The Communities Of Don Guanella And Divine Providence Celebrates Feast Day Of Patron Saint Luigi Guanella And Marks 60th Anniversary Of Don Guanella Village
The spiritual legacy and heritage of Saint Luigi Guanella remains an integral part of the mission of the Intellectual Disabilities Division of Catholic Social Services.
Yesterday at a special Mass, The Communities of Don Guanella and Divine Providence (DGDP), part of the Intellectual Disabilities Division of Catholic Social Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (CSS), celebrated the Feast day of their patron, Saint Luigi Guanella (Don Guanella), a 19th-century Italian priest who ministered to children with physical and intellectual disabilities. The Communities of DGDP also marked the 60th Anniversary of the opening of Don Guanella School, what is now known as Don Guanella Village, which opened on October 30, 1960.
Auxiliary Bishop John J. McIntyre, who oversees the Secretariat for Catholic Human Services as part of his administrative and pastoral responsibilities, presided over the Fast Day Mass and celebration. He was joined by Father Amalraj Sawarimuthu, SdC and Father Dennis Weber, SdC, priests of the Servants of Charity founded by St. Luigi Guanella.
Following the Mass, Bishop McIntyre toured the Divine Providence Village (DPV) Campus in a socially distant fashion to provide for the health and safety of residents. The residents and dedicated staff members who provide for their care greeted Bishop McIntyre from a distance outside the DPV cottages.
Saint Luigi Guanella’s patronage stems from the historical context on which The Communities of DGDP were founded. A priest and founder of the Religious Orders of the Servants of Charity and the Daughters of Saint Mary of Providence, and the Pious Union of Saint Joseph Prayer Association, Don Guanella advocated for further acceptance of individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities as brothers and sisters and as blessings from God.
In the late 1940s and 1950s, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia invited Don Guanella’s religious orders — the sisters of the Daughters of Saint Mary of Providence and the priests and brothers of the Servants of Charity — to establish programs in the region.
The Communities of DGDP are dedicated to transforming the lives of individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities. Dedicated staff and volunteers provide a continuum of care offering a wide range of programming options including: Community and Campus-Based Living Arrangements, Life Sharing Through Family Living, In-Home Supports, Respite Care, and Day Programs. For more information, please visit https://dgdpcommunities.org/
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Editor’s Note: Catholic Social Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (CSS) offers community-based and residential programs and services to support men, women and children in need as an expression of the charitable works of our local Church throughout the Greater Philadelphia area. To learn more about CSS programs that serve a wide variety of human needs, please visit https://cssphiladelphia.org/.