The Winning Route on the Road-map of Charity

Fr. Guanella had a well focused dream when he decided to, “Go North,” adapting his feeling compass to a genial intuition during the Int. Marian Congress at Treviri, a part of the former Roman Province. At a very crowded assembly in the Cathedral of St. Helena, he implored the Forum to help his charitable work, which by August 1912 was quite established. In his prophetic allocution he was begging for ‘small streams of charity’ for his daughters and sons at his Italian and Swiss institutions from Germany. We believe that he intended to give this message and roadmap to a flock of former Sicilian alumni first. After a century, this has become a tangible reality through God’s Providence: his sons carrying out his dream!
After ten years of baby steps, Guanellians have made giant progress in weaving a blessed net of benefactors among the generous Catholic solidarity agencies. The Guanellian Procure was diligent in seeking and finding ‘busy bees’ at Catholic Missio agencies, first at Aachen in 2008. The present Salesian General Treasurer, Bro. Jean Paul Muller, introduced us and mediated the first donation of a mini-bus for Fr. Frantellizzi Hogar at Ciudad DF, Mexico. Convinced by this successful trial, the DPP Provincial Council courageously established the Missions Procure in March 2009. The strong insistence of Fr. Mimi from Manila and a ‘good word’ of Fr Joseph Rinaldo at the General Council in Rome made the rest possible.

Msgr. Wolfgang Huber
Heidrun Gottler
Stephanie Schuller

This is a real charity Telenovela! Now after the first decade, it is time to thank Divine Providence which continuously opens doors and incredible possibilities for all projects presented to the Procure from the Guanellian provinces. The most generous Institution in fundraising is Missio Munich supported by Bavarian Catholics of the Archdiocese of Munich. To their President, Msgr. Wolfgang Huber, and his amazing assistants, Mrs. Heidrun Göttler and Stephanie Schüller, goes our deepest gratitude. Since 2009, Missio Munich financed the construction of the new, modern Fr. Guanella Disabled Center in Quezon City; and later, the well-equipped physiotherapy wing.

Msgr. Thomas Schlichtig

Recently, after an intensive search of donors, Msgr. Thomas Schlichtig of the Awarding commission in the Munich Archdiocese, accepted the challenge of Missio to create a great stock of life-saving medicine for the Guanellian ‘Good Samaritan Pharmacy!’ To him, his archdiocese, the Missio staff and to all Bavarian donors, “Vergelt’s Gott!” which means Blessings will remunerate your generosity.
We also convey our sincere thanks to Missio at Aachen, which in the past 10 years has been an attentive partner for our presence in Legazpi with five nutrition programs, physiotherapy of special children. They also pioneered support in many Guanellian Projects in Central Africa. In 2014-15 a new ambulance for transporting children, AIDs sufferers, and the poor from the infernal streets of Kinshasa, RD Congo, through a 24-hour daily service was purchased and Bro. Mauro can fill their listening hears and open hearts. Thanks also to Mrs. Beate Jantzen for projects within Kinshsa and Mrs. Elaine Steiner for supporting the projects of Fr. Battista Omodei at Legapzi Philippines.
This story contains an encouraging message to our confreres in Africa and Asia to be confident that every request, every small project, has for us absolute priority! This is our vocation and commitment, to be the ‘third child in the Guanellian family!’ We do not baptize, nor confess, nor preach, but all our mental resources and ‘savoir faire’ are in service to the poor, because they reflect the image of God on Earth!
May the Sacred Heart of Jesus bless all our donors, supporters and friends of our Procure for remaining beside us as bridges to the German charity sources.
Gero Lombardo, German Guanellian Procure

