Blessed Clare Bosatta was beatified by St. John Paul II on April 21, 1991. On April 20th we celebrate her feast day. Twenty-six years ago we were delightedly surprised by the Holy Father’s decision to beatify our Sister Clare. In expectation of the celebration of the event we lived intensely a period of great enthusiasm in order to acquire a deeper knowledge of our Sister’s holiness and, as from the day of her beatification, we have certainly experienced her protection as well as her encouragement to deepen our knowledge of her message and to imitate her example.
As the years have passed, she has become ever more familiar to us and has enabled us to better understand the holiness and spirituality of St. Louis Guanella. Indeed, we might say that her beatification gave a further impetus to promoting our Founder’s canonization. There is no doubt that Blessed Clare contributed with her prayers from heaven to ensure that Fr. Guanella was declared a Saint. We know that Blessed Clare had a crucial influence on the Founder’s journey to sainthood. Still today, those who kneel before their urns at the Shrine of the Sacred Heart in Como cannot but receive that holy incentive to integrate hard-working charity with the contemplation of the sources from which the grace of our activity comes. May the memory of Sr. Clare’s beatification revive in all of us gratitude to the Lord for our holy origins. Faithfulness to living their spirit and putting it into practice will increase our faith and love.
Walking towards holiness together, as Fr. Guanella, Sr. Clare and all the good people of God did will reinforce communion and collaboration among the people of God. We also want to renew our commitment of spreading the devotion to Blessed Clare and to ask our Blessed for her intercession so that her holiness may be proposed to the entire Christian world with her canonization. St. Louis Guanella loved Sr. Clare. In the beginning he was puzzled by Sr. Clare’s religious life style. He had an inspiration that Sr. Clare was a mystic. Fr. Guanella was moved to intensely study the works of St. Theresa of Avila. From then on, he understood that Sr. Clare was a saint and a mystic. She was the “little flower” of Guanellian spirituality.
Fr. Guanella wrote a biography of Blessed Clare. It is available at the St. Louis Center upon request.
Prayer for the Intercession of Blessed Clare Bosatta
O Jesus, Savior of the lowly, who made Blessed Clare Bosatta shine through the spirit of sacrifice, by rendering her an untiring apostle of Your Gospel among the poor; teach us her total abandonment in Divine Providence, her love of prayer, her patience in suffering, and her spirit of dedication to the most needy. Grant us, through her intercession, the grace … that we ask you for trustingly through Christ our Lord. Amen!
Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory Be … Blessed Clare, intercede for us!
Manila – Two Guanellian sisters, Sr. Mich and Sr. Tess, renewed their vows on March 19th during the Mass at Guanella Center. Holy Mass was presided by Fr. Dong Cerbito, and was concelebrated by Fr. Battista and Fr. Charlton. The good children, the whole seminary community and people living nearby were their witnesses. The two Sisters renewed their vows of poverty, chastity and obedience after three years. Sr. Nenita, local superior of the Daughters of Saint Mary of Providence, was the one who received their vows. Fr. Charlton preached the homily and afterward had special words urging the sisters to be faithful to their vows.
Manila – On March 11th the priests, brothers and sisters of the Guanellian Family had family day in Noah’s Park, Montalban. All the brothers and sisters participated as soon as the games began. It was indeed a fine day for everyone, a day spent enjoying one another’s company and rejuvenating relationships in the spirit of our founder St. Louis Guanella.
Water…Water…Water…Unseen drought and water scarcity in the last 125 years in India! Cauvery Delta has become a cursed area of dry land..sudden death and suicides of farmers…families in tears and frustration…farmers threatened by loan-givers, pushed to shame and disgrace…Insensitive rulers who are prepared to sell water-resources to multinational companies depriving the native poor of their right to have access to water… still pathetic the Church, the Body of Christ, especially the Urban and institution-filled Church considers this problem as the problem not pertaining to it…No water…thirst, thirst…everywhere. Land is thirsty, animals domestic and wild are thirsty… and this Good Friday, the Church once again preaches on the last words of Jesus on the cross, ‘I THIRST.’
