Bratislava (Slovakia) This year the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of St. John Bosco Province (SLK) celebrate the 80th anniversary of their arrival in Slovakia. Since the measures provided for by the quarantine due to the Covid-19 epidemic could prevent the celebrations scheduled for May, the FMA take the opportunity to celebrate their jubilee with the means available.
“Gratitude for all the gifts that God has given us during these 80 years cannot be dampened by any circumstances. Therefore, we invite all our friends and supporters to approach our story with us through the Internet. In April, the official pages of the FMA on social networks will gradually show various aspects of our history and current challenges in a metaphorical way. Every day a photo of a picture or a candle will be added to the page with the explanation of an aspect related to daily life“, explains the Provincial of the SLK Province, Sister Monika Skalova.
Sr. Andrea Miklovičová, FMA, author of the paintings, explains how the images were created: “I have been in the congregation for almost 25 years. Many changes have taken place in this time, both in communities and in society. I got to know the previous 55 years only through the stories and descriptions of older sisters or from historical sources. These are all stories that document realities that have become alive in my imagination, giving rise to precise shapes and colors, which I have tried to transfer to the canvas. Subsequently, Sister Lenka Pukajova, FMA, through the use of candles, added the spiritual dimension to the images, recalling the shades of color“.
“It was an honor for us to have the opportunity to shape our history and our presence. We also wanted to pay tribute to the sisters who lived before us and to thank them for their enthusiasm, determination, and sacrifices for the good of the young people of Slovakia. And above all, we admire their faithfulness to the love of God in all circumstances”, says Sister Lenka Pukajova.
Sr. Andrea Miklovičová continues: “Some people, already aware of our project, wondered where the paintings and candles will be available. For now, our works are also under strict quarantine. Once this emergency is over, we will organize a fundraising exhibition. It will therefore be an opportunity for our friends and supporters to support us by purchasing a painting or a candle. Each work can now be booked through the e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org”.
The Daughters of Mary Help of Christians are present in Slovakia with 15 communities. In collaboration with the Salesian Family Groups and with the Dioceses, they are engaged in favor of children and young people with various forms: in schools, youth centers, the non-profit organization called Laura, recreational centers, and social consultancy services. They are also present with pastoral activities among the Roma population. Seven FMA are missionaries; four constitute the community of Baku, in Azerbaijan.