Lamezia Terme (Italy). Sunday 29 January 2023, was a day with a genuine Salesian flavor in the Parish of San Raffaele Arcangelo in Lamezia Terme, in the province of Catanzaro, where “Casa Main” was officially inaugurated, a small house in the parish complex which has hosted, since 31 August 2022, Sr. Pia Caso and Sr. Angela Lopardo, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of the Southern Province of Our Lady of Good Counsel (IMR), welcomed by the parish priest, Fr. Giuseppe Montano.
Despite the confined spaces, the chapel and the small living room of the house are visited informally by young people and educators, to share moments of life and prayer with the Sisters. The large spaces of the parish are instead usually ‘crowded’ by people of all ages and from different ecclesial realities.
The FMA Community united in co-responsibility for the preparation of the day of celebration, which truly involved everyone. The General Councilor for Communication, Sr. Ausilia De Siena, who arrived in Lamezia Terme on the evening of January 28, was welcomed in to an overwhelming joint activity for the preparations for the celebration. With the arrival of the Provincial Sr. Ivana Milesi, of the Provincial Councilors, of the Temporary Professed FMA, and of the Postulants, the vigil ended with a time of conviviality.
On Sunday morning, children and teenagers had the joy of breathing a family atmosphere, a joyful climate, and friendships, rotating to the various stands animated by the young people in formation and by the junior girls. At 11:00, the culminating moment of the day brought together not only the parish community, but also a large number of Educating Communities from all over Calabria: priests, FMA, lay adults, and young people.
La Celebrazione Eucaristica, presieduta dal Vescovo di Lamezia Terme, Mons. Serafino Parisi, concelebrata dall’Ispettore dell’Ispettoria Beato Michele Rua (IME) dei Salesiani di Don Bosco, don Angelo Santorsola, e da altri sacerdoti, è iniziata con il saluto del Parroco a tutti i presenti ed è stata animata dai canti eseguiti da un nutrito gruppo musicale composto da ragazzi/e di Lamezia e di Soverato (CZ), che hanno dato un tono di vera gioia salesiana.
In the homily inspired by the passage from the Gospel of the Beatitudes, the Bishop recalled the image of the “trees planted along the river” which always bear abundant fruit, to demonstrate that only if constantly nourished by the Word of God are we able to bear witness to the true joy that makes us ‘blessed’ and that contagions others.
Before the conclusion of the Celebration, Sr. Ausilia expressed the closeness and encouragement from the Mother General of the FMA Institute, Sr. Chiara Cazzuola. She recalled the history of this presence and invited everyone to rediscover the humility and greatness of Mother Mazzarello, always a current and prophetic figure.
Sr. Ivana Milesi thanked those present and invited the children to ‘bother’ the Sisters so that they can be a point of reference for them. At the end of Holy Mass, the assembly formed a procession towards the sisters’ house, which was blessed by the Bishop, invoking the protection of Mary Help of Christians.
After the distribution of souvenir gadgets, a fraternal agape began for 170 people, who wanted to share the final moment of the party. A lively exchange of greetings and a goodbye made the joy experienced on this day appear on the faces of all the participants.