Legacy Remembered Lent 2018: Prayer and Suffering…

frABacc10As we are in the Lenten season, it would be appropriate to reflect upon the greatest testament which our beloved Founder St. Louis Guanella left to us his disciples: Prayer and Suffering. It can be well understood from the words of Bishop Aurelio Bacciarini, the successor of Fr. Guanella. Prayer is the first necessary condition for the stability, progress and success of the Houses of Fr. Guanella. He also differentiates prayer and the spirit of prayer: Prayer is the common and ordinary invocation of God that we raise to Him during the day. Spirit of prayer is something more intense and deeper. Therefore for these extraordinary charitable acts not only mere human hands are needed but also the kind and strong intervention of God. Without the spirit of prayer, we would not receive God’s favors. Hence it is a requirement for every member of a community and whole of the congregation to be soaked in prayer and make the Houses of Charity real tabernacles of constant praise to God. How to make our life prayer? a) from the Altar of the Holy Eucharist, let us draw the treasures of Divine Mercy b) from the reception of Holy Communion, let us unite ourselves with Jesus with the fervor of saints, so that nothing of this world may separate us from Him c) From the Holy Tabernacle – Paradise on Earth – let us sanctify our work, our travelling and our rest by keeping our hearts and minds on the Lord, in conversation with heaven.
Suffering is a word that drips drops of blood. Unless and until one is filled with the spirit of prayer, it is highly difficult to understand the term suffering. From the very life of Jesus, we can perceive that there is no redemption without the cross, suffering. The Church of Jesus Christ floats on the blood of the martyrs. All her triumphs are rooted in suffering. The Houses of Fr. Guanella were born from martyrdom. Fr. Louis Guanella suffered martyrdom in everything: contradictions, accusations, opposition, humiliations, disappointments, hunger, thirst, tiredness, agonies of body and soul. Let us understand that suffering is the key to reach paradise. As imitators of Jesus Christ and followers of Fr. Guanella, let us strive to endure daily suffering, suffer discomforts and privations, endure and carry the crosses that faithfully accompany our daily lives. The very legacy of Prayer and Suffering teaches us a lesson to despise the world and detach ourselves from its allurements. Let us live in God by prayer and suffering as our beloved Father and Founder did.
At the invitation of our Holy Father the season of lent is a favorable time which is offered by God as ‘a sacramental sign of our conversion. Lent summons us and enables us, to come back to the Lord wholeheartedly, and in every aspect of our lives’. Prompted by Pope Francis, we shall recollect the aspect of prayer and suffering as Guanellians. He says that prayer should become the driving force to enable us to reach out to the poor, marginalized and the victimized. Prayer is the constant response of our hearts to the will of God. The attitude of penance reminds us that we need to suffer with endurance, to say no to our selfishness. Acts of charity should be the constant striving of our hearts to share our time and resources with those who have nothing or nobody.
Added to our own physical, psychological, socio-economic problems, the present religious and political situation impels us to march forward with much courage to face the prejudices and persecutions against us Christians in order to be rooted out from a particular country or territory. Generally this might arouse in us questions like where is God? Why all these to us alone? and make us lose hope in God. On a positive note this happens to us because God wants to communicate with us but we are busy doing our work. Often we are after our minds by being too much indulged in social networks, technology, media which keeps us away from the creator who is behind every sphere. Rather we are called to be after our hearts from where love proceeds and inclines us to care for the anthropological aspect of our existence. It is high time this Lent that we fast from the media, network culture and be rooted in communicating with God in prayer and receive graces to face our trials and tribulations. May this Lenten Season help us to have metanoia and a fruitful celebration of the Resurrection of the Lord.


Good Children Rejoice

sivagangai - bdaySivagangai – St. Guanella Anbagam took special care in celebrating the birthdays of the good children Antony and Stalin on September 17th. That morning, Mass was offered for their good health and that God may shower His blessings upon them and console them in their sufferings. Throughout the day they were filled with happiness. That evening the community gathered in Anbagam to pray over them, sing birthday songs and then cut the special cake that was purchased in their honor. They were happy to share cake with their friends.

