Rome (Italy). From 16 to 29 March 2023, the Generalate in Rome welcomed 27 Provincial Secretaries, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, coming from five continents, for the Course organized by the General Secretariat. Eager to deepen their identity and their mission in the Institute, they immediately made themselves available to listen and dialogue.

Already during the Eucharistic Celebration before the opening of the Course, presided over by Fr. Pierluigi Cameroni, Salesian of Don Bosco and Postulator of the Causes of Saints of the Salesian Family, three important aspects of the Secretary were highlighted: quality of relationships, passion, and competence.

The Superior General of the FMA Institute, Mother Chiara Cazzuola, in her intervention offered to crown the first day, outlined its spiritual profile. After underlining that, before being a role, it is a call from God to foster with intelligence and heart, communion within the Province and with the Institute, she illustrated its specific virtues: humility and trust, unconditional acceptance and spontaneity, determination and flexibility, ability to predict and prevent. The proposal made to each of them was very significant: to be a ‘happy Secretary’, just as she herself committed herself to being a ‘happy Mother’.

The Secretary General, Sr. Maria Luisa Nicastro, animated the moment of mutual knowledge and presented the program of the Course. She then followed the intense days in which she, together with her collaborators, addressed multiple topics and explored the various tasks in depth. To the traditional ones, a new commitment was added: that of becoming familiar with the Collaborative Platform of the FMA. The objective to be achieved, also foreseen in the Acts of GCXXIV, is in fact the synergistic use of this tool for collecting and processing data relating to the people and works of the Institute, which can be consulted at the provincial and general level.

The presentation of the aims and activities of the Sectors by each of the referent Councilors allowed the Secretaries to get to know them and their collaborators personally.

Precious was also the intervention of Mother General Emeritus, Sr. Yvonne Reungoat who, with her charismatic passion and long experience of government and animation, made us reflect on the ecclesial dimension of the FMA Institute. As President of the Union of Superiors General of Italy (USMI), she was also able to make an interesting comparison with other Institutes of Consecrated Life and share the ongoing synodal journey. Focusing on the identity of the Secretary, she reiterated how the crossroads of relationships are and how this service requires prudence and humility, listening and sharing.

Among the days to remember is Sunday 26 March, dedicated to the visit of the Houses of Mother of the Church Preprovince (RMC) present in Rome. The beautiful and fraternal welcome in the individual communities was enriched with emotions by meeting with the FMA of the respective Provinces and by the memories of the numerous Past Pupils of these formation communities.

Even the final day cannot be forgotten. Participation in the General Audience of Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square made the group feel part of an alive and young Church, animated by a Shepherd according to the heart of God. As in St. Paul and in all the saints, “the love of Christ impels us, leads us to go forward.” It is the Pope’s wish, but it is also the resolution of each one on returning to her Province.

The thanks, expressed in different ways, reflects the deep feelings of all for the richness of content, for the strong sense of belonging to the Institute, and for the experience of fraternity which allowed each one to bring within her a little of the culture of the others, harmonized in the common Charism.

The beautiful group, which was able to continue to the “sacred land of its origins” pausing in Mornese, Nizza, and Turin, feels even more strongly the grace and responsibility of sharing the gifts received and of “doing what Jesus will tell them” in the humble and generous service of each day.


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