Bangalore – The seven novices of the Guanella Preethi Nivas community went on a ten-day desert experience under the guidance of Fr. Gnanaraj. They went to the Servarayan Hills, at Sagayapuram in the Thiruvannamali District. It is a desolate mountain top with a substation church. They had a spiritual awakening by spending lot of time in prayer, meditation, discerning their vocation, speaking to God and journeying into one’s own self. It was an atmosphere conducive to listening to the voice of God and to be enlightened to one’s true self. After morning Eucharist and instruction all went into the forest, having no contact with anyone except God in solitude. Fr. Gnanaraj beautifully guided each novice to discern their vocation through fasting, prayer and spiritual direction. Everyone would return in the evening, share their experiences and collectively prepare dinner. They had inexplicable Tabor experiences on that mountain. On the way down the mountain, they visited the Cloister of Poor Clare nuns. Talking to those spiritual giants was awesome and enlightening for the novices at the threshold of their Religious profession.
Manila – May 23rd-26th the seminarians from Legazpi and Quezon City shared time together. The primary purpose of the event was for the seminarians to develop a strong fraternity towards the Guanellian mission. The seminarians were given talks by Bro. Mauro, SdC, who presented some of the Guanellian Mission Principles, and Sr. Marivic, CM, who talked about discipleship. Team-building activities were conducted by Fr. Ronnie preceded by a fraternal night which allowed the seminarians to show off their talents and skills. Tita Alice and Tito Jun went with the seminarians to Batangas for a relaxing getaway. A tree-planting was the final activity that symbolizes the relationship between the two communities that will continue to grow.
Mysore – Retreat reminds us to refresh ourselves. It was a time for all of us to wait and look to our past and gain strength for the future that God enfolds to us. On April 24th, the Philosophy students and Regency Brothers gathered for retreat at Preethiya Sevakaru. The five-day retreat, was led by Fr. Chandra Nevis, SdC. He enlightened us with his Biblical knowledge, use of current technology, and healing and popular devotions of our Founder. When the retreat ended, the brothers departed to their communities with faith filled hearts and strength. They also expressed their sincere thanks to Fr. Benson, Rector of the Minor Seminary, for his hospitality and support throughout the retreat
Cuddalore – “Our hearts were made for you; they cannot rest until they find rest in You”. – St. Augustine. In order to help the young seminarians to rest for a while with God, the annual retreat for St. Joseph’s Minor Seminary was offered January 13th–16th. The retreat theme was “Holidaying with God in order to cherish the Love of God and nourish the Soul with Holiness.” The preacher was Rev. Fr. Xavier, a well known priest from Pondy-Cuddalore Archdiocese. The preacher meticulously guided the young scholastics on an inner journey with God and to have a richer spiritual experience. It was a blessed moment for all of them to discern and strengthen their vocation. Each day of the retreat ran in sacred silence and meaningful reflection. Finally the seminarians with a meaningful sacrament of reconciliation, solemn Eucharistic celebration and personal resolution ended the annual spiritual exercise.
Chelsea – Saturday, March 5th was a special day for twenty-three members of the Cardinal O’Hara Assembly of the Knights of Columbus, as they chose St. Louis Center as the location of their Third Annual Spiritual Retreat. The Retreat lasted a half-day, and was directed by Fr. Joseph Rinaldo, SdC., who also serves as the “Faithful Friar” of the Assembly. When Fr. Joseph accepted the position three years ago, it became his goal to help the men of this Assembly to increase their spirituality, and offered to do a Lenten Retreat on a yearly basis. This year’s retreat included talks on the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy, and included Adoration, Rosary, Reconciliation, and Mass. According to Doug Koepsell, Grand Knight of the Dexter Council, “The Lenten retreat left an indelible impression on me. In addition to experiencing a glimpse of life at the Center, the teachings of Fr. Joe Rinaldo were without comparison. We are so fortunate to have such a tireless servant of Christ as our Faithful Friar.”
Manila – The annual Advent recollection of the Servants of Charity was held December 5th. It was attended by the Guanellian Lay Cooperators, staff and volunteers, friends of the community, benefactors, seminarians and the religious community. About sixty people participated in the retreat, focusing on the challenge of Advent waiting in joyful expectation of the coming of the Messiah and having a change of heart. The event began with Holy Mass. The recollection was facilitated by Sr. Julie Popera, a Carmelite Missionary Sister. The Sacrament of Reconciliation was also made available after lunch.
Manila – On February 16, 2013 the Guanellian Lectors, Commentators and Usherettes (GLCUM), under the Guanellian Ministry, headed by Sem. Gilberto B. Bea went to Ninoy Wildlife Park for an outdoor retreat to deepen their relationship to God through their co-members by sharing their lives with each other. The activity started in the morning with a simple prayer. The group was divided into four teams. Each team prepared their own cheer. During lunch, everyone shared what they brought, like one big happy family. How beautiful it was to see the smiles as they dined and told jokes. After lunch, each team presented their group cheers and talents. They were dancing and singing during the cheering competition and exerting all their efforts as each group promoted their team as the best. Each member of the group actively participated as they took the different challenges of the games like pinoy henyo (Pinoy Genius), charades, pass the message and puzzles. It was really an unforgettable day; the group bonded with each other and friendships were deepened. Each GLCUM member received a souvenir to remember the affair. May this activity lead them closer to Christ and to be Christ-like to everyone. Serve the Lord with Joy!