Rome (Italy). Mother and the General Council of the Institute of the Daughters of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, together with the Collaborators, during the months of February and March dedicated themselves to the elaboration of the Program for the six-year period 2022 – 2027.
This Programming is the result of a journey in which the process of involving the Sectors and all the Collaborators was privileged. Up to 2014, in fact, the Programming of the General Council was the result of the work of Mother and her Council, who then submitted to the Collaborators the document already prepared for input.
In 2014, for the first time, a unitary Sector Planning document was drawn up on the basis of the Council’s Programming itself, which the Provinces then drew inspiration from to draw up their own planning. Based on what emerged from the verifications and suggestions presented by the Provinces regarding the implementation of the Programming, the Council reflected on the methodology to be followed, proposing to elaborate the Programming from the beginning with the Collaborating sisters.
At the opening of the work with Mother and the Council on 23 February 2022, the desire to vitally study the Acts of the XXIV General Chapter emerged from the initial sharing with the Collaborators. To fulfill the Chapter, the Acts must be known, studied, and lived, bearing in mind that they are not only the fruit of the Chapter Assembly, but also of the great process of involvement of the Communities, Provinces, Interprovincial Conferences, in the reinterpretation of the Working Instrument and in light of the great changes brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Starting from the common horizon that characterized the pre-chapter, chapter, and now post-chapter journeys, “Do whatever he tells you” (Jn 2:5): as in Cana and Mornese, we are a presence that generates, promotes, and takes care of life today and in contemporaneity, there have been various moments of listening, sharing in groups, re-elaborating, and restating the various passages to form a common base.
The process of elaboration of the Program was therefore an experience of synodality and circularity within each of the Sectors, but above all, an enriching journey between the Sectors, in a spirit of discernment and openness to the Holy Spirit, motivated by the search for the best ways to implement of the Acts of the Chapter.
Important times of sharing were those of formation lived together. The General Council identified some thematic nuclei on which to form ourselves together with the collaborators, relating to some areas, and they invited experts:
– Sr. Alessandra Smerilli, FMA, Acting Secretary of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, presented some experiences of involvement starting from the style of discernment;
– The aspect of integral ecology in view of the implementation of the Chapter resolution was dealt with by Fr. Joshtrom Isaac Kureethadam, Salesian of Don Bosco, Coordinator of the “Ecology & Creation” Sector of the Dicastery for Integral Human Development who reiterated the Objectives of the Laudato Si’ Platform;
– Fr. Pascual Chávez Villanueva, Rector Major Emeritus of the Salesian Congregation, spoke on the theme of the formation of the FMA today;
– Sr. Linda Pocher, FMA, Professor of Mariology at the Pontifical Faculty of Educational Sciences “Auxilium”, spoke of the ‘Presence’ of Mary in the identity of the FMA.
Mother Chiara Cazzuola participated in all the phases, encouraging and enhancing the contribution of each, and clarifying some aspects when necessary. At the presentation of the draft to the Collaborators on 8 April 2022, thanking them for the work carried out according to criteria of essentiality, involvement, participation, coordination, and above all discernment, she reiterated the purpose of the Program, that is, to put itself in continuity with the journey of the Institute and encourage the Provinces to live the mandate of the Chapter: “With Mary, be a presence that generates life”.
The fruit of this work will be a single document, in which are collected the programmatic guidelines of the animation of Mother and the General Council, the Sectors and the General Secretariat.