It is very simple to give a spiritual explanation for the words of Jesus, I Thirst. His thirst was for the Kingdom which would imply a community built on brotherhood, fellowship and unity. Sensitivity is the basic aptitude lying below these humanitarian values. Is it possible for us to celebrate the Paschal Mystery of Jesus while a part of this mystical body is moving towards abandonment, alienation and death? Jesus could rise again and resurrection was possible for Him, as He was able to relive the abandonment of the poor Israelite, “Why did you abandon me?” Identification with the poor, reliving the miseries of the miserable, undergoing the atrocities of the unjust along with those who were persecuted for the sake of justice…were the unmistaken means of His exaltation….He could be exalted to the right hand of the Father only because he was at the right and left of other crucified men! The piercing of His side with the flow of water and blood was the last means of satisfying His thirst for God’s kingdom here on earth.
During Lent, during Holy Week, and especially on Good Friday, are we going to thirst … thirst for identification with those who are thirsty, literally begging for sustenance, food, water …to live a few more years on this earth. Can we be satisfied with the streams of water gushing from His side while we are not prepared to spare our fellow-men, the members of the mystical body of Christ, to quench their thirst? It is time for us to think what we must do collectively and individually for these thirsty parts of humankind if only we would celebrate the joy of the gushing waters…the Resurrection!
Fr. Soosai Rathinam
Manila– Consecrated men and women are God’s gift to the Church. On February 26th the Juniors- Seminarians Forum; an organization of simple professed religious in the Philippines, conducted its 31st anniversary at San Sebastian College Recoletos in Manila. As part of the local church, the Guanellian professed brothers and Fr. Battista, SdC attended this event. The assembly gave a chance for every participant to encounter various religious congregations present in the Philippines. More than two hundred temporarily professed religious showed their support and vibrant participation.
Manila – February 18th-19th the Servants of Charity hosted the Search-In program which educates students and recent graduates what the religious life is like and what it takes to be in seminary. The participants were recruited through vocation campaigns of the Servants of Charity at different parishes and schools. Participants stayed overnight at the seminary. They participated in different activities and attended a series of talks by Fr. Charlton Viray, SdC and some seminarians. Topics included vocation awareness, spirituality, the Servants of Charity, St. Louis Guanella and his charism. Another goal of this program is to help the participants discern their vocation and not be afraid to respond to it.
Chennai – The Servants of Charity Congregation was very delighted to receive Perpetual Vows of seven seminarians on the feast of our Lady of Lourdes. Molding and preparing for fifteen years of priestly formation, the confreres with their maturation of discernment and conformity with Christ made their solemn surrender to the Lord of the harvest, to serve and save souls through the Guanellian Order. Brothers submitted themselves to God in the presence of Fr. Gustavo DeBonis, General Secretary, and Fr. Soosai Rathinam, Provincial Superior. The following day, February 12th, the seven professed brothers were ordained as Deacons by Most Rev. Anthony Samy, Bishop of Kumbakonam. The congregation and the church thanked God for the gifts of young Servants.
Cuddalore – The Divine Providence Province held ‘Inter-Seminarians Meet ’17’ for all Guanellian Minor Seminarians from Andhra, Karnataka and Tamilnadu on Feb 9-10th at St. Joseph’s Seminary. The event was centered on the theme “Guanellian Holiness.” It was an enriching time for the young aspirants to strengthen themselves in Guanellian fraternity and fellowship. The gathering included: orientation program on “Personality Maturation: Spiritual, Human and Charismatic” by Fr. Benson SdC; endowment Seminar on “Modern Challenges in Religious Vocation” by Fr. John Peter SDB; “Guanellian Aspirancy and Vocation Discernment” by Fr. Ronald SdC; “Guanellian Spirituality Guanellian Holiness” by Fr. Assisi SdC. In addition, the students were offered varieties of animations and opportunities for skill development, general knowledge, Guanellian equipment and group entertainment. Today’s saplings, tomorrows fruits. Let us pray for and prepare them for a better understanding of our founder’s vision.
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
Cuddalore – January 28th was a blessed day for brothers of St. Joseph’s Minor Seminary; because the entire Cuddalore community celebrated the sacerdotal Golden Jubilee of Fr. Joseph Rinaldo, SdC, an exemplary servant of our Province. The day began with solemn Mass followed by a grand cultural event and agape meal. The momentous occasion was significant and inspirational for the Guanellian seminarians at the beginning of their vocational journey. Fr. Joe encouraged the seminarians to persevere, be more faithful, and committed to the call and discernment. He exhorted everyone to be a person of joy and contentment in the religious choice and consecration. The community offered the celebration as a gratuitous gift to God for the gift of Fr. Joe to our congregation and especially for the province.