Rome (Italy). At the end of the winter Plenum meeting in which they shared the rich experience of the encounters and visits carried out during the semester, in Choral Circular No. 1035, Mother Chiara Cazzuola and the General Councilors of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians are grateful for what they lived in every reality, strengthening “the certainty that ‘presence generates life,’ and that the path proposed in GC XXIV for each Province is a valid guide to respond to the calls of the contemporaneity.”

They then recall anniversaries, themes, initiatives, activities, and celebrations to be brought to the attention of all the FMA.

An important year with Mother Catherine Daghero

The occasion of the Centenary of the death of Mother Catherine Daghero on 26 February 2024, who at only 25 years of age replaced Mother Mazzarello in the leadership of the Institute, invites us to rediscover a figure “fundamental for understanding the dynamics of consolidation and development of our Institute in a period marked by countless transformations in the world, in the Church, and in the Salesian Family.”

There are various publications and initiatives planned during this year. Already published is the biography “The Courage to dream the future. Life and mission of Mother Catherine Daghero” and the awaited publication of the “Letters of Mother Catherine”, edited by Sister Maria Concetta Ventura.

In addition, on 24 February 2024, at Our Lady of Grace Institute in Nizza Monferrato, the Conference on the centenary of her death (1924-2024) is being held by Sister Piera Cavaglià, entitled “Catherine Daghero: from Nizza to the world with perspective foresight.” On 8 June 2024 in Rome, the FMA Generalate will host a Conference to deepen the figure of Mother Catherine Daghero from the historical-charismatic-institutional point of view on the theme, “The long government of an Educational Institute (1881-1924)”.

Build Peace la pace

With the awareness that “peace is not a good that is achieved once and for all, but requires ongoing and dynamic commitment to generate it every day,” we express solidarity and closeness to the Sisters “who in different parts of the world, live more directly situations of violence, aggression, conflicts, and abuses of power, with their dramatic consequences also for the educative mission.”

“Humanity desires peace, but has not yet found the way to achieve it.” Therefore, they stress the importance of generating a culture of peace through daily behavior, invoking it as a gift from God with trusting insistence, through concrete commitments:

“At this historical moment, we are called to intensify our prayer and daily commitment to multiply gestures of peace, letting things of little consequence fall and cultivating benevolence and reconciliation in our relationships. Let us pray the Hail Mary for peace, which we already recite together every morning, with greater awareness and a spirit of communion, feeling that we are part of the great human family.”

The theme of peace will be addressed and deepened by the Magazine Da mihi animas during 2024, with the intention of cultivating a common idea of peace and justice, to better understand the importance of listening to the Word of God that reveals His dream of peace for humanity; to rediscover the relevance of the Preventive System as a valid instrument of education for peace, which empowers the new generations to “take care” to help them build more human and generative relationships of life.

 The process of updating our documents

Mother and the Sisters of the Council inform about the progress of the processes of updating the text of the Formation Plan “Rooted in the Covenant” and the revision of the Guidelines of the FMA educational mission, “So that they may have life and have it to the full.” A first step consisted in the organization of Focus groups as a way to involve the Educating Communities. To this end, the Sectors for Formation and Youth Ministry formulated questions and, through the Interprovincial Conferences, identified the participants of this process that will involve about a thousand people from all continents and the facilitators of the groups, who already met in January. Transcripts of meetings will contribute to the revision of the two documents

Activities and celebrations for next semester

In line with the priority choice of General Chapter XXIV of Formation in every circumstance, at every age, and for every time, some events and initiatives are recalled:

The Conference for Novice Formators on the topic, Being a Novice Formator today. How to accompany and personalize formation by activating new formation processes? in progress in Rome, Generalate, from 7 to 27 February.

– The celebration of the Seminars “For a generative service of authority” (cf. Circ. no. 1030) which in March, Mother and the Councilors will join the Provincials, the Provincial Councils, and the Sector Referents of the Interprovincial Conferences CIB, CICSAL, CINAB.

– Preparation for the World Feast of Gratitude, that will be held on 26 April 2024, in the Province of Mozambique St. John Bosco (MOZ), about which the Vicar General has already sent the details.

The World Day of Children that will be held in Rome on 25 and 26 May, a “great ecclesial initiative, so much in tune with our charism, that will also engage us at the local level”.

The Year of Prayer that Pope Francis invites us to live in preparation for Jubilee 2025 “Pilgrims of Hope”, memorial of God’s mercy for his people.

– The preparation at the local and province level, of the Triennial Verification, which will be realized for Interprovincial Conferences in 2025, about which the Letter has already been sent:  “a new opportunity that the Institute offers us to revive the awareness of our charismatic identity, to re-read life in the light of the Word of God, and the challenges of today and, together with young people, to project ourselves with new hope towards the future.”

Mother and the Sisters of the Council conclude Circular No. 1035 inviting us during this Lent, to entrust ourselves to Mary, “the Teacher and the Guide, so that she may help us live everything with joy and hope, with faith and apostolic zeal.”

Circular n° 1035


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