Rome (Italy). “Strade di futuro. Un cammino di gioia e di audacia missionaria” (Roads of the future. A journey of joy and missionary daring) is the title of the volume published by Paoline Editoriale Libri (Cinisello, 2024), edited by Sister Gianfranca Franceschin, FMA, which contains the Circulars of Sister Yvonne Reungoat, Superior General of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians from 2008 to 2021.

“The reading of the volume, written with accuracy and precision by Sister Gianfranca Franceschin, offers a clear vision of the period that corresponds to the two six-year terms (2008-2014; 2014-2021) of animation and government, in which Mother Yvonne dedicated herself with wisdom and love to the leadership of the Institute. Exceptionally, the duration of the second term was seven years because of the Covid-19 pandemic,” explains the current Mother General of the FMA Institute, Sister Chiara Cazzuola.

In the Presentation, she highlights several elements that emerge from the collection: the constant reference to evangelical and charismatic values, to the Constitutions that she asks to assume vitally, to holiness as a project shared with the educating community. “It is the secret of the fruitfulness of the Institute to which another important nucleus of content is linked, that of missionary activity and vocational animation,” observes Mother Chiara, recalling some historical moments of Mother Yvonne’s government, such as the 140th anniversary of the first FMA missionary expedition led by Sister Angela Vallese, and the centenary of the Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud, in 2019, on the occasion of which she animated the Institute to live, in communion with the universal Church, the month of October as “Extraordinary missionary month”.

Regarding vocational animation, she recalled the Journeys of conversion, undertaken by the Institute as the post-capitular path in the six-year period 2009-2014 and continued in the following six-year period, accompanied by the aspect of joy. “Joy is a fundamental element for effective vocational animation, capable of speaking to the hearts of young people. The Daughters of Mary Help of Christians are happy women who are fully realized and capable of living their fidelity as a gift to young people, without measure, a sign of the passionate following of Jesus.” Always in the perspective of vocational animation, great importance is also given “to accompaniment as a style and expression of communion and mutual help in discovering and living God’s plan for each person.”

Other significant events during her government were the 140th anniversary of the foundation of the Institute in 2012, and the Bicentenary of the birth of Don Bosco in 2015, “lived as an experience of grace to relaunch the challenge of vocations that can arise from Salesian ‘contagion’.”  In her Circulars, Mother Yvonne also offered concrete guidelines for celebrating the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the Institute in 2022.

Recalling the presence of Mary Help of Christians is constant: “Mary is felt and presented as the Mother and Teacher, the ‘Madonna of difficult times’ who leads to hope in the pilgrimage of faith. Woman on a journey, with which to build and spread a culture of peace.”

Mother Chiara also makes reference to her style, “her language is lively, immediate, personalized. She invites, not only to reading, but opens to meditation on the values proposed, raises questions, stimulates personal and community involvement. It is a familiar and constant appeal to translate into life what is proposed.”

It is “journeying together”. Mother Yvonne invites us to follow as FMA and as a Community, a synodal path that strengthens unity and the sense of belonging to the Institute, to the Church, and to the world. Mother Yvonne dedicated Circular No. 1000 to the meaning and preciousness of this ‘monthly encounter’, which also marks a historic milestone.

The concluding words of the Presentation express the gratitude of Mother Chiara Cazzuola and of the whole Institute for the gift of her life and her service of animation:

“Thank you, Mother Yvonne! In these pages written with affection, with warmth, with passion, we can retrace the thirteen years in which, with love and tireless dedication, you have given all that you are in the leadership of the Institute with effective openness to the life of the Church and to the social events that you interpret as challenges not to be neglected, but to be embraced with courage and with the strength of the charism that is always present and fruitful in new life.

We have felt you encouraging, far-sighted, and close presence. With your wise, profound, and enthusiastic word, you have offered us a luminous witness of life, fidelity, and love for the Church, sustained by the Word of God, matured in a fruitful time of animation and governance of the Institute and in constantly facing the challenges of the consecrated life of women in the variety of their charisms.

May Mary Help of Christians bless you and continue to accompany you on your journey through the countless tasks to which the Church calls you, valuing your wealth of experience and animation”.


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