Rome (Italy). On 19 March 2023, on the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, the World Association of Past Pupils of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians celebrates the 115th anniversary of its foundation.

The Association was founded in Turin on 19 March 1908, by Blessed Philip Rinaldi, third successor of Don Bosco, with the collaboration of Sister Caterina Arrighi, FMA. On that date, the first FMA Past Pupils Union was also officially established and its Regulations were approved.

Since 1988, it has been recognized as one of the Groups of the Salesian Family, as a lay group promoted by the FMA Institute. In 1990, it officially assumed the name of World Confederation of Past Pupils of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, today Mornese World Confederation of Past Pupils of the FMA, after the modification to the Statute which took place during the World Assembly of 28 March 2021, to recall the charismatic origins and value the figure of Mary Domenica Mazzarello, a lay woman committed in her time in the area.

“Belonging to the Association means: knowing, assimilating, and living Salesian values in the style of Mornese” (From the Identity Document).

For the occasion, the World Delegate, Sr. Gabriela Patiño Osorio, sends a message to the FMA Past Pupils all over the world:

On this 115th anniversary of the foundation of our Association, I would like to echo again the invitation made to us this year: to be yeast.

Surely the Rector Major Fr. Angel Fernández Artime had not thought about the theme of Strenna 2023 when in 2021 he wrote to the FMA Past Pupils Association: “The great desire that the Confederation has to gather and convene in a large movement of many lay people of this world today identified by the Salesian charism to carry out a great formative and social action in our world, speaks to me of a strong desire to be ‘yeast in the dough’, ‘salt of the earth’ and ‘light of the world’”. (…)

A Past Pupil from Alessandria (Italy) said in 1933: The Past Pupil is a wave of Salesian life that pulsates in every social class. The Past Pupils flourish everywhere: in boarding schools, oratories, schools and boarding houses, workshops and orphanages… You find them in Catholic youth circles, in associations, sources for the defense of faith and customs, invincible in their religious principles, inviolable in their virtues.

All of you Past Pupils in daily life have a duty of presence and operational proposal: in the family, in the workplace, in the local Church, in the territory, in political commitment, in the group of friends, colleagues, in all your relationships. You are a Mornese Salesian lay presence, very important always and everywhere, but above all in situations that implore peace, salvation, education, solidarity.

Thank you for the yeast, salt, and light that you already are. Continue! The family, the territory in which you live, society need you. Stay in them to make them grow and help people be happy.

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