Chennai – December is a special month for all, especially the Guanellian family, when we bring all our special children together to make them feel loved and respected in society. The people of the parishes we serve on weekends ask us about the celebration for Differently-abled day, because they know it is a traditional feast celebrated by the Guanellian family. On December 10th, Don Guanella Major Seminary held the event. It was a time of grace for all who attended and were involved in the program. The day began spiritually with Mass. Fr. Soosai Rathinam, SdC, Provincial Superior was the celebrant and he delivered a thoughtful homily, explaining the importance of the special children in and around us. He also quoted Pope Francis when he commemorated a day for the Special Children. Many dignitaries from different Government departments of Tamilnadu were present. Each of them had a chance to address the gathering, saying it is a challenging and awesome ministry that the Guanellian fathers are doing. They thoroughly enjoyed the celebration. The program continued with the special children displaying their talents: speeches, songs and performances. We thank God for the support and choicest blessings He showers on the Guanellian family. The children were fed and gifts distributed before they went home.
Thalavadi – For World Special People’s Day all the institutions from the Erode District, including Nazareth Illam, were invited to attend the program organized by DDRWO of Erode. Mr. Prabhakaran, collector, and MLA’s of east and west constitution of Erode district were the guests for the day. In the cultural events many differently-abled people showcased their talents, one of our residents performed a beautiful dance on stage. It was a joyful moment for Nazareth Illam and the Congregation to receive the best institution award with a certificate and a trophy from Mr. Prabhakaran. Fr. Ligory, Community Superior, was awarded for rendering best service for the people. It is apparent that everyone appreciated our institution and our service.
Bangalore – On December 2nd the Guanellians celebrated World Special People’s Day in Bangalore. The celebration began with a solemn Mass celebrated by Most Rev. Bernard Moras, Archbishop of Bangalore and concelebrated by many priests. World Special People’s Day is one of the biggest and most awaited events celebrated every year at Guanella Preethi Nivas. About 2000 people, including 1,350 good children from 40 institutes around Bangalore participated and the rest were our benefactors, friends, Guanellian Cooperators and GLM members. For the past 11 years the Guanellians used this day to teach and exhibit to everyone how to accept, love and celebrate the gifts of these beloved children of God and how they are favorable to God. They were the heroes and heroines of the day. This year 190 volunteers worked selflessly for the success of this event and they are deeply touched by our mission. Guanellian Lay Movement members were happy to collaborate closely for the success of this event and set a good example for all attendees. The good children gave beautiful performances, they were entertained, honored, fed with nutritious food and given gifts. The Archbishop congratulated and thanked the Guanellians for their marvelous service to the deserving children of God.
Cuddalore – According to St. Louis Guanella, “Disability is not inability but a different possibility.” The Guanellian fathers, sisters and brothers and GLM from Cuddalore commenced “World Special People Day” on October 23rd at St. Joseph’s Seminary. The theme was “Raise Humanness – Taste Holiness”. The event was facilitated by Dr. P. K. Kumaragurubaran M.M.B.S., D.P.H (Municipal & Port Health Officer, Cuddalore Municipality). More than one-thousand differently-abled people participated in the event. Their presence and their performances were heart-warming. The statement that ran throughout the program was “as ordinary human beings, no one has the right to belittle, underestimate, or reject people who are differently-abled. They are the faces of God, and should be cherished and honored. They provide us with lessons to face our insurmountable pain in life. Make them partners of your happiness and success, and God will come your way.” At the climax of the event the special children were honored with gifts and a meal.
Cuddalore – A tradition to honor differently-abled persons on World Special People Day is set in most Guanellian Houses in India. The Newly Formed Guanellian Lay Movement helped make it happen in Cuddalore this year on December 8th. The event aims to sensitize and raise awareness of the lives and needs of the poor and handicapped who are marginalized in today’s society. For this inaugural event, one hundred differently-abled persons from various institutions (Oasis, Blind School, Deaf and Dumb School etc.) were invited. The day began with Mass celebrated by Fr. Visuvasam SdC, Superior of Cuddalore Community. After the Mass a cultural program was conducted and all the participant institutions; St. Joseph Seminary and Don Guanella Boys Home students gave colorful performances. Mr. Iyappan, former member of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly, was the special invitee. He was honored to oblige and requested the people gather to lend their help to those who are in need. He made a contribution of Rs. 50,000 for our charitable work and promised to assist our mission to the poor.