Sivagangai – August 15th was a memorable day not only for India but also for Anbagam. A solemn Mass was celebrated for the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Independence Day of our nation. The house superior Fr. Kulandai and director Fr. Paul Francis were the celebrants. After Mass the good children celebrated Independence Day. Sr. Jotika, principal of Idhaya Women’s Arts and Science College from Sarugani, was the honorable Chief Guest and was given a warm welcome by the community. A parade of good children showing their patriotism by holding our national flag in their hands led Sr. Jothika to hoist the flag. She delivered a thought provoking speech by quoting Gandhi and telling them they are all gifted children with many abilities. She reminded them to be grateful for the care given by the Guanellian fathers who offer their whole life for their welfare alone. She also implored them to listen to the teachers who are guiding and teaching them values. And lastly she told them to always be happy that God is with them to protect and guide them. And she distributed sweets to all our good children. The oath was recited by the children and the national anthem was sung to close the program. Sr. Jothika spent time visiting with the children.
Our Lady of the Rosary
Sivagangai – The feast of Our Lady of the Rosary was commemorated at Guanella Yesuvanam October 7th. It was gratifying to entreat the blessings of Mary on our mission. The postulants created a ship for the Marian procession. In order to grasp the holiness of our Lord Jesus Christ, the mysteries of the Rosary were enacted by the Guanellian Cooperators and postulants during recitation of the prayer. A good atmosphere in which to contemplate the rosary was created through the repetition of words and the creative presentation by the Guanellians. All who participated felt deepened in their faith in the fidelity to God and Mary and Jesus with them in the joys and sorrows of their lives.
Sivagangai – The finest music often comes out of the saddest moments in life. As the postulancy program began with great joy and pleasure by the ways of the heart of St. Louis Guanella, July 7th-9th a music class was conducted for the brothers to improve their quality of learning music with special care. Fr. Arputha Raj, SdC, was invited to teach the music class. He led the class with full involvement and commitment. He enlightened their minds to assimilate music in many possible ways. Karnatic and Western lessons were taught through scales and mind blowing songs. “Music is a universal language of mankind,” he said. At the very atmosphere we nourished our minds and thoughts through his homily. All those who participated benefited by this music and vocal class.
Sivagangai – There are plenty of ways to attain enjoyment but a small loop is the only way to enjoy happiness. It was the greatest opportunity for postulants of Sivagangai to experience and to enjoy God’s love with practical knowledge of the mission of the Servants of Charity. Therefore Fr. Superior and the formators initiated the ministry for the postulants to experience filial affinity with those who say, ‘I have no one.’ They began this mission experience with the ‘Anbagam Special Children’ on July 6th. As part of the mission, special children were elevated through doing the charitable works and making them feel happy for the love of God. Indeed, it was a blessed day for all who recognized the charity and loveable heart of St. Louis Guanella.
Thalavadi – Lent is a time when everyone makes an effort to grow in spirituality. This year, the Guanellian Lay Movement (GLM) and Guanellian Cooperators (GC) from Bangalore went on a mission experience to Thalavadi to serve intellectually and developmentally disabled patients (I/DD). It was a two day program aimed at Good Samaritan work. On the first day, the members received an orientation from Fr. Lawrence, the Director of the mission house. The members were amazed to learn how our Fathers, Brothers and helpers can take this mission forward with great compassion. We also learned that some patients were transformed and returned home. Several homes catering to these patients chain them and at times treat them harshly. This was not the case here. Fr. Lawrence and Fr. Ligori told us we only give them love and dignity, and it is God who leads us all in what we do. This was a wonderful lesson learned as a Guanellian. We organized ourselves to get closer to these patients and share their stories. The members actively participated in the residents’ physical activity and we entertained them in the evening with music and dance. The following day the members cooked two sumptuous meals. The Community accommodated us with great care and we appreciate their hospitality.
