Laity Honors St. Guanella

Bangalore – Every year the Guanella Preethi Nivas family proudly celebrates the Novena to our Founder as preparation for his feast. On October 18th the Guanellian Cooperators & Guanellian Lay Movement members lead the Novena. Many members came, though it was a work-day. In our formation we are taught how our Founder clung to the Eucharist to fuel himself to do God’s work, so the evening began with Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. During Adoration there was a reading from the Constitutions: articles 1 & 2 and a reading from the Gospel. Fr. Fernandez shared a reflection, he began by asking us if we were proud to be part of the Guanellian Family? When the Church did not trust his vision and his own family didn’t understand him, it was the Laity who encouraged and supported him. They knew Fr. Guanella was doing something extraordinary, good in the eyes of God and they admired his work. Hence, Fr. Guanella believed that where the Clergy & Religious cannot reach, the Laity can and they are an integral part of the Guanellian mission; each might have different opinions, but our Founder confided more in the Laity. The Laity should remember that you have not chosen to do this work but it is God alone who called each one to do his mission. We must remember always to give credit to God alone and He will reward us for our good deeds. On the day of the Feast the foundation stone was laid for a Multipurpose Hall at GPN, this hall will be utilized for the evening tuition children, activities of the aged home and more. As our Founder believed the laity are important for the mission, Fr. Gnanaraj, Superior, and Fr. Adaikalam, Delegate (GC&GLM), had the names of the members written on the bricks, which made them feel more responsible towards the mission and the house, and blessed the site for the future structure. A chariot for St. Guanella was beautifully decorated by the Guanellian Youth. It was blessed and the Religious, laity and benefactors (Christian and otherwise) processed to the Chapel reciting the Rosary. Solemn Mass was celebrated by Rev. Fr. Anthonysamy, Chancellor from the Diocese. There was a sumptuous meal offered to all Feastday participants.

To Be His Witnesses

Bangalore – On May 31st, the feast of “The Visitation of Mother Mary,” the anniversary when our Founder celebrated his first Holy Mass in 1866, six of our Novices successfully completed their novitiate and made their first Religious profession, saying ‘yes’ to the call of the Lord ‘to be His witnesses’. The Brothers looked like angels in their Cassocks. The Congregation and especially Fr. Adaikalam, who led the Brothers throughout the year of Novitiate giving them the experience of the Institute and forming them to be beautiful Flowers offered to God. Bro. At Guanella Preethi Nivas holy Mass was celebrated by Fr. Soosai Rathinam. His Councilors Fr. Kulandai and Fr. Visuvasam; Superior and Rector of GPN, Fr. Gnanaraj; Novice Master, Fr. Adaikalam and other Guanellian Fathers concelebrated. During his homily, Fr. Rathinam told the Brothers they must always look forward to the driving force in the religious life and walk toward the destined end. He added, during the time of St. Guanella, they did not have big celebrations, in fact he recalled how after the good children fell asleep they quietly made their vows. The parents of the brothers were acknowledged and thanked by Fr. Rathinam for having encouraged their children to say ‘yes’ to the Divine call. The Community was vibrant with joy and happiness to have this celebration and welcoming the new precious gifts.

Towards Sanctification of the Soul

Bangalore – Recollection is a time to build up our personality and spirituality. Individuality is assembled with all the little pieces collected from the past and through in depth spiritual reflection. Therefore, the past can help us to bring changes in our lives for the spiritual enrichment. The body and soul are inseparably united, the purification of which is essentially demanded of us as Christians. While the inner spirit is revived, both soul and body are cleansed of all stains of sin. To achieve this goal, St. Guanella Mercy Church planned a Recollection on April 2nd for the Guanellian Lay Movement and parishioners. Fr. Benson, SdC, was invited as preacher, motivating the group with his Spiritual sessions by making them realize their journey of life and prompted each to come closer to God. During Eucharistic Adoration in a special way people praised and thanked God. Meanwhile, they were meditating and preparing themselves for Confession, the most important Spiritual activity to prepare them for Holy Week and peaceful participation in the Passion, Death and Resurrection of our Lord. The day ended with the solemn Eucharistic Mass celebrated by Fr. Gnanraj, Rector and Superior of the GPN Community. The faithful had a fruitful experience through this Spiritual event.

Mission Experience of Novices

Bangalore – The six novices and Fr. Kennedy from Guanella Preethi Nivas Novitiate went for a one-week mission experience with mentally ill patients at “Nazareth Illam” in Thalavadi. This challenging mission is aided by the Government. Right now there are 63 people, the neglected and unwanted of society are brought from the roads, streets, bus stops by social workers and government officials to stay there. The Guanellian priests are rehabilitating them with immense love, medication and care free of charge. They organize various programs, games, therapy and other activities for their benefit. In fact, this mission has brought popular identity of our institute in the district. The novices were given an orientation and training session about the home, its service and the patients paving the way for a fruitful time of service. The novices participated in manual work, gardening, games, prayers, entertainment, fire dance, cooking, feeding, and exercise. They also assisted with personal care, giving haircuts, shaving them and making their beds. Most importantly, the novices listened to their stories, problems, and their family backgrounds. This attentive, empathetic listening enriched both. Novices were touched by the miracle of love happening there: the patients get healed in part by the family atmosphere. Once they are stabilized and rehabilitated, they are examined by a psychiatrist and many are reunited with their families. It is really a hall mark of our noble service to humanity in Tamilnadu. After the mission experience the novices returned to GPN with immense satisfaction and valuable learning.

