Fatima (Portugal). On 2 and 3 March 2024, the 33rd National Assembly of the Past Pupils of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of Our Lady of Fatima Province (POR) was held in Fátima. The slogan of the pastoral year, “Let us continue in the dream” (Avançamos no sonho), accompanied the day.

Driven by Don Bosco’s dream at nine years of age, the Past Pupils did not let themselves be stopped even by the insistent rain, which did not impede the realization of the program, where they highlighted:

– The construction of a human network, in which they have amalgamated, strengthening the Salesian atmosphere of feeling welcomed, of being part of a Group, while coming from very different generations and places. That small seed of the Salesian charism has awakened us, making us feel the strength of belonging to a Family.

– The presentation of Sister Rosa Maria on the theme “Realizing the dream, weaving the threads in taking care of …”.

– The Eucharistic Celebration very well participated and lively with songs and Salesian joy.

– The “Salesian Serenade” in the style of Don Bosco, with the sharing of various artistic skills and performances by all the groups present.

– The Good night of the Provincial, Sister Deolinda Teixeira, which was the culminating moment; her simplicity and her spontaneous closeness filled our hearts. On behalf of all the FMA, she thanked for the gestures of care towards the Sisters of St. Joseph House of Alcabideche, Lisbon. The Past Pupils, in turn, expressed their gratitude for what they received from the Sisters, “education, the tools to grow and become what we are today. We are proud to have been their students and today Past Pupils of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians!”

The Assembly ended in the awareness of their role as leaven in society and of the mission of the Past Pupils to spread the hope that must always animate them in pursuing a ‘dream’.

This mission commits us to imitate Don Bosco and Mary Domenica Mazzarello, using all the strength, strategies, tools, and platforms, so that the joy of having a dream, the courage to follow it, and the hope of realizing it can spread in our own reality.

“Let us not allow our ‘Salesian dream’ to fade or weaken and, even in the face of the hardships of life, let us say with Martin Luther King: ‘I have a dream’,” concludes Isabel Martins, Past Pupil of Monte Estoril.


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