Kopakka – The Sunday oratory for the children of Koppaka and its surrounding villages began on July 17th. The seminarians organized the program with catechism, singing, games and cultural performances. About 40 children participated, enjoying themselves thoroughly, some even helped other children with disabilities who had come from the nearby villages. At the end they had refreshments before returning home in the afternoon.
May He Rest in Peace
Kopakka – Mr. David Raj, the beloved father of our confrere Fr. Sunil Francis died suddenly on May 26th. The Andhra community organized a memorial mass in his honor on July 21st at Guanella Bhavan. His mother, other siblings, relatives and friends along with neighboring priests, sisters, catechists and GLM members participated and prayed for the repose of his soul and expressed their sentiments of grief and condolences to the family. He was a renowned catechist of the diocese and one of the pioneers of the evangelization among the poor in the diocese of Eluru. All who attended remembered and recollected his faith-filled life and staunch affinity to the church.
Ministry for Children with Disabilities
Kopakka – Guanella Bhavan opened its doors on July 17th for service to children with disabilities. The GLM assisted the community in gathering children with disabilities, their parents and caregivers for the event titled, “Celebrating You and Me,” to pray with them, to socialize with them and to share a meal with them. Fr. Peter Sebastian conscientized attendees on the importance of human dignity and God’s unconditional love. Fr. Superior gave a formal, open invitation and warm welcome to everyone, especially disabled children to feel at home. The seminarians and oratory children helped make this inaugural moment a joyful festivity. Every Sunday the seminarians and confreres will offer this ministry with help from the GLM in the feeding program. May God bless this simple seed and fructify it into a greater charitable activity in the future.
A Budding Friendship
Koppakka – Raju Ashok is one among the new candidates from Andhra Pradesh discerning his vocation to religious life with the Servants of Charity. From the time he entered Guanella Bhavan he befriended Mr. Krupava Rao, an older adult from the neighborhood who comes over daily for food and other assistance. Adults and children would find it very difficult to deal with him because he is hard of hearing. But Raju has been of great help to him and developed a good rapport with him within a few weeks. They sit together at table for lunch and Raju assists him while eating, then he parcels his supper and walks him to the main road while chatting. Raju is the only child of his farming parents and is known for sociability and jovial nature.
Evening School Gathering
Koppakka – The first event of St. Guanella Evening School was held at Guanella Bhavan on August 8th. The Italian volunteers, Olga and Carolina, were the special guests for the function. Though it was raining, around 200 children participated from all the villages; rides were arranged to transport them. The gathering began with a song and welcome address. The children rocked with their colorful performances in singing, dancing and acting. The seminarians also entertained the children with dancing. Olga and Carolina spoke to the children and praised them for their talents and courage. Then notebooks and study materials were distributed to the children and a sumptuous meal was provided for everyone to end the gathering. Fr. Ronald was very helpful in preparing the seminary for the function.
January in Andhra Pradesh
Koppakka – The Month of January is a month of special blessings for all the residents of Guanella Bhavan because of the many important events. The arrival of the aspiring Deacons also brought new life and blessings to our house. They remained from January 4th to 16th as part of their preparation for their Final vows. Their presence created many memories for the house, especially the initiation brothers; the brothers were edified by the way of life of the Deacons. They attended classes on Emotional Maturity by Sr. Jayasheela, JMJ. They all participated in a week-long session on Spiritual orientation by Sr. Sagaya, SSCC.
The 64th Independence Day of India was celebrated on January 26th. The National flag was hoisted and honoring followed by athletic games to celebrate the day in a grand manner.