Koppaka – On July 17th, there was a Holy Spirit Mass at the Minor Seminary, Guanella Bhavan. It was the official inauguration of the academic year for the Seminary. Fr. Ronald was the main celebrant for Mass. There are twenty students from four different States: Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Karnataka and Andhra. Fr. Ronald insisted the candidates be happy and obey the formator with love. It will help them to discern their vocation. Every student likes to eat, play, and watch TV; but they must also cultivate love for prayers, study and work which are the key elements in seminary formation. May the Holy Spirit guide the seminarians throughout this year.
Kopakka – Religious life is a journey towards holiness and every dimension is an important tool to reach the threshold. Having this significance and to make all the dimensions holistically sound, the Divine Providence Province began the ‘Tutelage Program – an ongoing formation’ for the first five years of the priesthood. The Tutelage Program is under the guidance of Fr. Soosai Rathinam, Provincial Superior. Sixteen priests participated this year at Guanella Bhavan, Andhra Pradesh with the theme “Rekindling the Divine Gift for an Eternal Sanctification”. The five-fold mercy of Jesus was stressed and challenges and crisis in priestly life were well addressed by Most Rev. Dr. Jaya Rao, Bishop of Eluru; Rev. Fr. Matthew, OCD and Rev. Fr. Inje Paul. The program ended with a pilgrimage to Our Lady of Gunadhala Shrine.
Koppaka – Guanella Bhavan (Minor Seminary) is winding up its formation program for the 2015-2016 scholastic year as summer vacation approaches. The entire family gives thanks to the Lord for the many blessings the Lord has showered upon the students throughout the year. The seminary fondly remembers with thankfulness the support of the Provincial and his team and the benefactors for their generosity. Special gratitude goes to the Superior, Fr. Peter Sebastian, and the entire community for their guidance and cooperation. The seminary holds in great esteem the domestic staff, parents of the seminarians and the entire resource team who nurtured them. The seminarians truly invested their time and energy into discerning their vocation while improving their basic life skills and human qualities. They went through a well tailored formative program with freedom and responsibility and tried their best to grow in various dimensions of human life.
Koppaka – The Annual Day celebration of St. Guanella Evening School was held at Guanella Bhavan March 19th. At least 200 children from 6 villages participated. The function began with a prayer song followed by cultural items performed by children from the different tuition centers. Fr. Peter Sebastian, Superior of the community, gave lunch boxes to the children as an annual gift and he delivered the presidential address. He thanked the animator, teachers and the children, encouraging them to make use of the opportunities that come up in their lives. Fr. Shantham thanked everyone, bringing the function to an end. Snacks and sweets were provided to all the children.
Koppaka – On November 21st, the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary was commemorated in a very humble but meaningful way at Guanella Bhavan. Some of the seminarians made decorations from coconut branches for the Marian photo on the lawn. Students were seated before her image to recite each decade of the Rosary in five different languages and to sing Marian Hymns. The seminarians took part with great devotion and offered the decades for various intentions.
Vatluru – The Guanellian Lay Movement functions as two groups in Andhra Pradesh: one in Vatluru and the other in Koppaka. Each began their first charitable activity by providing a meal to the abandoned elderly people in Vatluru and organizing a seminar day for the school children in Kopaka respectively. On March 8th, the members from both the groups gathered in Koppaka for a day of recollection learning the spirituality of the founder, St. Louis Guanella, and praying together.
Koppaka – The local GLM, which now boasts 10 members, organized a day long motivational and computer class for poor students from the Koppaka area. Nearly 150 children from 4th to 10th Std attended the class. Mr. Sharad, Director of Data Pro Computer Center, voluntarily organized the talks using new technology. It turned out to be a blessing especially for the children from rural backgrounds. Afternoon meals were provided and party games and other activities were organized. The day came to an end by thanking the Lord for the showers of blessings by celebrating Mass.
Andhra – During the Dasara holidays a picnic was planned for all the evening school children of Sacred Heart Church. On Friday, October 3rd the children gathered at Guanella Bhavan in Kopaka to depart for the Shrine of our Lady in Samaldeev, located on the shore of the Bay of Bengal. The priest and seminarians led the 141 member group in prayer to Mother Mary upon arrival at the shrine. The group ate lunch before heading to the sea shore for a swim. Though there were many small children, everyone got home safely with the help of God and the protection of Mother Mary.
Vatluru – The feast of Our Lady of Velankanni was celebrated in a grand manner in the village of Koppaka on September 8th, the birthday of the Blessed Mother. As a spiritual preparation for the feast, a charismatic prayer service and the sacrament of reconciliation were offered beforehand and the faithful partook in them faithfully. A large number gathered to honor Mother Mary on the Feast beginning with a procession in the morning and followed by Mass celebrated by Fr. Shantham. Fr. Peter Sebastian, local superior, and other confreres joined the celebration. After Mass the fathers and local political leaders were honored. A festive meal was shared by more than 2000 people.
Koppaka– The Vatluru community celebrated the feast of our Founder St. Louis Guanella for the first time at Guanella Bhavan, the Minor Seminary in Andhra Pradesh. The festive Holy mass was celebrated by Most Rev. Mathew Cheriankunnel, PIME. The first anniversary of the canonization of our founder was a landmark in the history of the local. Priests and women religious from in and around the city of Eluru attended, and the Legion of Mary from the parish took a leading role in the Feast. The most special guests were the children of Guanella Oratory. About 500 people participated in the Holy Eucharist and received the blessing of St. Guanella on the gracious occasion. After the Holy Mass the young, energetic seminarians portrayed the life St. Guanella through a 40 minute skit. Everyone enjoyed learning about his life in that art form. A festive meal was served to end the joyful, educational celebration.