Sam Phran (Thailand). From 3 to 9 October 2023, the Mother General of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Sister Chiara Cazzuola, led the Spiritual Exercises of the Provincials of the CIAO, PCI and SPR Interprovincial Conferences, which were held in Ban Than Phraphon Sam Phran, in St. Mary Mazzarello Province (THA).

These days of sharing, reflection, and prayer had as their theme, “With Mary Domenica Mazzarello, I will play for you on the ten-stringed harp” (Psalm 143: 9). Mother Chiara developed the theme starting from some texts by Sister Piera Cavaglià, General Secretary emeritus of the FMA Institute, enriching them with her own personal reflections. They were intense moments of encounter with Mother Mazzarello, who Mother Chiara made her feel present with her simplicity and familiarity in her relationships with the Provincials. The daily Eucharistic celebration, presided over by Father Claudio Bertuccio, Oblate of Mary Immaculate, was enriched by various initiatives prepared by the Provincials.

On the second day of the Exercises, the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi was celebrated, and the Provincials, together with Mother Chiara, took advantage of the annual proposal of del Season of creation, which this year had as its theme “Let Justice and Peace flow”.

On 7 October, the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, Mother Chiara and the Provincials celebrated Lauds and the Eucharist in her honor, praying in different languages. In the evening, they recited the Rosary together, starting from the room with the historical documentation inside Ban Than Phraphon and going on a pilgrimage to various external places of the Marie Upatham Community, where a statue of Our Blessed Mother was located.

The last day was dedicated to prayer in suffrage of deceased sisters, relatives, benefactors, and members of the Salesian Family. In the Holy Mass, the celebrant, Father Walter Morgante of the Order of Capuchin Friars Minor, invited the assembly to pray for peace between Israel and Palestine. At the moment of the Offertory, Mother Chiara lit a candle placed on a tray in front of the altar, a symbol of light and prayer, and each Provincial lit a candle with the acronym of the Province of origin.

At the end of the Spiritual Exercises, the Provincials were invited to share their reflections, the most significant words or phrases for them in these days of prayer, silence, and reflection. The sharing resulted in strong moments of enrichment for all of them, who were able to experience this time of particular spiritual and charismatic recharging with the presence and guidance of Mother.


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