Turin (Italy). On July 29, 2023 in Turin, at the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians, five young women from the Maria Ausiliatrice International Novitiates of Castelgandolfo (Rome) and Suor Teresa Valsè Pantellini of Rome made First Religious Profession in the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.
The young FMAs belong to the Province of Mary Help of Christians (IPI), St. Mary Mazzarello (ITV) and St. John Bosco (SLK), while three other companions, from the Province of Mary Immaculate (CEL), the Province of Notre-Dame des Nations (FRB) and the Province of Our Lady of Jasna Góra (PLJ), will make First Profession on August 6, 8 and 14 in their own Provinces, respectively.
The Eucharistic Celebration, animated in song and liturgy by the Choir of the Salesian Oratory of Cuneo, was presided over by Fr. Stefano Martoglio, Vicar of the Rector Major, and concelebrated by several Don Bosco Salesians and priests who accompanied the young women on their journey.
The Superior General, Mother Chiara Cazzuola, received the vows and welcomed the newly professed into the FMA Institute. Also present were the Councilor for Formation, Sr. Nilza Fátima de Moraes, the Provincials, family members, young people, and the FMA from the Provinces of the candidates.
In his homily, the Celebrant addressed above all the professed women, reflecting on the readings proposed by the liturgy of the rite, taken from the Book of Deuteronomy, from the Letter to the Philippians, and from the Gospel of Saint Matthew. Fr. Martoglio highlighted three expressions:
“Listen: The Deuteronomy page begins with what is an ancient and ever new way of expressing the very essence of our religious vows: you will love the Lord your God…The Lord is your God, your joy, the center of your life. Listen, Israel: listening is the source of obedience, obey this word of God. God says: Your faithfulness comes from my faithfulness. And if you listen to me, talk about it. Deuteronomy reminds us that everyone speaks of the things that are close to their heart.
Attraction for God: God attracts me, I run to Him and everything else is like garbage. His presence is stronger than anything that can happen to me, so I don’t stop running towards Him desiring Him. Keep my presence before your eyes, so that it illuminates your decisions.
Hope and serenity: In this presence of God hope and serenity flourish; these gifts come from faith. ‘I take care of you.’ Don Bosco and our Founders expressed this presence of God in a splendid word: the Providence of God, who is at your side and knows what you need.”
The Vicar General concluded his homily with a wish, “May the Lord be your hope and your serenity, so that your testimony will be your serenity, your hope, your humanity, which will speak of your faith.”
After the homily, the Rite of Religious Profession began. The Formators, Sr. Maria Giovanna Mammarella and Sr. Luisa Menozzi, presented the candidates. In response to the Father’s Love, each one read the formula of Profession, expressing her donation to God and to the young people and the commitment to live the evangelical counsels according to the Constitutions of the FMA Institute.
Mother Chiara Cazzuola welcomed each Professed and handed her the Constitutions and the Crucifix, signs of commitment and belonging. The newly professed then entrusted themselves to Mary with the song, “O Mary most powerful Virgin”.
Among the final thank yous, the young FMA expressed their gratitude to Fr. Stefano Martoglio, to Mother Chiara Cazzuola, to the Formators, and to all those who accompanied them.
Mother Chiara also thanked those present, especially the parents and all the people who followed the path of these young women, because “finding people who help young people to orient themselves towards a life project and to find their place in life is the greatest mission and it is the greatest gift that we can give them.”
She concluded by thanking God for the gift “of these five wonderful women who have become Daughters of Mary Help of Christians” and addressing the assembly, she said, “We are all responsible for their fidelity, because they professed their vows before us. This commits us to pray for them, to support them on the journey of life today, in this moment of celebration, but also afterwards.”
At the end of the celebration, the newly professed, together with Mother General, Formators, and Celebrants, went to the altars of Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello to place a lighted lamp and entrust themselves to their protection.