Rome (Italy). On 26 January 2022, the FMA and SDB General Councils met in Rome at the Generalate of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (RCG).
The General Council of the FMA, gathered for the first plenum, welcomed the Rector Major, Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime, and the General Council of the Salesians of Don Bosco for an evening of simple and joyful fraternity, founded on the Salesian charism.
In her greeting, the Mother General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Mother Chiara Cazzuola, thanking the Salesians for this visit, for them at the end of their winter plenum, underlines that it is a brief encounter and of acquaintance “in order not to lose sight of each other, to keep the desire for collaboration alive.” The SDB Council has been working together for about two years, “while ours” – continues Mother Chiara – “has just been constituted and is beginning to reflect in view of the discernment of the new provincials and of the planning of the six-year period”.
During the Eucharistic Celebration, recalling the life of the two Congregations that are moving forward, despite the fact that they are experiencing “situations never thought of”, the Rector Major affirms:
“We are expected to be able to think and offer everything possible for this present that we must live. We are called to give the best of ourselves, to put all our energies, abilities, wisdom, into peace, that peace which is the fruit of God’s presence. We are united by the will of sharing, collaboration, and communion. The Word heard in this liturgical memorial of Saints Timothy and Titus is an invitation to live the ministry and service we have received without ever being ashamed of the Lord Jesus. It means asking for the grace to have the strength to bear witness to Jesus, to evangelize, to help young people to live their Christian faith, bearing witness with our life first of all”.
The homily is followed by a moment of silence and with spontaneous prayers: voice is given to all the needs of the Church, the world, the Provinces, the educational mission, the young.
At the end of the Eucharist, the traditional Good Night: the Rector Major once again expresses the conviction that communion is a great value, a sign for everyone and that it is more effective to go slowly on one’s institutional path, but together. It is important to keep alive and safeguard the communion and bond of the Communities and Provinces with Mother and the Rector Major and the Councils. At the same time, the communion of the Congregations is rooted in the one Charism aroused by Don Bosco, of which both are an expression. Finally, Fr. Angel reiterates to the FMA not to forget, as women, the specific attention and particular care of girls, young women, and women, especially the most disadvantaged.
The evening continues with a dinner prepared with care and served with elegance by the Community of the Generalate. It is the moment of conviviality, knowledge, and mutual gratitude. Fr. Gildásio Mendes Dos Santos, Councilor for Social Communication, performs a song dedicated to Mother Mazzarello composed by him. Mornese and the passion for God and for young people are the aspects on which the text focuses.
The two Councils leave each other with the reciprocal presentation, the exchange of gifts and the thanks of Mother General for the closeness and fraternity of the Salesians towards the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians. The Rector Major also thanks for the evening and wishes fruitful work for the good of the Institute and of the young people.