Prague (Czech Republic) The Province of Mary Immaculate Czech Republic and Lithuania (CEL) celebrates 40 years of presence of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians in the Czech Republic (1980-2020).
On December 6, 1980, the first three FMA – Sister Marie Zímová, Sister Marie Hušková, Sister Jana Tauchmanová – made their first vows in hiding during the totalitarian regime, after having been accompanied in Formation by the Czech Salesians of Don Bosco. Since the 90s, after the fall of the regime, they begin to live in the communities.
The first Czech girls who showed signs of a vocation left in the 1930s for formation in Italy, and then were sent as missionaries to Brazil and the Dominican Republic. Other young people who left in 1948 for formation in Italy remained in Italy for many years due to the closure of the borders. Meanwhile, vocations were growing and, at the request of the Czech Provincial of the Salesians of Don Bosco, the first FMA community in the Czech Republic was established.
Today in the Czech Republic the FMA are present in 5 communities and are engaged in the residences for high school girls and young university students, in teaching in the State and Catholic schools, in the management of a parish nursery school, in catechesis, in spiritual accompaniment, and youth ministry activities in oratories and youth centers.
During the 2019-2020 pastoral year, the Educating Communities prepared to celebrate this event. In the FMA Communities every month during the formative moments, multimedia presentations were projected with the history of FMA presence, with quiz questions to be answered. The Provincial, Sr. Jana Svobodová, prepared the Spiritual Exercises and the formation meeting for the FMA Temporary Professed to rekindle the vocational fire.
In September, the Czech Salesian Bulletin published an interview with the Animator of the first FMA Community, Sr. Marie Zímová.
The commemorative feast of 40 years of presence will be on 6 December 2020, with the Eucharistic Celebration, the screening of the documentary on the history and life of the FMA in the Czech Republic, and a moment of fraternity.