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.

Way of the Cross

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.

There is no End to Charity

Bangalore – “Until there are no longer poor and neglected to be assisted there is no end to our charity,” this is an inspiring quote from our Founder that motivates every Guanellian. The Cooperators and Lay members in Bangalore are working towards experiencing the true Guanellian spirit. Following their mission experience in Nazareth Illam, they spent a day at Don Guanella Aged home which cares for abandoned elderly men. The day was spent with the Grandpa’s grooming them, chatting with them, feeding them and cleaning their worship space. It is absolutely true that you can only understand the feelings of others when you spend time with them. As a regular practice we gather for an hour of Adoration on the last Sunday of every month, helping to spiritually nourish the Grandpa’s. Most Saturdays the members volunteer to do service. These Good Samaritan acts by the Cooperators and Lay members’ draws the attention of their family and friends who are awestruck by the service and in turn wins many good hearts that come forward to support the mission.

Youth as Missionaries of Mercy

Cuddalore – Youth can provide us with an opportunity to grow as a person. It is a season of hope, enterprise and energy toward society as well as to an individual. The thirteen young Guanellians of Sahaya Matha parish, Samupillai Nagar, along with senior members visited the Global Institute for Mentally Challenged Children for a Lenten program on March 12th. It was a wonderful experience for our group, and provided them with a wake-up call. Various games warmed up the atmosphere; tea and snacks sweetened up the discounted; dance cheered up the discouraged, and storytelling caused the distressed to look-up. At the end, the team provided the teaching aids for the institute. The legion of Mary also visited the deaf and dumb school as their Lenten program for March 20th.

Mission Experience

Thalavadi – Lent is a time when everyone makes an effort to grow in spirituality. This year, the Guanellian Lay Movement (GLM) and Guanellian Cooperators (GC) from Bangalore went on a mission experience to Thalavadi to serve intellectually and developmentally disabled patients (I/DD). It was a two day program aimed at Good Samaritan work. On the first day, the members received an orientation from Fr. Lawrence, the Director of the mission house. The members were amazed to learn how our Fathers, Brothers and helpers can take this mission forward with great compassion. We also learned that some patients were transformed and returned home. Several homes catering to these patients chain them and at times treat them harshly. This was not the case here. Fr. Lawrence and Fr. Ligori told us we only give them love and dignity, and it is God who leads us all in what we do. This was a wonderful lesson learned as a Guanellian. We organized ourselves to get closer to these patients and share their stories. The members actively participated in the residents’ physical activity and we entertained them in the evening with music and dance. The following day the members cooked two sumptuous meals. The Community accommodated us with great care and we appreciate their hospitality.

Recollection for Guanellian Cooperators

Bangalore – One’s soul is nourished through spiritual formation, serving the poor with love and compassion. A first recollection was organized for our Cooperators on March 11-12th, building the group spiritually and providing an opportunity for everyone to get to know one other. The event was led by Fr. Prakash and Fr. Adaikalam. Fr. Prakash led the group with the theme, “The Aimed and Expected Purpose of a Guanellian”. He emphasized that our Founder considered relationships very important and always respected the feeling which is “Love”. He took this from scripture, where he adored the love of Abba Father, and always loved everyone. Fr. Prakash took the parable from John 15:1-17 “The Vine and the Branches” and explained how we need to stay connected to God down to the roots, so that we will bear fruit. The Cooperators meditated on each verse in the Guanellian Way and reflected on how Father Guanella would have responded. Fr. Adaikalam then emphasized the formation to help each Cooperator see God in everything. The day concluded with a talk by Fr. Gnanaraj who spoke of the Paternity of God. As a Cooperator, the life of every individual must be based on spirituality and moral values.

Seminary Day

Cuddalore – The Guanellians of St. Joseph’s Seminary were indeed happy to celebrate ‘Seminary Day’ on the solemnity of St. Joseph, March 19th. The Festal Celebration commenced with the Ex-Seminarians Meet animated for all those who discontinued their formation as Guanellian religious.  Next was the St. Guanella Super Singer Competition for all children and youth of the area. In the evening a Procession of St. Joseph, our patron, led to the Solemn Holy Eucharist, which was presided by Fr. Visuwasam, Superior. All the parishioners, religious friends from neighboring communities and parishes, benefactors, GLM members, and all our beneficiaries doubled our joy by their gracious presence.

Charity Honored

Cuddalore – St. Louis Guanella beautifully stated that “Charity will save the World”. Being inspired by the Guanellian works of charity, Ms. Anita joined GLM to involve herself in the ministry of mercy through her little ways. Gradually then she became a regular volunteer for the Guanellian Apostolate in the area. In particular she is a regular volunteer at Don Guanella Open House Ministry or Mercy-Ministry to homeless wanderers in Cuddalore every Sunday. Noticing her heart for the neglected, her love for the abandoned and her significant service to the poor and needy “The Pen Queen Organization” run by Suriyan FM Radio Group chose and awarded her as “Woman of the Year for Social Service” in Cuddalore. While being honored she happily expressed her joy of being a member of the Guanellian family and mission. She thanked all Guanellians for their charitable guidance in her life.

‘Way of the Cross’

Kumbakonam – “Lent is a time to experience God’s Mercy and a time to extend God’s Mercy to others,” said Pope Francis. During the Lenten season, the Stations of the Cross were animated in substations of Guanella Nagar Parish: Thirupurampiam, Swamimalai, Asoor, Jabamalipuram Chinnamalkallari and Perumpandi. The Precious Blood Fathers were invited to participate in this Holy event. Holy Mass was celebrated after Stations. The people were taken up by the inspiring thoughts, “This is a season of grace all over the world and Lent is a time to renew our relationship with God and neighbor”. Fr. A. John Bosco, the parish priest, thanked him and urged the people to make a good confession during Lent. The liturgy was animated by Fr. Vincent, Bro. Kalaikovan, Srs. Christy and Julie. Parish groups such as Legion of Mary, Guanellian Lay Movement, Parish Council Members, and the parishioners also attended. Tea and snacks were served.

Guanellian Lay Movement Meets

Cuddalore – The GLM members in Cuddalore gathered at Don Guanella Boys Home for their monthly meeting. The meeting began with Eucharistic adoration conducted by Fr. Visuwasam, and a special prayer for the whole congregation and all of the fathers and GLM members was offered. After a short orientation by Fr. Visuwasam, an open sharing took place. The central thread of this sharing was meant to strengthen the local GLM and its charitable activities. Fr. Kanikkairaj shared that the GLM members should feel at home and become ready-made servants of charity to join in the works of charity initiated by the congregation. They must participate with all of their skills, be they spiritual, material or charismatic. The meeting ended with a final prayer.