Guaratinguetá (Brazil). On 20 April 2021, the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of the O.L. of Carmel and the Educating Community of the Province of Our Lady Aparecida (BAP), celebrated the 129th anniversary of the foundation of the Nossa Senhora do Carmo Institute (Colégio do Carmo), in Guaratinguetá, Sao Paulo, Brazil. On this occasion, the two years of the foundation of Rádio Carmo, the fruit of the Institute’s Educommunication project, were also celebrated.
A group of 12 Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, including a Brazilian, Sr. Anna Do Conto, from Montevideo, and two Salesians arrived in Lorraine on 14 March 1892, welcomed by the population and by Baron Castro Lima, who placed a house at their disposal until the construction of the college was completed. Two days later, on 16 March, the sisters went to Guaratinguetá, where the house was ready to become a place of education with a school, workshops, and oratory. Everything had been prepared by Msgr. Giovanni Filippo. The house was also immediately the first headquarters in Brazil, with Sister Teresa Rinaldi.
Today, the Nossa Senhora do Carmo Institute hosts the FMA Memorial of Brazil, a charismatic journey on the arrival of the first FMA in Brazil that retraces the main stages of the development of the work of the FMA in Brazil, marked by the presence of Mary Help of Christians.
The feast, in online mode, began with the good morning of the Animator of Colégio do Carmo, Sr. Teresa Cristina Domiciano, to the students and educators, which was followed by prayer to Mary, Our Lady of Mount Carmel and the viewing of a video on the history of the work. In the afternoon, the students followed the representation of the foundation of Colégio do Carmo prepared by the Pastoral Team.
In the evening, there was a moment online coordinated by Sr. Teresa Cristina Domiciano, Director of Colégio do Carmo. This moment was preceded by listening to the video-message of the Mother General of the FMA Institute, Sr. Yvonne Reungoat.
“I am pleased to be present at this moment of sharing. 129 years: a stage of the preparation for the celebration of the 130th anniversary which will coincide with the 150th anniversary of the FMA Institute …. I thank you for having been able to build this network of life and of good. Together we thank God and Mary Help of Christians, Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello who are at the origins of this wonderful project and we ask them to help each one and those who will come in future years to continue to respond to the renewed requests, in order to give life and future to the world of youth, to continue to be generative in the joy of your self-giving”.
Sr. Teresa Cristina gave the word to the Animators who over time accompanied the journey of inculturation of the Salesian charism and the development of the educational mission in Guaratinguetá, who shared their experience: Sr. Rosalba Perotti, Sr. Célia Apparecida, Sr. Maria do Carmo, Sr. Nilza Moraes, then Animator and today Provincial of the Province of Our Lady Aparecida (BAP), and Sr. Adair Sberga, Director of Rede Salesiana Brasil (RSB). Sr. M. de Lourdes Becker sent a video message. This was followed by the viewing of the video presentation of the first FMA work in Guaratinguetà.
Rádio Carmo is an educational radio network. It was officially inaugurated on 24 April 2019 and involves the students of the Institute, parents/guardians, teachers, collaborators, and all those who are available to animate a space for discussion for the entire Educational-Pastoral Community in its programs. Its mission is to raise awareness of the formation of a communicative and educational ecosystem. The station’s programming also includes partner radio programs, such as ‘Vatican News’ and ‘Radio Senado’.
Mother Yvonne, recalling the foundation of Rádio Carmo, said in the video message:
“It is good that you assure the broadcasts with the collaboration of all the members of the educating community: students, educators, FMA, volunteers, and families In this way, you are the sign of the unity of the Christian community, of the Salesian Family, of those who care about education so that the world of the future can be more inclusive, more attentive to the needs of the weakest, more ready to take care of the peripheries, and not leave anyone behind. I like the slogan that was chosen for the Educommunicative-Pastoral project: “Communicating values”. The care of a radio station is motivated by an educational concern, the desire to contribute to the maturation of listeners, to spread the good through the tools that technology makes available today”.
The event ended by entrusting the educational mission of Nossa Senhora do Carmo Institute to Mary, reciting the Ave Maria together.