Back to the Roots

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Pforzheim – June was an intensive month.  It was rich in events and new experiences, but it also provided us with an opportunity to reflect deeply to rediscover our old roots, our own DNA. We found our traditions, family ties, and devotion to our saints with plenty of hilarity! After the first pilgrimage to Lourdes, our two Guanellian parish priests accompanied an additional pilgrimage to a famous German shrine. This one is known as, Our Lady of Zwiefalten, where more than 1000 Italian devotees of our confederate State of Baden-Württemberg met with the archibishop of our original diocese in Agrigento; Monsignor Montenegro. The Pforzheim Group enjoyed the opportunity and made our confreres happy by demonstrating so much faith and devotion to God’s Mother!
In mid-June we had the pleasure of a visit from Vicar General Fr. Umberto Brugnoni, who stepped onto German soil for the first time and felt with his hands and heart the progress of our presence in this beautiful and generous country after only six months. After a casual meeting at our Procure in Tiefenbronn, we toured the northern part of the large Guanellian parish, which will be served by Fr. Rocky after his vacation in India.
On June 21st we celebrated the traditional St. Calogero Feast. Father Umberto presided at the solemn Mass, and was assisted by Frs. Wieslaw and Rocky. Every last seat in the small Church was full. A short procession with the statue of our black patron, Calogero, took place through the city center of Pforzheim, and ended with the benediction of homemade devotional bread. As Sicilians practice around the globe in all Naresi communities, many devotees offered donations.  At the end, our co-organizer and President of the St. Calogero Committee, Mr. Ignazio Minotta, presented an envelope with 400 Euros for the disabled children at Poonamallee, India. My emotion and that of our confreres, was overcome by the presence of twelve former alumni of the St. Calogero Institute at Naro; crowning the feast with a souvenir picture of he and our confreres. Most of them arrived in Pforzheim in the early 60s, and are still great supporters of the Guanellian parish along with their growing families and friends. The next appointment will be at the 2015 St. Calogero Feast when the newly re-founded Commitee of the Friends of St. Calogero will be more active in fundraising for other Guanellian projects in the missions of Africa and/or Asia.
As far as our work at the Procure is concerned, we patiently wait for an answer concerning the Sivagangai Projects. We spoke recently with Fr. Kulandaisamy during the Provincial Meetings in the USA, and asked for his patience until the end of June. Please pray that this project, the other new projects for Vietnam and the supported “Don Mimi Leprosy Center at Tale/Mindanao, Phil.” may find generous donors in the coming weeks. For these specific projects, we have entered a new phase with Sr. Cecille, FMM, who is coordinating the documents with Fr. Charlton Viray so that the testament of Fr. Mimi can be combined with them.
I would like to say a few words about beloved Sr. Giulietta Saginario, the last surviving member of this generous family who has granted the Guanellian family three priests and a nun. She has given a testament and left the inheritance of her family to the Leprosy Center at Tala for children of leper parents. She is very sick and all the friends of Fr. Mimi should accompany her in this delicate moment of her earthly life. As an adopted brother of the Saginarios, I invite you to join me in this prayer crusade around the world: But Fiat Voluntas Dei also for Sr. Giulia!
Let us praise the Lord that he allows us to be his “cooperators” in seeking and distributing funds to his “precious and weak sisters and brothers.”
Laudate Dominum quia mirabilia fecit :
Praise the Lord Who works miracles every day!

Gero Lombardo,  German Guanellian Procura


Formation of the Formators

Servants of Charity Priests gather in Rome

Servants of Charity Priests gather in RomeRome – It was a gift of grace to experience and look back at the formative program using the text, Ratio Formationis. We thank the General Council for their effort to equip formators through this program to provide us with a solid accompaniment for seminarians. With grateful hearts, we thank the Provincial and his Council for allowing confreres Fr. Samson DGMS Chennai, Fr. Gnanaraj GPN Bangalore, Fr. Adaikalm GPN, Bangalore, Fr. Vincent Philippines, Fr. Jerin, Vietnam, and Fr. Francis, Rome, from the Divine Providence Province to spend 23 days in Rome. Fr. Umberto Brugnoni, the formator in charge, arranged everything with care and participated in every program, while the involvement of entire General Council was notable. Every daily meditation was led by General councilors, Guanellian sisters and other Guanellian fathers.

The first two days were about sharing the socio-political, cultural and religious backgrounds of the Asian, European, African and South American cultures and we shared our joys and difficulties about vocation promotion and formation. We deepened our knowledge in Ratio and shared our concerns. During the second week, scholars from Gregorian University, Fr. Victorio and Fr. Healy SJ, were invited to help us to understand the science of human formation. The General Council dedicated a very useful day for questions and answers, and we dedicated our last two days to meditating on the life of the great masters of Charism; confreres Piero Pellegrini and Attilio Beria. Among other experiences we participated with the Holy Father in fasting and in prayer for world peace and we attended a papal audience with Pope Francis, who spoke of the Church as “Mother.” We thank Fr. Alessandro and the community for their hospitality and welcome, and we thank God and all those contributed for this beautiful experience.

The most important things that we discussed in the final meeting were;

  • Creating a missionary spirit in the candidates.
  • Developing criteria for selecting the candidates for Rome.
  • Sending theological Regents to other parts of the Guanellian World.
  • Reading the Ratio on a provincial, community and personal level.
  • Encouraging regular personal prayer and Spiritual Direction.
  • Placing Residential Spiritual Directors in the major seminaries.
  • Learning the Italian language.