Castelgandolfo (Italy). The first chapter of Mary Mother of the Church Preprovince (RMC) established in 2017, was held in Santa Rosa House of Spirituality in Castelgandolfo (Italy) from 1 to 3 November 2019.

The convocation is preparatory to the XXIV General Chapter that begins in September 2020, which will involve the whole FMA Institute. The theme was: “Do whatever he tells you” (Jn 2: 5). Communities that generate life in the heart of contemporaneity.

The Gospel passage that inspires the reflection is that of the Wedding at Cana, in which Mary, an attentive and present woman, helps the situation of the lack of wine during the wedding feast. This is the attitude that every Daughter of Mary Help of Christians and every member of the Salesian Family is called to assume in their mission with and for young people. As stated in Circular No. 985 in Preparation for the GC XXIV of Mother General, Sr. Yvonne Reungoat: “Mary teaches us to have an educational look, open to reality, to intuit the needs of today’s young people and consider them as interlocutors, together with the laity, in the mission, encouraging their potential. She educates us to obedient listening to Jesus who, with His Spirit, regenerates our communities by operating the miracle of new wine for the joy of everyone.”

The Chapter of the Preprovince was attended by 37 FMA, belonging to the six communities: Mother Angela Vespa, St. Mary D. Mazzarello, Mother Ersilia Canta, Sr. Teresa Valsè Pantellini, Paul VI (Concesio), and the Preprovince Community, Blessed Eusebia Palomino, engaged in the academic and pastoral educational mission at the Pontifical Faculty of Educational Sciences “Auxilium” and in the parishes of the area. Four lay people also participated: two female students of the Faculty and two Salesian Cooperators.

The days were characterized by intensity and a variety of moments: prayer, reflection, sharing, confronting, dialogue, and communion which were the fundamental prerogatives to create a climate of fruitful exchange in the pursuit of the good.

In the initial report, which opened the days, the Superior of the Preprovince, Sr. Maria del Carmen Canales, traced the brief and significant origins of the Preprovince, explaining the concrete and active life of the six member communities and the different challenges it faces. Subsequently the word passed to Fr. Pascual Chávez Villanueva, SDB, Rector Major Emeritus, who conducted an illuminating reading on the subject, proposing the reflection: Intercultural communities at the service of Life. From inculturation to interculturality.

The discernment on the meaning of the chapter theme was further accompanied by the highly sensitive Lectio Divina of John’s passage, presented by Professor Rosanna Virgili, who traced the essential coordinates to be women and generative communities, called to let their ‘emptiness’ be filled to build and generate the life of others.

The suggestions offered were then shared in the various groups that worked giving their contribution to the reflection and summarizing the final document, with proposals for GC XXIV and proposals for the Preprovince.

The Holy Spirit collaborated in these days, illumining the hearts of each one for reciprocal, honest, and sincere listening in building bridges that unite like arms that embrace us, helping us to walk together on the road of Love to reach with joy the goal of holiness.


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