Alì Terme (Italy). From 8 to 18 August 2022, 40 Temporary Professed Daughters of Mary Help of Christians from Italy, Portugal, Croatia, Belarus, Spain, Poland, and some students from the Preprovince Mary Mother of the Church (RMC) from Togo, Angola, and Madagascar, lived the formative experience of Temporary Vows in Alì Terme, in Sicily.
“Like fruitful vines … in the footsteps of Mother Maddalena Morano” is the theme explored by the Temporary Professed from one to four years of profession, accompanied by Sr. Anna Avenia, from the Province of Our Lady of Good Counsel (IMR) and Sr. Maria Ruta, from Mother Maddalena Morano Province (ISI).
“Going towards unification in the life project of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (vocation, community, mission), growing in the total gift of self, and belonging to the Institute” was the general objective of the experience, in which the young FMA had the opportunity to visit the main places in the life of Blessed Madre Maddalena Morano, Italian FMA of Piedmont (1847-1908), called to give her service in Sicily.
Various contents were offered during the days, which became the object of personal reflection and group sharing: the Lectio and meditations on the Word of God were held by Fr. Mario Gullo, of the Diocese of Acireale; Sr. Mariella Lo Turco, Animator of Mary Help of Christians Community of Alì Terme, shared a reinterpretation of the Preventive System and of femininity in the light of Mother Morano; while Sr. Maria Trigila, Sr. Maria Di Caro, and Sr. Cettina Cacciato, of the ISI Province, respectively presented the Sicilian historical and ecclesial context of the times, places, and femininity.
To complete the itinerary, the young FMA were able to get to know local associations and contexts of charismatic and prophetic mission, participate in moments of ecclesial life, such as the Marian vigil and the traditional flower festival on the Solemnity of the Assumption, appreciating the fraternity and welcome of the people and the FMA of Sicily.
They tell us:
“Accompanying us on the journey is Blessed Maddalena Morano, a woman who knew how to listen to the challenges of her time and respond to them in fidelity to the spirit of Mornese and Valdocco, who in these days made herself teacher, sister, and mother for each one of us.
The more we visit the places of Mother Morano, the more we penetrate into a story that has the perfume of the high standard of ordinary life which is called holiness. And so Trecastagni, Catania, Alì Terme are no longer three places studied in books for us; they are houses that speak to us of femininity lived with the heart of Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello.
Over time, we realize that the story of Mother Morano is alive and fruitful: the vivacity of the Educating Community of Trecastagni, the welcoming spirit of the Donbosco 2000 Association of Catania, the prophetic fraternity, and the active mission of the Community of St. John Paul II of Librino, Catania give testimony to this.
Our days pass quickly, enriched not only by the deepening of the Salesian charism, but also by meditation guided by the word of God. The events of the Book of Exodus and the Gospel passages of the Annunciation and of the Visitation of Mary, allow us to enter into the history of salvation and to re-read our history by remembering the call to holiness.
The Good Nights help us to know the different Provinces from which we come and to discover the richness of our Institute, starting from the stories of the sisters.
The various moments of fraternity gift us with faces and stories that enter our hearts and become a reason for prayer, praise, thanksgiving, petition, and supplication. The daily Eucharistic Celebration and the Liturgy of the Hours are the source and the culmination of our days, as well as the place where we feel in communion with the sisters of the Provinces from which we come and with those who live the Da mihi animas in the rest of the world. In prayer we bring young people, the laity, our families, and our people to the Lord, certain that the formation of these days is a gift for them as well as for us.”
With a grateful heart for those who made this experience possible, for those who accompanied them, and those who hosted them, the young FMA returned to their realities refreshed in the desire to serve the rebirth of their territories, mobilizing the energies that the Lord constantly renews.