Santiago (Chile). On 13 November 2022, in Santiago de Chile, the Educating Communities of St. Gabriel Archangel Province (CIL) celebrated a Holy Mass of Te Deum, an ancient prayer of the Church to praise and thank God for the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.

In this atmosphere of prayer and gratitude, young people, lay people, and FMA from different communities of the country gathered in the Cathedral of Santiago de Chile to experience the Celebration together presided over by the Archbishop of Santiago, Msgr. Celestino Aós, a Franciscan, and concelebrated by the Auxiliary Bishops Msgr. Alberto Lorenzelli, Salesian of Don Bosco; Msgr. Álvaro Chordi, Adsis; as well as numerous SDBs and diocesan priests.

In his homily, Archbishop Celestino thanked the Institute for its contribution to the Church and to society, “We praise and give thanks for these 150 years of foundation of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and for the whole Salesian Family. (…) In the name of the Church of Santiago, I express my gratitude to each one of you for your contribution, from those who are elderly or sick and who pray offering their sufferings, to those who work simply and quietly in domestic or administrative tasks, to those who they teach and educate, to those who have positions of responsibility in the structures and in the communities. To each of you, thank you. Thank you for your availability to the Church, because when you were asked for any service, you generously accepted.”

The Celebration had the musical accompaniment of the “Coro 150”, made up of sisters, lay people, and young people from different communities, directed by Patricia Ibarra and by the “Colectivo Azul” orchestra directed by Miguel Angel Castro Reveco. The songs were performed by Sr. Susana Díaz Vidal, FMA and Rodrigo Gamboa, with orchestral arrangements by the conductor Miguel Ángel and Francisco Jara.

The liturgy included the grateful memory of the sisters of the first community of Mornese and the missionaries who arrived in Chile, encouraged by the missionary impulse of evangelization, and the memory of the deceased sisters who generously gave their lives to the FMA Institute.

Sr. Rosa Suazo, Provincial Vicar, addressed words of thanksgiving to the Lord for the fidelity present in the Institute. “We celebrate the fidelity of the Institute which has materialized in so many faces of sisters, educators, families, girls, boys, and young people who have filled the courtyards of the world with laughter, teachings, and encounters. For us it is a certainty that every Salesian house is a place of encounter, an educating community, a Church.”

In an atmosphere of joy and communion with the Church, the Te Deum marked the close of this year of celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the Institute, for its presence in the world and in Chile. With the singing of the Magnificat, the assembly expressed its gratitude for the maternal presence of Mary who, from the beginning, interceded for the Institute and is present in every Salesian house.

Photos: Flickr FMA