Buenos Aires (Argentina). On 18 September 2021, the Educating Communities of three Salesian works of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Mary Help of Christians Community of St. Francis de Sales Province (ABA); and of the Salesians of Don Bosco, Casa San Pedro and St. John the Evangelist School, of Blessed Zeffirino Namuncurà Province (ARS) present in the La Boca district of Buenos Aires, shared an online space for reflection on the Covid-19 pandemic in a Salesian key.
The encounter was animated by a team of FMA, SDB, and lay people from the three works, enlightened by the experiences of Don Bosco in the cholera epidemic that struck the city of Turin in 1854 and of Mary Domenica Mazzarello, with the consequences of the cholera that had hit Mornese in 1835, before her birth, and the typhoid epidemic of 1860.
Sr. Susanna Mabel Billordo, FMA, introduced the theme and initiated the groups to a first sharing in the rooms of the platform, which was followed by the proposal of the theme by the SDB and the laity and the resumption of the texts with the questions in the groups.
How are we living our Salesian spirit in this time of pandemic? What do we find in common between the pandemic experiences that Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello lived and ours? Looking to the future, what does the experience we are living lead you to? What concrete step can you take in your life, in your community?
By listening to the texts and sharing the questions proposed, life in the Salesian communities of yesterday and today met, finding convergence and differences in the experiences lived: the care to avoid contagion and suffering from the sickness; some differences in relation to health conditions and the time it took to get the vaccine; and the transformation that these extreme experiences brought to the personal and community life of the Founders and of the works that today are carried out specifically in a neighborhood of Buenos Aires.
The encounter allowed the participants to recognize the passage of God in the life of the Founders, in their daily lives, and in the particular circumstances of a pandemic. Starting from this certainty, the group allowed itself to be questioned by today, being grateful for the good done in each House and proposing concrete steps to continue accompanying children, young people, and families, renewing the commitment to let themselves be transformed by God.