Mission Experience of Novices
Bangalore – The six novices and Fr. Kennedy from Guanella Preethi Nivas Novitiate went for a one-week mission experience with mentally ill patients at “Nazareth Illam” in Thalavadi. This challenging mission is aided by the Government. Right now there are 63 people, the neglected and unwanted of society are brought from the roads, streets, bus stops by social workers and government officials to stay there. The Guanellian priests are rehabilitating them with immense love, medication and care free of charge. They organize various programs, games, therapy and other activities for their benefit. In fact, this mission has brought popular identity of our institute in the district. The novices were given an orientation and training session about the home, its service and the patients paving the way for a fruitful time of service. The novices participated in manual work, gardening, games, prayers, entertainment, fire dance, cooking, feeding, and exercise. They also assisted with personal care, giving haircuts, shaving them and making their beds. Most importantly, the novices listened to their stories, problems, and their family backgrounds. This attentive, empathetic listening enriched both. Novices were touched by the miracle of love happening there: the patients get healed in part by the family atmosphere. Once they are stabilized and rehabilitated, they are examined by a psychiatrist and many are reunited with their families. It is really a hall mark of our noble service to humanity in Tamilnadu. After the mission experience the novices returned to GPN with immense satisfaction and valuable learning.
Agriculture – Field of Life
Sivaganagi – Agriculture is the backbone of all human life. Without it humans would not survive. It is hard labor for everyone to go through. Many opt out, many dislike it, yet enjoy the benefit without pain and peril. However it is the basis for our daily living. The legacy of Fr. Guanella was also “PRAYER AND SUFFERING,” which forms a synthesis of hard labor and contemplation. To him “suffering” was prayer, action and work. Having this in mind, the Fathers and postulants of the Yesuvanam community, have done their hard manual labor, sacrificial work in the field and spirit of asceticism in order to experience the painful reality of human bread winning for both body and spirit. This exposure made the students taste the goodness of hardships in life and to learn that true happiness and satisfaction is always from one’s own hard work.
Official Visits Anbagam
Sivagangai – The District Revenue Officer inspected St. Guanella Anbagam Special School on October 8th. He visited the classrooms, physiotherapy room, dining hall, multipurpose hall, school bus and the sanitary system. He interviewed teachers and physiotherapists and Driver. He viewed all the documents of the special school especially attendance of the students, staff and other approval documents. He was very satisfied with our maintenance. He assured his official support for Anbagam in the future. The staff and students responded in a positive way during this visit.
Our Lady of the Rosary
Sivagangai – On the feast day of our Lady of the Rosary on October 7th Fr. Stalin, SdC celebrated solemn Mass in the Yesuvanam grotto. Mass was offered for the growth of our congregation and the good health of our confreres, sisters, co-operators and workers. On the eve of this feast, brothers organized a car procession. Neighbors, well wishers and benefactors added beauty to the event through meaningful and devoted participation. The car procession included multi-lingual prayers, chanting and hymns. All over we received abundant blessings and graces from our heavenly Mother.
Triple Joyous Celebrations
Sivagangai – To commemorate the 150th jubilee of the ordination of St. Louis Guanella; the Jubilee Year of Mercy and the 9th Anniversary of the foundation of Yesuvanam, the local community arranged a joyous celebration. Fr. Soosai led the event both spiritually and culturally. Along with the local community, confreres from different Houses of India attended this historic event. Eleven young seminarians showed their willingness to enter the postulancy and to experience the Guanellian way of life by knocking on the Yesuvanam door. Fr. Soosai gladly accepted their request and opened the gates to their Guanellian experience. He advised the postulants to be faithful and fruitful disciples of our Master, Jesus Christ, and to become fires of mercy and compassion.Later, Guanellian Lay Movement members made their pledges as co-operative members in the Guanellian institute to Fr. Soosai, who warmly welcomed them. They are more easily able to live the Guanellian mission at home and in their local area. They will be responsible ministers, fulfilling the expectations of the Holy See by practicing charity, mercy and sensitivity towards the needy. An announcement was prepared and made by Fr. Paul Francis, and officially released by Fr. Soosai for the fundraising to begin for the new construction. The evening ended with an agape meal.