Badín (Slovakia). The Daughters of Mary Help of Christians from the Province of St. John Bosco (SLK) gathered at Saint Francis Xavier Spirituality Center in Badín and celebrated the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the FMA Institute. In this encounter, which took place in presence, they celebrated the anniversaries of profession and worked on the preparation of the provincial plan.

Throughout the encounter, the family atmosphere of the origins was felt. On Friday evening, videos on the life of the communities and the experience that the young women in formation are having in Italy, in Turin, and in Castel Gandolfo, were shared. The anniversaries of Profession of some FMA of the Province were celebrated, and through a quiz game, the history of the Slovakian sisters was recalled.

The Superior General of the FMA Institute, Sr. Chiara Cazzuola, surprised us by reaching the sisters participating in the meeting and said, “This time really becomes a reason to feel encouraged and supported by the presence of Mary, which is repeated in our life, in our mission, in our homes. This is why I wish you to live these moments in the provincial community with great enthusiasm and, imitating Mary, to answer your own Yes on a daily basis.” The evening was animated by two young FMA.

Saturday was more demanding with the talk by Professor Fr. Michal Vojtáš SDB, who introduced the participants to the process of reflection on the provincial plan. He spoke of transformative planning and Salesian presence and assistance. “The letter from Rome does not only speak of the educator, but also of how young people live. You have to be with them, get to know the youth universe and listen to their questions, their dreams; understanding how they live, in what context. It is enough to bring 50-100 young people together and you can already understand their language, the experiences they live”.

In the group work, the participants, coordinated by a facilitator, reflected on the three choices of the Document of the 24th General Chapter. “I was struck by the listening atmosphere and the research together to be really close to today’s young people, in particular to those who live in situations of hardship. In the first work session, we tackled the theme of accompanying young people; in the second, we discussed our dream of being with the young people who ‘suffer’ today. I felt I was not afraid to go to the outskirts of today and touch the wounds and pain of the young. I also felt encouraged by the faith and love God has for every person, restoring their beauty and dignity”.

At the meeting, the FMA listened to the children of the Dolný Kubín Choir who, through a short video, expressed gratitude for the FMA. Some sisters shared the experience they had on the borders with refugees from Ukraine. All the participants then recorded a video, with a greeting-wish of gratitude to the Superior General, on the occasion of the Celebrations of the World Gratitude Day.


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