Asunción (Paraguay). The official announcement has been made to the whole Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of the World Feast of Gratitude 2018 through a letter sent by the Vicar General, Sr. Chiara Cazzuola.
“By living the response to God’s call with joy and hope, we re-awaken the plan of God in every young person” is the theme of the Feast that will be celebrated on April 26, 2018 in Asunción in the Province of St. Raphael Archangel (PAR).
It is a special time of joy for our sisters in Paraguay who with the slogan: “With the young, let the chords of life vibrate, witnessing to the joy of following Christ” solicit us to give greater visibility to the joy and the beauty of the vocation to be more and more “a response of salvation to the profound hopes of the young people” (C 1).
It is in this climate that we prepare to celebrate, at the world level, the Feast of Gratitude to Mother for the ceaseless gift of herself to the young, the Institute, and the Church.
The Paraguayan harp was chosen as a symbol of the nation, of their collective historic memory, of the bilingual reality of Guaranì and Spanish, of the natural panoramas, and of the rich heritage of folkloric traditions. Its melodies, harmonies, rhythms, and poetry, evoke in the listener the values of the Paraguayan people.
The Harp contains in itself the most beautiful melodies; its strings, touched by the artist, emit harmonious sounds that recall the response to the call of God who has a dream for each of His children. The harp represents each young person full of possibilities, talents, and gifts waiting to be awakened and involved in educational action.
The musical notes which emanate from the instrument are the original and typical melodies of every young person. They represent the plan of God, unique and unrepeatable, for each of them, which is realized thanks to the quality of accompaniment and the openness of the young person. They also represent the joy that flows from the certainty of knowing that one is loved by God, a motivation able to awaken the desire to respond to His plan of love.
The Harpist is the one who knows the instrument well – the young person, and is able to draw out from them the best melody as the result of listening and of accompaniment along the paths of discernment in the light of the Holy Spirit.
Our Sisters in the Paraguayan Province propose that we live the word of Jesus (taken from the passage of John 15: 1-17) “Remain in my love” that translates into the commitment to:
- Pray in community every month, from the 15th to the 24th, the Novena to Mary Help of Christians for vocations, accompanied by gestures of charity among ourselves;
- Guarantee concrete mediations of accompaniment of the young in every Province and educating community.
To share this commitment, each Province is invited to send documentation on the experience realized to awaken in the young God’s Plan for their life. This can be done through a one-minute video, and/or photographs with suitable captions.
Please send the material to:
- the coordinator for the Feast of Gratitude, Sr. Ignacia Franco, via e-mail to the address: <email@example.com>
- by April 1st, 2018.
On the website of the FMA Institute you will find news about the history of Paraguay and the Province.
This year the offerings that the various Provinces intend to collect, will be sent to the Bursar General and will be used for the urgent needs of the Institute and to finance the construction of a work in San Lorenzo (Paraguay), to offer a safe space to young people where they can gather for various encounters.
To Mary, our powerful Help, Mother, and Teacher, true Superior of our Institute, we entrust the life and mission of our Mother, who beginning now, we wish to reach with our choral gratitude and our grateful prayer.
With best wishes for preparing ourselves for this great feast,
Rome, 2 February 2018 Sr. Chiara Cazzuola, Vicar General