Spain and Portugal. The Communities of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of the Province of Mary Help of Christians (SPA) and of the Province of Our Lady of Fatima (POR) met online on September 5, 2020, to thank together for the 30-year journey of the Interprovincial Conference of Spain and Portugal (CIEP).
The celebration began with prayer, the recitation of Psalm 91, “Teach us to count our years”, and listening to the Gospel passage of Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman (Jn 4: 1-30).
Sister Maria Luisa Miranda, General Councilor for the Salesian Family and CIEP Referent, invited us to reflect on the category of time as a gift to be lived, a gift to be grateful for in order to give meaning to life. “A time that, for Spain and Portugal at this moment is not ending, but a time that has reached maturity to start a new path.”
After that there was the viewing of a video summary of the 30 years of the CIEP, with the testimony of some FMA who, over the course of the thirty years, have taken on the service of animation and government. Words and images, fragments of memory of a journey traveled in fraternity.
Sr. Rosa Cándida Gomes and Sr. María del Rosario García, the Provincials of Portugal and Spain, came close to the communities. Sister Rosa said that: “It is not the time to close a door, but to broaden our gaze towards wider horizons. We are like a drop of water in the ocean of the Institute, a drop that falls and makes everything that surrounds it fruitful. The birth of the new Conference leads us to intensify communion, openness to reality, and to the most fragile young people”.
Sister María del Rosario thanked Mother General and the Referent Councilors for their presence which illuminated the path. She recalled that CIEP was a precious space for communion. “We take this step, convinced of finding safer ways together. We know that together we will have to respond to the great challenges of today’s world, that together we will be able to seek and give quality answers. We approach this path with enthusiasm, welcoming the slogan: A te le affido”.
The Provincial Councils met with Sr. Maria Luisa Miranda, to thank for what they shared in CIEP. The launch of the new Interprovincial Conference of the Middle East and Europe (CIME) is entrusted to Mary, so that she may continue to identify the paths of holiness to follow together with the young.