Brazil. On 2 February 2021, after the seven-year process of discernment, the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of Brazil celebrate the beginning of the new Configuration of the Brazilian Provinces.
The presence of the FMA in Brazil, which began in 1892 in San Paulo, Guaratinguetá and Pindamonhangaba, has a history of great vitality and dynamism. It is marked by the courage and audacity of many FMA, lay people, and young people who, driven by the missionary passion of the “da mihi animas” and “I entrust them to you”, have given life and impetus to the Salesian charism in the mission at the service of young people, especially the poorest. Geographically, the FMA in Brazil are organized in nine Provinces, with very different realities and a significant number of educational works. The context of great changes has challenged the FMA of Brazil who in 2013, starting with the mandate “Re-signifying the Charism in Brazil“, began the journey of resignification of the FMA presence in Brazil.
“It was a fruitful time of openness to the Spirit, of attention to the questions that arise from the Brazilian youth world, of a common search for what could best guarantee the continuity of the educational presence in the new conditions of our religious and educating communities, in the historical, social, and economic reality of Brazil in the Third Millennium,” wrote Mother Yvonne Reungoat in the Message sent to the FMA of Brazil.
The need to share the charism among the FMA, the laity, and the young within a new structure of animation capable of responding to the calls of the educational-evangelizing mission, led to the new configuration with the passage from 9 to 4 Provinces. It is an important stage in the journey of the FMA Institute in Brazil, almost a new Foundation for the 4 Provinces: Mother Mazzarello Province based in Belo Horizonte (BMM), Our Lady Aparecida Province based in St. Paul (BAP), Our Lady of the Amazon Province based in Manaus (BRM), and Mary Help of Christians Province based in Recife (BRE).
February 2 is a significant date Mother said, “it brings us to the heart of the meaning of religious life: we are women consecrated to the service of God, together with Jesus. … The educational mission in the various parts of Brazil has been very fruitful and will continue to be fruitful. Mary Help of Christians asks us to be present with a new organizational structure, she asks us to be the yeast that makes the dough ferment, the salt that gives flavor, to walk with young people so that they may find the meaning of their life in Jesus. It is important to be good yeast! ” (Message of Mother)
May the Lord continue to send the gift of His Spirit so that there may be the miracle of new wine in the unity of diversity. May the intercession of Mary Help of Christians strengthen in the communities the joy of vocation, the ability to weave relationships of fraternal welcome, and the creative audacity of Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello on the paths of the evangelizing mission for the life and hope of young people.
The official celebration will take place in different ways for the restrictive measures due to the Covid-19 pandemic and online on the social channels of the Provinces: