Alta Gracia (Argentina). On 2 February 2023, on the Day of Consecrated Life, the Mother General of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Sr. Chiara Cazzuola arrived at the Sacred Heart House of Alta Gracia, in the province of Córdoba, to open the Novitiate of the CICSAL Interprovincial Conference, to which Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, and Argentina belong.
During the day, two celebrations took place: the entry into the Novitiate of three young people and the First Religious Profession of Sr. Florencia Abdala.
With the motto “They have chosen the better part” (Lk. 10:42b), in a well-organized celebration and even more emotional due to the presence of Mother, Rocío, Ramona, and Monika received the Novice medal, a sign of their entry into the FMA Institute.
In this formative stage, according to the Constitutions, the Novices will understand more deeply the requirements of following Christ according to the Salesian vocation and open themselves to the sense of mission in a fraternal community life with appropriate apostolic experiences (C. 90).
Mother Chiara addressed them tenderly, “Don Bosco calls us to live a spirituality, a mission that is not separated from life, but within life, in communion with Jesus. This is what the Gospel invites us to do: live constantly in Jesus, make Him the essential. And Mother Mazzarello reiterates; work hard, but only for the Lord. All this in community, with the formator, the companions. Feel the prayer and affection of all the sisters in the world”.
After pronouncing the question, the medal of Mary Help of Christians was placed around each one’s neck, as a sign of belonging to the Institute. Mother Chiara accompanied this moment with the words, “By handing over this medal, a sign of belonging to our religious family, we entrust to Mary the journey you are about to undertake, so that she may be your Mother and Help of Christians”.
The Provincial of the new Laura Vicuña Province (ARG), Sr. Silvia Boullosa, then presented and entrusted the Novices to the Formator, Sr. Mariel Martinez, who will accompany their journey of initiation into following Jesus in the footsteps of Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello.
“The first flower of the Laura Vicuña Province in Argentina.” With these words, the Mother General summed up the First Profession of Sr. Florencia Abdala. The Celebration, characterized by the motto “In your name I will cast the nets” (Lk 5:5), was presided over by Fr. Gabriel Romero, Salesian of Don Bosco, Regional Councilor for the Southern Cone of America, and concelebrated by Fr. Claudio González and Fr. Rubén Arenas, both SDBs.
At the end, Mother turned to the family, thanking and assuring the prayers and closeness of all the sisters of the Institute, while to the newly professed she said, “Your name, Florencia, is beautiful; it indicates a flower that grows in abundance, which produces so many other flowers. While you were pronouncing the formula, I thought, you are the first flower of this new Laura Vicuña Province and I am sure that after you there will be many other young women who will choose to give their lives to the Lord as you did this morning.” She then wished all the FMA present, “May this Profession that we are living help us to renew the joy, the trust, the surrender of ourselves to the Lord with that impetus, that life, that strength that we had the first time. May we be happy Daughters of Mary Help of Christians!”.
On February 3 Mother Chiara Cazzuola, with the Provincial Sr. Silvia Boullosa, and the General Councilors Sr. Marta Riccioli and Sr. Leslie Sándigo, brought the joy of her presence to the Sisters of Mary Immaculate Nursing Home in Córdoba, to then experience a moment of fraternal greeting on 4 February before leaving for the airport, with the FMA of Mother Mazzarello Provincial House.