German Guanellians busy Serving the Poor

Gero with business friends of Manila
Gero with business friends of Manila
Mr. and Mrs, Kuysen of Manila with Inge and Gero.

May was a preparatory time for several activities of our Procure. We have finally identified the four pillars of our German Procure on which our mission will be developed.
The first is the work of the home office for cultivating  and nurturing direct contacts with key persons at Catholic and Lutheran solidarity agencies. The way is being paved for current Guanellian projects and new projects discovered by Fr. Joe Rinaldo during his last visit to India. Meetings are scheduled for late June and throughout July.
The second is assisting the parish priests of the Italian communities at Pforzheim and Mühlacker to prepare the annual pilgrimages to Lourdes and Fatima. This continuous contact should facilitate the start of the apostolate of our first Guanellians here in 2013 if Divine Providence allows. Vicar Bishop Klug and Fr. Gen. Alfonso Crippa have exchanged information; so we hope that during the General Chapter at Barza in July the request of the DPP to send a confrere to the Italian parish at Pforzheim will be unanimously accepted.
In this context our Procure has become the meeting point for family connections for three diocesan priests from Tamil Nadu, India and two from Kinshasa, Congo working in the dioceses of Freiburg and Stuttgart. They enjoy friendly conversation and homecooked meals which our Martha (Inge) prepares for them. They all know Guanellians in their countries and contact with lay Guanellians in Germany is proof that our charism has spread worldwide and that the spirit of St. Guanella is still alive among his sons.
The third pillar is intensive cooperation with the St. Lazarus Order for delivery of collected donations to Eastern European destinations like the Guanella Center at Skawina/Krakow, Poland in June, the house of the Guanellian Sisters in Jasi, Romania during July and finally to an elder house in former Prussia. The Children’s Village at Klaipeda, Lithuania will also receive a truck filled with needed goods. Our relationship with Prior Theis of the St. Lazarus Order will speed up the registration of the first Guanellian NGO in Germany and improve funding for a trade school at Kinshasa and a disabled center in Owerri, Nigeria. Both projects will be supported by the Catholic organization Kinder Mission, Aachen. In May, more than fifty friends of our Guanellian entourage have become members of the German Pious Union, continuing cooperation with the Daughters of St. Josef of the Abbey St. Trudpert at Münstertal. Thanks to Sister Bernita, St. Guanella is at home here.
The final pillar is renewing contact with my former business associates in countries where our confreres are now present; the Philippines, India, Congo, Ghana and Nigeria. The names and addresses of the contacts will be sent to Fr. Luigi in order to foster relationships and increase the numbers of local benefactors; everybody should consider the old saying, “God helps those who help themselves.” Divine Providence increases when we put forth our own initiatives to fulfill urgent projects for the benefit of our beloved ‘Patrons.’

actors from Guanellian sketch
To spread the charism and activities of the Guanellian missions, a sketch on the life, work and charism of St. Louis Guanella was performed on May 1st. Shown are Mr. Harold, sisters Agnes and Clara with lay brother/sister, Gero and Inge.

I pray that Mary has looked upon you with the eyes of a tender mother during the month dedicated to her eternal love for those children Jesus commited to her under His Redemptive Cross.
Let us join hands and embrace all Guanellian brothers who diffuse the Good News in a World that day-by-day  is moving away from the Right Path.
Gero Lombardo,  German Guanellian Procura

A Shower of Blessings

The month of May has been marked by abundant graces. The Divine Providence Province has again witnessed the renewal of vows of more than fifty young confreres in India and in Rome‘s International Seminary. New novices were welcomed in Manila and Bangalore on May 26th and 30th. In Springfield, Bro. Bob completed his philosophy studies and is preparing for his regency assignment in the Philippines. Thirteen brothers from India will be scattered for the same mission exposure. New aspirants have been screened and are preparing to start their initial formation in India and Philippines. For the first time two young men from Vietnam will start their Guanellian religious training in Manila. For all these blessings that bring new hope and energy into our young province, we thank Divine Providence and we assure our young confreres and seminarians of our fraternal accompaniment.

Fr. Guanella’s Dream Fulfilled

church of St. Charles Borromeo in Genoa, WI

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Fulfilling a desire that Fr. Guanella was unable to during his visit to United States in 1912-1913, Fr. Joseph Rinaldo and I travelled  to the diocese of La Crosse, WI on May 24th. We were warmly welcomed by a good number of descendants of immigrants from the birth place of our Founder and his Alpine valley. We had the privilege of celebrating with about 80 people the Eucharist in the church of St. Charles Borromeo in Genoa, a town located on the banks of the Missisipi river where Fr. Guanella wanted to pray with his relatives and friends during his visit to America. He wrote, “At the Chicago rail station I read the train destinations located in Wisconsin and Illinois. Vivid memories of my family and home land rushed into my mind. I recalled my aunt who lived in Genoa and died there at the age of 97 still perfectly healthy. I remembered  my cousin Anthony who was the first benefactor of our institution in Pianello. I remembered my cousins and priests Francis and Augustine Zaboglio. I also recalled Fr. Gabriel Momo who, when in his thirties, I was able to send Genoa as its first pastor through the help of St. John Bosco. Because of lack of time I was unable to visit my relatives there and pray at their tombs…”

How blessed we felt when after 100 years, we were able to fulfill the dream of the founder. After mass in Genoa that this year recalls the 150th anniversary of the first Eucharist celebrated in their mission post, we enjoyed a short play prepared by the school children of the local parish and a simple lunch offered by the local people. It was particularly touching to walk through the nearby  cemetry and pray over the tombs of migrants from the mountains of our Saint. Our visit to Wisconsin also gave us the opportunity to meet the family of a distant relative of St. Guanella who will be ordained deacon this year in Rome. A bridge of friendship has been built between the Guanellian communities in US and the families in the La Crosse Diocese. Divine Providence will certainly suggest how to strengthen this network of frienship and solidarity in the spirit and memory of St. Louis Guanella.

May: Month of Mary, Month of Renewal of Commitments

A statue of the Blessed Mother crowned with flowers for the month of May

A statue of the Blessed Mother crowned with flowers for the month of MayAs we honor the Blessed Virgin, we entrust to her the large number of confreres who have asked to renew their religious consecration this month, on the joyful occasion of St. Louis Guanella’s anniversary of priestly ordination. Likewise, we surround our novices in Bangalore who are about to make their first profession with fraternal support and prayers. Truly, our province continues to be blessed by youthful energies to be placed at the service of the Lord and of the poor wherever Divine Providence calls. Best wishes to all!

Congratulations!

Diaconate ordination is conferred upon an Indian confrere of the Servants of Charity

Diaconate ordination is conferred upon an Indian confrere of the Servants of CharityWe rejoice and give thanks to the Lord for the recent perpetual profession and diaconate ordinations of our confreres Bakthis and Amalor in Rome April 21-22. Our province feels enriched and blessed by this addition of new servants in the field of the Guanellian ministry inserted in the Church mission toward New Evangelization. To our confreres our prayerful wishes to faithfully and joyfully live their vocations remembering that our title is Servants and our motto is “In omnibus caritas.”