Castelgandolfo (Italy). From 7 to 9 February 2023, in Castelgandolfo, 45 Temporary Professed Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and FMA from 7 to 10 years of profession of the Preprovince Mary Mother of the Church (RMC) and of the Generalate of Rome (RCG), originating from different countries of the world, participated in the formation meetings organized by the Preprovince.
Present were the Animators of the Houses: Mother Angela Vespa, Mother Canta, Saint Mary D. Mazzarello, and Sister Teresa Valsé Pantellini of Rome and the Superior of the Preprovince, Sr. María del Carmen Canales Calzadilla, who opened the meeting for the two groups, motivating the meaning of the days, then spent by each age group according to their respective programs.
Taking care of #NoiFMA #Community #Mission was the theme of the Temporary Professed meeting, experienced by 16 FMA of RMC and one of RCG, with the aim of living the daily routine by “taking care” in an attitude of docibilitas and in synodal style.
Sr. Milena Stevani, Professor of Psychology at the Pontifical Faculty “Auxilium” in Rome, explored the concept of “Taking care of oneself”, as young consecrated women, according to the three dimensions: physical, mental, and spiritual, emphasizing the importance to listen attentively, to stop, to reflect, and to pause in prayer in order to know more about themselves.
The other interventions were entrusted to Sr. Maria Giovanna Mammarella, Novice Formator of Sister Teresa Valsè Pantellini Novitiate of Rome, who spoke about how to “Take care of the Community”; and to Sr. Luisa Menozzi, Novice Formator of Mary Help of Christians Novitiate of Castelgandolfo, on the theme “Taking care of the Mission”. The Temporary Professed also listened to the online testimony of Sr. Cristina Mezzanotte, FMA Temporary Professed of San Raimondo Community of Sanluri, in Sardinia, of St. John Bosco Province (IRO), who shared her experience in community.
“I thank God for this beautiful experience in which I felt first-hand the care of the FMA Institute and of the sisters present. I feel invited to continue my journey with joy, with gratitude, and in the awareness of favoring the care that God has for me, for the sisters, and for the young people” expressed one of the participants.
“Inserted into the mystery of the obedient Christ: freeing freedom”, is the title of the meeting experienced by 23 FMA from the Preprovince, plus 5 from the Generalate, from 7 to 10 years professed, with the aim of re-reading in a serene and realistic way the personal and community experience of the vow of obedience in the charismatic style, to assume it more deeply as a path of growth in freedom and joy, within the demands of everyday life.
In addition to reflecting on obedience in their own history, in comparison with the figures of holy sisters, the young FMA had the intervention of Fr. Salvatore Berretta, a priest of the Suburbicarian Diocese of Porto S. Rufina, who spoke to them about “Obedience to the Spirit and life”. Another significant moment was the dialogue with two FMA, Sr. Charlotte Bizige and Sr. Jeanette Palasota, collaborators in the Formation Sector, on their experience of obedience to the Church and the Institute.
In studying a religious vow that was “not easy but possible”, as one of the participants highlighted, the FMA valued the testimonies and sharing among them and in group work in comparison with the Constitutions.
Both groups then experienced two moments together: a visit to the Mariapolis Center of Castelgandolfo, a center for ecumenical and interreligious meetings of the Focolare Movement, with the aim of getting to know and sharing the experience of different charisms in the Church; and the Salesian Goodnight of the General Councilor for Formation of the FMA Institute, Sr. Nilza Fátima de Moraes, on the vow of obedience.
The young FMA have shown themselves grateful for these meetings. They valued the contents and testimonies and appreciated the group sharing, the spaces for reflection and personal prayer, and the joyful and animated recreations, reaffirming the importance of these formative moments to renew their enthusiasm and vocational fidelity.