Cochabamba (Bolivia). On 20 and 21 October 2022 in Cochabamba, at the headquarters of the O. L. of Peace Province (BOL), the vocational meeting “Camp Maìn” was held, with the participation of about 500 young people, teachers, animators, parents, and Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.
The goal was to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the FMA Institute, rediscovering the baptismal identity and vocational commitment in each member of the Educating Community, testifying that Mary is a presence that generates life in every community, to project ourselves with courage towards the future and the celebration of the centenary of the FMA presence in Bolivia.
The encounter was characterized by the active, joyful, and committed participation of all the participants from the 13 works of the FMA present in the districts of La Paz, Santa Cruz, Sucre, and Cochabamba. During the year, they prepared themselves with a different theme each month: one’s vocational history (February); origins of the FMA Institute (March); origins of the work (April); Mary in the history of the work (May); Christian identity – one’s Baptism (June); one’s own reality current – resilience (July); Integral Ecology (August); Project of life (September); Missionary Church (October).
The event was attended by Sr. Marta Riccioli, Visiting Councilor of the FMA Institute, on a visit to the BOL Province, who participated with joy, offering her charismatic word and living the experience in a family spirit.
There were several significant moments experienced by the participants: animated songs, times of prayer, group reflections animated by leader animators; study of themes such as the Marian presence in Bolivia. Each group reflected on the vocation to which they were called and the meeting concluded with a commitment in response to the invitation of the Help of Christians “I entrust them to you”, a phrase that reveals the importance that God, through our Mother, give to everyone’s life.
Precisely starting from these words, “I entrust them to you”, the Mother General of the FMA Institute, Sr. Chiara Cazzuola, addressed the participants through a video, through which she made herself present and spoke of the particular moment in which Maìn’s vocation is manifested, a particularly dark time in her life:
“After her illness, Mary Domenica finds herself without strength and without energy. What will she do with her life? While in church, she says the beautiful prayer, ‘My God, if You want to grant me more life, let me be forgotten by everyone except by You’. We talk about Mary Domenica even after 150, thus no one has forgotten about her, on the contrary, we are discovering her more and more. After this prayer, she passes by Borgoalto, the Mornese hill, where she sees a white building and many girls. She hears a deep, serene voice, ‘I entrust them to you’. (…) It is also very lovely for us to know that her vocation was defined in the darkest moment of her life. It is there that the Lord intervened and made her understand what He desired from her.”
In concluding, Mother Chiara left her message, “to the sisters, to revive this beautiful vocation that the Lord has given us, thinking of the strength and all the energy that Maìn put into this response. To the girls, to leave their hearts open, to be available because the Lord can call at any time. Imagine, what if Maìn had said no? Perhaps none of us would be here today; perhaps in these 150 years many many children, young people, women, families … would not have been gladdened, saved, supported on their journey. But, thanks to a yes, look at what wonders she has worked in the world.”
The long-awaited event of Camp Maìn was celebrated by the participants as a great feast, in the joy of being part of the Institute of the FMA which is all of Mary. Everyone returned to their realities happy with this experience, with the certainty that Mary is present and walks in the house and in the life of each one.