Bangalore – The seven novices of the Guanella Preethi Nivas community went on a ten-day desert experience under the guidance of Fr. Gnanaraj. They went to the Servarayan Hills, at Sagayapuram in the Thiruvannamali District. It is a desolate mountain top with a substation church. They had a spiritual awakening by spending lot of time in prayer, meditation, discerning their vocation, speaking to God and journeying into one’s own self. It was an atmosphere conducive to listening to the voice of God and to be enlightened to one’s true self. After morning Eucharist and instruction all went into the forest, having no contact with anyone except God in solitude. Fr. Gnanaraj beautifully guided each novice to discern their vocation through fasting, prayer and spiritual direction. Everyone would return in the evening, share their experiences and collectively prepare dinner. They had inexplicable Tabor experiences on that mountain. On the way down the mountain, they visited the Cloister of Poor Clare nuns. Talking to those spiritual giants was awesome and enlightening for the novices at the threshold of their Religious profession.
Chennai – March 19th is celebrated as Saint Joseph’s Day. This year on this special occasion the Don Guanella Major Seminary community invited the Guanellian family to be nourished spiritually and physically. A special Mass was celebrated by superior Fr. Samson along with all the community fathers and brought the blessings of the Lord amidst us. People who are sponsoring the seminarians were invited as special guests for the event. As a sign of gratitude, they were honored for their benevolence to our community and given a memento for their generous contribution to our congregation. Everyone enjoyed a delicious meal and Fr. Samson concluded the day with a final blessing.
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.
Solomon Islands – The feast day of St. Stephen, the first martyr and patron of Sulumoni Christian Community on Kolombangara Island, was celebrated on December 26th. The simple chapel was decorated and the liturgy was well prepared by the community members. The Guanellian Fathers from Noro Parish traveled 45 minutes by the Parish boat on the open sea and celebrated the feast day Mass for about 55 people, 7 families from Sulumoni and 5 families from Nugusu Village participated and received the feast day and Christmas special blessings.
Bangalore – Guanella Preethi Nivas was filled with joy December 5th by the visit of Fr. Joseph Rinaldo, Provincial Treasurer. The occasion was the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood, a delight and festival to all. The whole community took endeavors to solemnize and congratulate him. Children offered their felicitation in the form of flowers, dancing, singing and party games. All gathered to thank God for His mercies to Fr. Joe and his glorious jubilee of 50 years, which is 18,250 days or 438,000 hours. More than this we admired his dedication to the congregation for the growth of our mission in USA which will be historically unforgettable. Fr. Joe was very happy to share his experiences with the Evening school children, giving them encouragement for their futures. At the end children were given sweets and they were sent safely home.
Bangalore – On December 2nd the Guanellians celebrated World Special People’s Day in Bangalore. The celebration began with a solemn Mass celebrated by Most Rev. Bernard Moras, Archbishop of Bangalore and concelebrated by many priests. World Special People’s Day is one of the biggest and most awaited events celebrated every year at Guanella Preethi Nivas. About 2000 people, including 1,350 good children from 40 institutes around Bangalore participated and the rest were our benefactors, friends, Guanellian Cooperators and GLM members. For the past 11 years the Guanellians used this day to teach and exhibit to everyone how to accept, love and celebrate the gifts of these beloved children of God and how they are favorable to God. They were the heroes and heroines of the day. This year 190 volunteers worked selflessly for the success of this event and they are deeply touched by our mission. Guanellian Lay Movement members were happy to collaborate closely for the success of this event and set a good example for all attendees. The good children gave beautiful performances, they were entertained, honored, fed with nutritious food and given gifts. The Archbishop congratulated and thanked the Guanellians for their marvelous service to the deserving children of God.
Bangalore – The elderly of the aged home organized a novena for the Nativity of Mother Mary with intention of praying for the construction of a new facility. Every day as a family they gathered, recited the Rosary and offered special prayers for the same intention. Some of the lay cooperators also participated. At the culmination, the feast was celebrated on September 9th. Mother Mary processed around the campus in a decorated car, blessed by Fr. Soosai Rathinam, Provincial Superior. It was vivifying to see the Guanellian family walking along with Mary, praying the Rosary. As recommended by Pope Francis, they also prayed for peace in the world, especially in Syria. The procession ended at the chapel for Benediction, in which all received the blessings of the Lord. The elderly continue to pray for the dying in the Wednesday Mass and during the daily Rosary. Prayer intentions are welcome.