Rome (Italy). The Mother General of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Sr. Chiara Cazzuola, opens Circular 1021 by thanking the FMA and the Educating Communities for their participation and generous response in the organization and implementation of the events tied to the 150th anniversary of the Foundation of the Institute. In some parts of the world – Germany, Cuba, Poland, India e Panama – they were interwoven with the festivities for the 100 years of FMA presence.
“I wish that everyone will prolong the fruits of these events of grace over time to ‘rekindle the fire’ of our vocation, make the educational mission more fruitful, and be generative communities of life and hope in the heart of contemporaneity”.
Let us allow ourselves to be formed and transformed together by life
Mother then reflects on the priority choices of General Chapter 24, to be in ongoing formation for a new vocational impetus, to walk in synodality, to network in the vision of integral ecology, in which the golden thread is the prophecy of presence. “These are choices directed to a wisdom reading of reality and help us to walk with our feet on the ground and our mind turned to Heaven, in an attitude of continual docibilitas”.
She therefore, pauses on formation as a priority that emerged from the communities, also seen in the Report on the Life of the Institute in the six-year term 2014-2020, in their human, spiritual, charismatic, cultural, and professional dimensions. “We feel the need to allow ourselves to be formed and transformed together by life to respond generously to the call, I entrust them to you,” underlines Mother Chiara, indicating formation as the “best investment we can make”, on which “depends the quality of the life of the Institute, and the fruitfulness of the mission”.
The Chapter Assembly insists on formation “as a personal and community responsibility, lived in daily life. In fact, life is the place where the spirituality of the daily routine is incarnated, and in the ordinary circumstances of one’s existence, we grow in our configuration to Christ in fidelity to our Constitutions”.
Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello wisely left their sons and daughters some “ordinary means of formation that mark the daily journey of personal and community holiness, indicated in the Regulations: the private encounter, the weekly conference, the ‘Good Night’, Mother’s Circulars (Cf. Reg. 124).
In Circular no. 1021, Mother Chiara pauses on the preciousness and the charismatic importance of the ‘Good Night’.
Referring to the charismatic sources, Mother finds its pedagogical and spiritual value, as well as its typically family and maternal origin. “It comes from the attention of a father and a mother for their sons and daughters” and invites us to re-appropriate “this typically Salesian practice that arises from the desire to meet and share, from the family spirit, and has the purpose of nourishing it”.
After having illustrated its characteristics and purposes, she offers some concrete indications so that it is incisive and engaging, always with a “Salesian touch”, that is, “a reference to significant figures, to events of the Institute, to educational challenges that call to us;” to be well prepared and welcomed, having a familiar tone, “never as a lecture or conference”, not containing excessively negative remarks, but rather encouraging, to lead to a serene night, as summarized by Don Bosco’s third successor, Fr. Philip Rinaldi, “The Good Night must prepare for a good night”.
At the end of the Circular, Mother Chiara Cazzuola recalls some important events of Salesian formation:
– the International Convention to be held in Rome, in the Generalate, from 25 to 30 September on the theme: Contribution of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians to Education (1872-2022) Journeys, Challenges, and Perspectives;
– the canonization of the Salesian Brother Artemide Zatti, Salesian Family event to be held in Rome on 9 October 2022;
– the Round Table, organized in Rome, in the Generalate, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the birth of the Servant of God Mother Rosetta Marchese, on 20 October 2022, about which more information will be given later on the Institute’s website.
Mother concludes with the wish for a beautiful month of the Rosary and the Missions.