La Ceja (Colombia). On 12 April 2023, after the Eucharistic Celebration of welcome in the Chapel of the Provincial House of Mary Help of Christians (CMA) of Medellín, Mother Chiara Cazzuola, in Colombia for the World Feast of Gratitude to be held in Bogota on 26 April, joined the Interprovincial and International Novitiate of St. Joseph in La Ceja, Antioquia.

Upon her arrival, she was welcomed by the young people in formation of Sacred Heart Novitiate of the Salesians of Don Bosco, by female and male students of Mary Help of Christians School, the staff, the young people in formation of the Colombian FMA Provinces, and the novices of the CINAB Interprovincial Conference.

The gesture she was asked to perform is significant: after putting on a pair of white gloves, she let a white dove fly towards the sky as a gesture of peace, “because you are our Messenger of peace“, explained Sr. Bernarda Santamária, Novice Formator, while the Novices sang “your hands are doves of peace” (video).

Mother Chiara then met the young women of the Assessment and Guidance Period, the Postulants of the three formation houses in Colombia, and the Novices of CINAB, who expressed their joy of having her among them with creativity and art through dances and songs.

Subsequently, Mother made herself available for a time of dialogue with the formandees, on their current reality and on the formation process. “I am very happy to be here with you today and I thank the Provincials for having thought of letting me begin this journey in Colombia starting with you. (…) Formation is certainly a work of craftsmanship, where one works with many hands. There is certainly the Artisan who models, but then there are many people together, as a community, who accompany your journey. I would also like to thank them for their commitment, their closeness, their daily accompaniment in your life. The period you are experiencing – from Aspirancy, Postulancy, Novitiate – requires a directed and also clear path, a sacrifice that gives joy, because it arises from a fundamental choice (…), therefore it is a conscious but happy process. The sign that you are walking well is peace of heart and serenity,” Mother exhorted.

She then answered their questions, encouraging them to promote a culture of peace, according to the slogan of the Festival, with the people around them, to have a clear motivation for God, to be happy in the proclamation of Jesus, and to be humble, because “it is the Lord who sends us and sustains us, without Him we can do nothing.” Finally, she recommended to always take Mary with them, to “make her work: she always works, but we can always ask for something more. It is clear that we must always feel like daughters if we want her to always be a Mother, and she is. Let us remember that our identity is Marian and that we are called to live the spirituality of the Magnificat”.

The encounter ended with the song “Your hands are doves of peace”, the melody that greeted her in the morning.

Photos: Flickr FMA


  1. La tua presenza fra noi, in Colombia, è il passo della Madonna. Le tue mani sono colombe di pace, la tua testimonianza di serenità, di gioia, di fraternità… accende il fuocco del nostro cuore. GRAZIE!

  2. Grazie mille alla Madre Chiara per la sua parola molto profonda! ha fato bene anche a me. Grazie a Sr. Bernarda per la traduzione fedele! Buone feste! com afetto, Sr. Apoline.


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