Legazpi – The holidays were here again which made our children and youth with special needs rejoice when they rendered a musical skit, sang carols and played their musical instruments during the program during our observance of National Catholic Disability Day December 3rd held at Harong Kan Sagrada Familia. They not only enjoyed mingling with other persons with disabilities from different Special Education Centers in Legazpi City, but they were also grateful for the goodies given as gifts from generous benefactors. It was worth the effort of the many days of practices in order to come up with a meaningful and enjoyable stage presentation. Indeed it was applauded and appreciated.
Ho Chi Minh City – Fr. Felicks teaches Basic English to the initiation students in our house, to the students at the Franciscan Missionary sisters(FMM) and to some students of Benhai Church. An English Academy program was organized to hone and show off English speaking skills and singing English songs. Altogether 25 students participated in the English Academy. The judges were Br. Hoang, SdC; Sr. Vy, FMM and Mrs. Judith who is originally from the Philippines. Our Initiation students benefited from the program because it was the first one organized in our community to display their speaking and singing talents. The students who performed well received gifts. The event ended with a small agape meal and time of sharing.
Legazpi – Fr. David Stawasz was a brother in the Legazpi community nine years ago. He paid a visit to share his own vocation story with the novices. God’s love calls many to step out of their own way to follow His way, the way which He has prepared. We don’t know what will happen in this life, but we do know that we must trust in His call and do our best to follow it. This call can only be found through prayer. Moreover, through prayer we trust in God little by little and believe that God will help us to realize His call and to keep forming us according to His will. Sometimes, we might not know where God is. These are the times we need to pray harder and to keep ourselves from getting lost in this life. To stay on the right track keep in mind Who you belong to. Time has passed since Fr. David was here, but he did not forget how much he loves HKSF and its people. The heart of love is tireless and full of gratitude and faithfulness for the people of God.
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
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.
Since last August, we have been attentively following the slow increase of this mission which is really at the end of the world. Our Catholic agencies are also open to Oceana. Since the beginning of the new mission shelter on the Solomon Islands, our Procura was feeling committed there for several reasons. Among them the fact that for a short period part of this new state was German Territory until 1920. During the last visit of Fr. Luigi, we felt compelled to create a new charity bridge and proposed a joint visit to Caritas Pforzheim Management. The new Guanellian priest from Noro to the director of CPM to accept this Guanellian ‘newborn’ as a target of a fundraising campaign before Christmas.
Meanwhile a new flier in German containing relevant news from Msgr. Luciano Capelli, Salesian Bishop of the Gizo Diocese, along with drawings of the common shelter will be printed in a few days for mass publication among the generous Catholics in our district. This campaign will start mid-November and the amount raised will be directly transferred to the account of the Gizo Diocese. Photos received from our confreres on the Solomon Islands will adorn the German flier. We hope that this campaign will be useful for the start of the Guanellian presence at the end of the world.
May the Lord bless this charity campaign as a sign of our long commitment in all new DPP charity missions there, but also in the Philippines and recently also in Tanzania.
We would also like to thank confreres in the USA and personnel involved in the DPP News for diffusing our small contribution in creating new missions of charity at the periphery of the world. Let us commit in doing good before approaching His birth.
Gero Lombardo, German Guanellian Procure
Legazpi – Part of the ministries of the novices during this remembering year for them is ministry to poor children. In this modern life, many children are lacking in love, which must start from their own family but reality is a bitter pill. Instead of receiving the love of their parents, they are neglected by their parents. Many spend the greater part of the day as orphans. We bring them what we have, holy Mass, with the hope of a bright future. We hope that through Mass they could see that life still has love for them through the ministry of the Servants of Charity who are now with them and bringing them love. What we have, we share as St. Louis Guanella said “if we receive from the Providence of God with two hands, we should give to the poor with four hands”. We not only bring them love but also hope for their future.
Yesuvanam – “Strike the rock and water will flow so that the people may drink”. On October 7th a project to quench the thirst of God’s most special children of Anbagam was officially inaugurated by Fr. Gnana Pragasam, recollection master of the Yesuvanam community. All the confreres were delighted to work on the bore well for the benefit of thousands of good children in the future. Water sprung on day seven of digging, symbolizing the water that flowed from the holy temple. The hard work of the community paid off despite many impediments. Through the intercession of St. Louis Guanella with the help of the Holy Spirit the well succeeded. Yesuvanam thanks those people who contributed to this success with their prayers and wishes.