Rome (Italy) On June 27, 2020, at John Paul II Auditorium of the Faculty, the celebratory event entitled “The unprecedented of yesterday and today”, took place for the 50th Anniversary of the Canonical erection of the Pontifical Faculty of the Sciences of Education ‘Auxilium’.

Present were the Grand Chancellor of the Faculty, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major of the Salesians of Don Bosco, and the Vice Grand Chancellor, Mother Yvonne Reungoat, Superior General of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, some General Councilors, the Superior of Mother of the Church Preprovince (RMC), the Directors of the University Colleges, the Docents, the technical and administrative staff, and a representation of students.

Due to the restrictions of the Covid-19 pandemic the event was followed in live steaming on the Faculty’s YouTube channel by students, parents and relatives, past pupils, benefactors, and friends from all over the world.

The Principal of “Auxilium”, Sister Piera Ruffinatto, introduced the celebrations, recalling the meaning of commemoration: “a moment of grateful memory for the history lived and for the people who built it, while we are already looking towards the future in view of a courageous and passionate relaunch of the cultural mission entrusted to us by the Church and the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.”

Two female students, through an interweaving of words, memories, images, music, and dance, traveled the journey of the Faculty’s fifty years of history, summarized in the publication, Pontifical Faculty of Educational Sciences ‘Auxilium’ 1970-2020. Contributions to History.

The Mother General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians read the Message of Pope Francis, which encourages the Faculty to continue its commitment to promoting a culture of life:

“I express my sincere hope that the Pontifical Faculty of Educational Sciences ‘Auxilium’, taking advantage of the experience of these fifty years of fruitful activity, will reaffirm the need for a truly humanistic university culture.” A culture in harmony with the pedagogy of St. John Bosco, capable of giving meaning to life and I urge the Docents “to be true educators, taking care to clearly demonstrate the educational project that inspired the Faculty, and that I desire to continue the commitment to offer the Church and society professionally prepared young people, politically sensitive citizens, and in particular, enlightened and courageous Christians”.

The Vice Grand Chancellor, Mother Yvonne Reungoat, expressed gratitude to the Grand Chancellors who followed one another in the history of the Faculty, to the ‘Auxilium’ Faculty, to the FMA Institute, and to all the collaborators and benefactors who support its educational work: “All have the merit of having created an environment, a tradition, an atmosphere of welcome, of beauty, of peaceful coexistence, of mutual listening, and of genuine Salesian breath where one has the joy of building together and feels co-responsible in the common mission”.

Recalling that the Faculty was born for young people, Mother General encouraged the University Community to continue to “qualify more and more in research, in the courage of the proposal, in the farsightedness of the prospects, and in wagering with competence and prophetic vision on the potential of women and the poorest young people.”

The Grand Chancellor, Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime, expressed appreciation for the work and activity of the Faculty inviting them to cultivate sensitivity for the dignity and rights of women.

A commitment that emerges from the name Auxilium and the motto With Mary for a culture of life in which Mary is seen as the educator of Christ and the Christian, the one who is “Teacher” and indicates the way to situate oneself with her own contribution, into the emerging dialogue on the contribution of women to contemporary culture.

Saint John Paul II, during his visit to the Faculty on January 31, 1992, said: “The female condition cannot be missing from educational work. (…) The Auxilium is among the Ecclesiastical Faculties which clearly attests to the will of the Church to put women in a position to bring forth the maximum of their potentials for the benefit of the community”.

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