Cuddalore – The 6th Annual Guanellian Lay Movement Meeting was January 20th-21st. This two-day program allowed office bearers and the delegated members from Andra, Bangalore, Chennai and Cuddalore to gather with great enthusiasm. It was a wonderful journey for the laity to experience and share the Guanellian spirit. Fr. Visuvasam, Provincial Delegate and local Superior, welcomed the group reminding them of the words of Pope Francis about the participation of the Laity and how our Founder encouraged the participation of the Laity in the mission. He spoke of the Guanellian Charism, “Paternity of God,” encouraging the laity to live their vocation, carry their cross and walk the Calvary with Christ as the focus. Fr. Rosario gave the next talk. He spoke of Christian Virtues, quoting from the Bible how Christ Himself showed trust in Abba Father by praying in silence before doing anything. Without God at the center we are only doing social service. We must spend time in prayer to gain strength to do God’s will. In prayer God will reveal and inspire us with a plan, show us the method to execute and fulfill His will.
The second day began with Adoration and Holy Mass. Fr. Francis gave the first talk, speaking about the three Virtues taught by our Founder. He said when we allow evil to be the sower the harvest will be pride, greed and lust. Whereas, when we allow God to be the sower the harvest will be humility, poverty and mortification through which we can overcome evil and do great good. A Guanellian Cooperator shared her journey from being a benefactor, GLM member and finally a Cooperator. Her experience inspired the members and helped them to understand how they too can become Guanellian Cooperators. The members’ spirits were strengthened and renewed to continue their good work.
Thalavadi – We are indeed happy to say that our ministry in Nazareth Illam is edifying many government officials of the Erode District especially Mr. Prabhakaran, Erode Collector. They have a good consensus of our mission. On November 27th Mr. Eshwaran, MLA of Bhavani Sagar and General Secretary of KMDK visited our home. All the residents cordially welcomed him at the entrance gate with a shawl and flower bouquet. He thanked them and also took time to chat with them. We, as a community, officially wrote a letter requesting a stipend every month and for a wall for our campus, since there are no safety measures. He promised that he’ll do his best to meet the needs of our mission. Mr. Kumar, DDRWO, also visited with his team. They met with the residents and enquired about the mission. The residents were so happy to welcome them and perform dancing and singing. The officials were so pleased to see our approach with the patients. Mr. Kumar then went through all the records, signing them with high remarks.
Cuddalore – On the occasion of the celebration of the Golden Ordination Anniversary of Fr. Joseph Rinaldo, he officially released the new Tamil Bible Diary 2018 edited by the Guanella Communication Centre. The First copy was given to Fr. Alfonso Crippa, Superior General. Copies were also given to Fr. Gustavo De Bonis, General Secretary; Fr. Soosai Rathinam, Provincial Superior; and Sr. Victoria, Delegate Superior. To thank all those who contributed to the book, Fr. Arockia Raj, editor, honored the reflection writers with a shield.
Cuddalore – On November 24th the Silver Jubilee of the Guanellian presence in India and Priestly Golden jubilee of Fr. Joe started with decorations, rangoli, songs, and programs at St. Joseph’s Seminary. After the conclusion of the Provincial Chapter the celebration began with Holy Mass presided over by Fr. Joseph Rinaldo, as thanksgiving to God for all that we received in these years of mission, years of grace and fraternal love among us and with all the people he has met. After Mass everyone gathered in the auditorium where Fr. Joe cut and served the anniversary cake. A cultural program dedicated to the Golden Jubilarian was performed and Fr. Soosai Rathinam recounted the history of St. Joseph’s Seminary and the pioneers to India. The celebration ended with the thanksgiving note of Fr. Visuwasam, Superior of the Cuddalore community.
Thalavadi – Nazareth Illam inspires people to come forward and show their love toward the needy. People from Sathy, Erode and other districts all the way come climbing the mountain to visit our home. Justice Selvam, Division Court Judge Sathy, and some of the lawyers visited our home. He and his team met the residents and spoke to them. The residents welcomed them with joy and danced and sang for them. The whole team was glad to see firsthand the mission and the work we do. Justice Selvam in his talk said, “If you take medicine without fail and eat well, you’ll be cured. Listen to the priests and obey the staff.” After a while they served snacks to all the residents, who enjoyed the snacks and thanked the officials.
