Turin (Italy). From 25 to 27 May 2027, the Superior General of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Mother Chiara Cazzuola, in Piedmont from 20 May for the World Council of the Salesian Family and for the celebrations of the Solemnity of Mary Help of Christians, extended her stay by visiting the Piedmontese retirement homes of the Province of Mary Help of Christians (IPI).

The Community Mary Help of Christians of Alexandria; the two Communities Saint Joseph and O. L. of Grace, and Nizza Monferrato; the Community Mother Mazzarello of Orta San Giulio; Mary Help of Christians of Roppolo, Caluso, Giaveno; and Saint Joseph of Turin. They all lived an experience of immense joy for the presence of Mother among them.

On 25 May, in Alexandria, in the courtyard of the House, she was welcomed with great enthusiasm by all the neighboring communities: Alexandria Guardian Angel, St. Mary D. Mazzarello of Asti, St. Joseph of Tortona, St. John Bosco of Novi Ligure; and St. Mary D. Mazzarello of Mornese. After a short stay, at the end of the morning, she reached Nizza Monferrato, welcomed to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Grace. In that place of grace all have the perception that Mother Chiara has “returned home”, because this is the Mother-House, where Mary Help of Christians walks and protects her daughters.

The appointment with Mother Mazzarello in her room is certainly the most personal, unique, and awaited by Mother who has many things to confide to her. Subsequently, she is available for various meetings: with the Coordinator of the School, Elena Pantani; the Administrative Manager, Valeria Indachi; the Mayor of the city, Simone Nosenzo; and the Councilor for Culture, Auxiliary Quail; and of course, the parish priest, Fr. Paolino Siri.

The next day, it is the turn of the Communities of Orta San Giulio, Roppolo, and Caluso, where the Sisters entertain Mother Chiara by dramatizing in a very lovely way some episodes of the life of Mother Mazzarello, offering songs and dances typical of the place and countries of origin of some Sisters, and listening to her words. The atmosphere is that of a true family.

The last two houses to be visited on May 27 are those of Giaveno and Torino St. Joseph. In Giaveno, not only the Sisters are waiting for Mother, but also the lay collaborators and many students of the very frequented School, lined up in two long rows between which Sister Chiara passes amid smiles and applause. At the House of Saint Joseph, the same climate is perceived and Mother speaks to an audience of Sisters attentive to her voice that, through the intercom system, resounds throughout the house to reach even the sick in their rooms.

In the various passages, Mother Chiara shared with the Sisters what she discovered in the Institute; what she admired in the Sisters near and far; what she identified in the Provinces that recently celebrated their centenary; or in which she lived events such as Seminars, the World Feast of Gratitude, welcomed as a pilgrim of hope: Poland, India, Hong Kong, Spain, Brazil, much of Latin America, and Mozambique.

Some common lines trace the steps of the FMA in the various cultures: sometimes extreme poverty, sacrifices, but also enthusiasm for Jesus and for the educative mission, apostolic dynamism, communion despite the diversity of people. Mother reiterates with awareness, “the Institute is healthy!” and tells how everywhere there is a sense of belonging, missionary zeal, joy in pastoral activities with children and with young people.

Mother Chiara then left two messages in the wake of the post-chapter journey. The vocational communities, where the fidelity of the Sisters is safeguarded and where the joy of belonging to Jesus is expressed, are radiant and the joy they live attracts young people to discover the call of the Lord. The prophecy of presence that stimulates to renew and re-express Salesian assistance today and is an obvious invitation for the evangelization of young people.

In these days of her stay in Piedmont, Mother gave to the whole Province a testimony of great simplicity, affability, closeness to the Sisters, openness of heart and, at the same time, determination in exhorting to care for the interior life, the family spirit, the Salesian identity of educational works, evangelization, missionary zeal, exhorting all to build in the today of history an Institute where fidelity, love, and missionary educative passion live.

She also invited them not to lose the memory of the past, to know the sources, to reclaim the spirituality that characterizes the Institute in the Church, to be increasingly signs of the presence of God’s love in the various contexts.

Her visit to Piedmont was a gift, a blessing for the elderly sisters, and for all the communities where the charism is always young and fresh.


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