Chennai – Come away to a Deserted Place by yourselves and rest for a while,” Mk: 6:31. According to St. Louis Guanella, “The enrichment of one’s consecrated life is met through diagnosing the health of body, mind and soul through ‘annual spiritual exercises’, and it is a promising Way to Holiness”. Therefore, the Divine Providence Province offered the Annual Spiritual Exercises ‘17 for all priestly confreres in order to enrich their Religious Consecration. So that all confreres could participate, the Retreat was held on two different occasions. It was the choice of the confreres and the decision of superiors to shuffle their members according to the needs and requirements of the community. The preachers were Fr. Jesu, SVD; and Fr. Soosairaj, SJ. The retreat created a suitable ambience to rest in God, renew the soul in the Holy Spirit and project for a better religious life.
Manila – April 3rd-8th, the aspirants of the Servants of Charity went on a week-long retreat. On the last day, the seminarians, Fr. Charlton, Fr. Loyola and Bro. Mauro went to Pangasinan for a pilgrimage and to visit the Archbishop of Lingayen, Dagupan His Excellency Socrates Villegas. For the seminarians, it was indeed a very good way to end a meaningful retreat. It was also a great privilege to hear words of advice from the bishop and to hear him share about his vocation story.
Cuddalore – The Guanellian Charism School of the Divine Providence Province for 2017 was held at St. Joseph’s Seminary, Samupillai Nagar, April 3–7th. The theme of the year is “Come, Let Us Go to the Roots.” The school was inaugurated with the prayer service conducted by the minor seminarians. Thereafter the purpose and objectives of the Guanellian Study Centre and charism school was narrated and explained. It is mainly to “Know the Founder,” to “Preserve the Guanellian Tradition” and to “Live the Spirit and Charism” in our context today. The major themes that were discussed in the charism school dealt with the death of Don Guanella, Mother Marcellina Bosatta and the DSMP’s, Ven. Aurelio Bacciarini, the successors of Don Guanella and the Guanellian Mission, and the Process of Beatification and Canonization of St. Guanella. On the last day of the Charism school, there was a day of Lenten pilgrimage to our Lady of Lourdes Shrine and leisure program in the amusement park at Villiyanur, Pondicherry.
The Charism School was a memorable one for all the participants of the Province. It was an enriching program for all the young Guanellians to educate themselves deeply with the spirit of our Founder. It enabled every individual to renew and revitalize their Guanellian commitment and consecration. Finally, our thanks to the Provincial Superior and his Council for their efforts at equipping the Province with Guanellian enlightenment.
Chennai – The Divine Providence Province in India inaugurated a Structured Guanellian Study Center March 3rd. During the inaugural ceremony Fr. Soosai, Provincial Superior, narrated the significance and benefits of the center in India. He also exhorted the confreres and young scholastics to educate themselves and to infuse their lives with the spirit of the Founder. Fr. Francis, coordinator of the Center, explained the purpose and objectives: to know the Founder, to preserve Guanellian traditions and to live the spirit and charism in our Context today. To memorialize the inauguration, a precious manuscript of our Holy Founder was presented by Fr. Fabio Pallota from Spain to be archived at Guanellian Study Center, India.
Fr. Furaha Ntasamaye, a young diocesan priest in Tanzania, through his own initiative scoured Europe to obtain substantial contributions to help care for almost 250disabled girls and boys in a very vast region of West Tanzania.
This is the first Guanellian settlement in this beautiful country.
Gero Lombardo, German Guanellian Procure
The month of May is a season of growth, when nature is reborn. It is the time when the earth bursts forth fresh foliage and green grass after the stern frost and snow of winter; the raw atmosphere; the wild wind and rain of the early spring; it is the season when the blossoms are upon the trees and the flowers are in the gardens. It is the time when the days get long, the sun rises early and sets late. With such gladness and joyousness of nature, it is so fitting for our Mother Church to make this month a special and significant season of renewal and rejuvenation for her faithful through devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary who is the pure threshold of divine relationship.
God willed both: to reveal Himself to man and to give him the grace of being able to welcome the revelation in faith. The desire to know and love God is a gift. It is a reflection of the mystery of the divine relationship of the Holy Trinity, a divine communion of persons. The uncreated Persons of the Trinity willed to make communion with the human, the created persons of their image and likeness. After countless covenantal promises and break-ups, finally they found a holy threshold, the ‘Blessed Virgin Mary’, to renew and re-erect the imperishable pillar of relationship with humanity through the great event ‘Incarnation’. Mary’s beauty is known in her fiat and total Amen. She is referred to as a “Woman of Assent and the Memory of the Church”.
