Milan (Italy). On 21 and 22 November 2020, the FMA Communities of the Lombard Province of the Holy Family (ILO) experienced a time of discernment in view of the appointment of the new Provincial, through the online mode due to the health emergency.
The discernment process, animated by Sr. Paola Battagliola, Visiting Councilor of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, took place starting from the theme of the next General Chapter XXIV: “Do whatever he tells you – communities that generate life in the heart of contemporaneity “. The FMA were guided in the consultation through a journey in three stages.
In the first, “Being in the heart of contemporaneity,” Sr. Paola outlined the current reality and invited us to identify the challenges to be answered as a Province: “Our age represents a challenge and an opportunity to enter with an evangelical heart into the fabric of an increasingly multicultural and multi-religious society, an opportunity to ‘be there’ with the heart, understood as the most intimate and profound dimension of being, the generative source of will and human actions, the seat of the Spirit”.
In a second moment, the FMA were invited to reflect on the profile of the Provincial according to the style of Mother Mazzarello, capable of involving all the members of the Educating Community, “a style of animation that shares visions, arouses new energies, opens horizons, and generates life.” (Cf. Circular n. 985 In preparation for GC XXIV) and to identify the characteristics needed to respond to today’s calls.
A joint celebratory moment concluded the journey with the Councilor and introduced the personal prayer of discernment. At the beginning of each stage, Sister Paola offered food for thought to place oneself on the horizon of faith, with the desire to know and collaborate in God’s plan, entrusting to Mary the ‘new wine’ that the provincial community most needs.
From their own home, each community participated in a great ‘digital cenacle’, in which to share challenges, expectations, dreams, listening to the Spirit, to be communities that generate life, accepting Mary’s invitation: “Do what He will tell you”.