Rome (Italy). On Sunday 3 September 2023 in Rome, in the Tor Bella Monaca neighborhood, a new Inter-congregational Community was inaugurated, the Community of Saint Mary Mother of the Redeemer, made up of two Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and two Sisters of Charity of Saint Giovanna Antida Thouret.

The Eucharistic Celebration in the Parish of Saint Mary Mother of the Redeemer was presided over by Msgr. Riccardo Lamba, Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Rome for the Eastern Sector. Present there were the Vicar, Sister María del Rosario García Ribas, representing the Mother General Sister Chiara Cazzuola, and the General Secretary of the FMA Institute, Sister Maria Luisa Nicastro.

Also present were the Provincial of the Roman Province St. John Bosco (IRO), Sister Gabriella Garofoli; the Provincial Superior of the Euro-Mediterranean Province, Sister Anna Maria Senatore, with their respective Councils; and the General Councilor Sister Solange Wider of the Sisters of the Charity of Saint Joan Antide Thouret.

Since 1987, called by Cardinal Ugo Poletti, then Vicar General of Rome, the Sisters of Charity of Saint Giovanna Antide Thouret have been working in the neighborhood with various charitable activities in response to the difficult situations present, and with a well-organized Caritas Center.

A few years later, in 1991, at the request of Msgr. Giuseppe Mani, Bishop of the sector, the first Daughters of Mary Help of Christians arrived to work in the educational field: oratory, Salesian associations, day center.

The life and work of the two communities, much appreciated and loved by the local Church and the people of the neighborhood, have often intersected over the years in beautiful and rich forms of collaboration and fraternity, especially within the Parish.

In this last period, the two communities have questioned themselves about their presence and how they can work together more fruitfully. Accompanied by their respective Superiors and their Councils, they listened to the signs of the current times and decided to renew themselves, choosing to live communion with each other, the fruit of a clear missionary choice and the need for a new form of testimony in the Church.

After a long preparatory journey in continuous dialogue with the respective Provincial and General Councils, with the Parish Priest, Fr. Alessandro Caserio, and with the Bishop, the new Community was born, made up of Sister Anna Mariani, FMA, and Sister Liberata Magliocchetti, SDC, present and operating in the respective Centers in the Parish for years;  Sister Paola Saderi, FMA who has worked for many years with children and young people in Sardinia in both school and oratory contexts; and by Sister Maria Carmela Bulsei, SDC, coming from Piedmont with a long experience working with the poor and prisoners.

After the Liturgy of the Word, the Superiors, Sister Gabriella and Sister Anna Maria, calling by name and introducing the four sisters of the new Community to the Parish Community “as on the day of their Profession”, concluded by saying, “We invoke upon them the blessing of the Holy Founders of our two Institutes, St. John Bosco, Saint Mary Domenica Mazzarello, and Saint Giovanna Antide Thouret. We ask for the prayers of all of you, so that this new Community may be among you a gift of communion, support, and attention, of benevolence and of understanding, of joy and of hope. Sister Anna, Sister Liberata, Sister Paola, Sister Maria Carmela, have a good journey!”

Numerous parishioners and Sisters from the two congregations, as well as the FMA Novices, prayed and celebrated for this event of grace. After visiting the apartment owned by the FMA and renovated to accommodate the four sisters, the lunch prepared by a mother was joyfully shared.

The new Inter-congregational Community is a sign of hope in this environment often wounded by violence and poverty, and a new reality also for the two Institutes, for the benefit of the entire Church.


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