Rome (Italy). The Mission Sector of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians welcomed and accompanies a group of FMA missionaries who came to Rome from different parts of the world to participate in the 25th Ongoing Formation Course in Missionary Pastoral, which takes place from 9 October to 10 November 2023, at the Salesian Pontifical University.

“Challenges of the mission today” is the theme of the Course promoted by the Missions Sector of the Salesians of Don Bosco and the FMA Missions Sector, in collaboration with the Faculty of Theology of the UPS in which 35 students take part: 12 Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, 2 Missionaries of Mary Help of Christians, and 21 Salesians of Don Bosco.

Objective of the Course is to give participants the opportunity to:

  • revitalize the missionary dimension of one’s vocation;
  • reflect on some theological-pastoral themes linked to the mission of the Church;
  • encourage the sharing of missionary experiences.

This privileged time of Missionary Pastoral Formation seeks to provide the participants with ideas for theological-pastoral and spiritual study, in a climate of communion, fraternity, and Salesian Family.

Over the course of the five weeks, attendance is in the morning for academic insights, while in some afternoons or weekends there are activities and experiences of knowledge of some significant spiritual- cultural realities to increase the universal sense that the Church of Rome and its surroundings offer.

The missionaries will therefore have the opportunity to meet the Community of Sant’Egidio, to follow the footsteps of Saint Paul in Rome with participation in the Missionary Vigil in Saint Paul Outside the Walls, to carry out the pilgrimage in the footsteps of Saint Francis at Assisi, to participate in the Pope’s Audience in St. Peter’s Square, and to be present at other ecclesial moments in this time of the Synod.

The added value of this time of missionary formation and updating is the experience of all the Teachers and Formators of different cultures, skills, and experiences coming from various Universities of Rome and the richness of sharing the missionary experience by each participant.

The mission of the Church, which has its origins and foundations in the Love of God the Father, finds its concrete realization in the commitment of all the participants in the Course, to be mediators of hope and peace where God calls them to work.

Pope Francis in Evangelii Gaudium says that “the Church ‘out going’ is the community of missionary disciples who take the initiative, who get involved, who accompany, who bear fruit, and celebrate” (EG 24).

The wish for all missionaries is to experience this time of grace, of theological and charismatic pause, opening up to listening in an unprecedented way to the questions or ever- new life choices that God will place on their path.

At the end of the Course, the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians will have the further opportunity to live and stay for a few days in the places of the Founders’ origins in Mornese, Nizza Monferrato (AL), Colle Don Bosco (AT), Chieri (TO), and Turin, walking on those clods of earth that exude Salesian holiness and so much missionary ardor.


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