St. John Paul II so beautifully named Mary the ‘Memory of the Church.’ The Church, as Mary, is Virgin and Mother. She is the model, the mother, and the personal summa of the Church. Mary’s fiat is the nexus whereby all mankind is able to give consent to the influx of the communion of the Trinity. Time and eternity hinged on this maiden’s ‘Yes’ to the communion of grace and holiness, which made her the ‘Woman of Assent.’ She is also the ‘fullness of grace’ that is the plenitude of Trinitarian communion. She is the daughter of the Father, mother of the Son, and Spouse of the Holy Spirit.
Understanding these divine privileges in the life of blessed mother Mary, St. Louis Guanella surrendered both of his Congregations unto her care and protection. He initiated all his religious ministries upon his strong trust in the Providence of God and unshakable devotion to the Mother of Divine Providence, Blessed Mary. Enjoying her motherly kindness and guidance, St. Louis Guanella has beautifully written a book dedicated to her ‘In the Month of Flowers.’ In his writing he has strongly exhorted his followers ‘to adorn ourselves with the holy virtues of the Blessed Virgin Mary and to embrace her footsteps to enjoy divine communion with the Holy Trinity.
Fr. Guanella had strong affection and disposition towards Mary. Sharing the same family spirit and devotion, we also need to frame our religious life upon the style and surrender of Mary. As we happily prepare to celebrate the priestly ordination anniversary day of our holy Founder, it is more fitting for us to imbibe the spiritual nourishments of our founder for our holy priesthood. Our priestly life based on the virtues of Blessed Virgin Mary would be the most precious gift and honor for him. If our mere life would become a convincing witness and message, than our words as that of our Founder.
May is normally part of the Easter season, the period of fifty days which lasts from Easter to Pentecost. The Easter season is a fitting time to recall Mary’s immense joy over her Son’s Resurrection and to rediscover her role as mother and teacher in our lives. Mary has a unique role in God’s plan of salvation and in the Church. She consented to the coming of the Savior and cooperated in developing His mission. She brought Him into the world, raised Him and lovingly stood by His side during the years of His hidden life. She supported Him during His public ministry in a quiet way, beginning at Cana, where by her intercession Jesus performed His first miracle. She cooperated in His work, even uniting her own suffering with that of her Son, standing at the foot of His cross. Mary was Jesus’ first disciple, humbly following Him during every step of His journey and mission. She trusted in God completely and lived by His grace. She is our model of true discipleship and of complete faith.
The Blessed Virgin Mary offered the disciples her prayers, motherly care, and witness. She continues to offer us her motherly love and intercession. During this month of May, let us rediscover her maternal role in each of our lives. Let us offer our spiritual mother our sincere prayers, that just as she aided the first Apostles with her prayers, she may also guide and intercede for us in our journey of faith. Let us learn from her how to love and trust God completely and how to be faithful witnesses of the Risen Lord.
Fr. Soosai Rathinam
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!
Bangalore – One’s soul is nourished through spiritual formation, serving the poor with love and compassion. A first recollection was organized for our Cooperators on March 11-12th, building the group spiritually and providing an opportunity for everyone to get to know one other. The event was led by Fr. Prakash and Fr. Adaikalam. Fr. Prakash led the group with the theme, “The Aimed and Expected Purpose of a Guanellian”. He emphasized that our Founder considered relationships very important and always respected the feeling which is “Love”. He took this from scripture, where he adored the love of Abba Father, and always loved everyone. Fr. Prakash took the parable from John 15:1-17 “The Vine and the Branches” and explained how we need to stay connected to God down to the roots, so that we will bear fruit. The Cooperators meditated on each verse in the Guanellian Way and reflected on how Father Guanella would have responded. Fr. Adaikalam then emphasized the formation to help each Cooperator see God in everything. The day concluded with a talk by Fr. Gnanaraj who spoke of the Paternity of God. As a Cooperator, the life of every individual must be based on spirituality and moral values.
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.
Chennai – The Divine Providence Province in India had the joy and privilege to spend quality time with the members of ASCI, the charitable movement from Italy. The representatives were Mr. Eduardo and Ms. Maura. During their trip they visited all the mission stations of our Guanellian family in India. After the fraternal visit, they expressed their sentiments,
“We actually see the inspired Guanellian charism, imitated love of Christ, witnessed Guanellian service amidst the poor and suffering of society such as abandoned children, orphans, disabled “good children”, and the elderly. The image of love and mercy that St. Guanella generated for the poor brethren is represented. In spite of extreme poverty the respect for human life is marvelous. The young Guanellian family in India including priests, sisters, brothers, seminarians, benefactors, beneficiaries and all the other Guanellian members, is really deep rooted in its faith, apostolate and evangelization in accordance with modernity.”
Having expressed this, they expressed gratitude for all the hospitality prepared by the province. They also assured their spiritual and manual assistance of any projects of charity to the poor.