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.
Mysore – ‘Preethiya Sevakaru’, the house for vocation discernment, was excited to host Fr. Soosai Rathinam, Provincial Superior. He brought joy to the brothers with his inspiring words during Mass and the conference. The first academy for this year was presented on the topic, ‘Stress – Make it Easy’. Fr. Provincial was invited as the special guest. Three brothers shared their reflections based on the topic, and some brothers entertained the participants with song and dance. Fr. Soosai ended the academy with his presidential address.
Bangalore – September is considered a month of grace, and so it has been for Guanella Preethi Nivas too. The novices attended classes by Fr. Soosai on the topic, “The Evangelical Counsels Practiced by Our Founder.” It was an opportune time for all to reflect on the life they aspire to embrace; learning that the vow is a voluntary act of religious through which they bind themselves with the spirit of generosity and self-offering. Philosophy students sat in for a day to strengthen their minds. There was also a five-day course on “Human and Moral Values” by Fr. James CSSR, a class on the life and spirituality of Bl. Clare Bosatta by Sr. Annamal DSMP for three days, a class by Fr. A.P. Samy, SdC on “Sense of Belongingness” in our Guanellian houses and Fr. David, SdC led a class on “Our Mission.” Therefore it was a grace-filled month for GPN.
Quezon City – As of June 30, 2013, nine new seminarians have been accepted at the Servants of Charity House of Formation: two novices, one postulant, and six aspirants.
On May 24th, Adornaldo Jacob and Alfie Matulac advanced to the Novitiate after a year of formation as postulants in the House of the Holy Family in Bicol. Fr. Charlton Viray celebrated the mass on acceptance day, beginning his homily by challenging novices with a question, “Are you ready to die?” Novitiate, as Alfie remembers, is “dying within yourself,” a “time of gradually detaching from the world.” Matulac points out that “Becoming Christ is the main point of the novitiate.” Many religious sisters also attended mass and the supper that followed.
A week later, five new aspirants – Filbert Maxino, Elijah De Gula, E.Z. Boquiron, Lester Nebra, Butch Mendones and a postulant, Erwin Azurin, were welcomed. Azurin did his aspirancy in Legazpi City and the others completed their Immersion Program in May. Fr. Charlton, main celebrant of the Mass, stressed three things to the seminarians: live dedicated to God through prayer, live a life of compassion, and embrace community life; he challenged them to live a life of love, always seeking the good of others. Fr. Charlton ended his homily with the story of Tomas, a resident of the Guanella Home, who brought home two cans of soda from a party as “pasalubong” for a Guanella Home resident volunteer that didn’t go. Fr. Vincent Selveraj and Fr. David Anburaj were also present to concelebrate the mass. Dinner and a short program followed mass.
Atanacio Manalastas, who was unable to attend on Acceptance Day, also entered as an aspirant in June. There is now a total of 15 seminarians in Quezon City.
Sivagangai – The Yesuvanam community is happy to see the fruits of their labor; sugar cane, groundnuts and chilies. After the harvest as a token of gratitude, a thanksgiving Mass was celebrated to offer the fruits of their work to God Almighty; also thanking Him for the graces and strength that He showered upon the community. Working the land is difficult; whether chili or sugarcane, it must be fertilized, watered, nourished and weeded. Only then can it yield fruits as told in the Bible, a hundred or sixty or a thousand fold. Those in formation need to prepare their hearts for the inner voice of God. Though it is mere physical work, it helps to inculcate formation with the same mind. As the land is fertilized so also we must be fertilized by the word of God. As physical work is necessary to reap the crops, spiritual work is needed to nurture hearts ripe with the fruits of God.
Mysore – The residents of Mysore jubilantly celebrated the first anniversary of St. Guanella’s Canonization on October 26th. The head of the local church, Rt. Rev. Dr. Thomas Antony Vazhaphilly, was the main celebrant; concelebrated by Fr. Paul Chandrankunnel, SAC, rector of Pallottine Theologate, and Fr. Visuvasam, the Superior of the community. Mass was celebrated in the Chapel of Prabhodhana during which the Local Ordinary highlighted the life and works of St. Guanella. It was an inspirational gathering for about 300 men and women religious. Following the Lord’s Supper, a delicious meal was served, bringing the spirited celebration to a close.
Bangalore – The Guanella Preethi Nivas Community was distressed over a land problem. They came together with the major superiors to confront the situation, and now by the Grace of our Founder with the help of the Superior General, Provincial, and other Fathers the land problem was successfully resolved. The land is now full of vegetable saplings cultivated by fathers and brothers which have given a very good yield. At present, the land is registered under the Guanellian Society; and the Preethi Nivas Trust for the welfare of the home for the elderly and for its future was approved by the government. Thank you all for your valuable prayers and support. Please continue to pray as they work tirelessly to fulfill the vision our founder, “The Whole World is Our Homeland.”
Koppaka– The Vatluru community celebrated the feast of our Founder St. Louis Guanella for the first time at Guanella Bhavan, the Minor Seminary in Andhra Pradesh. The festive Holy mass was celebrated by Most Rev. Mathew Cheriankunnel, PIME. The first anniversary of the canonization of our founder was a landmark in the history of the local. Priests and women religious from in and around the city of Eluru attended, and the Legion of Mary from the parish took a leading role in the Feast. The most special guests were the children of Guanella Oratory. About 500 people participated in the Holy Eucharist and received the blessing of St. Guanella on the gracious occasion. After the Holy Mass the young, energetic seminarians portrayed the life St. Guanella through a 40 minute skit. Everyone enjoyed learning about his life in that art form. A festive meal was served to end the joyful, educational celebration.
Madurai – Fr. Lawrence, in collaboration with Deacon Jegan and Regent Arockiadoss, organized a ten-day work exposure camp for Postulants on the Madurai land. From October 9th-18th the Postulants were literally exposed to field work to learn that Guanellians are not only good at looking after the special children but also setting examples to them and the world; showing them that Guanellians are hard workers. It was a fruitful experience for them to remember that St. Guanella said, “Work, Work, Work until you reach heaven.” Through this exposure camp Postulants were able to understand the importance of manual work to their religious life.
Chennai – On September 6, 2012 students of Theology from Don Guanella Major Seminary went on a walking pilgrimage with Rev. Fr. Adaikalam and Fr. Rajesh to Besant Nagar Marian shrine. The group left at 6:00am and reached their destination around 11:00am; reciting the rosary, singing hymns and expressing their devotion to our Lady along the way. Upon arrival, Holy Mass was celebrated as a community and prayers offered to all the devotees thronging in the various Marian shrines. This pilgrimage is arranged to grow in devotion to Mary and to be in solidarity with thousands of pilgrims walking to the Velankanni shrine in the Nagapattinam District of Tamil Nadu.