Through the generosity of St. Joseph Mercy Hospital-Chelsea and the local community, St. Louis Center held its 31st Annual Fall Dinner Auction on Saturday, November 10, 2018. It was a true night of giving, as many special presentations were made to support the children and adults who call St. Louis Center their home. As the […]
Bangalore – Don Guanella Oratory children went on an educational tour on October 28th. These slum children were so excited to go on a tour; they boarded the bus smiling. The first stop was “HAL Aerospace museum”. The guide explained to the children about the growth and achievements of the institute, “Hindustan Aeronautic Limited” which began in 1940. She passionately shared how it has supplied the nation with many defense planes, helicopters and machinery. The children learned about the evolution of flight and they received knowledge and pride. The audio visual about how each flight served the nation in various ages and sectors was inspirational and exciting. The next stop was to see for themselves the different types of flights and helicopters. Next they visited “Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium”. The children were thrilled and excited by the galaxies of stars in 3D vision. They learned many things about the galaxy and planet earth. After lunch they were taken to the Aquarium, where varieties of fish were kept for admiration and knowledge. The last stop was for free rides for the children at Cubbon Park. Being fully exhausted from the games, rides and the tour which ended at dusk, they returned cherishing evening snacks while dancing playfully on the bus. We give thanks to God the Almighty for this wonderful outing.
Grass Lake– Since Fr. Satheesh has been installed as pastor at a Diocesan parish, Fr. Leo Joseph has been named chaplain of Huron Valley Catholic School in his place. Fr. Leo has quickly found favor with parents and students alike. He can often be seen interacting with the students and helping them with their work. In October the preschoolers were learning about color mixing. Fr. Leo dipped his hand in blue paint and a student in red. They high-fived and then stamped their hands on paper to see the results. Fr. Leo had just as much fun as the children.
Vatluru – The rich who are financially sound with generous hearts can contribute materially to the poor but not someone who is alone and working with minimum pay. “Charity begins at home,” is an old saying with a deep meaning. Yes, charity began in her heart, she who has no one, an unknown lady without any selfish motives approached our institute willing to contribute her savings to buy clothes for all the boys. She brought all the boys to the garment shop, allowed them to choose with discretion and shared her joy with them. On October 24th, the feast of our Founder, she also offered a dinner at her expense. She expressed that she felt at home, as if she was buying clothes for her own children. The words of Jesus come to mind, “I tell you the truth,” He said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others,” Lk 21,4.
Bangalore – The Guanella Preethi Nivas community and the parishioners began the Novena by hoisting the flag on October 14th. The inspiring words of our Founder were displayed everywhere. The Novena was conducted by the Philosophy students with great excitement. One day of the Novena was led by the Guanellian Sisters; one day the Cooperators and GLM members conducted the Novena. It was great to see how each one made efforts to make each day a different experience. The parishioners lit candles and wrote down their petitions. Everyone prayed together for these intentions.
On October 21st GPN celebrated the Feast of St. Guanella with a solemn Mass at the Tent of Love on the quote of our Founder, “It is better to be poor than to be a sinner”. Parishioners, benefactors, beneficiaries, Guanellian Fathers, Brothers, Sisters, Cooperators, GLM Members and religious from other congregations participated in the Mass. Fr. Peter Sebastian was the main celebrant and Fr. Adaikalam preached the Homily. The virtues that our Founder practiced were expressed in a simple way that attracted many. The Celebration concluded by processing to the flag with lit candles and hearts aflame. Fr. Ligori lowered the flag and blessed everyone with a Relic of St. Guanella. The community was thankful for celebrating the Feast with so many faithful.
CHELSEA – The Servants of Charity Community in Michigan was honored to host our Superior General, Very Rev. Umberto Brugnoni and his assistant Bro. Franco Lain, for a five-day visit from Friday, October 19th through Wednesday, October 24th. The purpose of the visit was to provide the new leader of the Servants of Charity with an opportunity to visit St. Louis Center in Chelsea and the Pious Union of St. Joseph in Grass Lake, and to assess the operations of each program and visit their new facilities. Fr. Umberto and Bro. Franco were relaxed and comfortable during their stay, and enjoyed the opportunity to visit their confreres in the United States.
