Rome (Italy) “The unprecedented yesterday and today” is the red thread that runs through the celebratory moment of the 50th anniversary of the Pontifical Faculty of the Science of Education ‘Auxilium’ (1970-2020), held on Saturday 27 June 2020 at 18:00 in John Paul II Aula Magna of the Faculty.

The event will be attended by the Rector Major of the Salesians of Don Bosco, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Grand Chancellor of the Faculty, and the Mother General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Mother Yvonne Reungoat, Vice Grand Chancellor, with a representation of the academic community.

For the restrictive measures due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, the event will be broadcast live on the Faculty’s YouTube channel.

The Principal of the Faculty, Sister Piera Ruffinatto, explains the choice of the theme “The unprecedented yesterday and today”:

“Fifty years later, we welcome the renewed trust of the Church and the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians in the Faculty, and at the same time, we are aware of the responsibility entrusted to us: being a University Institution that is pontifical, Salesian, female. For this reason, we want to take on the task of developing and spreading an educational culture at the service of life and its growth with a new awareness in view of an integral and supportive humanism open to the transcendent. Around this ‘vision’ lies the urgent task of strengthening the dialogue between the educational sciences in order to thematise and further deepen the essential values that underlie it, in particular, those related to the education of young women.

In the name Auxilium that characterizes us and in the motto With Mary for a culture of life, is enclosed the project that sees in the figure of Mary, educator of Christ and the Christian, the one who is ‘Teacher’ and shows us the way to be able to situate ourselves with our specific contribution in the emerging dialogue on the contribution of women to contemporary culture.

In this fiftieth anniversary, we collect the inheritance, strengthened by what John Paul II said during his visit to the Faculty on January 31, 1992: ‘the Auxilium, with its charge of femininity is able to make important contributions to the inculturation of the Gospel and to the evangelization of culture’.”

Historical Background:

Established in Turin in 1954, the International Institute of Pedagogy and Religious Sciences (called the Pedagogical), was ‘incorporated’ in 1966 into the Higher Institute of Pedagogy of the Pontifical Salesian University. For the first time, the Holy See officially recognized women religious as university professors in an institution dependent on it. In 1970, the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians asked for autonomy and on June 27, 1970 the letter-decree of the Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education arrived: the International Higher Institute of Pedagogy and Religious Sciences was transformed into the Pontifical Faculty of the Science of Education, based in Turin.

This recognition publicly admitted the role of women in the Church to the point of recognizing the possibility of the leadership and management of an Ecclesiastical University Institution.



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