German Guanellians as Solidarity Globetrotters

During the Marian Month of May both Guanellian entities in the Black Forest have been very active.
Fr. Rocky accompanied a group of Italian pilgrims to Fatima. Fr. Wieslaw went for the annual pilgrimage to Our Lady of Lourdes. Confreres of the Italian Mission have been busy preparing children for First Communion, Confirmation, and Marriage. On June 2nd subsidiary Bishop Gerber will celebrate the confirmation of many youth of our district. Guanellian Alumni of Naro are organizing a solemn feast and procession of St. Calogero, patron of Naro, through the streets of Pforzheim mid-June.
The other half of the Procura has been busy raising funds and refreshing contacts with our best donors: Missio, Munich; Kindermission, Aachen; the Bishop’s office, Freiburg; and the charitable nuns of the Pious Union in the Black Forest.
New projects from the Philippines have been submitted and partially funded. The Good Samaritan Pharmacy has received sufficient donations to purchase life-saving medicine for a long time. The astonishing thing is that even agnostic friends of Guanella Works have opened their pockets. New sources of charity have become members of the GLM, increasing the circle among professional and influential pesonalities from the Italian community.
We are following the development of missions in West Africa, encouraging confreres to send well documented projects for submission to agencies in Germany. As The most recent in Africa is the Guanellian shelter in Mbeya, West Tanzania. There is an urgent need of sufficient drinking water for the disabled communities as well as for the neighboring Christian villages.We’ll apply for support at Missio, Munich. We are closely connected since we ‘adopted’ a young boy, whom Fr. Furaha has given my first name. Little Gero is a sunny disabled boy, who has become in Germany the symbol of Guanellian loving attention toward God’s neglected children in Africa and beyond.
The last coordinated activity is with the German Pious Union and the establishment of a branch of the St. Josef Confraternity in Indore/Madhya Pradesh. Mother General Simone has obtained approval of Bishop Chacko Thottumarical, the local bishop. The German Procure plans to submit the project to the Pious Union in Rome for Canonical approval. We hope that this will foster practical cooperation among Guanellians with the efforts of the Daughters of St. Josef in South India to increase the veneration of the Holy Patriarch, great St. Josef, and promote the blessed apostolate for the salvation of the suffering and dying around the world. This brillant inspiration of our Founder should become an imperative act of all Guanellians practicing his maxim, “The worry for the dying of this day is an important duty of true Christian love toward our neighbor.”
May the Holy Spirit this Pentecost inflame our hearts and turn our thoughts to be attentive to the poor.
Gero Lombardo, German Guanellian Procure

German Antenna Broadcasts

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Pforzheim – The beginning of a new year full of dreams and hope obliges us to reflect upon the past 12 months and the cold experiences of a troubled world. But between the ashes of our dreams and memories, every day it rains new wishes and graces as a timid attempt to exorcize the days to come as an impulse to retake our walk along old itineraries always listening to the new growing seeds, which grow up without rumors. This suggests a Poet! We have dreamed and listened to what other religious orders do in our country, what is the aptitude and response of the conscience of the German Catholics towards increasing poverty, naked desperation, the destruction of families, and the total disorientation of an entire generation. These are the facts. We have learned what the others do and we tried to imitate their decisions. The motto for 2015 is, “Be a carrier of faith, but first become yourselves a personification of God’s blessing and loving Fatherhood.” This message of Kindermission – Aachen was mobilized on January 6th to more than 75,000 young boys and girls, who traveled thousands of streets in our cities and villages; begging financial support for the poor, sick, and disabled children around the world. Every year their carols in front of each building touch the hearts of believers and non-believers alike; each small coin helping to carry out prestigious projects, like ours in Legapzi, Manila, Congo and India.
Our structure at Legapzi was selected as the best developed project in the Philippines, with support from the Stern Singers and the help of Mrs. Steiner of Aachen for 3 long years! An interesting article was written by the Kutsch Family reporters of Aachen, who had visited Sagrada Familia in 2013. The news appeared in the local press on January 5, 2015. Fr. Battista Omodei, with one of his special pupils, is happy and his smile speaks for itself! Mrs. and Mr. Kutsch also organized a private Charity Gala and collected 5000 Euros for the a.m. Sagrada Famila at Legapzi.
Following this appreciation we have proposed to Mrs. Beate Jantzen to select both our projects in RD Congo for 2016. There, Kindermission has donated a brand new ambulance for the Lemba Mission which collects Aids patients, street stranded and abandoned youth 24 hours/day.
Now we await the authorization from the Bishop’s Office at Freiburg in order to continue our activity as agreed “Mission Procura.” The General Council has already appointed our entity as an integral part of the missionary Guanellian work in Germany in favor of our missions around the Guanellian provinces.
Therefore during Lent let us pray, “Indue me Dominen, novum hominem.”
O Lord make of me a new charitable person!

