Buenos Aires (Argentina). The VIII International Congress of Mary Help of Christians, which took place in Argentina, Buenos Aires, from 7 to 11 November 2019 was concluded.
November 9th took place in an atmosphere of celebration, serenity, and reflection. The red thread that accompanied the whole day was Salesian holiness. In the first report, Sr. Linda Pocher FMA brought the assembly to the heart of the family of Nazareth, starting from the biblical text of the encounter of Jesus in the temple (Luke 2: 41-52). She brought out some characteristics of Mary’s holiness, to show that she can be a guide and a sure model for our journey to holiness.
Mary is a constant presence in the life of our communities. She is guide and teacher.
In the second part of the morning, the lives of Zeffirino Namuncurà, Laura Vicuña, and Artèmide Zatti were presented, highlighting the presence of Mary in their lives and the invitation for us to be the face of Mary Help of Christians with and for the youth of today .
In the afternoon the assembly gathered for Benediction in Mother of Mercy Church, the church that saw the first Salesian missionaries of Don Bosco arrive in Argentina. The Rector Major and Mother General took the opportunity to remind all those present not to be afraid of the missionary call and to be courageous in saying yes to the Lord as the first missionaries did.
Next followed the Marian pilgrimage to thank Mary for her presence in the Salesian Family and to implore her protection for the nations that are in difficulty at this time.
The day ended with a moment of Salesian celebration and the Good Night of Renato Varela, President of primary ADMA.
On 10 November, at the conclusion of the International Congress of Mary Help of Christians, the Rector Major motivated all the participants to live love for Mary Help of Christians in daily life, in their own contexts and groups of the Salesian Family. Above all, he invited us to: recognize the Help of Christians as a living part of the charismatic identity, since without Mary, we can be anything but not the Salesian Family; to assume the task of proclaiming Jesus and Mary without fear, remembering that the first Salesian and FMA missionaries were crazy in love with Our Lady; and lastly, he said that Mary cannot be only ‘a decorative part’ and therefore, in the educative pastoral proposal, one must be explicit in proclaiming and presenting Jesus and Mary.
The meeting concluded with the solemn Eucharist in the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians, which was a very involving moment for all those present who renewed the act of trust in Mary Help of Christians.
The Rector Major announced where the next International Congress of Mary Help of Christians will be: it will be in Portugal, in August 2023.