Vatluru -On June 23rd, we inaugurated the Stations of the Cross at Sacred Heart Church. Our Beloved Bishop, Most Rev. Jayarao Polimera, blessed the Stations of the Cross and planted a tree. Holy Mass followed with many priests participating. During Mass the Bishop confirmed 28 children and also gave them first holy communion. A fellowship meal was shared by all during which the Bishop and all who generously donated money and materials for the project were thanked. We thank all our confreres who encouraged and collaborated spiritually for the development of the Good Samaritan parish. For the further development of the parish we introduced the family card system to register their personal information with the parish.
Vatluru – The Paschal Mysteries were celebrated in a meaningful way at Sacred Heart Parish. Holy Thursday ceremonies were celebrated by Fr. Joseph Peter with Fr. Shantham as preacher. A large number of people participated and witnessed the Rite of the Washing of the Feet. On Good Friday, as is the custom of the Parish, the Way of the Cross began at 7am and the people went in procession throughout the village. At Vatluru center gate, Fr. Joseph Peter gave a speech on the Passion of the Lord. Adoration of the Holy Cross began at 2:45 pm in the church and the people meditatively participated. The Easter Vigil Mass began at 11pm, the paschal candle was lit and the people went in procession towards the altar with candles in hand. The grounds were packed for this serene and meaningful celebration. A few adults and babies were baptized during the Mass. The celebration concluded by setting off firecrackers.
Vatluru – The Vatluru Tuition Center held its Annual Day function on March 22nd at Guanella Karunalaya. The event began with a prayer dance by little children. Priests from the house were invited as chief guests and the boys of Karunalaya also participated. Children performed very well. School bags and exam pads were provided as annual gifts to them. Mrs. Shantha Kumari, the teacher, had prepared the children for the program.
Vatluru – Guanella Karunalaya is flooded with gratitude for everyone who helped build a new kitchen for the community. The work began with enthusiasm, struggles ensued in the process, but fortitude triumphed in the end. As a token of our gratitude we thank Fr. Joseph Rinaldo who helped with funding for the new kitchen. We also thank each and everyone for the extra support, it was certainly worthwhile. This new kitchen will be useful for the confreres, elderly, and orphanage boys.
Vatluru – The faithful of Showripuram, one of the Sacred Heart Parish substations, celebrated the solemnity of their patron, St. Francis Xavier, on December 3rd. Fr. Peter Joseph, parish priest, blessed and began a procession of St. Francis Xavier; the faithful carrying the statue around their village with great devotion. Later, everyone gathered at the entrance to the village in order to welcome their shepherd Most. Rev. Jeyarao Polilmera, Bishop of Eluru, who was to preside over Holy Mass. They greeted him with garlands and a shawl and brought him in procession to the church. He then hoisted the flag of St. Francis Xavier and proceeded to begin the Festival Mass concelebrated by the priests. A short cultural program was performed following Mass in order to felicitate His grace. The entire village was happy and they thanked the Lord for the gift of their patron saint.
Vatluru – Fr. Peter Sebastian organized a meeting for the students of Guanella Karunalaya on October 19th. The main purpose was to create a platform, where the priests, staff and parents come together to enrich the student’s educational experiences and discuss a variety of issues regarding the overall development of the students. The meeting began with the prayer song and a welcome address by Fr. Shantham. Then students of seventh standard performed a dance which brought joy to everyone present. The students articulated their experience of their stay in Guanella Karunalaya. Parents were invited to share their feelings about the students and the institution. Then Fr. Peter Sebastian addressed the gathering; encouraging parents to keep in close contacts with the school and inquiring about the performance, the contentment or the behavior of their son. The meeting ended with individual conferences with the parents. The support and commitment of parents is vitally important for everyone involved in the growth of these children.
Vatluru – The Servants of Charity and the Daughters of St. Mary of Providence and the people they serve, were privileged to have the sacred relics of the Founder, St. Louis Guanella, on a pilgrimage stop from October 8–11th. On October 10th, the sacred Relics were taken to the Jesus Jubilee Tower and then in solemn procession to the parish church. The evening closed with Holy Mass in honor of St. Guanella celebrated by the Guanellian priests. On October 11th, the relics were taken in solemn procession on the main roads of Vatluru village where hundreds of people gathered for the procession, singing praise to God and praying for the intercession of St. Louis Guanella. The procession entered the parish church for the concluding solemn Mass celebrated by Rev. Fr. Thota Gabriel, the Vicar General of the diocese of Eluru, concelebrated by the Guanellian priests. Fr. Gabriel gave a beautiful sermon on the life of St. Guanella and congratulated the Guanellians for their mission to the local poor. After Mass, the faithful were invited to venerate the statue of St. Guanella and sought his intercession with tears. A festive meal was provided for everyone to close the pilgrimage.
Vatluru – The Servants of Charity run a daycare center for the abandoned elderly of the Vatluru area. Thirty abandoned aged people receive benefits, spend time praying and enjoy a midday meal. They are also sent home with food for the evening. Medical care is provided when they are in need. The Divine Providence Daycare Center was refurbished in order to serve the aged people better.
Vatluru – It’s an age old tradition of Sacred Heart church to have a procession around the village in honor of St. Anthony and asking his intercession for good rain. The people, especially the farmers, suffered without sufficient rain this year. Fr. Joseph Peter, parish priest, and the people arranged the car procession on Aug 30th. They decorated the statue of St. Anthony on tractors and after praying they walked around the village and main roads of Valturu, singing hymns and asking for the intercession of the saint. It was an ecumenical celebration as people of other faiths also participated and offered gifts to God. The tractors were loaned by a Hindu brother. They reached the church at the end to say the final thanksgiving prayer.
New vestments were purchased for the alter servers in the parish. Mr. Arjun Rao, a parishioner and catechist donated Rs. 5000 for the cause. We thank him for his generosity and pray for his family and good health.
Vatluru – August is always unforgettable for the boys of Karunalaya as volunteers from Italy visit the community and stay for the entire month. This year two Italian volunteers, Olga and Carolina, returned; Olga for the third time, and Carolina for a second. The boys were happy to have their lovable elder sisters back and were taken up by their love and presence with them. Olga and Carolina were continuously available to entertain the boys with games, songs, dancing and painting. They arranged a bus for a day trip to Samaldevi where the whole community enjoyed visiting the shrine of Mary and swimming in the sea. They also took the boys to a movie theater. They provided the boys school uniforms, toiletries and other basic needs. Moreover, with the help of other volunteers, they collected Rs. 54,000 to purchase a new sound system for Guanella Karunalaya.