Bangalore – This year was the first time in the history of the Guanella Preethi Nivas community that children prepared and celebrated World Senior Citizens’ Day in a grand manner. The Senior Citizens were the shining stars of the program, well-dressed and full of smiles, as always, accompanied by the young like their grandchildren. They enjoyed singing and dancing with the children. The children also shared their love by giving flowers and performing dances, speeches and songs for them. Fr. Adaikalam addressed the gathering, speaking about the importance of the day, being grateful to the elders and honoring them for all their life sacrifices and loving gestures. It was truly heartwarming for senior citizens experiencing the love of these eighty angelic kids. The program ended with open dance and giving snacks to the children.
Krishnaperi – God is so gracious and showers His blessings to those who trust in Him, His arms protect us and His light leads us. The Divine Providence Province bore one more child according to God’s plan. The wing of Divine Providence grows larger and larger. Jesus says, in My Father’s home there are many rooms for the people likewise, there is room for everyone in the Servants of Charity especially for the special ones, God’s good children and the orphans. Jesus takes the children and says unless you become little children you cannot enter the kingdom of God. Don’t stop them; let the children come to Me. These words remind us to live a life pure in heart, a life of holiness. For these small ones a new community was installed at Krishnaperi.
On July 15, 2015 the Guanellians landed in Sivakasi, which belongs to the Archdiocese of Madurai, with the permission of Archbishop Antony Pappusamy, DD., STD. On that auspicious day the residence emerged with the help of Fr. S. Periyanayaga Samy, Fr. Vellington in a ceremony blessed by former Provincial Fr. Soosai Rathinam. After three years, St. Paul’s Boys Home, the mission of Sivakasi took shape. On October 6th, new Provincial Fr. J. Ronald installed the community in a Holy Eucharistic celebration. During Mass, as is the tradition of our congregation, the new superior, Fr. S. Periyanayaga Samy, made a profession of faith. Father provincial assigned a new obedience to the fathers. Fr. S. Periyanayaga Samy is Superior of the community and Parish Priest of Krishnaperi mission. Fr. J. David is 1st Councilor and vice superior, administrator and director of the boys home. Fr. A. Arockia Vanathaiyan is councilor, assistant director of the boys home and assistant parish priest in Krishnaperi. Let us support the new community with your powerful prayer.
“Holiness is one of the most beautiful gifts a human heart can offer to God.” – Mother Teresa. We know well that life is a precious gift of God to all of us and what we make out of our lives is our gift to God in return. I was told that in the culture of the United States as also of India, when you go to visit a family, never go with an empty hand. I wonder what gift we need to carry when we go to our eternal home (heaven) to our Father. We know well that we cannot carry anything but our pure soul and the good things we did here on earth. We fatigue a lot to earn so many things just to leave them to others as the proverb says “When he dies he will carry nothing away” (49;17). Each one must now reflect what gift we will be carrying to our Father once we are done with our pilgrimage here on earth. What good do we possess or cultivate? Humility? Forgiveness? Patience? Love? Charity? Kindness? Sharing with the needy? Endurance in suffering? What is the gift that I will present to God?
We begin this month remembering and honoring our ancestors who lived before us and returned to the Father. November 1st, we honor All Saints and November 2nd, we commemorate All the Faithful Departed. St. Bernard says the lives of the saints assure us that holiness is possible, they teach us by their lives and their writing how to serve God, and they can intercede for us when we need God’s help. Honoring the saints and millions of others who have tried to live a good and holy life, including those who have fallen along the way, but who have gotten up and kept on going. Saints are people who lived their lives according to the design of God and helped others also live their lives well. When we live our life fully and help others as to live well, then we become holy ones in the eyes of God.