Gero Lombardo,  German Guanellian Procura

Canonical Visit to 21st Daugther of Guanellian Family

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Pforzheim – It all began on December 19, 1842 in Fraciscio, cradle of the Guanellian family and root of the charitable charism.The tiny town at the Swiss-Italian border crowned with the majestic Alps, has become the homeland of the many sons of St. Louis Guanella, light to generations of Servants of Charity and Daugthers of St.Mary of Providence. Now, after 100 years since his visit to Treviri/German Palatinate, the charism has also arrived with God’s grace to Pforzheim. Just days before celebrating St. Louis Guanella’s birthday, the German entities MCI confreres Frs. Wieslaw and Rocky, Inge and Gero, the Procura founders, were pleased and honored to receive the first canonical visit by Fr. Alfonso Crippa, Superior General, and his councilor Fr. Luigi De Giambattista. In a casual atmosphere they met some of the Italians at Pforzheim, Bretten. A fraternal agape was offered in honor of our friend Dean Bernard Ihle on December 13. The previous day Vice-Dean, Dr. Johannes Mette, parish priest of St. Antony Church, met our Superiors. During holy Mass on December 14, Fr. Alfonso explained to the Italian faithful the essence of the Guanellian charism and thanked the lively alumnus of the Sicilian boarding school in Naro, who has held the torch of the Guanellian flame high in this hospitable country since 1962.
They praised the enormous and involved pastoral work of the confreres who will begin to help German parish priests in vacant pastoral sites around our vicariate. In January, Fr. Rocky will celebrate Holy Mass at our parish church, St. Alexander, Tifenbronn. Fr. Alfonso and Fr. Luigi have re-confirmed their decision to officially incorporate our Procura to the General House of Rome. Therefore we invite all confreres in Latin America, Africa,and Asia to contact us and send their projects, because with the Procura’s new status, we will approach all solidarity agencies at Munich, Aachen and Cologne, who, for 5 years, have been supporting Guanellian projects from Mexico to Kinshasa, Manila, Cuddalore and Saigon.
With enthusiastic praise of our Procura for having mediated the arrival of two Guanellians to the Diocese of Frieburg and for the intensive activities of our confreres during their first year of mission among Italian, Polish immigrants, the local vicariate priests sent a personal letter of thanksgiving to our new archbishop, Stefan Burger. Both Fr. Wieslaw and Arokiadoss have done a good job and have won the sympathy of their parishioners.
We have now the chance to submit the request for the minibus needed at Sivagangai to our friends Mrs. Heidrun and Stephanie of Missio-Munich. Patriarch Gregory III sent a sorrowful appeal for the 3 million Melchite Catholics in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Palistine asking our Procura to mediate funds for the destroyed hospital of Damas and for Catholic refugees in Jordan and Turkey. With friend organizations in our state, Baden-Württemberg, and the Archdiocese of Freiburg we’ll do our utmost to collect donations from Christian hospitals. Through this German relief association many 40 “Containers have been sent to Lattakia/Syria. Medical equipment and furniture has been donated by the Daugthers of St. Josef from  St.Trudpert Hospital, which is related to the German Pious Union.
2015 is the Year of Consecrated Life. May the Lord through the intercession of our Patroness, Our Lady of Divine Providence, and our Founder send many more “arms, minds and hearts burning with charity” to His vineyard because as Jesus pointed out to His apostles, “Pray because the harvest is quite big, but the laborers are few!
Oramus fratres, ut operatores pacis et amoris ad acerem suum veniant! Brothers let us pray the Lord to call more workers to His vineyard of peace and love. May the new year be a year of peace, love and charity!
Gero Lombardo,  German Guanellian Procura

