Rome (Italy). April 24, 2021 marks the 10th anniversary of the publication of the Identity Charter of the Institutions of Higher Studies of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (ISS-FMA), which defines and guides the ISS-FMA network in the world.
The Identity Charter of ISS-FMA was presented in 2011 by the Mother General of the FMA Institute, Sr. Yvonne Reungoat to the Provincials and their respective Councils, to the Rectors and Directors of the Institutions, to be studied and deepened by the academic community, with the mission of assuming it and spreading it wherever there is an FMA Institute of Higher Studies.
The document is the result of a long process that involved the 34 Institutions existing at that time, in the reflection, elaboration, and drafting of the Charter. Today, the ISS-FMA are 42, present in the four continents; America, Africa, Asia, and Europe and in 16 countries.
The Identity Charter is presented as “a compass for not losing the way as an Institution in the face of the multiple stresses of different contexts and for tracing the coordinates along which the Institution itself will have to build its own human and community development project.”
The criteria are defined: identification of the specific institution; identification of the characteristics that distinguish one Institution from the others; identification of the characteristics that give continuity, while evolving over time, and create culture. “Metaphorically, the Institutional Identity Charter represents the soul, the values that animate the people belonging to the Institution; the heart, the method that involves all formation and characterizes the quality of the educational relationship; the mind, the philosophy that is expressed in the vision, mission, and strategies; the voice, the communication systems with those who belong to the Institution and other entities with which ties are established; the body, initiatives, and activities it carries out.” (CI No. 1)
On the occasion of the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the ISS-FMA Identity Charter, Sr. Ivone Goulart Lopes, Sector Coordinator for Youth Ministry for the ISS-FMA Network, writes:
“This document symbolically represents our being ‘active nodes of a network’, committed to deepening this Identity Charter to develop the heritage of thought and practice, in synergy and worldwide connection of thought and research.” (Cf. Celebrating 10 years of the Identity Charter of the Institutions of Higher Studies of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians ISS-FMA)
Recalling with gratitude the path traveled, the Councilor for Youth Ministry, Sr. Runita Borja, shares a wish for the future:
“May the Identity Charter be both for our Institutions and for each of us, the North Star that guides us in the midst of an ever-changing reality. The Identity Charter is not a manual of questions and answers. Rather, it is the horizon on which we interpret the challenges and calls of and to contemporaneity. Let us continue to walk together to be women and men builders of a world that is home for all, of the present and of the future. May Mary Help of Christians accompany us on this journey.”
On the occasion of the World Feast of Gratitude, which took place on 25 April 2021 in Rome, at Mother Angela Vespa House, see of the Pontifical Faculty of Educational Sciences “Auxilium” on the theme “Networked for a culture of life”, the Institutions of Higher Studies were involved in presenting with a video, the precious contribution they offer to the formation of many FMA and young people, answering the question: How do we promote the culture of life?