Rome (Italy). On 19 March 2020 on the occasion of the 112th anniversary of the foundation of the FMA Past Pupils Association, the Confederal Delegate, Sr. Gabriela Patiño, sends a message to the whole world.
Dearest Past Pupils,
On the anniversary of the FMA Past Pupils Association there is an invitation to union. I reflect with you on this small word, on the celebration of the 112th anniversary of the foundation to understand the meaning it had from the beginning of its foundation and the richness it still offers all of us today.
The Association was formed to convene, to meet people with the same experience of the Institute and the ‘family’, to remember, act, dream together. Moreover, it was to help each other and to meet the needs of other people. In fact, the ‘founding’ Past Pupils of the Association had met, even then, to ratify the joy and the need to meet again, to feel like family.
From its very beginning, Fr. Philip Rinaldi said, “And if you wish that one day, the world admiring your union in faith and mutual help, will exclaim as the pagans once exclaimed observing the mutual charity of the first Christians: only Christians know how to love each other.” What a great and beautiful dream the Founder had for you! What a challenge and what a strong commitment in this time so in need of what is fundamental for everyone’s life: love.
To love is the essence of the Triune God, and if we are ‘together’ like the Three Persons, it is to love better and more. We and you are called to this, dear Past Pupils. Wherever you are and work, you always find a family that is open and welcoming to do the good. Fr. Rinaldi did not call you a group, center, club, but as a Union. Union that creates union, a space where everyone feels at home, ready to give and to receive because you are all heirs of the same charism that makes you a family. This sense of belonging, together with the desire to share and with the spirit of solidarity is the seal that characterizes you. It is the thread of a common mission, of a social apostolate, of a generous service that helps your own journey and that of the others towards an ever greater awareness of belonging to a large world family, the Salesian Family.
You are called to be a prophecy in an individualistic and self-referencing society, closed in its own interests. It represents a commitment for you to return to the values received to support each other in being good Christians and honest citizens, remembering that “if you want to go quickly, go alone; if you want to go far, go with others.”
Many greetings from Sr. Maria Luisa Miranda on this new anniversary of foundation!
I remain united with all of you and I always keep you in my prayers.
“Keep united, help each other like sisters” (Fr. Rinaldi).
Sr. Gabriela Patiño