Guanellians in Germany Discover Christmas Traditions

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Pforzheim – The weather has become really chilly, but the squares of our adoptive town are decorated with many splendid arches. Every corner attracts with illuminated windows, and the air smells of fresh Christmas cakes. The Old German Christmas traditions are still alive, although old Pforzheim has become a cosmopolitan ambiance; especially on weekends when you meet people from all four corners of the globe. This is because Germany is still an open society and offers many employment opportunities to thousands of new Italian immigrants. As you see I’m not a missionary at the Guanellian front narrating religious events, but a simple layman who is trying to bring Germany and its traditions closer to the readers of the DPP newsletter.
During the first Sunday of Advent, Inge and I made a promenade into downtown. The pictures we’re sending you should bring you to the place where our two confreres have created the 21st tent of charity. Pforzheim has become the German “motherhouse” for present and future activities. On December 14th we’ll have the honor and pleasure of introducing the successor of Father Guanella to his 21st daughter. During their visit to the MCI Italian mission, they and our confreres as well the Guanellian Procura will meet with Dean Berhard Ihle and his Vice-Dean Dr. Johannes Mette who is the parish priest of St. Anthony Church. It is just 100m from the offices of the first Guanellian mission in our beloved country.
Furthermore, we are going to accompany Fr. Alfonso and Fr. Luigi to the annual Lutheran Desk caring for homeless people, poor and abandoned children, and immigrant families under the significant Motto, “I was hungry and you invited me to share with you bread and water.”
Other intended meetings will be with the local Charitas because of its impact in the city spectrum as a lantern of charity. Mr. Lemke, Director of Charitas Pforzheim, is a friend of our MCI because he has known the charism of the Guanellians from my former employment at Charitas since 1966.
Before next Christmas, we will re-activate our old contacts at Missio-Munich, Kindermission at Aachen, Adveniat and Miserere Catholic and Lutheran Solidarity agencies. As thanks for their constructive help during the past year, we’ll send them a Sicilian almond cake so that in 2015 when we knock at their door, they will not disregard our applications and requests for financial help for our Missions.
Finally we have the pleasure of informing our English readers that our Procura has been officially incorporated into the entities depending on the General House in Rome. We intend to continue sharing our activities with all Guanellian provinces. Therefore we’ll also send our news stories to our Spanish and French publications, as well as to the official Guanellian News.
May the start of Advent link us to prepare our hearts and minds to the arrival of the Savior Child.
Venite adoramus Dominum, qui hodie pro nobis natus est.
Come and adore the Lord, because today he was born for us.
With best wishes for a grace filled Christmas Night, we offer our prayers for a new, holy and blessed 2015.

Gero Lombardo,  German Guanellian Procura

Physical Therapy Room Dedicated

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Manila – On May 31st, the Feast of the Visitation of Mary, the new Physical Therapy Room at Guanella Center was dedicated and blessed. Present for the inauguration was the Superior General of the Congregation, Fr. Alfonso Crippa, General Councilor, Fr. Luigi de Giambattista and the confreres of the Philippines. With heartfelt gratitude, the Servants of Charity-Divine Providence Province would like to acknowledge the following instruments of Divine Providence for their generous support in building the new Physical Therapy Room: Archdiocese of Munich & Freising-Germany, Msgr. Wolfgang Huber, Fr. Eric Englert OSA, President of Missio Munich, Mrs. Stephanie Schüller, Mrs Heidrun Göttler and  Mr. Gero Lombardo and family. We are deeply grateful also to Mr. Stark and Missio Munich-Germany for their major contribution in building the Guanella Home for Special Children, a residential facility for abandoned persons with physical and intellectual disabilities. As of now, there are 21 residents benefiting from this beautiful house for those neglected by society and even their own families. The physical therapy room is equipped with instruments needed for the rehabilitation of patients that need treatment who could not afford those being offered at private clinics and hospitals. Thank you once again to our German Benefactors. May God bless your generosity.

