Rome. The central moment of the General Chapter is the election of the Superior General and the Councilors who will assume the task of animation and government for the next 6 years.
The election of the Mother is the first fruit of the discernment process which began on 3 October 2021, accompanied by Fr. Pascual Chávez Villanueva, Rector Major Emeritus of the Salesians of Don Bosco.
The day of the election 5 October 2021, opened with a Marian moment of entrustment to Mary Help of Christians to whom the 10th Successor of Mary Domenica Mazzarello is entrusted. Mother Yvonne Reungoat, as a sign of filiation and trust, places a key at the feet of the Help of Christians, to express that the life of the Institute is in the hands of the one whom Don Bosco said is the True Superior.
At the beginning of the Eucharistic celebration presided over by the Rector Major, Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime, the Word is brought and a candle that underlines the attitude of listening to the Holy Spirit who opens us to contemplation. In his homily in which he recalls the event of Pentecost, the Rector Major invites us to welcome the grace of God and be His mediation. “The General Chapter is an opportunity to witness to the unity of the Institute”.
In the morning, the Chapter members gathered in the hall to proceed with the voting. Fr. Pascual Chávez Villanueva, Rector Major Emeritus of the Salesians of Don Bosco, after invoking the Holy Spirit, offered ideas for meditation on the theme “As the Father has sent me, so I send you” and invited the Chapter members “to ask the Holy Spirit for a triple grace: that of enlightenment, to be able to discover who is chosen by the Lord to lead the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians during the next six years; that of freedom of spirit, to know how to act by seeking nothing but the will of God; finally, that of openness of heart, to know how to welcome with faith and love the one who will be in charge of the Institute.”
The voting took place and Sr. Chiara Cazzuola was elected Superior General of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians. After the election, Sr. Edna Mary MacDonald, the Chapter member with the most years of Religious Profession, asked her if she accepted to be the Successor of Mary Domenica Mazzarello, called to embody her motherhood and to share a new season of prophecy in the Institute at the service of the Church. Mother Chiara, who was very moved, thanked for the confidence and entrusted herself to Mary Help of Christians, repeating Mary’s ‘Yes’ to God’s will.
The event was accompanied by huge applause. The first to congratulate Mother were the Rector Major, Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime, and the sisters of the community of the FMA Generalate.
Subsequently, the Newly-elected and all the Chapter members went to the Chapel for a moment of prayer, during which Mother Yvonne Reungoat, on behalf of all present, offered Mother a statue of Mary Help of Christians. The gift was accompanied by some words “so that she may continue to be the Guide of the Institute”, as we walk together on the educational and evangelizing paths of the mission.
In the afternoon, with traditional songs and dances involving the whole Institute and expressing the richness of multiculturalism and internationality, the Chapter members expressed their joy and best wishes to the Newly-elected. “Welcome Mother, embark on the journey together with all the sisters, youth, and EC. You will be sustained by the green of hope, the blue of the immensity of God’s love, the yellow of joy, the red of missionary audacity, the white of the beauty of life!”.
Good Journey, Mother!