The Art of Good Communication

Cuddalore – Skillful communication is a gift from God that graces the act of announcing His loving message effectively. To excel in the fluency of communication, the young scholastics from St. Joseph’s seminary created several programs for developing their oratory skills.  This included competition on seminar presentation, extempore, Gospel sharing, essay writing and a mini-parliament on current events. The seminarians were shuffled in different groups, and guided to demonstrate their talents.  In every case, the brothers provided stunning performances resulting in the audience being wonder struck. It was a beautiful moment of learning for all.

Seminary Day

Cuddalore – The Guanellians of St. Joseph’s Seminary were indeed happy to celebrate ‘Seminary Day’ on the solemnity of St. Joseph, March 19th. The Festal Celebration commenced with the Ex-Seminarians Meet animated for all those who discontinued their formation as Guanellian religious.  Next was the St. Guanella Super Singer Competition for all children and youth of the area. In the evening a Procession of St. Joseph, our patron, led to the Solemn Holy Eucharist, which was presided by Fr. Visuwasam, Superior. All the parishioners, religious friends from neighboring communities and parishes, benefactors, GLM members, and all our beneficiaries doubled our joy by their gracious presence.

Passion Play

Cuddalore – The young scholastics from St. Joseph’s Minor Seminary have meticulously produced a light and sound program entitled, ‘Passion of Christ’. Their dedication to the performance was an awesome evangelizing task. After their long spiritual and manual preparation, they were amply graced by the Holy Spirit to bring forth the true sentiments of Calvary. The audience was very moved and sensitized.

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.

Seminarians Meeting

Cuddalore – The Divine Providence Province held ‘Inter-Seminarians Meet ’17’ for all Guanellian Minor Seminarians from Andhra, Karnataka and Tamilnadu on Feb 9-10th at St. Joseph’s Seminary.  The event was centered on the theme “Guanellian Holiness.” It was an enriching time for the young aspirants to strengthen themselves in Guanellian fraternity and fellowship. The gathering included: orientation program on “Personality Maturation: Spiritual, Human and Charismatic” by Fr. Benson SdC; endowment Seminar on “Modern Challenges in Religious Vocation” by Fr. John Peter SDB; “Guanellian Aspirancy and Vocation Discernment” by Fr. Ronald SdC; “Guanellian Spirituality Guanellian Holiness” by Fr. Assisi SdC. In addition, the students were offered varieties of animations and opportunities for skill development, general knowledge, Guanellian equipment and group entertainment. Today’s saplings, tomorrows fruits. Let us pray for and prepare them for a better understanding of our founder’s vision.

Golden Jubilee

Cuddalore – January 28th was a blessed day for brothers of St. Joseph’s Minor Seminary; because the entire Cuddalore community celebrated the sacerdotal Golden Jubilee of Fr. Joseph Rinaldo, SdC, an exemplary servant of our Province. The day began with solemn Mass followed by a grand cultural event and agape meal. The momentous occasion was significant and inspirational for the Guanellian seminarians at the beginning of their vocational journey. Fr. Joe encouraged the seminarians to persevere, be more faithful, and committed to the call and discernment. He exhorted everyone to be a person of joy and contentment in the religious choice and consecration. The community offered the celebration as a gratuitous gift to God for the gift of Fr. Joe to our congregation and especially for the province.

Harvesting the Fruits of our Labor

Cuddalore – “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for His harvest.” (Lk 10:2). It was with joy the priests and seminarians of St. Joseph’s Seminary offered a fruitful and beneficial harvest out of their hard labor of cultivating the farms with paddy and other vegetables. As our holy founder St. Guanella said, “Pray and Suffer” for a holy way of living. The young seminarians, with due formation and holy ascetic experience through this labor, enthusiastically contributed their energy for the community. This further developed their sense of belonging and family spirit in the congregation. As God blessed the harvest in fruitfulness, He also blessed these servants with greater virtues and values. All praise be to God!

On Holiday with God

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.

Happy Birthday, Father!

Cuddalore – Every birthday makes a testimony that God still loves the world and showers his unceasing grace upon it. In return, if the life received from God makes its best on earth through holy living and serving, then it becomes a gratuitous gift to God. Our Holy Founder, St. Louis Guanella, exemplified this and made his life a gift to God through his spiritual vibrancy and selfless service. In view of honoring his holy birth, life and his charitable patrimony, the Guanellian Family of St. Joseph’s Seminary, Don Guanella Boys Home, Sagaya Matha Parish, Divine Providence Convent and Hostel, GLM and all the beneficiaries joined in celebrating the 174th Birthday of St. Guanella, with solemn Mass, cultural programs, gift sharing and a meal. It was a moment of revitalizing the spirit, mission and vision of our Holy Founder. Thanks be to God for the gift of St. Louis Guanella, the Saint of Charity!

Annual Assembly in India

Cuddalore – The Annual Assembly for the Perpetually Professed Indian Confreres of the Divine Providence Province was held December 14th–16th at St. Joseph’s Seminary. Forty-five Guanellian priests working in India attended the assembly. Fr. Soosai Rathinam was the president of the assembly. Rev. Fr. Samson and Rev. Fr. Francis Assisi were nominated as the moderators and Fr. Benson and Fr. Amalraj were elected as the secretaries. The precedent of the assembly cheerfully invited and encouraged all the office bearers and the participants to be more dynamic and authentic. The major themes dealt in the assembly were as follow;

  • “Outward-Bound” Servants of Charity – By Rev. Fr. Soosai Rathinam, SdC

The Crux of the Session: It is to have fidelity to the charism and newness well tuned in order to express it today in a society which is very different from that of our Founder. Church by its very nature is missionary and it needs the spiritual and apostolic contribution. The consecrated life is being characterized by the constant search for God and the constant re-visitation of its identity. One needs to overcome the wrong perspective of religious life and learn to find God in all things. The prophetic character of the consecrated life is to nurture, nourish and evoke a consciousness. Church’s deepest nature is expressed in her three-fold responsibility: of proclaiming the word of God, celebrating sacraments and exercising the ministry of Charity.

