Moscow (Russia). On 21 November 2021, in Moscow at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, with the Eucharistic Celebration presided over by Msgr. Paolo Pezzi , Archbishop of the Diocese of the Mother of God, metropolitan seat of the Catholic Church in Russia, the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of Mother of God Preprovince (EEG), together with 5 other female congregations, celebrated the 30th anniversary of their presence in Russia.
In his homily, the Archbishop underlined, “Today we celebrate together with Christ the King the mission of our sisters, the jubilee of six female congregations, which through the Cross of their service have been able to lead many people to Christ, have helped these people to feel they are kings and priests in communion with the Church; they have learned to serve, as our sisters have served and continue to serve”.
At the time of the offertory, the religious brought a candle with the image of the Virgin Mary according to their spirituality and charism and the motto of their Congregations, as a sign of their offering to the Lord in service to the local Church and of thanksgiving and communion between them, in the key of synodality.
At the conclusion of the Holy Mass, the families expressed their gratitude to the sisters with these words, “You have become spiritual sisters for us and spiritual mothers for our children. 2000 years ago in Cana of Galilee, Mary asked Jesus to help people. So now for 30 years, thanks to your prayers and your commitment, the Lord generously pours out His grace on us, on our families, and on our country, transforming water into the good wine of faith”.
The Eucharistic Celebration and the festivity, attended by numerous priests and faithful, including members of the Salesian Family, Past Pupils, young people, collaborators, are an expression of gratitude to the FMA, who have contributed to grafting the Salesian feminine charism in Russia. A special remembrance went to Sr. Danuta Kamińska, who passed away in 2006, the only FMA deceased since the beginning of their presence in Eastern Europe.
The group of pioneer missionaries from the Polish Province of Mary Help of Christians (PLA), Sr. Danuta Kamińska, Sr. Anna Maria Gretkierewicz, and Sr. Małgorzata Sotkiewicz arrived in Moscow on 29 November 1991, on the first day of the Novena to the Immaculate Conception, patroness of the parish in which the FMA carry out their service to this day, in the style of Don Bosco and St. Mary Domenica Mazzarello.
For this anniversary, the FMA of Mary Help of Christians and St. Mary Domenica Mazzarello Communities of Moscow prepared with various initiatives: with the monthly prayer every 29th of the month, the interviews-testimonies of the various FMA who worked in Russia, the translation into Russian of the film on Mary Mazzarello, videos with historical photos, a charity lottery, the party with children and young people in the oratory.
Various Provinces from all over the world sent video greetings to the whole Educating Community, which replied with a video of gratitude. On 29 November 2021 at 9:00 am (Italian time), in the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Turin, Holy Mass will be celebrated in gratitude for the 30 years of FMA in Russia, asking for the gift of fidelity and new vocations.
Photo: Olga Hrul e Archivio FMA EEG