Live: Whether we know it or not, we all have a vision for our lives. We all have a philosophy that sets out how we want to live and what we want to accomplish. It’s this vision that guides many of our decisions and actions. At the heart of our vision is the desire to do what makes us happy. As we mature, our vision gets refined and sharpened. It also becomes increasingly selfless. Our life is not just made of what this world has to offer us. Remember that we are the children of God and that heaven is our true home. We need to tell ourselves that we are more than our job, our skills, our wealth or education. We are precious to God and He delights in us. This is the call to live our life fully, meaningfully and joyfully.
Let Live: As we journey on earth God is asking us to love our neighbor as a commandment. God asks us to take the risk for the sake of His people. Our Founder, St. Louis Guanella, and Mother Theresa didn’t try to solve all of the world’s problems: they simply lived their life in radical service and love of their neighbor. Hindus, Muslims, and Christians alike saw in them a role model. They invite us to let others live with a simple program of life, “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier. At the end of life, we are going to be judged on the basis of our love for one another.” Fr. Guanella invites his followers to attain holiness with this simple program of life, “in doing our daily duties with love, we embrace holiness.” I would like to quote a passage from The Imitation of Christ. “How many people will remember you and pray for you once you are dead? So do all you can now, for you do not know when you will die or what you will face after death. Gain merit for eternity now while there is time and concern yourself only with your eternal salvation.” (Ch. 23; 8).
The month of November for the Catholic Church is special because the militant church commemorates its relationship with the triumphant church and the penitent church through the celebration of All Saints Day and All Souls Day. These two celebrations remind us of the temporality and the eternity of human existence. In other words they reiterate our fundamental vocation as Christians to become holy or saintly. Be perfect as your heavenly father is perfect. (Mt 5,48)
This month gives us, Guanellians additional privilege and joy since we celebrate the feast of the mother of Divine Providence. It is very evident from the life of our founder that the concept of Divine Providence was very close to his heart that he named his autobiography The Ways of Providence, that he named the first institution House of Divine Providence, that he called the bulletin of that house The Divine Providence and named the sisters the Daughters of St. Mary of Providence.
In general Divine Providence would mean that God governs and directs everything and therefore the entire universe is under His control. Moreover even when things go wrong, he can straighten up the crooked designs of human beings (Saul becoming Paul, the story of Joseph in the Old Testament) and produce good out of the bad which human minds design. Personally one can think of Divine Providence in terms of his existence, his family, his education and well-being etc.
Our founder does not stop with this idea of Divine Providence as God’s intervention in one’s life. He moves further to assert that human cooperation is a must to avail this gift: “It is God who does; we are only instruments in the hands of God”. He recommended his followers to merit Divine Providence through trust, work and sacrifice. For example, he was fully convinced that Divine Providence and poverty go hand in hand: “if you want to weaken the institution, let it become rich, to live in much poverty and to entrust ourselves completely to Divine Providence is a virtue of high perfection”. Divine Providence means human charity too: when the fortunate helps the unfortunate, the haves hold up the have-nots, when the healthy accompany the crippled.
Providence does not mean looking at the roof and waiting for some treasure from nowhere, it is doing what one can in his concrete situation: “If a man limits himself to be a zero, he is nothing and will never do anything. If instead he tries to be something, he does whatever he can, he becomes a positive reality, after all he has only to ask Providence to add one zero, two zeros, three zeros to his small number and immediately the small things become large”. As members of the Divine Providence Province with a lot of energy and enthusiasm, youthfulness and vitality, let us inculcate this teaching and exhortation of our founder in our minds and hearts: you try to provide first with what you are, what you have and God will do miracles.
I wish you fruitful celebration of the feast of the Mother of Divine Providence. On behalf of the province I extend my sincere wishes and prayers to our Guanellian sisters as they bear this name. I make this special plea for your ardent prayers (both common and personal) for the good health of our confrere Rev. Fr. Bala Yesu who is under treatment.
Fr. Ronald J, SdC