The Guanellian Family is an association that gathers individuals, groups, and Christian lay associations inspired by the life, spirit and charism of Saint Louis Guanella. Because of that, they turn their concern and ministry toward those who live in extreme situations of abandonment, hardships and suffering.
We joyfully notice that the number of lay people, to whom the Lord shares the Guanellian charism, is growing together with the propagation of many lay groups who take their inspiration from the charism of our Founder.
To the Guanellian laity too, as well as to the Daughters of St. Mary of Providence, the Servants of Charity, and the Guanellian Cooperators, the Holy Spirit communicates the grace and the inspiration of the Founder so that they may carry on within the Church His ministry of charity. They gratefully welcome the precious gift of a “heart of charity” which motivates them in their commitment and responsibility.
The Guanellian laity should acquire the spirituality of Saint Guanella whose heart is to be found in the Divine paternity and in the far-sighted tenderness of Mary. They should commit themselves to know the life and mission of St. Guanella, of Blessed Clare Bosatta and study how to interpret and live, as laity, the Guanellian charism, spirituality and mission.
Guanellian Lay Movement
What is the Lay Guanellian Movement? According to, Making Charity the Heart of the World, published by the Servants of Charity, “The Guanellian Lay Movement is the common dwelling of all men and women of good will. Attracted by the spirituality of Fr. Guanella, they show concern and care for the poor and have the desire to increase the culture of solidarity and love in the world.” When seeking to define an identity for our Lay Guanellians, we find that a great deal of love and compassion exists within the people who support our Guanellian religious orders. “All those who actively care for the poor inside and outside of the Guanellian charitable structures, public institutions or the Church, and which consciously express some traits of the Guanellian spirit and charism can be members of the Movement. These manifold and diverse contributions find their unity and energy for development in the charitable example of Father Guanella and in sharing his spirituality, according to each person’s life experience and potential,” (pp. 20-21).
Guanellian Cooperators are defined as, “Those who choose to live the spirit, charism and mission of the Founder in an official and public form by making a promise to live their Catholic faith in the footsteps of St. Louis Guanella.”
The Servants of Charity have been cultivating rich soil in which to plant the seeds of the Guanellian charism in Chelsea, MI since 1960. From the humble beginnings of the institute there, faithful people have wandered into St. Louis Center and have become nourished by the spirit and mission of the spiritual sons of St. Louis Guanella who worked there. There are now many sprouts that must continue to be nurtured in order for them to blossom into true spiritual sons and daughters of the Founder.