Calamba Laguna (Philippines). On 16 and 17 June 2024, 90 educators of the Schools of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians – from Mary Help of Christians School in Canlubang, from the Don Bosco School in Manila, from Mary Help of Christians School in Pampanga, and from Mary Help of Christians School in Cebu – met at the Mornese Spirituality Center of Pansol, Calamba Laguna, for a formation meeting on Salesianity organized by the Salesianity Team of St. Mary D. Mazzarello Province (FIL).

“Growing in our Salesian identity” was the theme developed through the different sessions conducted by Sister Melanie Pilar, Sister Alem Coching, Sister Celia Tacujan, Sister Phebe Lacse, Sister Cynthia Calabig, and Sister Debbie Ponsaran, deepening the life and teachings of Saint John Bosco, the FMA Institute, Saint Mary Domenica Mazzarello, and the Preventive System in the education of young people.

The event began with a prayer led by Mrs. Aprilyn Muzada, Principal of Mary Help of Christians School in Pampanga, followed by an introduction to the day by Sister Phebe. In her presentation, Sister Lanie spoke of the life of Don Bosco, dwelling on his famous motto, Da mihi animas cetera tolle, and the importance of trusting in Divine Providence.

Sister Alem creatively presented Don Bosco’s “Dream at Nine Years of Age” in its bicentenary year (1824-2024). It is an episode that marks his life and describes his future mission. Speaking of the Preventive System, Sister Celia ignited our minds and involved hearts and hands, leading the group to explore the three pillars of reason, religion, and loving-kindness.

In the evening, the participants enjoyed games, prayed the rosary, and listened to the Good Night of Sister Runita Borja, General Councilor for Youth Ministry, in live-streaming from Rome.

Sister Runita stressed how education is the mission of each one, their contribution to society, a way to holiness, and a way to express themselves as Christians. She also highlighted the important role of educators in the educative environment, observing that, more than anything else, it is the expression of their humanity that touches the students. In concluding, she reminded everyone of the importance of being present for young people as the main objective for Salesian educators, and how God chose each one for the special mission of educating young people.

On the second day, the participants had a close encounter with Saint Mary Domenica Mazzarello, through learning about her life and her mission to “save souls by doing good to the girls” proposed by Sister Melanie Pilar. Sister Alem then spoke of the Borgoalto vision of Mother Mazzarello, of the “I entrust them to you” that expresses the community’s dedication to the education of young people.

Sister Cynthia and Sister Debbie then explained the Preventive System in the style of Saint Mary Mazzarello through teaching, domestic work, and religious education.

The event ended with a workshop led by Sister Phebe, in which the characteristics of a Salesian educator were identified, stressing the importance of living Salesian values.

These Formative Days motivated the educators to commit themselves more deeply to offering a welcoming, healthy, and stimulating learning environment, guiding young people towards holiness, and embodying love and understanding in all their actions. With a passion for young people and for the preventive educative style of St. John Bosco and Saint Mary Domenica Mazzarello, the lay collaborators of the FMA Schools returned to their realities reinvigorated on their journey as Salesian educators.


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