Fr. Guanella: Passionate Hope for Amatrice Earthquake Victims

It could be that in the last few days Fr. Guanella received special permission to return to Earth to visit his tortured homeland. It’s easy to imagine that he would be working beside the first responders during the recent Earthquake in Central Italy, just like he did at an advanced age in Avezzano in 1915. Earlier, he ran into a similar tragedy that occurred in Messina, Sicily in 1908. Our first thought following that terrifying instant went to our House in Perugia; very close to the epicenter of the quake. Fortunately, nothing has happened there so far. A fire brigade from our town immediately organized a convoy to help a sister community near Amatrice. Some German GLM friends volunteered, taking a small picture of Fr. Guanella for their identity, in case other Guanellians were within the search parties; as Fr. Piero Lippoli has done before.
Our recent daily work has been more than satisfactory due to a series of good events. We organized a barbecue to benefit the Good Samaritan Pharmacy in Manila with a few friends. And we were pleased with the exchange of ideas between the Procure and several DPP missions in India asking for financial support for their centers for people with I/DD and religious structures. The Guanellian delegation in West Africa has also resumed close contacts with the Procure to insure major financial support from our German solidarity agencies.
Fr. Uche is efficiently preparing his African confreres for the future by initiating activities for his pastoral needs as well as for their structures, using diversified sources from abroad. We recently learned that Fr. Furah, a Tanzanian diocesan priest, is preparing a residence for our Confreres at Mbeya, using his contacts in Central Europe and the mediation of our Procure. We can also inform you that our Procure has made formal attempts, through the Archdiocese of Freiburg, for periodic support of the Guanellian Major Seminaries in Africa and India to benefit our theological students. Fr. Soosai Rathinam, Provincial Superior, and Fr. Uche, African delegate, are working together to prepare a proposal for funding. This is happening because since their arrival, the Servants of Charity have been recognized for their commitment, and because they are also interested in placing more Guanellian priests throughout our Diocese, due to a scarcity of vocations to the diocesan priesthood in Europe.
More good news is a joint effort between the German Pious Union and our entity for a new branch of the Confraternity of St. Joseph in the Province of St. Marc in Kerala and Andra Pradesh, India. Cardinal Mar George Alencherry of Kochi/Kerala and Bishop Chacko Thottumarickal of Indore Diocese, will be asked for their approval to open a branch of the German Pious Union in their dioceses. If approved, an offical request will be transferred to Fr. Mario Carrera in Rome at the Central Office of the Guanellian Pious Union.
Our confreres in India, principally Fr. Rathinam, were asked to consider this initiative involving the SdC and later the DSMP‘s for this opportunity to join our forces for good, and to eventually benefit our own financial needs. Please contact Sister Pushpa Madassery of the St. Marc Province via email:(pmadassery@gmail.com).
Let us conclude this report with a simple prayer of soon to be canonized Mother Teresa of Calcutta:
Lord,through your intercession and our Mother Mary, let us become the little pencil in your hand in order to spread throughout the world your merciful tenderness toward the voiceless, suffering and abandoned children in this egotistical society.
As a new season begins. Let us mobilize all of our resources for God’s greater glory and passionate love for His Son, Jesus Christ.
Gero Lombardo Guanellian German Procure

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Champions of Charity: St. Louis Guanella and St. Teresa of Calcutta

In a very remarkable event, our Holy Father, Pope Francis, canonized Mother Teresa (St.Teresa of Calcutta) during this extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. There are many similarities between the two saints of charity. “It is God who works”-our founder had an unshakable faith in Divine Providence. “Carrier of God’s tender and merciful love” – this is a theme for the canonization of Mother Teresa. She totally abandoned herself by saying, “I am a little pencil in God’s hand- that is, He does all of the thinking and He does the writing.” Father Guanella said, “abandon yourself confidently in the loving arms of Providence, because we are chicks under the wings of Divine Providence. I do not move a hand or take a step without being sure that God is explicitly calling me.”
Father Guanella founded the “Servants of Charity” and Mother Teresa the “Missionaries of Charity.” Charity is the foundation for both toward brothers and sisters in difficulty and in crises of any kind: spiritual, moral, emotional or material. They discovered the pearl of dignity in every disabled and marginalized person- that of being a child of God.“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Both cherished in their hearts this Gospel passage and gave life to the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.
For Father Guanella, “The Eucharist is the treasury of God’s love and life of the institute, a day without Holy Communion is like a day without the sun.”
“The Mass is the spiritual food that sustains me without which I could not get through one single day or hour in my life,” Mother Teresa said and confirmed that His presence was the reason for her work.
Regarding holiness, our founder said, “Personal Holiness lived in joy produces peace and souls dedicated to God are purified through suffering so as to be holy and to make others holy.” For Mother Teresa, “Holiness is not the privilege of the few but the need for all. Holiness means carrying out God’s will with joy and faithfulness and it forges saints.”
In both of their lives, they faced countless hardships, suffering, and enormous criticism but actually opposition only served to strengthen their dependence on God and reach monumental achievements in favor of the least in society.
Let us praise and thank God for the gift of the Modern Apostles of Charity as the Church canonizes Mother Teresa and has already recognized our founder. Following their inspiration and the fire of charity we can rekindle our Religious life.“We are not called to be successful, but faithful”- Mother Teresa

Fr. Soosai Rathinam