Córdoba (Argentina).On 29 January 2023, the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of Argentina joyfully welcomed the Mother General of the FMA Institute, Sr. Chiara Cazzuola, on a visit, together with the Visiting Councilor Sr. Marta Riccioli, and the Councilor for the Salesian Family Sr. Leslie Sándigo Ortega, for the official opening of the unified Laura Vicuña Province (ARG), scheduled for January 31, the culminating moment of a process that has involved the Educating Communities of the whole country since 2018.
More than 60 FMA from the current Provinces of St. Francis de Sales (ABA), St. Francis Xavier (ABB), and Our Lady of the Rosary (ARO) met in Córdoba, seat of the new Province, in the spirit of the Magnificat, thanking God for what He has done, is doing, and will continue to do.
Mother Chiara and the General Councilors were welcomed at the Pajas Blancas airport in Córdoba (Argentina) by Sr. Silvia Boullosa, Visiting Councilor from 2008 to 2021 and future Provincial of the Unified Province; by Sr. Adriana Gómez, ARO Provincial; Sr. María Elena Fernández, ABA Provincial; and by some FMA of the Provincial Council.
Upon their arrival at Mother Mazzarello Provincial House, they were welcomed by all the FMA and by the young people of the Salesian Youth Movement, who gave Mother a bouquet of flowers, and, in a simple but heartfelt celebration in the Chapel of the House, by the Animator, Sr. Graciela Recchia, and by Sr. Silvia Boullosa.
Mother Chiara gifted all the sisters and young people with her words, “We have come to support you, to share the joy of this moment full of hope for all of Argentina, and to make you feel the closeness of the whole Institute, which at this moment he is praying for you.”
Bringing greetings from Mother Emeritus, Sr. Yvonne Reungoat, who accompanied the unification process, and from the other Councilors, she continued by saying, “Argentina is the desired, loved, dreamed of land. This is how I lived the anticipation of this day: in prayer and retracing the historical memory of the roots: after Mornese and Nizza, Argentina immediately comes. So, I feel a sense of gratitude for the Sisters who have had this zeal and I believe that this moment for all of us is once again a call to believe in the Lord’s Providence, to trust in His grace, which will not abandon us, and also accompanies us in this journey.”
In the afternoon, the FMA lived a spontaneous time of dialogue animated by Sr. Silvia Boullosa. Mother Chiara expressed her apprehensions about the world reality, recounting some episodes concerning the countries affected by conflicts where the Institute is present, highlighting the significance of FMA presence in such situations of fragility, and the esteem received from those who suffer, who tell them, “You are our hope”.
She also expressed the desire to make this process of resignification concrete as a moment of personal and community conversion, encouraging children and young people to live holiness like Laura Vicuña, fruit of the preventive system of Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello.
In the dialogue, she specified some key points for concretely continuing the journey of unification: the memory of the past and the projection towards the future as a response to the realities of today’s world; joy, as an expression of happiness in living one’s vocation; and hope, as a sign of faith for humanity.
The moment ended with a song offered by the FMA, dedicated to Laura Vicuña: “Like the Good Shepherd, Laura, you gave your life to the end”.
At the end of the day, the Eucharist was celebrated, presided over by Fr. Horacio Barbieri, Salesian of Don Bosco, Provincial of the Artemide Zatti Province of Northern Argentina (ARN), who warmly welcomed Mother and the Councilors and, in his homily, invited everyone to live rooted in Christ according to the spirit of the Beatitudes.