A German Guanellian Reaches Pope Francis

Bishop accepts gift

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It is not an April Fool’s joke, but a joyful truth!

What a unique and precious gift. A Guanellian confrere was recently received by Pope Francis at his private residence, St. Marta House inside Vatican City. My former seminarian pupil and now director of the Mother House in Como, Fr. Angelo Gottardi, was a private guest of Pope Francis on his 70th birthday. I assisted Fr. Angelo, a Swiss confrere of Bale, in 1958-59 before he went to the novitiate at Barza. After his ordination, he was sent at length to South America, where I met him several times in Chile and Argentina. During his pastoral time at the Guanellian Basilica of St. Josef in Avenida Castro, he was often in touch with the former Archibishop and later Cardinal Bergoglio.

Since that time contact with this Church prince remained very close so that many confreres like Fr. Silvio Sperotto, Fr. Gustavo De Bonis, Carlos Blanchoud and my novitiate classmate, Fr. Settimo Zanella, have recently spoken of their edifying experiences with this great Pope, who has had the courage to burst open the windows and encrusted gate of our Church.

Following the pastoral letter of Archibishop Dr. R. Zollitsch, we have intensified our efforts in preparing a large pastoral view in our adoptive ambiance, and increased our contact with the local Charitas. Through the Guanellian charism, sensible attention is being paid to the severely disabled, care of the elderly, and the supportive initiatives of Catholic solidarity agencies like Missio and Stern Singers, who are now our best benefactors; recently awarding 40,000 Euros for a van in Kinsasha. As previously reported, Charitas Pforzheim has a large center for the disabled, which curiously was built on an ancient Roman villa. Haus am Kappelhof hosts more than 150 disabled girls and boys. Director Lemke has also constructed a special school for the physically disabled. In the two senior centers, St. Marin and Albert Stehlin Haus, many neglected elderly have found not only medical assistance; but warm, fraternity and love.

As our German Procura owes gratitude to our Salesian cousins, this month we supported their funding appeals for the street children in Congo and the victims of the recent typhoon in the Philippines. But our main task was finalizing the pending projects of our mission stations. So we praise the Lord for His Providence. Fr. Battista received a donation of $20,000 for his nutrition and PT center at Legapzi, and on November 21st, Missio Munich will submit our project for PT at Quezon City, Manila. Our generous ladies there, Mrs. Heidrun and Stephanie, believe that 30,000 Euro will be approved for their project.

For our Indian confreres in Sivagangai, the hour of Providence will begin in December, when the medical commission will give the green light to purchase a van to transport the disabled. The project of Fr. Peter Sebastian for the kitchen in Vatluru has now been submitted. Pray that Providence will enlarge his maternal mantle on all our benjamins, worldwide.

The German community would like to report that both confreres are working hard. Fr. Wieslaw is at Boxberg, training for his German pastorate; including wedding celebrations, funerals,and taking Holy Communion to the sick and elderly. Fr. Rocky is becoming familiar with the German culture and receiving excellent marks in his lessons.

Finally, we congratulate Vicar Bishop Rainer Klug on his 75th birthday. As a sign of our respect, devotion and gratitude, we are asking our Curia in Rome to procure a parchment for him. We’ll miss his paternal attention and protection, and assure him of the prayers of our German community for the introduction of our Congregation into Germany. For the first time since the prophetical dream of Fr. Guanella in August 1912, during the Marian congress at Trier, we are now the carriers of Guanellian charity. We look with hope for the long line of our saints to grow. While in November we celebrated the Feast of All Saints, we now look forward with trepidation to Christmas. Let us be the silent sheperds and new evangelizing Magi at his cradle! Gaudium magnun anuncio vobis, quia hodie Verbum DEI Caro factum est! (We announce today that the Word of God has become flesh!)

Gero Lombardo, German Guanellian Procura