Japan. the Japanese Province Alma Mater (GIA) celebrated the 150th anniversary of Foundation of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians with the Educating Communities and the Representatives of the Salesian Family through various initiatives, and with an online celebration on 24 May 2022, the solemnity of Mary Help of Christians.

All the initiatives and the event of 24 May were prepared and coordinated by a Commission formed in 2021 with the aim of animating the various moments. The Commission concentrated on the objective of making Mother Mazzarello known by many people, as Mother Yvonne Reungoat suggested in Circular no. 989 in view of the 150th. It was particularly committed to making the Sisters, young people who live with us, and the lay Collaborators feel Mary Domenica Mazzarello closer to them so that they can learn from her, and at the same time, present her in suitable and more familiar way to all age levels.

First, the Japanese version of the hymn of the 150th was created and every month the “Newsletter of the 150th anniversary of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians” was offered to all the Educating Communities. It briefly presented, including images, the life of Mary Mazzarello, along with some lessons drawn from her life. In addition, a Japanese translation was done of the 6 videos produced by the Lombard Province of the Sacred Heart ILO) on Mornese and Mother Mazzarello, uploaded on the home page of the Province Website GIA, so that it could be accessible to everyone. The video presentation of the Historical Room of the Japanese province, which is located in the Provincial House in Chofu, was also made.

Another initiative was the creation of the sticker of a character called “Marron grazie” to be sent to friends via smartphone through messages, which recalls the chestnuts, familiar to both Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello, and the ‘thanks’ which sounds a bit like ‘Glacé’ (Glazed Chestnuts) to signify Thanks for 150 years of history.

The culmination of the Festivities was the Celebration of 24 May 2022, which took place online due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Provincial, Sr. Maria Assunta Miyawaki Michiko, opened the encounter, inviting us to rejoice together in the blessings granted by the Lord in the 150 years of life of the FMA Institute.

The simple, heartfelt video-message of the Superior General of the FMA Institute, Mother Chiara Cazzuola, appeared on the screen together with the Visiting Councilor, Sr. Maria Assunta Inoue who translated, was received with joy by the young people and all the participants.  It was of great encouragement for everyone to continue to live and work together in the same Charism.  The event continued with moments of animation and charismatic re-enactments and greetings from the FMA communities to all participants.

It has been 93 years since the first six Daughters of Mary Help of Christians arrived in Japan in December 1929. In recent years, with the guidance and blessing of the Lord and of Mary, the GIA Province has lived and worked for the salvation of many young people.

The FMA, with the Educating Communities and the Salesian Family in Japan, united with the entire FMA Institute in the world, together with Mary of Cana, continue to live the mission to be a ‘presence’ that generates life.


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