Rome (Italy). On 19 March 2021, on the Solemnity of St. Joseph, is the 113th anniversary of the foundation of the World Association of Past Pupils of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.
The Association of the Past Pupils of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians was founded by Blessed Filippo Rinaldi in Turin on 19 March 1908, with the collaboration of Sister Caterina Arrighi. On that date, the first Past Pupils Union of the FMA was also officially constituted and its Regulations were approved.
Since 1988, the Association has been part of the Salesian Family as a lay group promoted by the FMA Institute. In 1990, it officially took the name of World Confederation of the Past Pupils of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians. Belonging to the Association means: knowing, assimilating, and living Salesian values in the style of Mornese. (From the Identity Document)
People of all ages, cultures, religions, social status in every part of the world belong to the Association. Each Past Pupil contributes responsibly to the affirmation of the values on which the dignity of the human person is based, working in the most diverse spheres of action: in the family, in the place of work and of study, in the political and social world, in the fields of school, free time, social communication.
For the occasion, the World Delegate, Sr. Gabriela Patiño Osorio, sends a message to all the FMA Past Pupils in the whole World.
“In the context of the pandemic, we are celebrating the 113th anniversary of the Association and, being inspired by the words of Pope Francis, I express my joy for this very significant date. The Pope affirms that, “2021 is a time that must not be wasted. And it will not be wasted if we can work together with generosity and commitment. In this regard, I am convinced that fraternity is the true cure for the pandemic and the many evils that have affected us. Along with vaccines, fraternity and hope are, as it were, the medicine we need in today’s world”. (Address to the members of the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See, 8 February 2021)
The invitation to fraternity finds strong resonance from the 1st issue of the Union Magazine, and 2021 marks the centenary of its publication:
“Our bulletin is simply called ’Union’, and it seems to us the most appropriate and desired title. ‘Union’ is fraternity, it is strength, it is love, and all our action must be informed by these sentiments. Action will be all the more intense, the more coordinated we are and this is the main goal of our publication”.
“Fraternity, is the most effective cure, a breath of life for everyone, for families, for the Association. It is the comfort that we have experienced and continue to experience during this time of insecurity and bewilderment. It is the force that pushes us to action, that encourages us with the example of what has been done, is being done, and will be done. It encourages us to participate, to give our contribution because ‘we are in the same boat’, we are in a family, where there is room for everyone”.
The Association looks to an open and inclusive future, which is nourished more than ever by its roots and takes up the appeal of Pope Francis: “Fraternity is the new frontier of humanity”. (4 February 2021, First Human Fraternity Day)