Rome (Italy). During the Plenum period, The General Council of the FMA Institute sends a choral message to all the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, through which it expresses closeness “in a time marked by challenges, unprecedented opportunities, and so much hope”. In the hard trial of the pandemic, the Institute seeks to perceive the presence and action of God who, with the infinite love of the Father, does not abandon us and calls “to renew trust and hope in Him and in the great human family”.
The numerous actions of solidarity implemented by the Educating Communities to respond to the health, social, and educational emergency of the pandemic, and the commitment to carry out the evangelizing mission through new creative and participatory paths, are seeds of hope and an unprecedented way of living the mandate, “I entrust them to you” that set the rhythm of the second year of preparation for the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the Institute.
The work of Mother and the General Council continues within a path strongly characterized by discernment. The online format also allowed the Councilors to reach the communities and the Sisters of the Provinces to guide the discernment in view of the nomination of the new Provincials.
In the same way, the meetings continued to study the theme of GC XXIV in light of the reality determined by Covid-19, and it was possible to proceed with the formation of the New Provincials with a sense of responsibility and of belonging to a large Family.
The Circular concludes with a reference to the figure of St. Joseph, Patron Saint of the Institute and “an icon of tenderness, of caring, of listening, of obedience, of welcome, of creative courage, and protector in the difficult times of history,” to whom Pope Francis, through the Apostolic Letter “Patris corde”, decided to dedicate the current year. Furthermore, on 19 March 2021, the Solemnity of St. Joseph, the Year of the Family will begin, which will end on 26 June 2022, on the occasion of the X World Meeting of Families.
From the charismatic point of view, St. Joseph is an active presence from the origins of the Institute’s history. For this reason, Mother and the General Council invite you to study the history and the biographical sources which refer to him, and the proposed popular prayers used, according to tradition, also by Mother Mazzarello and the first FMA to address the Patron Saint with confidence.
The final wish is for “an intense Lenten journey, accompanied by the Lord Jesus, who loves us and continues to give His life for us and for the world,” with the support of Mary Help of Christians “in the commitment to spread hope, especially among the young and the people the Lord entrusts to us”.