Chennai – The first Regency Gathering was held at Don Guanella Major Seminary, October 19-20th. All the brothers arrived with eagerness to attend the program organized by Fr. Soosai Rathinam, the Provincial Superior. The First day began with prayer led by Fr. Soosai. Then in his first talk he spoke about the three dimensions and the line of action to execute the mission. In the second session he spoke about the Guanellian Educational Style in PEG. He insisted that Guanellian style is ‘the fruit of the Charism,’ the Preventive System through ‘Charity.’ Then Fr. Samson, rector of DGMS, enlightened the regents in the area of Human Dimension; insisting on self-knowledge and self-realization. On the last day Fr. Visuwasam, Provincial Councilor, spoke about St. Guanella as an educator; explaining the characteristics of Don Guanella as a pioneer in the field. Then the eight regency brothers shared their personal mission experiences. Fr. S.A Lourdu Raj arranged a Practical Mission Exposure for brothers at DGSS, where Miss Ezilarasi, the therapist, explained theories with a creative method. The gathering offered new methods to face the different challenges in different mission stations.
Chennai – The regents gathered at Don Guanella Major Seminary October 5- 6th. It was a pleasant moment for the regents to spend time together and share their experiences. The Provincial, Fr. Soosai Rathinam, welcomed everyone and shared a brief history about the regency period. He taught about the human dimension, spiritual dimension, and charismatic dimension; giving a good overview of the Basic Document for the Guanellian Mission. He highlighted important milestones which a regent must achieve. He shared his personal regency testimony and expressed his desire for the regents to have a fruitful experience and learn more about the congregation and the Founder. Fr Visuwasam and Fr. Samson taught classes about religious formation; empowering them to be firm and strong in their vocation and commitments.
Being a Disciple in God’s Plan…
During the first year of my mandate, I was very sensitive to criticism and discouraging remarks from certain confreres. But afterwards, I reflected and decided to look introspectively and interiorize silently on the attitude of those critical remarks.
To have a learning experience and to have care and compassion for others’ feelings and to deeply feel others’ pain, joy and well-being is quite challenging now-a-days. How do we become discerners of a caring and compassionate heart? I have thought about discerning God’s will for me and others these days. It’s hard to know where our motivations are coming from and sometimes cultivating an authentic and honest relationship is quiet difficult. Maybe we are too busy focusing on what we want that we lose sight in doing anything else.
Conforming one’s will to God’s will means concretely putting on the mind and the heart of Christ (Ph 2:5). It means not accepting the mind of the world but thinking the way Jesus thinks and loving the way Jesus loves. If we do not enter into intimacy with Jesus through personal prayer then it becomes very difficult to discern what God really wants of us. Now really knowing a person is to know him with your heart rather than with your mind. Being human, we all harbor within us fears, worries, anger, guilt feelings, insecurity, loneliness and stress. In all of us, we will find self-interest and motivations that lead to selfishness and egoism. We all live under the shadow of prejudices and therefore we are not free to look at circumstances, people, and situations without becoming judgmental in our thinking. In all, there are still hurts of the past that we are carrying and have not been yet completely healed of. In all of us there is a craving to win an argument or a battle for who is the best or greatest.
It happens that often religious leaders, always concerned about others and resolving others’ problems, seldom think about the need of being healed themselves. How can they help others in their journey towards Christ and perfection if they themselves are not on a journey with Christ, i.e., ignoring redemptive suffering? We could take as the best example our Founder, St. Guanella, during times of tribulation and rejection, his attitude was “Let us go to the Father” and trust completely in God the Father. God does not unfold all the plans in front of us at one time. He uncovers only one step at a time. For example, God did not give Moses a map with the entire route that he had to follow, but He told him what he had to do at the moment. Therefore, the more we are in tune with God, the more God will reveal to us what He has in His plan for us and thus discerning is not a technique but is a daily communication with God.
First Religious Profession
Bangalore – On the Feast of The Visitation of The Blessed Virgin Mary, May 31st, the Guanellian family rejoiced as four Novices promised to serve the kingdom of God as Servants of Charity. Fr. Adaikalam, the Novice Master, presented the Novices and Fr. Soosai Rathinam, the Provincial Superior, received them with love and joy. The Guanellian family from many communities, priests, sisters, brothers, parents, GLM, friends and benefactors were present. Fr. Soosai celebrated Holy Mass and received their profession. In addition, 13 lay cooperators renewed their promise and two new cooperators took their first promise to live the values of Christ by following the footsteps our Founder, St. Louis Guanella. They have been working for the welfare of Don Guanella Aged Home and Oratory Children for the past few years
Guanellian Summer School
Bangalore -The GPN community hosted a 3-day Guanellian Summer School with a fresh theme for the pastoral year 2014, “The Bond of Charity.” Constitution of the Servants of Charity article 12 says, “This bond is the strength of the institute and the source of its progress and perfection.” The beauty of the event was that it brought SdC priests and DSMP sisters from different communities together to taste this Bond of Charity. Indeed it was a time of fellowship, sharing knowledge & gifts, reading, reflecting, and praying together. The school was guided by Fr. Soosai Rathinam, the provincial, and Fr. Joe, the provincial treasurer. All Guanellians benefited from the thoughts and reflections shared by the presenters, who spoke about the spirit of our Founder and the necessity of strengthening the Guanellian Family as witnesses to the love of God.
