Rome (Italy). The Mother General of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Sr. Chiara Cazzuola, in Circular No. 1024 presents the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and the Educating Communities Strenna 2023 of the Rector Major of the Salesians of Don Bosco, Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime:

The lay dimension of Don Bosco’s Family”

Recalling the recipients of the Strenna addressed to children, adolescents, young people, and Groups of the Salesian Family, invited to rediscover the lay dimension and called to be true yeast among the people of this time, Mother highlights the charismatic specificity of the FMA:

“As consecrated women in the Salesian Family, we too are called to be “yeast in the dough of the bread of humanity” and to live alongside others, together with others, for others, allowing ourselves to be enriched by the evangelical lay state of our brothers and sisters, to make the Family complete and alive. Faithful to our specific educational charism, we wish to help boys and girls, adolescents, young men and women, to discover their own resources of good in order to be the yeast in the world that helps to leaven the dough and to make tastier the ‘bread of the human family’.”

The simile of yeast, drawn from the Gospel parable (Lk 13:20-21), reveals an abundance of pedagogical and educational elements. It well describes the reality of the Kingdom of God, “humanly small and apparently irrelevant” which requires poverty of heart, trust, humility, collaboration, “but above all it is the initiative and gift of the Lord,” who multiplies good and makes every action fruitful.

This is what Mother Mazzarello also expresses, saying “It is the hand of God that works in us” (Cf. L 66,2). These are words that reveal the experience of a woman who “allowed herself to be enlightened and worked interiorly by the grace of God,” with the conviction that “we must let ourselves be molded for life by the creative and purifying hand of God.”

The Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, together with the other Groups of the Salesian Family, are therefore asked “to be the good yeast in the flour of humanity and to recognize the richness of the vocation of the lay men and women in all educating communities, valuing, in the different cultures and societies, the gift of life, the strength of faith, the creativity of love, the beauty of the family, experience, and professional competence, the evangelical witness.”

Valuing the daily routine as the place where life is incarnated, the promotion of youthful protagonism, and the consolidation of behaviors that strengthen peace and fraternity among peoples, are elements on which Salesian Spirituality focuses, which animate and give life to the Salesian Youth Movement, in which relationships are marked by the family spirit.

“Being yeast in today’s world”, summarizes Mother Chiara, “is responding to the call to be there, to be a presence that generates life, that accompanies the growth and maturation especially of young men and women in feeling they are a living part of society and of the Church, willing to leave the narrow horizons of their lives to discover, in the fabric of daily life, the dimension of ecclesial, political, and social commitment.”

At the end of an intense year of celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the FMA Institute, Mother invites us to continue the journey by keeping alive the fire of belonging to the Lord and to the Salesian Family.

In the name of all the FMA, she also expresses her gratitude to the Rector Major for having offered with this Strenna, “the opportunity to renew our commitment to be instruments of communion within the Salesian Family, giving our specific contribution as consecrated women educators.”

The Circular concludes with a wish to the Salesian confreres, to the Groups of the Salesian Family, to the Educating Communities, and to all the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, “that 2023 may be the bearer of peace and understanding among the Nations.

Circular no. 1024


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