing proper nutrition to their children. The event is an opportunity for all the participants to check their way of eating and change it for the better.

Inspired by the Holy Spirit

Manila – June 20th was the official opening of the new mission year at Guanella Center with the Mass of the Holy Spirit celebrated by Fr. Charlton Viray. The Mass was attended by special students of Guanella Center with their parents and caregivers, staff, teachers, volunteers, seminarians, and young members of Guanellian Youth Ministry. The homily focused on giving thanks to the Lord for the many blessings that He continues to bestow on the Guanellian family, the importance of making our own personal contribution to the building of unity and cooperation at the Center, and not to tire of sharing our love and compassion to others: especially to the poor and needy.

German Events and Solidarity behind the Curtain

After a long silence we are back with some precious and interesting news on our past weeks after the echo of congratulations for the summit has ceased.
I was honored with personal greetings and thanks by our new Archbishop, Stephan of Freiburg, and other key religious and civil authorities for the solidarity work accomplished over the past 50 years in this blessed and generous region of Germany.
New requests for financial help have reached our entity, mainly from Africa but recently also from DPP structures in India especially from Sivagangai for their disabled center. We are quite sure to succeed at Mission Munich. We have been asked by em. Bishop Rainer Klug, during his visit to the Procure and to St. Louis Guanella Mission at Pforzheim on April 13, 2016, to stay and get more involved in the daily life of the neighboring German parishes and the Polish immigrant centers in our district, as well as Catholic refugees from Syria and Iraq relocated to the area.
The last opportunity was to join local pastors and other Catholics from E.C. in celebrating Corpus Domini in the small town of Hamberg on a splendid sunny day, crossing colorful walkways decorated with fresh flowers ending in an altar carpet of flowers with the symbols of the Mercy Jubilee. We listened and meditated on the Gospel of St. Luke 9-1-17.
During this time, I was concerned about a sad story I heard from Brother Mauro in Manila: a young woman who died simply because she and her family could not buy Penicillin. Immediately we, Puentes/Spain and the Sisters of the German Pious Union at Münstertal-Black Forest,  began to make plans. We would begin an intensive fundraising campaign with them in their four hospitals, with the help of their almost 70,000 members in the St. Josef Confraternity, with doctors, and the support of the families of Italian immigrants. The specific purpose is to create at Guanella Center, Quezon City a large, well supplied pharmacy, offering necessary medicine against TBC and other infectious illnesses. This new medical center should operate as a “Good Samaritan Pharmacy” for the poor of greater Manila. We are going to print 1000 small fliers for distribution in Spain, Italy, France, Germany.
During our meeting on May 30, 2016, with General Mother Simone of the St. Josef nuns who promised that their congregation will continuously support our projects and immediately they offered Mrs. Inge Lombardo as lay ambassador for this initiative.
A painting by “Joey” one of the squatters, shows a poor child offering to the condemned and enchained Jesus a mere small glass of water. We should reflect on this gesture and on the skeletal, dying Emy, in front of her children. Emy did not need to die, simply for being too poor without an advocate. No one was there offering even a small bottle of penicilin.
We therefore encourage our confreres wherever they are, in the Name of the Merciful God and our Founder, St. Louis Guanella, to knock at our door, that of Puentes and  the Abbey of our beloved and generous Daughters of St. Josef in Germany. We promise to do our best to support you in your daily efforts, tender love toward the poorest among the poor, because Jesus is hidden within them.
Mary, Mother of Holy Providence will do the rest, linking our hearts, hands and feet…
Let us thank God for His copious grace and gifts.
Gero Lombardo
Guanellian German Procure

Annual Assembly

Manila – Confreres from the Philippines and Vietnam gathered at the Carmelite Missionaries Center for Spirituality for their Annual Assembly March 29-31. With the presence of the Secretary General, Fr. Gustavo de Bonis, the Assembly focused their discussions on the Vocation and Formation Program. Other topics discussed were: strengthening collaboration with the laity, deepening our sense of mission, embracing our mission with love and financial matters. On the first day, Fr. Gustavo addressed the confreres on “Embracing our Mission with Love.” They also watched the video of Cardinal Tagle of Manila at the recent 51st International Eucharistic Congress in Cebu on the “Eucharist and Dialogue with Cultures.” There was also some time for recreation.

Visiting the Sick

Manila – As an act of Christian charity during this Jubilee of Mercy, the staff, seminarians, volunteers and confreres visited our brothers and sisters with Hansen’s disease at Tala, North Caloocan on March 21st. About 90 patients are staying in four wards of a hospital there. We spent time listening to their stories and praying with them. We also brought a meal and some personal care items. Many spiritual insights were gained in listening to their stories and visiting them. It is our fond wish that more people could visit these Hansen’s patients in Tala and bring them needed hope and light to their lives.

Panettone Sale

Manila – The annual sale of panettone continued this year beginning November 29th. The traditional Christmas bread is baked with patience and love by one of our staff, with Bro. Mauro, religious brother from Italy, and the seminarians. The bread was sold to different parishes, friends and benefactors. This is an income-generating project of the Servants of Charity every December for the benefit of the residents of Guanella Home for Special Children.

5th Annual Dinner for a Cause

Manila – The 5th Annual Dinner for a Cause was held November 21st at Quezon City Sports Club. Almost four hundred friends, benefactors, cooperators, staff and volunteers including the residents and religious community were present during the annual event. It is one of the major fundraising event of the Servants of Charity Community  of  Quezon City for the benefit of the residents of Guanella Home for Special Children and the seminarians of Servants of Charity. Entertainment of songs and dances during the event were rendered by the residents, seminarians and religious community. Special performances were offered by Ms. Cecille Molina, a professional singer from our parish and by the Pax Christi Choir of EDSA Shrine, where our seminarian, Bro. Harry Indonilla, was a former member. Our deepest gratitude to all those who have supported this event, especially to our Guanellian Lay Cooperators who have exerted much effort in ticket sales and promotion. God bless you all!

Music Therapy Seminar

Manila – Mrs. Celeste Sanchez, a long-time friend of Guanella Center and of many persons with disabilities, conducted a music therapy seminar for parents of persons with disabilities, including some of our residents. A music educator by profession, Mrs. Sanchez is one of the pioneers in the country in using music as therapy for special children. She has traveled abroad to improve her skills and has organized many concerts of persons with disabilities. She owns her music studio that offers music therapy for persons with disabilities.

Small Step is a Giant Leap for Guanellian Family

Manila – Four years after St. Louis Guanella’s canonization on October 23, 2011, a group of Guanellian Lay Cooperators made their promise to commit themselves and become official members of the Guanellian family; keeping the spirituality of St. Louis Guanella alive. The event was held in simple ceremonies during the celebration of the Holy Eucharist on October 4th at the Guanella Center officiated by Rev. Fr. Soosai Rathinam, SdC, Provincial Superior, and concelebrated by the DPP Provincial Councilors.
With promises made, may they be inspired by St. Louis Guanella’s quote in the Guanellian Lay Movement (GLM) Document, Making Charity the Heart of the World p. 45 Notes 47 “Prayer and doing good at home or in church is not enough. You need to go out and find the lost sheep… We can never stop as long as there are poor to be assisted, distresses to be relieved.”
Recalling Fr. Luigi de Giambattista’s encouraging thoughts about Gratitude, Passion and Hope, will strengthen them on their journey towards their new lives with the Guanellian community.
Congratulations!