Rome (Italy). In these days, dedicated to the work for the preparation of the Chapter Document, reflections and sharing continue to enrich the journey in synodality undertaken by the Chapter members.
Sr. Alaide Deretti, at GC XXIV, shares how she perceives the journey of the FMA Institute in the 2014-2020 sexennium.
“The Institute is constantly growing; it is a living, active, proactive monument! The charism finds space for its inculturation and development everywhere. The growth of new vocations is perceived in many Provinces, even in countries where we are not yet present. There is a growing sense of belonging, solidarity, and greater communion between the Provinces, the Interprovincial Conferences, and the Institute.
Holiness is growing in the Institute, that of daily life, of ‘next door’. It is encouraging to think of the start of the beatification and canonization processes of some FMA, Mother Antonieta Böhm in Mexico and Mother Rosetta Marchese in Rome.
The expansion of the Institute is growing with the opening of new communities, in new nations, and also through some interprovincial projects to respond to the emergency of human mobility, migration, human trafficking, especially of girls and women.
There is a greater openness and inclusion of the Institute in the journey of the Church and of Consecrated Life, also with the direct participation of some members of the Institute in Ecclesial Offices and Entities.
The Institute is moving towards openness and planning for greater fruitfulness in the mission, in an ever more intense synergy with the Salesian Family, with other Religious Congregations, with educational organizations, and also with other Religions.
A sign of growth is the attitude of going out, as Pope Francis asks, with which, in different parts of the world, the FMA have creatively launched initiatives to respond to the Covid-19 emergency. There are many significant, prophetic gestures that involved lay people, young people, children, and the whole Educating Community.
The missionary dimension is ‘an essential element of the identity of the Institute and an expression of its universality’ (C 75). The Institute, born with a strong missionary imprint, over time has always been able to count on the availability of sisters who have accepted the call and adhered to God’s plan and the needs of the Church and the Institute.
There are about 630 missionaries ad gentes spread over the five continents who ensure fidelity to the missionary dream of Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello and fidelity and joy for the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus!
The Institute continues to be a living monument of gratitude to Mary Help of Christians, always growing, a generative monument of life in the heart of contemporaneity.”