Indian Clericus Cup

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Chennai – In view of celebrating the centenary of the death of our Founder, St. Guanella, Don Guanella Major Seminary hosted a Basketball tournament September 17-18th. The prime reason was to make known his charism and foster relationships with the neighboring communities during this year dedicated to the Bond of Charity. Eight teams participated; including Sacred Heart Seminary, Salesian Theologate (Kavarapettai), MMI Theologate, CMI Fathers, Blessed Sacrament Fathers, Holy Spirit Fathers, FOD and Guanellians. The opening ceremony began with prayer and song to St. Guanella in the presence of Fr. Samson, local superior, and the community. At the end, Guanellians met the MMI Theologate in the final and won the trophy. The community dedicated the trophy to all Guanellians worldwide (Fathers, Brothers, Sisters, Benefactors, GLM and Beneficiaries) who are eagerly preparing themselves to celebrate this great event. Mr. Seenu, the local ward member, Fr. M. I Raja (Blessed Sacrament) and Fr. Julian from Kumbakonam diocese were the invitees for the closing ceremony, and they encouraged the players to continue the good relationship and distributed the prizes and cup to the winners.



Indian Priests Celebrate Founder's Day

Indian Priests Celebrate Founder's DaySivagangai – It is nice when priests, brothers, and lay cooperators come together as one family. December 19th is a memorable day for all Guanellians; our founder St. Guanella was born as a light to the people who say, ‘I have no one.’ In order to celebrate the day, all Guanellian Lay Cooperators were invited to Yesuvanam. Fr. Kulandaisamy, Fr. Paulraj, Fr. Franklin, Fr. Thambu, and Fr. Anandan celebrated Mass followed by a time of thanksgiving and a discussion about the growth of Yesuvanam. Everyone was happy to be part of the Guanellian family and the milestone celebration, the 171st birthday of our founder. Fr. Kulandaisamy, local superior, cut the birthday cake during the Agape meal.Indian faithful during Mass


St. Guanella Heals the Sick

elderly Indian man receives baptism

elderly Indian man receives baptismBangalore – The Guanella Preethi Nivas community was blessed with God’s grace in abundance in this month particularly. One of the elderly beneficiaries, Mr. Durairaj, asked to be baptized. He took the baptismal name Louis Joseph and received First Holy Communion on the feast of St. Guanella. An age old desire was fulfilled when he received our Lord for the first time. The first day of novena began with the miracle. A benefactor’s wife had a tumor in her womb. The doctors wanted to operate, but decided to pray for the intercession of St. Guanella. Their prayers were heard, she was miraculously healed. There are many people giving thanks for gifts that they have received through him. May the blessings of our saintly founder be always with us!


Triduum on St. Guanella at DGMS

Learning the Life of SLG at DGMS

Learning the Life of SLG at DGMSChennai – On October 23rd, the Evening School children and staff were invited by the DGMS Community to participate in the final day of the Triduum of reflection on the life of St. Guanella. The service, organized by 3rd year brothers, began with an opening prayer led by Fr. Rajesh. The children were encouraged to read and recite the antiphons and prayers of the Breviary to get more involved in evening prayer. Bro. Arockiaraj revealed the life situation of our Founder to the children, who cleverly responded to the questions he asked. After the prayer service, the children enjoyed tea and snacks and were accompanied home by Bro. Deva and staff.


A Helping Hand

Guanella statue dedication in RI

Fr. Peter in church on founder's feastE. Providence – On the Feast Day of St. Louis Guanella, October 24th, Fr. Peter blessed the new statue of St. Guanella outside of Sacred Heart School.  Everyone processed into church for Mass. The children of the school made the banner of “helping hands” to show that everyone can be like St. Guanella; always helping others.