Turin (Italy). From 25 to 27 June 2021 in Turin Valdocco and Colle Don Bosco (Asti) the Spiritual Exercises for the families of the Association of Mary Help of Christians (ADMA) Primary of Turin were held. This year, various dates and places have been planned for small groups of families, with the same theme: “With the heart of a Father: the family with St. Joseph”, linked to the special year dedicated to St. Joseph in the 150th anniversary of the declaration as Patron of the Catholic Church.
Fr. Alejandro Guevara, Salesian of Don Bosco, World Spiritual Animator of ADMA, animated the Spiritual Exercises in Turin Valdocco, with about 80 participants, while Fr. Roberto Carelli, SDB, Spiritual Animator of the Primary ADMA of Turin, was the preacher at Colle Don Bosco (Asti), where 15 families participated, as well as Sr. Lucrecia Uribe, FMA, World Animator of ADMA and Sr. Marilena Balcet, FMA of Mary Help of Christians Province (IPI).
The Days of Spiritual Exercises were held around the nuclei deepened by the preachers on St. Joseph, a tender and beloved Father; Father in obedience and acceptance; Father in courage and work; Father in the shadows, with times for personal reflection and in small groups, enhancing the complementarity of the presence of families. Saint Joseph is an exemplary figure of a father, parent, courageous educator and rich in faith, fully entrusted to God’s Providence, faithful above all in the task of guarding the presence of Jesus and Mary at home.
The daily moments were Eucharistic Adoration, the Rosary, and Holy Mass, as well as the possibility of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. While the parents followed the catechesis, the children were engaged in games and activities organized by some animators. The children made videos to document the formative and recreational moments lived together.
The Salesian Goodnight and the Compline prayer ‘under the stars’ concluded each day. In the Goodnight of 25 June 2021, Sr. Lucrecia Uribe, starting from the question “How do we imagine the love of God?”, spoke of the family as a concrete manifestation of God’s love. Taking up the phrase of the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, “The couple that loves and begets life is a true, living icon capable of revealing God the Creator and Savior. For this reason, fruitful love becomes a symbol of God’s inner life”. (AL 11).
The Spiritual Exercises of ADMA Primaria, from which two experiences are proposed in July 2021 in Avigliana and Cumiana (Piedmont), constitute an opportunity as a group of families linked to Marian spirituality, to restore soul and body with prayer, meditation, and sharing at the school of St. Joseph, husband of Mary, taking the Holy Family as a model.