Castel Gandolfo (Italy). On 7 August 2022, in Castel Gandolfo, Rome, the welcome of the new Novice Formator of Castel Gandolfo took place and the official entry of thirteen young women from Italy, Poland, Russia, and Slovakia into the International Novitiates Maria Help of Christians of Castel Gandolfo (Rome) and Sister Teresa Valsè Pantellini of Rome of Via Appia, belonging to the Roman Province of St. John Bosco (IRO).

Present were the Vicar General of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Sr. María del Rosario García Ribas; the Councilor for Formation, Sr. Nilza Fátima de Moraes; Sr. Paola Battagliola and Sr. Lidia Strzelczyk, Visiting Councilors; Sr. Gabriella Garofoli, Provincial of ‘IRO Province and CIME Referent for the two Novitiates; the Provincials of the young women; the Animator of the Postulate of Turin, Sr. Celestina Corna; and the Responsible, Sr. Patrizia Colombo; the Communities of the two Novitiates, and some Newly Professed FMA.

With a moment of prayer in the Novitiate Chapel, Sr. Luisa Menozzi from the Province of Our Lady of the Cenacle (ILS), was welcomed as Formator at the Novitiate of Castel Gandolfo.

After the reading of the Word of God from the First Letter of St. Peter, “Tend the flock in your midst” (1 Peter 5: 2-5), and of Article 92 of the FMA Constitutions on the task and the characteristics of the Novice Formator, Sr. Nilza Fátima de Moraes thanked Sr. Luisa for her generous ‘Yes’ and her availability for the mission the Lord entrusts to her, said,

The maternal educative-spirituality of Mother Mazzarello becomes for all of us a need of our vocation: to be women and ‘mothers’ who educate deeply to discover that the secret of Christian and religious life is an existence centered on Jesus Christ, as Mother Mazzarello used to say”.

Thus, she entrusted her and the Community “to Mary, Mother and Help of Christians, living presence, merciful help to decisively direct her and our life to Christ and to make our personal relationship with Him ever more authentic”.

Sr. Nilza also thanked in a special way Sr. Maria Teresa Espinoza for her dedication and service as Formator for nine years.

The second moment with the rite of Initiation to the religious life of the young women, took place in the Novitiate park.  The Celebration began with the greeting of the Councilor for Formation, who called each young woman by name who then expressed her readiness to live the Salesian life and the desire to know the Constitutions more in depth.

After the Liturgy of the Word, Sr. Nilza addressed them encouragingly, according to the Word chosen by them (Mt. 7: 21, 24-27) to build their own identity as FMA on the rock that is Christ Jesus. “He makes us wise and learned, capable of facing all the storms of life with a heart in love and solidly centered in Him”.

In the name of Mother General, Sr. Chiara Cazzuola, she then officially received the thirteen new Novices and gave each a medal, sign of their belonging to the Institute and of entrustment to Mary Help of Christians.

Sr. Nilza then entrusted the Novices to their respective Formators, Sr. Maria Giovanna Mammarella of the Novitiate of Rome, and Sr. Luisa Menozzi of the Novitiate of Castel Gandolfo, as the Novices of the 2nd year expressed their welcome to their companions with a time of fraternity and song.

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