Bogotá (Colombia). On 13 November 2021, with the Eucharistic celebration and a cultural event, the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of the Province of Our Lady of the Snow (CBN) celebrated the 50th anniversary of the birth of the Province.
The Eucharistic Celebration, presided over by the Salesian of Don Bosco Fr. Rafael Laso, Provincial Economer of the St. Peter Claver Province (COB), took place in Bogotá, at the Provincial House of Mary Help of Christians. Fr. Rafael in his homily underlined the value of gratitude, “In a society where the path of gratitude is not very traveled, when an Educating Community such as this one gathers to give thanks, it is a luminous sign in the world and in society, because it is a way of going against the tide with respect to the culture of interests.” Furthermore, he highlighted that it is not only the activities and material works that make the life, the continuation of the Charism, and the mission of the Province possible, but the seeds sown with passion by the Provincials who animated the works, including the current Provincial, Sr. Cecilia Camacho Martínez.
The cultural event began with a journey through the three regions where the houses of the province are located: the savannah of Bogota, the region of the plains to the east, and the Department of Huila, the land of the origins of the O.L. of the Snow, where sowing continues, watering the new seeds, or cultivating already fertile and luxuriant soils. Among the dances and songs of popular tradition, played and performed by children and teenagers, by families and by the FMA, the history of the Province was retraced.
The first missionaries arrived in Colombia, in Bogota, on 11 January 1897, after a long and adventurous journey. In 1946, the only Province of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians named after the Jesuit missionary, St. Peter Claver, was divided into two Provinces: St. Peter Claver, based in Bogotá, and Mary Help of Christians, based in Medellin. In May 1971, the Bogotá Province changed its name to Our Lady of Chiquinquirá. Subsequently, the works multiplied and the Provinces were divided again, until they became four: two with headquarters in Medellín and two with headquarters in Bogotà.
The new Province of Bogotà (CBN) was officially born on 8 December 1971 and was placed under the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary with the title of Our Lady of the Snow. The first Provincial was Sr. Cecilia Zalamea Borda. The inauguration took place on 11 January 1972, the day on which the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the first FMA in Colombia was celebrated and the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Institute began.
The celebration of the 50th anniversary, shared with the laity, young people and children of the works, was a great moment of family, of gratitude and recognition of the journey traveled together, which continues with fruitfulness in the educational mission, in catechesis, with the oratories, and presence on the outskirts of Bogotá.