San Antonio (Texas). On April 26, 2019 in Bellflower, California World Gratitude was celebrated, “I entrust them to you”… “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”
The Mother General of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, in response to the celebration of the World Feast of Gratitude 2019 lived and the greetings received, wrote a Message of Thanks. Below is the entire text.
I reach you with joy today, on the first day of May, a time that prepares us for the solemnity of Mary Help of Christians, to tell you my heartfelt thanks for your participation in the World Feast of Gratitude lived this year in Bellflower (California) on April 26th.
With great emotion I perceived the presence of all the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of the world, of young people in formation, of members of the Salesian Family, of educating communities, of children and young people, of representatives of the local Church and of the many people who, in different ways, participated in this annual event with a sense of belonging, with enthusiasm, with a family spirit, and with joy.
I am particularly grateful to the Provincials who came from different Provinces and who with their presence represented all the Provinces of the world. It was a beautiful sign of unity and communion that opens our eyes to broad horizons, to “await the future with hope and confidence”, according to the expression dear to Pope Francis.
I wish to express again my gratitude to the Provincial, Sister Rosann Ruiz, and to the sisters of the Province of Mary Immaculate of the United States for having prepared and beautifully carried out this Feast in collaboration with young people and laity. It was a significant testimony of an experience lived in full synergy in which everyone was able to express their potential competently: it is one of the gifts I ‘received’ on this wonderful and unforgettable day!
The theme of the Feast that was proposed to us with courage and deep humanity, involved the educating communities around the phenomenon of migration which is for everyone a challenge to be welcomed with an evangelical and Salesian spirit: “I entrust them to you”.
I can say that this involvement went beyond the boundaries of individual realities to embrace the entire world.
We are a beautiful and large family full of remarkable possibilities to put at the service of brothers and sisters in situations of precariousness, poverty, and discomfort, especially towards those young people who are waiting for gestures of affection, understanding, and listening.
It is a mission to be lived with a missionary heart, in the certainty that every gesture given is an opportunity to announce that Jesus is alive, is with them, loves them, and wants them happy.
To all of you I express profound gratitude for the rich and abundant prayer, for the many messages sent that I very much appreciated, for the affection I felt and that I interpreted as a sentiment addressed to every Daughter of Mary Help of Christians present in the five Continents.
I also thank you for the generous monetary contribution that was offered to me and, as I have already announced, will be used for special needs of the Institute and to support the new community on the border between Mexico and the United States. It is a Community formed by sisters from the Provinces belonging to the Inter-Provincial Conferences CIMAC and NAC and, therefore, an intercultural community which, in collaboration with other institutions, will be a place of welcome and formation for young migrants.
I hope that in every community reality there will be the readiness to identify possible and innovative ways to give continuity to the experience lived on the day of gratitude. It will be a tangible sign that something new is being born and that it will bear good fruit throughout the world, especially for young people and, I believe, be a motive for vocational fruitfulness.
On May 24th I will be in Turin for the solemnity of Mary Help of Christians and I will tell her my thanks so that with the intensity and tenderness of her Mother’s heart, she will bless you personally. This wants to be a gesture to share our reciprocal gratitude with much affection. I will feel in communion with the whole Institute in celebrating the feast of Saint Dominic Savio and Mother Mazzarello. With confidence I will ask, also on your behalf, to obtain new and generous vocations: young people ready to follow Jesus unconditionally and to joyfully announce the Gospel of life to other young people!
Let us feel close in prayer with the people affected by the recent terrorist acts in Sri Lanka and, unfortunately, in many other parts of the world.
May the risen Jesus keep hope alive in all and support those who with great generosity, and not without sacrifice, offer their help with concrete gestures of solidarity and spiritual closeness.
To each one I renew my thanks with all my heart.
God bless you.
Sr. Yvonne Reungoat FMA