We are sending you, interested readers of our large Province the latest news. World Church at Freiburg has decided to give financial support of the theology students in India and Philippines. Dr. P. Birkhofer was personally approached by Fr. Luigi during our courtesy visit on September 19th. On behalf of the Diocese of Freiburg, Dr. Birkhofer has issued a letter announcing the award of 24,000 € to support our students.
The second good news is the Media conference which was held on November 28th at the local office of Caritas at Pforzheim. The reporters detailed the project in the Solomon Islands which has been given full support by Director Lemke. Director, Johannes Frank Lemke is a good friend of the Guanellians and a personal friend of mine since I was the active social assistant at Caritas from 1966-69. Caritas is accepting donations from interested parties on behalf of the Servants of Charity for a community center in Noro, New Georgia that will provide basic services to the local people of the Solomon Islands. It is estimated that the first phase of this project can be completed with 20,000 €.
The brochure from Caritas illustrates the top corners of a true neighbor’s tender love and their commitment to serving those most in need.
Pray with me to the Lord for a positive outcome of our present intensive efforts.
During Advent let us focus our intentions for a good and coordinated development of Guanellian intensive engagement in neighboring European countries such as France and Great Britain.
Gero Lombardo, German Guanellian Procure
Cuddalore – To make the feast of St. Louis Guanella a remarkable one and on account of the silver jubilee year of the Guanellian presence in Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu, India, St. Joseph’s Seminary was pleased to enthrone a beautiful and sanctimonious statue in the campus on October 25th. The statue was blessed and enthroned by local community superior Fr. Visuwasam, SdC. Fr. Francis Assisi, SdC, Rector of the seminary, thanked and acknowledged all those who provided the means and blessings to actualize the project. In a special way he thanked Mr. John Bosco and his family from Velikoonankurichy, the sole sponsor of the statue. A solemn Mass was celebrated and fraternal Agape shared. Giving ‘Bread and the Lord’ in the footsteps of St. Louis Guanella was accomplished.
Cuddalore – St. Joseph’s Seminary, the formation house for Aspirants, organized the ‘Annual Parents Meet’ for the current scholastic year on October 24th. Since it was the feast day celebration of our holy Founder, it was more pertinent for the young scholastics to make their personal and collective assessment of their initial formation with the parents and formators. The day began with a prayer service and Eucharistic Adoration. There was a conference by the Rector, Holy Mass and time for personal dialogue with the parents and seminarians. This particular program for the students helped them to make a triple examination of their formation through retrospection, introspection and prospection. Their parents realized that family is the first place of priestly formation; and spiritual parenting is the very basic phase for human, Christian, religious and apostolic progression. Everyone in the program was content and happy.
Chennai – After the flag Hoisting, the Don Guanella Major Seminary community organized a novena and prayed for the intercession of the Holy Founder each day. The confreres gave a reflection each day on different topics. On the 21st the evening school children participated in the novena. Fr. A. C. Periyanayagam shared his reflection on the Founder. On the 22nd, GYM and GLM celebrated the novena with a special prayer service and adoration followed by dinner with the community. October 24th was the grand celebration of the feast. The religious from the area, GLM, GYM gathered for the Eucharistic Celebration celebrated by Fr. Soosai Rathinam, Provincial Superior. Fr. Tony, who has been ministering in the Solomon Islands, gave testimony of his experience there. The novena closed with dinner in the name of St. Louis Guanella.
Chennai – On October 11th the DGMS Campus celebrated the birthday of Fr. S.A Lourduraj, director of Don Guanella Special School. In the morning he was greeted by the good children and their teachers with prayers and gifts. The school put on a cultural program wishing him well and praying for his ministry. In the evening, he celebrated Mass with the community as a thanksgiving offering for the gift of his life and for Providence in his life. He also prayed for the congregation, the community and its welfare. The birthday celebration continued with a special program by the community. Fr. Lourduraj cut the birthday cake. Bro. Kumar felicitated him with poetic words on behalf of the community and the superior acknowledged him in a special way. With a delicious dinner and thanks from Fr. Lourduraj, the celebration came to an end.