Rome (Italy). On 7 and 8 April 2021 in Rome, at the Pontifical Faculty of Educational Sciences “Auxilium”, the Temporary Professed and New Perpetuals of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of Mary Mother of the Church Preprovince (RMC) and of the Generalate (RCG) , experienced a formation encounter. Present were the Superior of the Preprovince, Sr. María del Carmen Canales, and the Animators of the Communities.
On the first day of the meeting, the theme, “I entrust them to you”: beauty and responsibility that challenge fraternal life and mission, was introduced by Fr. Luis Roson, Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy of the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome who , recalling the Gospel passage of the institution of the twelve apostles (Mk 3: 13-15), spoke on “Community, fraternity for the mission”.
What kind of community will make following and witnessing to Jesus possible? This is the question from which Don Roson started, who described the community as a home and laboratory of apostolic discernment. It is a community of believers summoned by the Lord Jesus, founded on charity, which is embodied in the Mystery, in the local Church, in the world.
Re-reading the “I entrust them to you”, which was the guiding thread of Mother Mazzarello’s life and which challenges each one in the community reality and in the mission, continued with workshop activities.
With the dynamics of Cooperative learning, based on cooperation between the members of the group with the aim of achieving a common goal, the contents of the text “Mother Mazzarello, Woman Capable of True Companionship”, taken from the book “The Hand of God Works in You” by Sr. Maria Ko and Sr. Piera Ruffinatto were read. The reflections that emerged on how to improve community relations so that they are more humanizing, and on the aspects to be given more attention in the communities were shared: the gaze that values, taking care of the person and the environment, truth in charity, making space for the other, being next to each person as a sister and mother, the competence and formative effectiveness of accompanying, of loving unconditionally.
The theme of the educational mission shared with the sisters, the laity, and young people, which strengthens charismatic identity, was then studied using some texts taken from the resource “Oratory Open Courtyard”, of the FMA Youth Ministry Sector. The assembly shared the experiences of active participation, co-responsibility, interculturality lived in the communities , underlining how much they help to grow in the mission.
The second day of the meeting was dedicated to testimonies online. Agata Migliaccio and Stella Cervoni of the Community of St. Egidio, a lay movement of Catholic Christian inspiration, committed to listening to the Gospel and volunteering for the poor and for peace; and Sr. Valeria Bologna, FMA Director and Head of University pastoral care of the Ker Maria College in Rome that gives hospitality to the women students of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, shared their experiences. This allowed us to reflect on the reality of youth in the context of the pandemic and on the importance of taking responsibility for the challenges and opportunities that this time entails.
The meeting, lived in an atmosphere of joy, fraternity, and serene participation, facilitated the sharing of experiences, concerns, and desires, bringing out the awareness that fraternity and the educational mission are places of human and spiritual growth.