Catania (Italy). On 25 June 2023 at Mary Help of Christians Institute in Catania, the Feast of Mother Magdalene Morano Province (ISI) took place, with the special presence of Mother and the General Councilors of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, in Sicily for the Spiritual Exercises.

There were various Educating Communities of the FMA Houses that took part in the event, sharing the joy of being together and the family spirit that unites and accompanies in everyday life, which becomes more tangible on these occasions.

Mother Chiara Cazzuola and the Councilors were welcomed with a skating performance, performed by the girls of Laura Vicuña day center of Canalicchio (CT), on the notes of the song “the voice of Mary”. All the participants then moved inside to the theater hall of the Institute, to enter into the heart of the Feast.

To introduce them and get to know them better, the Sisters of the General Council were called on stage for a “talk show” with their testimonies, interspersed with singing and dancing performances by the young people of the oratory of Mazzarino, Pedara, Cammarata. The moment ended with the overwhelming rhythm of the “Modica Gospel Choir” born five years ago within the Regina Margherita School of Modica, expanding the educational proposal and also involving parents, employees, past pupils, and sympathizers of the educational work of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.

Maria Gloria, a young woman from the FMA oratory of Pozzallo (Ragusa), describes the emotions she experienced as follows:

“Once again, through these young people, we have experienced the beauty of their talents and the joy they are able to convey. On the other hand, we keep the beautiful words of the testimonies of the Councilors with immense care. In a particular way, we remember the strength in facing difficult situations such as war, which they were able to face only with trust in Mary Help of Christians. We also remember the beauty of multiculturalism which today more than ever we are called to bring to life, and finally the testimony of life lived only for young people, which pushes us to believe more and more in what we bring forward in our oratories and various educational works every day”.

At the end of the performances, everyone gathered in the Chapel for the Eucharistic Celebration, presided over by the Archbishop of Catania, Msgr. Luigi Renna, and concelebrated by the Provincial of St. Paul Province (ISI) of the Salesians of Don Bosco, Fr. Giovanni D’ Andrew, with other confreres. Some FMA celebrated the 60th, 70th and 75th anniversary of their ‘yes’ to the Lord, sharing their joy with the community, which gathered around them with affection and prayer.

In the second part of the day, the children of St. John Paul II oratory in Librino, Catania, staged the musical about Father Pino Puglisi, entitled “Love will save the world”, conceived by Michele Paulicelli, Piero Castellacci, and Fr. Giuseppe Calderone, with the artistic direction of Giovanni Salamone. In fact, 2023 marks the 30th anniversary of the death of this blessed priest, killed in Palermo on 15 September 1993, his 56th birthday. Many Educating Communities have reflected on his commitment in the field of education, which led to the gift of self.

Maria Gloria continues, “Through this representation we were able to recall the commitment of Fr. Pino Puglisi in the fight against the mafia, his strength and insistence in trying to save children and young people from inhumane living conditions, and the great courage in abandoning himself with faith to the will to God. Surely Fr. Pino Puglisi’s message is still alive today and we experience his words every day. There is nothing more beautiful than this. Seeing those young people there, who with so much commitment and so much joy have conveyed the importance of saving beauty in the world, becomes once again a reason for immense gratitude, because with this gesture they remind us that young people are the hope for the future”.

In closing, there was the message of Mother Chiara, “I bring the memory of this Province from a few years ago, of very lively Educating Communities, who knew how to live communion and knew how to work together. I believe that this could also be the message that Mother Mazzarello can give us today, two important words: COMMUNION and TOGETHER. Together we can do everything, my sisters on the Council said earlier. There is nothing impossible if we live in the trust of belonging to the Lord, of being in His hands, and if we confidently live entrusted to each other without fear, of truly taking care of everyone, without neglecting anyone”.

“From every experience lived in the Salesian world there always remains a sense of wonder and gratitude for the constant commitment and love that every single member of the Community gives. And we young people, through them, continually experience being loved through someone, just as Fr. Pino Puglisi loved to say,” concludes Maria Gloria who well summarizes the spontaneous gratitude that comes from the heart in living days like these.

Photo: FlickrFMA


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