Blessed Clare Bosatta, DSMP

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!

Don Guanella Oratory

Cuddalore – Until there are no longer poor and neglected to be assisted there is no end to our Charity. In view of actualizing this holy statement of our Founder, the Cuddalore Guanellian community has happily started Guanella oratory for the poor slum children around the house. It was inaugurated on March 19th, the feast day of St. Joseph, who is also the foster father of all poor and abandoned children. The objective of the oratory is “Intelligence and Morality”. Around 40 children were present at the inauguration. It was a blessed moment for all of us to sense the ministry of Jesus met through the footsteps of St. Louis Guanella and his servants.

Communio 2017

Manila – The Carmelite Missionaries hosted this year’s communion event  which was held March 8th at the Carmelite Missionaries Convent. Communio is celebrated every single year to foster camaraderie and tighten the bond between our neighboring religious congregations. The Daughters of St. Mary of Providence, Caritas Sisters of Jesus, Sisters of St. Dorothy and the Servants of Charity participated in the different activities. Everyone was prepared well for their presentations. Before the day ended, there was an exchange of names that had become their prayer partners until communion next year. A beautiful Mass presided by Fr. Charles was offered, con-celebrated by Fr. Loyola, Fr. Battista and Fr. Charlton.

‘Way of the Cross’

Kumbakonam – “Lent is a time to experience God’s Mercy and a time to extend God’s Mercy to others,” said Pope Francis. During the Lenten season, the Stations of the Cross were animated in substations of Guanella Nagar Parish: Thirupurampiam, Swamimalai, Asoor, Jabamalipuram Chinnamalkallari and Perumpandi. The Precious Blood Fathers were invited to participate in this Holy event. Holy Mass was celebrated after Stations. The people were taken up by the inspiring thoughts, “This is a season of grace all over the world and Lent is a time to renew our relationship with God and neighbor”. Fr. A. John Bosco, the parish priest, thanked him and urged the people to make a good confession during Lent. The liturgy was animated by Fr. Vincent, Bro. Kalaikovan, Srs. Christy and Julie. Parish groups such as Legion of Mary, Guanellian Lay Movement, Parish Council Members, and the parishioners also attended. Tea and snacks were served.

Water From His Side: Death and Resurrection

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

Catholic School is Fun

E. Providence – Catholic Schools Week was a fun-filled week at Sacred Heart School. We had Crazy Hair Day, Pajama Day, Principal, Teacher, & Pastor Appreciation Days, and ended the week with a Mass celebrated by our Principal, Fr. Peter. One of the highlights of the week was a volleyball game where the Faculty/Staff/PTO plays the 8th grade. It was a close game but the 8th graders won!

Juniors-Seminarians Forum

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.

The Birth of the Servants of Charity

St. Guanella and the mountains

In Como, on March 24, 1908, Fr. Guanella and eleven other confreres pronounced public and perpetual or temporary vows, according to each one’s status, during an intimate and moving ceremony.
This decision apparently appeared to be an obvious contradiction. Father Guanella, in fact, had just received for the third time, a negative response to the request for approval of the Servants of Charity. The history of those days would never stop amazing us for the amount of surprises and drawbacks.
The procedure had been suggested by Fr. Claudio Benedetti who represented the Holy See and acted in its name: “It was established that Fr. Guanella should put his mind to correcting the Constitutions and fully conform them to the norms of the Sacred Congregation; to make a more precise and total separation of the houses occupied by the Sisters from those operated by the Servants of Charity; to profess and have the others make their vows as already planned; to establish a general government according to the aforesaid norms; to open a novitiate house better than the existing one.”
Father Guanella had the opportunity to present the status of the Servants of Charity and promised to welcome and accept any counsel, to pursue the desired approval. That was enough to make every perplexity fall, and proceed to the first accomplishments.
The evening of Tuesday, March 24, 1908, was the vigil of the Feast of the Annunciation. Father Guanella’s priests gathered in the church of the Sacred Heart in Como to promise their fidelity and also legally become a Congregation. The sober description, almost terse, was composed by Father Guanella himself: “On this evening the undersigned priests gathered to profess simple, perpetual vows, in the institute of the Servants of Charity in this order. The Priest, Louis Guanella, as the Founder, made the perpetual vows of poverty, chastity and obedience according to the Constitutions received, and revised by the most Rev. Consulter, Fr. Claudio Benedetti in Rome. Afterwards, the above mentioned twelve confreres received the profession of the simple perpetual vows.” (6)
Fr. Leonardo Mazzucchi, one of the twelve newly professed, tells about the extremely emotional atmosphere: “In that late hour Father Guanella would open his lips in his humble, good, simple words; but his mouth did not speak, his great heart, his holy soul spoke feelings of rare sublimity of thought and affection. When we heard him, the martyr of such great fatigue and of many past sorrows, thanking us deeply so moved, oh then our heart could no longer withhold our tears, and we shed tears of love, of holy jubilation, of repentance, of recognition that left an indelible mark on our sous.” (7)
The same ceremony with the same emotions was repeated on March 28th in Milan; on April 1st again in Milan; on April 5th again in Como; on May 18th in Fratta Polesine; on June 7th in Rome and on June 26th for the third time in Como. Twenty-five perpetual professions and eleven for a three year term, and many more to come. Each one of them felt as if they were giving life to a reality that would leave a mark on the history of the Church. They felt to be a factor in the birth of an agile, young congregation that would know how to renew itself in love, moment by moment. On March 28th, the first General Chapter of the congregation was assembled at St. Cajetan House in Milan. The chapter fathers were fifteen and on that occasion, Father Louis Guanella was acclaimed General Superior. It was a first step of the unthinkable prospective of a community united by a sole bond of charity.
He wrote to Fr. Benedetti informing him of what had been done. It seemed that now the road for his institutions would be less strenuous. Many obstacles had been removed. Now Father Guanella could look with more confidence and serenity to the future: “Today is the 42nd anniversary of my sacred Ordination, and I beg you to bless me and our institutions, where I believe the Spirit of the Lord rests. God willing, in His mercy, I hope that the two institutes reach their proper goal. I enjoy repeating that they give me much comfort and hope.”

Final Vows and Diaconate Ordination

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.

Guanellian Deepam ’17

Chennai – The DGMS community releases “Guanellian Deepam” each academic year and the theme this year is, “Guanella’s Spirituality and his Devotion”. Many confreres contributed to the booklet by writing articles, giving birth to the richness of our Founder’s Spiritual Devotedness and Maturation in Holiness. This year’s edition was released on February 11th, feast day of our Lady of Lourdes and the day seven seminarians professed perpetual vows to the Congregation. Fr. Soosai Rathinam, Provincial Superior, officially released the booklet and with his words of appreciation he insisted that the young confreres should excel in their intellectual and spiritual evangelization, drawing many modern souls to God.