Castel Gandolfo (Italy). On 7 August 2023, at the Novitiate of Mary Help of Christians in Castel Gandolfo, Rome, belonging to the Roman Province of St. John Bosco (IRO), the official entrance of seven young women from Italy, Slovakia, Spain, and Hungary into the International Novitiate Mary Help of Christians of Castel Gandolfo (Rome).

Present were the Vicar General of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Sr. María del Rosario García Ribas; Sr. Gabriella Garofoli, Provincial of the IRO Province and CIME Referent for the two Novitiates; some of the Provincials of the young women; the Animator of the Postulancy of Turin, Sr. Celestina Corna; the Assistant to the Postulants, Sr. Patrizia Colombo; the Communities of the two Novitiates; and other FMA from the Provinces of origin of the new novices.

The rite of initiation into the religious life of the young women took place in the chapel of the Novitiate. The Celebration began with an invocation to the Spirit and a greeting from the Vicar General, who called the young women by name, who responded by expressing their willingness to live the Salesian life and their desire to know the Constitutions in greater depth.

After the Liturgy of the Word, Sister María del Rosario addressed them, taking up Pope Francis’ homily on the occasion of the concluding Holy Mass of World Youth Day in Lisbon, on 6 August 2023. She recalled the three main points, inviting young people “to radiate the light that comes from a profound dialogue with God; to listen to the invitation that Jesus makes by calling each one by name to follow Him; not to be afraid”, but to trust in Jesus, in Mary Help of Christians, and in the intercession of the Salesian Saints.

 In the name of the Mother General, Sr. Chiara Cazzuola, she then officially welcomed the seven new Novices and gave each one the medal, a sign of belonging to the Institute and of entrustment to Mary Help of Christians. Sr. María del Rosario then entrusted the Novices to the Novice Formator of Castel Gandolfo, Sr. Luisa Menozzi, recommending that they “see in her the Daughter of Mary Help of Christians designated by the Institute as a wise and prudent guide in whom to perceive the presence of Mary, Mother and Teacher.” 

At the end of the rite of entrance, the Novices of the 2nd year of the two Novitiates of Castel Gandolfo and of Rome, Sister Teresa Valsè Pantellini, welcomed their companions with a fraternal time centered on the Word of God chosen by the new Novices (Jn 1: 35-44) and on the motto “I am with you”. A time of conviviality followed.

We entrust to the Lord and Mary the journey of the Novices and of the two International Novitiate Communities, so that each one can grow “in the joy of self-giving to God for the salvation of young people” (FMA Const. 90).



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