Theologians Tour Thekkadi
Chennai – To celebrate his grand feast, Fr. Soosai Rathinam, Provincial Superior, visited the community and met each confrere personally. The feast day of St. Joseph was highlighted by Holy Mass and a sumptuous meal. The theologians of Don Guanella Major Seminary finished their semester exams and started their summer program with the annual tour; this year to Thekkadi, a dense forest and attractive tourist spot in Kerala. The priests and theologians started the journey on March 20th; spending two joyful days on Thekkadi. First they went boating where wild elephants came to drink water on the lake. The next morning they went to Periyar National Park on a jeep safari; experiencing the beauty of nature in the dense forest from the open jeep. Later they enjoyed a long walk. As they climbed the mountain, they were reminded of the strong mountaineer, St. Louis Guanella, climbing the steps of Savogno. They thoroughly enjoyed the fraternity and relaxation of the trip which was planned and funded by Mr. Manohar, a lay collaborator from Madurai.
The Lord Provides for His Children
Bangalore – The Oratory’s Annual Day was celebrated on March 2nd with our General Superior, Fr. Alphonso Crippa, Provincial Superior, Fr. Soosai Rathinam, councilors Fr. Charlton, Fr. Dennis Webber, Fr. Kulandai and many religious. The chief guests were Honorable MLA, Mr. Basavaraj, and President Elect of Geddalahalli, Mr. Narayana Swamy. The MLA, at our appeal, promised to request aTechnical Institute to be opened for the young who aspire to continue their studies beyond school. The GLM participated actively by organizing the event and supporting the children in cultural activities.
Each week nearly 200 children age 3-18 participate in the Oratory. They are put into different groups according to their age. The Brothers and GLM members carry out activities like games, moral values, singing, counseling and academics as part of the Evening School. Mr. Tarsius, a GLM member, is a regular teacher in the program; assisting the Brothers with the children in their academics.
A fruitful brainstorming session was followed by some friends and benefactors giving the children notebooks,a pencil box with pencils, erasers, rulers, a school bag and a lunch box; distributing the gifts to 200 children amidst the crowd of some 500 participants. Some also received dictionaries and watches. It is true that the Lord provides for His children. The students were rewarded with prizes for their discipline and good grades by Fr. Soosai. Fr. Crippa was equally delighted to give away gifts to the children and tell them how happy he is with the overall success of the Oratory. The children enjoyed the entertainment, group performances and the many gifts. At the end the children showed their gratitude to everyone for their support, motivation, love and care.
An Evening School Christmas
“Christmas is not about candy canes or lights all aglow…….It’s the hearts that we touch and the care that we show.”
Chennai – December 21st was a remarkable day for the Don Guanella Evening School children as they celebrated Suppose Christmas. In spite of their unfamiliarity with Christianity, they enjoyed the celebration by the touching events organized by the leaders. Rev. Fr. Soosai Rathinam, Provincial Superior, was the Chief Guest for the celebration and gave an inspirational talk that touched the hearts of the children. He started the celebration by blessing the statue of Jesus in the crib. The children performed colorful dances, songs, skits and shared gifts with each other. Fr. Soosai delighted all 72 children by giving each of them a Christmas Gift, a lunch bag. Toward the end, the children were refreshed by snacks sponsored by the family of Rev. Fr. Pravin Vinodh Raj who came to celebrate Christmas with our children. They also entertained our children by dancing and singing.
Be a Game-Changer Sparking with Innovation in 2014!!!
What is a game changer? It is an idea, a strategy, a product or service, a process or person that can create a breakthrough and take an organization to the next level. We could say the ‘iPod’ did it for Apple, breakfast did it for ‘McDonald’s’, and cell phones and the Internet were game changers for the whole world.
We approach the New Year, 2014, with hope, joy and expectation! Let us have a quest for a moral and spiritual renewal in restoring respect for life and truth and to rebuild trust in proclaiming and living the sanctity of human life. God wants to win with His love and wisdom, and He wants to build you up spiritually so as to live in His love and walk in His ways.
The message of the Holy Father for the celebration of the ‘World Day of Peace’ on January 1, 2014 was, “Fraternity, the foundation and pathway of peace”, needs to be discovered, loved, expressed, proclaimed and witnessed.
The UN has declared 2014 as an International year of Family Farming ( IYFF). Family farming includes all family-based agricultural activities and it is linked to several areas of rural development: organizing agriculture, forestry, fisheries, pastoral and aquaculture production. Therefore, family farming has an important socio-economic, environmental and cultural role and is inextricably linked to world food security.
“Our Mother May is full of beauty because she is full of grace,” said Pope Francis. We are blessed to bless others! Her grace, generosity, and recollectedness are with us. Let us pass on and discover the joy of a never-ending cycle of blessing, joy and peace to others. The mighty forces that will come to our aid are Father, Son and Holy Spirit and let us be SMARTS! (Simple-Meaningful-Actionable-Relational-Transformational-Scalable) and become the Spirit-filled Evangelizers of 2014!
World Special People’s Day
“A mother understands what a child does not say.”
Chennai – DGSS is the mother for all the Good Children in order to understand their unexpressive attitudes. To demonstrate this, differently-abled persons from about fifteen institutions of the Chennai area joined the celebration of Special People’s Day at Don Guanella Major Seminary on December 1st. Rev. Fr. Soosai Rathinam presided over the mass; delivering a meaningful sermon. Mr. Robinson, a professor, was invited as the chief guest to give an inspirational speech. Many people were touched by the words in his presidential address. Rev. Fr. S. A. Lourduraj, the director, organized a cultural program for the Good Children; including a ‘lottery’ for the people to give gifts to the lucky Special Children. A DGSS logo cap and a t-shirt was given to each Good Child as a souvenir. A delicious meal was served for all the participants after which Fr. Lourduraj thanked everyone for attending.