Thalavadi – For World Special People’s Day all the institutions from the Erode District, including Nazareth Illam, were invited to attend the program organized by DDRWO of Erode. Mr. Prabhakaran, collector, and MLA’s of east and west constitution of Erode district were the guests for the day. In the cultural events many differently-abled people showcased their talents, one of our residents performed a beautiful dance on stage. It was a joyful moment for Nazareth Illam and the Congregation to receive the best institution award with a certificate and a trophy from Mr. Prabhakaran. Fr. Ligory, Community Superior, was awarded for rendering best service for the people. It is apparent that everyone appreciated our institution and our service.
Thalavadi – We are indeed happy to say that our ministry in Nazareth Illam is edifying many government officials of the Erode District especially Mr. Prabhakaran, Erode Collector. They have a good consensus of our mission. On November 27th Mr. Eshwaran, MLA of Bhavani Sagar and General Secretary of KMDK visited our home. All the residents cordially welcomed him at the entrance gate with a shawl and flower bouquet. He thanked them and also took time to chat with them. We, as a community, officially wrote a letter requesting a stipend every month and for a wall for our campus, since there are no safety measures. He promised that he’ll do his best to meet the needs of our mission. Mr. Kumar, DDRWO, also visited with his team. They met with the residents and enquired about the mission. The residents were so happy to welcome them and perform dancing and singing. The officials were so pleased to see our approach with the patients. Mr. Kumar then went through all the records, signing them with high remarks.
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.
Bangalore – “Until there are no longer poor and neglected to be assisted there is no end to our charity,” this is an inspiring quote from our Founder that motivates every Guanellian. The Cooperators and Lay members in Bangalore are working towards experiencing the true Guanellian spirit. Following their mission experience in Nazareth Illam, they spent a day at Don Guanella Aged home which cares for abandoned elderly men. The day was spent with the Grandpa’s grooming them, chatting with them, feeding them and cleaning their worship space. It is absolutely true that you can only understand the feelings of others when you spend time with them. As a regular practice we gather for an hour of Adoration on the last Sunday of every month, helping to spiritually nourish the Grandpa’s. Most Saturdays the members volunteer to do service. These Good Samaritan acts by the Cooperators and Lay members’ draws the attention of their family and friends who are awestruck by the service and in turn wins many good hearts that come forward to support the mission.
Thalavadi – The point of Lent is to have a reoriented life towards God. This reorientation is more powerful when it is done with desert and wilderness. This is what the community experienced in the Lenten journey. The Nazareth Illam community joined the Lenten spiritual journey that was arranged by one of the parishes in the Thalavadi vicariate. Fr. Lawrence, Fr. Gabriel, Bro. Arun, Bro. Arul Claret OMI, staff and residents participated in the journey with full devotion. They climbed the mountain top which is about a 5 km journey, by reciting the rosary and praying the Way of the Cross. Other faithful from different parishes also took part in this Lenten journey. All classes of people prayed piously and walked through the jungle, thorn and bushes, showing a thirst for God and the unity of people. After climbing to the top of the hill, the gathering celebrated the sacrament of reconciliation and continued the Holy Eucharistic celebration that was a beautiful experience of God’s mercy and His presence. Afterwards the village people provided lunch to all the faithful. This Lenten journey helped them to experience the re-LENT-less love of God.
Bangalore – The six novices and Fr. Kennedy from Guanella Preethi Nivas Novitiate went for a one-week mission experience with mentally ill patients at “Nazareth Illam” in Thalavadi. This challenging mission is aided by the Government. Right now there are 63 people, the neglected and unwanted of society are brought from the roads, streets, bus stops by social workers and government officials to stay there. The Guanellian priests are rehabilitating them with immense love, medication and care free of charge. They organize various programs, games, therapy and other activities for their benefit. In fact, this mission has brought popular identity of our institute in the district. The novices were given an orientation and training session about the home, its service and the patients paving the way for a fruitful time of service. The novices participated in manual work, gardening, games, prayers, entertainment, fire dance, cooking, feeding, and exercise. They also assisted with personal care, giving haircuts, shaving them and making their beds. Most importantly, the novices listened to their stories, problems, and their family backgrounds. This attentive, empathetic listening enriched both. Novices were touched by the miracle of love happening there: the patients get healed in part by the family atmosphere. Once they are stabilized and rehabilitated, they are examined by a psychiatrist and many are reunited with their families. It is really a hall mark of our noble service to humanity in Tamilnadu. After the mission experience the novices returned to GPN with immense satisfaction and valuable learning.
Thalavadi – The Nazareth Illam community arranged a daylong workshop for our staff to improve their service level toward our residents. Five psychological counselors from Dindigul under the head of Fr. David, Sdc organized the workshop. They helped our staff learn better approaches toward our residents, and taught ways to help cure them of their mental illness. Our staff interacted with the counselors and cleared many of their doubts. The counselors also provided books and videos for the staff to equip their knowledge in this field. The community fathers felt very happy for the effort of Fr. David, Sdc and his companions for their benevolent help to the mission.
Thalavadi – Human beings are social animals who depend on other human beings for survival and development. There are many fields where we depend on another man’s skill in which science is one of the prominent factors. To give an introduction into this world of science, the residents of Nazareth Illam, the community staff accompanied them on a one-day visit to the science exhibition that was held at a nearby school. The residents were very happy to explore the exhibit and interact with the students. The residents appreciated their talents and gained a wider knowledge and interest in the field of science. This outing helped our residents to recall and refresh their ideas and to trigger their thinking capacity.
Thalavadi – October naturally tends every heart and mind of Guanellians to think of the Founder. The Nazareth Illam community arranged a Triduum as an intensive preparation to venerate and ponder over the heroic life of St. Guanella. On the feast day, the community invited their benefactors and the local religious and diocesan priests to celebrate the saintly founder. Fr. Louis, Guruji of Anjali Ashramam presided over the holy Mass. A meal was provided to all the guests and residents following Mass. The residents were so happy to celebrate with everyone.
Thalavadi – October was the month of mission exposure for the Guanellian seminarians from Cuddalore, Andhra and Mysore. The Nazareth Illam community was delighted to have them and helped them to experience their style of Guanellian mission. The minor seminarians rotated through the tasks of the mission houses. They helped our residents in accompanying them to attend the Bible convention and to Bannari Amman temple on the day of Ayudha Pooja. Though the days for mission experience were short, the experience they gained was a concrete platform to live the Guanellian mission in their future.