Rome (Italy). Mother General, Sister Yvonne Reungoat, joins the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians at the approach of the World Feast of Gratitude, “A charismatic event that strengthens the communion of the FMA Institute in the family spirit”, which will be celebrated on 25 April 2021 at the Pontifical Faculty of Education Science “Auxilium”, in Rome.
The context of epochal change in which it is celebrated, is an opportunity to help re-read events, intensifying the educational mission, “a privileged way that forms a culture of life” and an opportune moment to face with confidence and courage the challenges in which the FMA are immersed.
Gratitude is one of the aspects of the identity of the FMA Institute and rediscovering it, building a network between the Communities to celebrate the World Feast of Gratitude is a sign of vitality and hope, which finds its foundation in the Paschal Mystery and nourishes a synergy of educational intents for the benefit of the new generations.
“Building a network is a tangible sign of believing in ‘us’, in the value of the educating community present in the social and ecclesial fabric; …It is to pay attention to integral education proper to the Salesian pedagogical humanism of Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello, identifying common guidelines for action, studying ways of creating new educational synergies, and being able to give answers, albeit always in constant verification, to the expectations of young people today.”
Mother invites the FMA to reconsider the Apostolic Exhortation Christus vivit, in which clear and indicative guidelines can be found to promote the culture of life in young people. She highlights the urgency of specific formation as educators-formators, recalling that “all stages of life require formative attention to live one’s vocation in a meaningful and joyful way.” To form oneself is an indispensable requirement to “understand the ‘cultural revolution’, the importance of our charismatic presence on social networks, the need to communicate the faith in an understandable language, and with the educational passion of the da mihi animas cetera tolle.”
Recalling the educational mission of the Pontifical Faculty of Education Sciences “Auxilium” and of the other FMA Institutions of Higher Studies in the world, committed to being “laboratories of culture and life”, translating the challenges of contemporary times into educational opportunities, Mother stresses the need for a systematic formation with the laity, to build networks of co-responsibility and give continuity to the Salesian educational charism.
“The educational mission asks us to build an effective educational network with the Salesian Family in the Church and in society to become ‘agents’ of the culture of life, promoters of a humanity renewed in the spirit of the Gospel and in fidelity to the charism”.
Promoting the culture of life in the time of the Covid-19 pandemic and its consequences that affect the entire community, means awakening the hope that manifests itself in the beauty of the Risen Christ who is proclaimed in the fraternity that is breathed, in prayer, and in the spirit of communion. Recalling the letter Witnesses to the Beauty of God, sent “to consecrated brothers and sisters” by the Prefect and the Secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life on 25 March 2021, 25 years after the Apostolic Exhortation Vita Consecrata of St. John Paul II, Mother shares the call to be “women bearers of beauty” and to pour it into the Educating Communities and into daily life as a sign of gratitude and solidarity.
Mother, in communion with the FMA Institute, expresses GRATITUDE to all the sisters of all ages, formation, cultures, who spend each day with passion in the educational mission; to elderly or sick sisters, who guard and keep the charism alive with prayer and daily offering; to lay people, who in various roles and skills feel the need for a new educational pact to be achieved with the family, with the school, in the belief that thinking about education means thinking about future generations and the future of humanity. She gratefully addresses the members of the Salesian Family, the Rector Major, the Past Pupils, the young men and women who are the privileged interlocutors of the educational mission: “Thank you, dearest young people for believing that ‘Christ lives. He is our hope and the most beautiful youth of this world’ (Christus vivit, 1)”.
Mother renews the invitation to celebrate the Feast of Gratitude, 25 April 2021, “in a great global embrace” and online to promote the culture of life.