Picnic for Oratory Children

Bangalore – From young to old everyone loves the fun of picnic, an adventure to the unknown wonder world. The Guanella Preethi Nivas community planned a one day picnic to Mysore for the oratory children, making their hearts overflow with joy. We visited many places: Sangam, Thipusulthan Fort,  the zoo, Chamundiswari Hill, and Mysore Palace. They learned many things during this picnic. While visiting the historical sites, the children eagerly listened to and asked many questions about the history of each place. The picnic made the children happy, and left them with unforgettable memories.

Republic Day Celebration

Bangalore – The Guanella Preethi Nivas community joyfully celebrated the 68th Republic day of India on January 26th. The day began with solemn Holy Mass. We remembered and prayed for the martyrs who suffered for India’s freedom from the colonial power of England. After Mass was the flag hoisting ceremony to show patriotic respect to our nation. Mr. Melvin, our elderly resident, and Fr. Adaikalam were invited as the chief guests. Bro. Babu gave a brief introduction to the ceremony, then Nov. Melvin led the parade from the chapel to the arena. He led the chief guest to hoist the flag while the assembly honored the flag with a salute and recited the pledge. Nov. Justin briefly explained the history of Republic Day and the suffering of the freedom fighters; making us all proud to be Indians. The ceremony ended by singing our national anthem. In view of celebrating this day we had volleyball and basketball tournament between fathers and brothers.

‘Pongalo Pongal’

Bangalore – Pongal Festival is an expression of thanksgiving to nature and God. The Guanella Preethi Nivas community fathers, brothers, sisters and the oratory children were so happy to celebrate this festival on January 14th. The staff and children dressed up in dhoti and saree creating a complete festive mood on the campus. The celebration began with traditional games and a cooking competition. The children were divided into three groups, provided with rice and ingredients to prepare the traditional food in an earthen pot. While the food was cooking, the children enjoyed games like tug-of-war, sack race and sugarcane eating. The highlight of this celebration was Rangoli. The groups presented massive, colorful works of art that were judged by the chief guests, GLM members Mr. Chinnaraj and Mrs. Shanthi Mary. Everyone was astounded by their creative and innovative Rangoli. When the Pongal was ready the crowd cried out, “pongalo pongal!” Fr. Ganaraj tasted each pongal and appreciated the groups who prepared it. Afterwards it was distributed among the children who went home with warm, sweet pongal and happy memories.

Christmas Fest

Bangalore – Don Guanella Oratory in Bangalore celebrated suppose Christmas at Guanella Preethi Nivas in a grand and meaningful way. With a gracious spiritual start the program began its richness with singing, dancing, party games, gifts sharing and other competitive programs. The dignitaries present at the event were very happy and amazed by the little works and gifts of charity rendered to the poor children. A thought provoking message about Christmas and New Year was given. The motivation and encouragement of the speech made the gathering more energized and strengthened.

Family Day

Bangalore – Family Day is an opportunity to renew the bond of family spirit that makes all united for the common good. The Guanella Preethi Nivas community celebrated family Day coupled with suppose Christmas and the commemoration of the founder’s birthday on December 19th. Fathers, Brothers, Sisters, Guanellian Cooperators, GLM members, benefactors, well-wishers, beneficiaries, staff and all faithful attended the event. It was gratifying to celebrate the joys and happiness of the year with one another. The event began with solemn holy Mass celebrated by the superior. It also included innovative party games and a cultural program. The Guanellian Family shared Christmas gifts with the staff and a meal was offered by the Cooperators and GLM.

Formators and Vocation Promoters Meet

Bangalore – The annual meeting for the formators and vocation promoters of the Divine Providence Province was held on November 29th at Guanella Preethi Nivas. The central theme of the meeting was “a new pedagogy for integral formation to the priesthood and consecrated life in India.” The meeting was led by Fr. Soosai Rathinam SdC, Provincial Superior, with presentations by Fr. Joe Mathiayas SJ. Frs. Samson, Gnanaraj, Francis, and Prakash SdC organized the event. The central messages drawn from the meeting were:

  • Formation is not just a mere human action but is also Trinitarian and divine. God the Father is the formator and “the activity of the Father through the Spirit molds the hearts of persons in formation according to the mind of the Son”.
  • God the Father, in the continuous gift of Christ and the Spirit, is the formator par excellence of the one consecrated to Him. But in this work God is also served by the mediating role of human persons, matured in faith and discipleship.
  • The one who serves in such a ministry is placed as a mediator between God’s action and the human response and must therefore be one who knows both the human and the divine heart well.
  • Formation “ought to be formation of the whole person” in every aspect of his or her individuality, behavior, and intentions.” The heart, reason, will, memory, imagination, senses, desires, tastes, the conscious and unconscious everything ideally ought to be the object of attention in formation; so that the new person in Christ can really come to life.
  • Moreover, “formation, in order to be total, must encompass all the aspects of Christian and consecrated life. Thus there must be spiritual, human, intellectual, cultural and pastoral preparation which aids the harmonious integration of the various aspects.”
  • For vocation promotion, all the members of the congregation must toil and sweat. All must attract candidates by witnessing through their lifestyle, spiritual grounding, maturity and innovative programs. After recruiting candidates, the formators must accompany them and assist them to know and discern the choice and service.