Rome (Italy). On 21 July 2021 at the Generalate of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians in Rome (RCG), the members of the FMA and SDB General Councils met together. This was the first time since the General Chapter of the Salesians.
It was a time of fraternity and mutual knowledge on the eve of the celebration of the 24th General Chapter of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians. It was a real family experience. This was perceived through many signs, from the joyful welcome, to the Celebration of the Eucharist with the two Councils united, to the time of dinner together, to the various greetings and gifts exchanged.
The Eucharist, presided over by the Rector Major Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime, concelebrated by all the Confreres and animated by the FMA Councilors, offered for GC XXIV of the FMA, allowed us to reciprocally express thanks for the gift of communion and fraternity, characteristics of Salesian spirituality.
In his homily, the Rector Major invited us to reflect on the fact that the whole history of salvation is played out on faith, “Every day we see its fruit from the life of our realities, a sign that God works miracles of salvation, transformation, and conversion. The true renewal of the Institute and of the Congregation depends on faith and on our conversion in faith. It is authentic faith that regenerates our mission with young people. ‘Lord, increase our faith’! The celebration of the Chapter will be an experience of the Holy Spirit, and it will be our faith that will make us repeat, ‘Lord, may everything you want to be fulfilled in me’. When we let God be God then we live in faith, joy, and hope”.
Moments of the evening were dinner together, the mutual presentations, the song to Mother Mazzarello composed and performed by Fr. Gildásio Mendes Dos Santos, Councilor for Social Communication, the ‘good night’ of the Rector Major and his expressions of fraternity towards Mother and the FMA Institute which is preparing for the General Chapter. He also gave updates on the preparation of the ‘Don Bosco House Museum’ in Turin, which will be enriched by significant documentation on all the groups of the Salesian Family and on each of the Saints and Blesseds who are the most beautiful face of the great Salesian Family. The evening ended with the exchange of gifts and the words of Mother who thanked for the journey lived in synodality, wishing that it may continue as a sign of communion of the Congregation of the Salesians of Don Bosco and the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, united by the same charism, a gift for young people of the whole world.