(Rome Italy). The Mother General of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Sister Yvonne Reungoat, sends her Thanks for the greetings received from all over the world on January 14, 2020.
On January 14, the day I celebrated my birthday, you sent me numerous greetings via email or through comments on the website news. They also interpreted the wishes of many other sisters who in the silence of their daily offering became ‘voice’, ‘living presence’ in this that I actually felt was a family party!
I want my thank you to reach every part of the world, to enter your heart and your communities, to reach the members of the Salesian Family, especially the Salesian Confreres, the lay men and women, the young men and women met in different circumstances and in the most varied situations. Your prayer and your affection have aroused deep feelings of gratitude in my heart for the gift of life that I increasingly recognize as a wonderful love story written by God and, by Him year after year, made surprising for the great things that in His infinite goodness, mercy, and tenderness He has accomplished and continues to accomplish in me. I have only one desire: to respond with joy, with hope, with trust to His love, serving Him unconditionally in each of you and in every other person whom He Himself makes me meet every day.
The affectionate and delicate expressions of your messages once more convinced me that this family celebration is a wonderful opportunity to manifest and strengthen our communion, the sense of belonging to a charism that urges us to go together towards new, unimagined horizons! I think that only together can we experience the joy of making actual the richness and beauty of the charism that St. John Bosco and St. Mary Domenica Mazzarello still entrust us with today.
It is a common vocation that we want to embrace with renewed passion, in the spirit of da mihi animas cetera tolle, to offer authentic happiness to many young people: the distant, marginalized, wounded from various forms of poverty; those tried by solitude and offended in their dignity; those who thirst for life and dream of realizing their existence under the sign of the Gospel to build a ‘piece of new history’ for ‘a new humanity!’
For many years this Word of God has accompanied me: “I made myself all for all” (cf. 1 Cor 9:22). I received with immense gratitude the ‘gift’ of your prayer and I respond to this gift by simply sharing my journey which is, yes, personal, but I dream will become reality for each community: communities that do all for everyone, privileging, as I already have stressed, the young, soul of our mission! Communities committed to radiating more and more the joy of the vocation received, so that seeing us, the young men and women feel the desire to know and meet Jesus vibrate in their hearts and embrace that “follow me” with courage and radicalism.
We are moving towards GC XXIV and we have already started the first stage of the triennium in preparation for the 150th anniversary of the foundation of our Institute.
These events have the perfume of the newness brought by the Holy Spirit that makes our communities ‘wombs’ that generate life, ‘homes’ inhabited by fruitful love; communities where Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, lay adults, and young people all over the world feel involved in reawakening the original freshness of the Institute’s vocational fruitfulness today (cf. Circular 985). It is a beautiful gift we want to share and which, I am sure, no one wants to withdraw from this challenge that certainly is not easy, but is possible.
I am aware that this short message does not exhaust all that I would have liked to share with you, but I gather every reason for gratitude not expressed in a single small and precious word: THANK YOU! In the daily Eucharist, a privileged ‘place’ where our communities are built and renewed (cf. C 40), I will repeat my ‘thank you’ and ask Mary Help of Christians to make the ‘missionary fire’ of the origins always burn in our heart.
In this particularly delicate moment for the whole world, I invite you to invoke the gift of peace from the Holy Spirit, so that forms of violence, war, injustice, overwhelming power cease and that trust in life and in a better future return to flourish.
I wish you to celebrate with joy and participation as Salesian Family, the feasts of January: Blessed Laura Vicuña, Saint Francis de Sales, and Saint John Bosco.
May Mary be for all a presence that accompanies us on the common journey towards the goal of holiness.
God bless you and make our life a hymn of praise!
Sr Yvonne Reungoat, Mother General of FMA