Chennai – On January 15th Don Guanella Evening School celebrated Pongal, a festival that is very popular in Tamil culture. This harvest festival unites all people. The teachers prepared them to celebrate the Pongal with traditional cultural programs. The students were very happy in their colorful dresses of Tamil Culture and eager to express their talents in celebration of Pongal. All the traditional preparations were made: colorful Kolam, the decorated pot for the pongal meal and sugarcane sticks beside the pot brought forth the neutrality of the festival. Fr. Ronald, Provincial Superior, Dn. Paul Dhinakaran and the chief guest Fr. Adaikalam were presented for the event. Fr. Ronald began with a prayer, blessed the Pongal meal and it was distributed to all in a traditional way. The cultural programs of the children were performed very well, gladdening everyone’s heart. Prizes were distributed by Fr. Adaikalam to the winners of the event. His speech was very inspiring and the event was ended with a final prayer.
Chennai – The month of January remains ever-special and unique for many, in particular for farmers because it is the month where the state gratefully thanks all the farmers. It is the day of celebration of harvest known as Pongal in Tamilnadu. This is the three-day celebration where each day has its significance and history to be felicitated. On January 17th, Don Guanella Major Seminary celebrated the feast by cooking Pongal, and gratefully recalling the hard work done by the farmers who cultivate crops for the nation. The sweet Pongal is a symbol of happiness to sustain life and sugar cane to have a life of success. The Holy Eucharist was celebrated by Fr. Samson and he highlighted the importance of Pongal. He invited the brothers to gratefully thank the farmers and pray for them for their support and care towards the world population. During the homily Dn. C. Jesu Doss highlighted the importance and hard work of farmers and urged everyone not to forget the farmers after the celebration of Pongal but to remember and pray for them always. The day continued by playing traditional games of the local culture.
Chennai – As the part of the program of theological formation, Don Guanella Major Seminary Brothers went on a four day vocation promotion to different parts of Tamilnadu and Andhra Pradesh during their semester holidays. It is the practice of the Major seminary to send brothers to encourage young boys who show an interest to become future priests. This year five groups were organized to go, to invite and encourage the youngsters to serve the Lord through the Servants of Charity congregation. Brothers were organized in a systematic way to approach different parishes, schools and boarding schools to collect the names of the interested. After four days, the brothers returned to the seminary for their academic program. Thanks to the vocation promoter of the province and the good hearts of the seminarians who helped in this endeavor.
Cuddalore – Throughout Tamil Nadu different traditions of folk dance are performed and passed down with the customs of the different regions. In order to educate the young seminarians on some of the different traditions, folk dance classes were offered September 28th-October 2nd. There were three masters teaching many different varieties of folk dance including: Sillattam, Kaliyalattam, Lezim and more. The Koppaka seminarians of Guanella Bhavan also participated in the five-day workshop. All the seminarians were very happy to learn a variety of Tamil dances.
Mysore – Tamil Nadu Biblical Catechetic Liturgical Center Releases a book each year on the life of a saint and this year they requested Guanella Communication Center to present the life of St. Louis Guanella. Fr. Provincial accepted the request and granted permission and financial aid for printing. This is a great opportunity to spread our founders life, mission and charism throughout Tamil Nadu into the hands of children; opening the gates for vocations to the congregation. Each of the 19 dioceses in Tamil Nadu will receive 500 copies for use in Vacation Bible School classes conducted during the month of May. Thanks to TNBCLC, Rev. Fr. Dellus in particular for proposing our Founder this year.
Chennai – Don Guanella Major Seminary organized a vocation drive throughout Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh October 24th-28th. The theology students were divided into groups and set off for the dioceses of Nellore, Kadappa, Chengalpet, Vellore, Salem, Coimbatore and Tanjaur. Our brothers worked diligently and visited various schools, parishes, hostels and Catholic families to find young men willing to offer their lives in service to the poor. The vocation drive was successful and brothers have valid suggestions to improve future events. As our founder rightly points out vocation promotion is “works of works”, as the community continues to seek vocations to our religious life.
India is a land of agriculture. Seasonal changes play a very important role for Indian farmers. Their lifestyles and celebrations are linked to the seasonal landmarks throughout the year. Pongal, the harvest festival of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, is one Indian festival in tune with a farmer’s lifestyle. It marks the closing of the winter season and corresponds to the time when the sun is moving from Dakshinayanam (south) to Uttarayanam (north), known as Uttarayan Punyakalam and is considered auspicious. As per the Tamil calender, Pongal is celebrated four days from the last day of the month of Margazhi (December — January) to the third day of the month of Thai (January — February). Thus, according to the Gregorian calender, Pongal is celebrated from January 12th to 15th; Pongal day or the first day of Thai falls on January 14th.
Cuddalore – St. Joseph’s Evening School celebrated Pongal on January 13th. The Staff and students with Fr. Britto and Fr. Paul Arokia Raj, the rector, gathered on the football field and started their celebration by preparing the Pongal meal, it was offered in thanksgiving to God and shared by the students with a piece of sugar cane.
Bangalore – Thanking the Lord for his great Providence in our life, Pongal was celebrated on January 20th with our oratory children at Guanella Preethi Nivas. The celebration began that morning, with the prayers and blessings of Fr. Samson. The oratory girls and our workers cooked the sweet Pongal. Many colorful Rangoli and traditional pot-breaking games were organized commonly for the children to enjoy. The celebration ended with a prayer by Brother Deva.
Chennai – The Don Guanella Major Seminary Community and the poor from around Karayanchavady celebrated Pongal on January 15th. The celebration began with Mass in thanksgiving for the blessings of the previous year. After Mass the Pongal meal was cooked and served to all. Unstructured togetherness and traditional games were conducted by the Brothers; who also distributed prizes to the winners. Sharing of the sugarcane strengthened the bounds of unity between the people and the Guanellian community. Fr. Batistta embraced all the events with the spirit of an Indian.
Chennai – The Staff and Children of Don Guanella Eevening School celebrated Pongal on January 14th. As everyone arrived at the Divine Providence Province house, the fire was lit to inaugurate the feast and prayers were led by Bro. Periyanayagam. While the Pongal was cooking, party and outdoor kept the children busy. When the pongal was ready, it was blessed; everyone shouted “PONGALO PONGAL” and shared with each other. The children were sent home with sugarcane.
Tamil Nadu – Vocation Promotion is the mother of all ministries and it is a challenging one in Tamil Nadu, like any fast-growing state. Witnessing the life of Jesus Christ is another foundation for vocations. The theologians of Don Guanella Major Seminary ended their semester and had a week of holidays. After celebrating the one year Canonization anniversary of St. Guanella locally, the days were made useful by vocation drives in various dioceses of Tamil Nadu. They visited the students from Catholic schools; finding flourishing faith formation in traditional catholic families and gives counter witness to the poor. What a blessing from God this short period has been for carrying out the fruitful ministry of visiting families and students to promote vocations to the Servants of Charity.