Lenten Journey… Fasting From…?!

As we embrace our Lenten journey, let us reform and reorganize our life. Our Holy Father invites us through his meaningful message, “The Word is a gift. Other persons are a gift.” Today we are dominated, to a terrifying extent, by ritualism, legalism, and resigned spiritual mediocrity. Does our almsgiving proceed from a genuine love of God and neighbor? Fasting from wounding words and constant unwanted gossiping by means of social communication would be a way of almsgiving. Let us try to develop a rhythm of withdrawal and return, because we are called to discern within ourselves that we may be sinking and drowning with a storm of our passions and evil habits. The rich man’s real problem was the failure to heed God’s word. As a result, he no longer loved God and grew to despise his neighbor.
Lent is the favorable season for renewing our encounter with Christ and a realization of our nothingness, weak flesh and sinfulness. Father Guanella left us as his last will ‘Pray and Suffer.’ While he was preaching a sermon- the seven last words of Jesus on the Cross on Good Friday at St. Mary’s House in Lora in 1908 along with Father Bacciarini, he was explaining the words “I thirst,”- “Jesus is thirsty for our sanctification, for my priestly soul, that I do not pursue enough.” At a certain point his voice broke down and he was unable to continue and then burst into uncontrollable tears of sorrow. Father Bacciarini, moved by such humility and sincere sorrow, took the pulpit and finished the Seven Last words. What is God going to do for me in these next forty days? We focus our attention on physical health, diet or body building but how seldom do we talk about spiritual health! Lent is a fitting time for deepening our spiritual life through the means of sanctification offered to us by the Church: fasting, prayer and almsgiving.
Fr. Soosai Rathinam

Harvesting the Fruits of our Labor

Cuddalore – “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for His harvest.” (Lk 10:2). It was with joy the priests and seminarians of St. Joseph’s Seminary offered a fruitful and beneficial harvest out of their hard labor of cultivating the farms with paddy and other vegetables. As our holy founder St. Guanella said, “Pray and Suffer” for a holy way of living. The young seminarians, with due formation and holy ascetic experience through this labor, enthusiastically contributed their energy for the community. This further developed their sense of belonging and family spirit in the congregation. As God blessed the harvest in fruitfulness, He also blessed these servants with greater virtues and values. All praise be to God!

Charism School

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Cuddalore – To commemorate the Centenary Birth of St. Louis Guanella in Heaven, a five-day Charism School was held April 8-12th at St. Joseph’s Seminary. The 80 participants included Guanellian Priests ordained in the past Five Years, Deacons, Seminarians with temporary profession and DSMP Sisters. Sr. Franca DSMP was the resource person and she was accompanied by Rev. Sr. Luigia from Italy. The theme was, “The Witness of Two Competent Persons Fr. Piero Pellegrini, SdC and Fr. Attilio Beria, SdC” – The Study and Figure of Father Guanella in order to assimilate in our proper Life.
In Guanellian history there are many important people who made their exclusive contribution for the growth and spread of the congregation and it’s Charism. Their hard work and precious testimony still remain as important resources and basics for present and future followers. The notable two among them are Don Pierino Pellegrini SdC and Don Attilio Beria SdC. From their life and works, we have many things to learn for a better religious life. They can be classified into spiritual, intellectual, and charismatic dimensions.

  • Their genuine love for prayer and personal encounter with God in a filial relationship.
  • Their exemplary personification of the founder’s program  ‘Pray and Suffer.’
  • Their  commitment to research and writing which has  made tremendous proclamation about the Guanellian Spirit  and Charism; especially making known the holy image and service of our Founder to the whole world.
  • Their extraordinary administrative skill and systematic presentation which served as meticulous mediation between Holy Mother Church and the Congregation.

All the participants appreciated being enlightened by hearing Sr. Franca speak about these two great personalities whom previously were not well-known. The Charism School was a great help for the young confreres. Thanks to Divine Providence Province, DSMP Indian Delegation and the Guanella Communication Center for organizing the event.