“Without God’s help we are incapable of doing good. Every good action is marked by His grace” -St. Louis Guanella.
Chennai: Once again by the grace of God on Jan 26th – 27th we had the annual Guanellian Cooperators and Guanellian Lay movement members meeting at Don Guanella Major Seminary. The members came from Andhra, Bangalore, Chennai, Cuddalore, Kumbakonam and Sivagangai. It was wonderful to see how each one joyfully embraced each other and what was common in them was that they were Guanellians and shared the same spirit.
The event started with invoking the Holy Spirit with a hymn and Gospel reading which gave a beautiful message to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Following this the Superior of the house Fr. Samson welcomed the Gathering and Fr. Ronald, Provincial Superior, addressed the gathering with a message in which he said that more than anything we are called to be good human beings. Each one has a call in a different way and the goal is to become a saint. As our Founder said the purpose of each House is holiness. Service takes the second place as this can be done anywhere. First we need to make ourselves holy, as holiness is the synonymous to wholeness.
With this message we moved on with a topic “Transmitting Charism & Spirit of the Founder to Laity today.” Fr. Benson explained about the charism of our Founder and the spirit with which he executed the mission. This gave great motivation to the participants. Moving on we had another talk by the Delegate, Fr. Adaikalam, whose topic was, “Learning from the Founder to be an effective GC/GLM today”. He started by saying how the laity has been playing a key role in the Church and he said Jesus Himself also involved the laity who were instrumental in spreading the Good News. Our Founder too had a great love for the laity and he understood the strength of involving the laity in the mission. There were times when none supported our Founder but the laity.
Following this the representatives from each community presented their Annual Reports which basically spoke of how they organized themselves, their Formation, Spiritual activities and the mission in their location. The day was concluded with holy Mass.
On the 2nd day we started with Praise and Worship led by Fr. Samson. The group reflected on Romans 12:9-21 which was beautifully explained by Fr. Francis who said for everything the fundamental thing is love and forgiveness. When we have this we will not take revenge, take pride, boast or nourish our own ego but will walk towards the path of Sanctification. To get the members to know each other and to understand how well each one understood the charism, mission and the call, there was a group discussion followed by each group presenting their points. Fr. Adaikalam presented the group with the General Statutes, guiding them toward the next step after GLM – becoming a Cooperator.
At the end of the session Fr. Ronald addressed and thanked everyone for participating. He extended his thanks to the Fathers and he encouraged the members who for many years have been with the Congregation to think about their vocation as a Cooperator. He encouraged the Laity to participate in the mission and take over the mission homes eventually by giving their time and connecting people. The Annual meeting concluded with holy Mass and the members left with great joy from the message.
Cuddalore – Every night we snuggle into our bed to dream away the day and prepare for the next. For most people bed is a safe place, their warm and cuddle place that they look forward to getting into each night. Some love their bed so much that it’s hard to get out of bed in the morning. We sincerely thank Aschi for generously providing 75 beds for the orphans. We hope the beds will make our boys rest more easily. Don Guanella Boys Home students are very happy to have a cot. It will certainly help them sleep better.
Cuddalore – Frequent medical camps are required by government norms for Don Guanella Boys Home. The primary health center from Pudupalayam came to DGBH and conducted medical camp on August 27th. They checked everyone’s blood and asked the boys to be clean and hygienic. The team submitted the medical report to the deputy director of the health department. All the students participated in the camp.
Bangalore – On August 23rd Vicar General Fr. Nico arrived at Guanella Preethi Nivas. The Don Guanella Evening School children welcomed him with a welcoming song and a bouquet. The children were very happy, Fr. Nico also was very happy to see them. The next evening, August 24th, he entertained them with his beautiful singing and guitar playing. The children enjoyed his singing as well as his presence. He provided chocolate for all the children. He said good-bye in Italian, he assured his prayers for the children and he also asked them to pray for his Guanellian mission and service.
Bangalore – The Guanellian Youth Movement started the Open Road Ministry in Bangalore to fulfill the mission the founder, ‘Give bread and the Lord.’ We have received the spiritual guidance from our fathers to fulfill the mission of the founder. The GYM reached a new milestone providing food for street dwellers every Sunday. The youth contributed a lot for this event. Fr. Adaikalam blessed the endeavor. They cooked and packed meals by themselves. They went two-by-two as Jesus sent His disciples for the mission, delivering food for the street dwellers. It was successful and very much appreciated by all the people. The youth were inspired, they enjoyed it and they found some inner happiness through this mission. They are willing to continue this mission for the poor.
Legazpi: Fr. Soosai Rathinam, Provincial Superior visited Legazpi during the Local Assembly Meeting in Manila. Fr. Soosai visited February 22nd – 23rd. During his stay, he shared with the novices the the main points which were discussed during the provincial chapter meeting. He listened to their feelings, opinions, and difficulties after their first six months at the novitiate house. He also listened the confreres and their struggles, sharing their sentiments in the service of the Lord. In the presence of staff, residents, priests, novices and builders, Fr. Soosai dedicated the new guest house after five months of construction.
Legazpi: The Servants of Charity community performed an act of charity on the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, February 2nd. They gave a helping hand to relieve the burden of the evacuees of a natural disaster, the Mayon volcanic eruption. The evacuees received rice, milk and biscuits which are their primary needs while they remain at the evacuation center.
Cuddalore – March 11th was a great day for St. Joseph’s Evening School, the children, teachers, staff and Fr. Arockia Raj went on an outing. The tour began with an amazing boat trip through the canals of Pichavaram Mangrove Forest. The second stop was at Poombuhar where everyone ate lunch and enjoyed taking photos at the sea. But the best part of the day was when they reached Tharangambadi beach: the children were so happy and joyful, playing in the waves and sand, collecting seashells, and running on the seashore. When it came time to leave, it was really hard to get them out of the water. Everyone enjoyed the entire day, every place they visited and playing songs, singing and dancing during the travel. They arrived home that night, tired but happy to have spent a wonderful day out.
Cuddalore – St. Joseph’s Seminary celebrated Christmas in a grand and meaningful manner for the evening school children. The program began on a spiritual note and also included singing, dancing, party games, gift-sharing and competitive programs. Fr. Francis Assisi, the chief guest, was very happy and amazed by the little works and gifts of charity rendered to the poor children. A thought provoking message about Christmas and New Year was given by Fr. Arockia Raj. His motivation and encouragement made the participants feel more energized and strengthened.
Legazpi – As the fruit of a long period of preparation, on December 22nd, the novices helped bring a little joy to the children of Purok 6, with a Christmas Party at the Pavilion of Harong Kan Sagrada Familia. To start the party, Fr. David, SdC, celebrated Holy Mass with Fr. Sagayaraj SdC, in the presence of benefactors and friends. We gathered the poor children of Purok 6 to organize them to play games, dance, sing and give them a place to have a party. The children were overwhelmed with happiness and joy, carrying gifts in their hands. We were delighted to organize this event to let them know that God never abandons them.