 

  • Together as DPP “Upholding your Spiritual Vibrancy and Mission in India”

– By Fr. Antony Joseph, SDB

 

The Crux of the Session: The spiritually vibrant person would be with fire, passionate and their motive is to love God and people. The feeling of being loved and the best interest to live the Christian life move a person to be spiritually vibrant. He gave five keys to find out the spiritually vibrant, they are member’s contribution, assimilation, trust in leadership, community impact and health growth.  They live a life bible based, Christ centered and spirit led. He added twenty one (21) points to be spiritually vibrant. Be a giver and not a receiver, identify blessing, speak words of blessing, nurture a shared prayer life, take a step of Faith, restore someone’s faith, be a grateful person, share the journey with others, serve, cultivate the solitude, fast and pray, turn worries over to God,  spread love wherever you go, keep your priorities straight, strive for excellence, use it or lose it the talents, meditate on scriptures, be reliable, ask God make you a blessing, Spend time with nature, exercise the power of choice. After the questions and clarifications the assembly left for midday prayer and lunch.

  • Guanellian Identity and Mission in India Today: “Paradigm shift from Mono-Cultural to Multi-Cultural phase”                 – By Fr. Kulandaisamy, SdC

 

The Crux of the Session: He took root from GC 19, Evangelized to Evangelize No: 5 Establishment of International communities, and from 7th General Consultation’s General Issues “confreres should be prepared to inter-cultural life and values. He defined world “culture”, mono – culture and multi-culture. He explained clearly quoting from Pope Francis “Tradition is not the worship of ashes but the preservation of fire”. One has to know how to preserve what is essential and open ourselves to the newness of the Spirit. It is only in this way that a presence can lasts, even for centuries. In transmission of Charism, the identity must not be lost. The transmission of a charism has a charismatic nature rather than an institutional nature (Mono culture to multi culture). It is inexorably linked to people, who make it a living experience. Guanellian Charism has experienced many cultures in the world and it would be more enriching in Indian pluralistic culture without losing its origin. The Guanellian focus must be on the people who have no one disregarding the religion, caste geography etc. After the clarifications the meeting came to an end and assembly proceeded for the health break.

 

  • “Updating on legal compliances such as FCRA, taxation and financial situation of DPP”                                                                 – By Fr. Visuwasam, SdC

The Crux of the Session: He started with the quote of Mother Teresa, “It is not that we are called to be successful rather faithful”. He explained the present situation of India and invited everyone to be aware of FCRA (Foreign Contribution Regulation Act), the exemption from the income tax, and charitable purposes according to the income tax act. He listed out the documents to be maintained properly in a all the communities, pointed out the list of frequent mistakes and rectifications in maintaining the bills and accounts. He added the eligibility criteria for section 80G, donations permitted under section 80G, Exemptions under section 80G, the main purpose of the societies’ registration act. He gave the clear idea on the term society and way to manage the society. Eventually he brought to the notice of the confreres the assets of the congregation in India. After giving the details of the account of the different communities he gave some suggestions for the progress.

  • The Journey of Guanellian Lay movement and Guanellian Co-operators: ‘Richness and Diversity of experience and co-operation’ in India

– By Fr. Visuwasam, SdC

The Crux of the Session: He started his narration with the sayings of our Founder “He who is called by the Lord to be an Instrument of his Divine Providence, must have great Faith and the Right Intention.” He gave clear idea about GLM and GC, the statistics, vision, purpose, members, type of formation given to them, the difference between GLM and GC, the journey accompanied with them and the activities of GLM and GC in different communities.  At the end of his talk he gave some proposals in the province level in order to motivate the GLM and GC members.

 

  • “Along the River, Outside the Gate”        – By Fr. Soosai Rathinam, SdC

The Crux of the Session: As we are going to celebrate 174th birthday of our merciful founder indeed it is a providential moment to revision things, new directions and new ways of looking at reality. Father Guanella was a visionary and great missionary. Henceforth we are called to re-incarnate his presence, vision and mission contextually. Creative fidelity is a fundamental theme in the Consecrated life..the fundamental question is not , why be a religious? but rather ‘for whom and with whom? Today we live the culture of the ‘disposable’ of the collapse of ideology like anti-values, no long term commitment, greater speed, crisis of consecration etc.. in this context the  quality of our love for Christ and for humanity is equally important. The important features for the promotion of the charism are Qualitative progress of charism, fraternal solidarity in the furtherance of the spirit of the mission, visibility of the religious witness and etc.,  

 

Exclusive of the all the resourceful sessions, there was a meaningful group discussion and valid report making on questionnaires drawn from the different sessions. At the climax of the assembly there was enough time given for ‘open forum and dialogue’ where the participants made their ‘Concrete proposals for the renewal of DPP in order to grow in fraternal communion and mission was made’. Finally, there was a great joy and festive fragrance in all to celebrate the 25th Sacerdotal Silver Jubilee of our first Indian confrere Rev. Fr. A. John Bosco, SdC. It was a grand celebration with solemn Holy Mass, Felicitation and Cultural Program. On the whole, with the spirit of contentment and family spirit the assembly came to its end. Rev. Fr. Provincial superior with his cordial love thanked and greeted everyone with Christmas gifts.