Rome (Italy). On 6 August 2022 in Rome, at the Salesian Parish of Holy Mary of Hope, ten young women of the International Novitiates Mary Help of Christians of Castelgandolfo (Rome) and Sister Teresa Valsè Pantellini of Rome, made their First Religious Profession in the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.

As on 5 August 1972, in the 150th anniversary of the FMA Institute, there were 11 newly professed: the young FMA belonging to the Italian Provinces of St. John Bosco (IRO), St. Mary Mazzarello (ITV), Our Lady of the Cenacle (ILS) Our Lady of Good Counsel (IMR), and Jesus Adolescent of the Middle East (MOR) join their companion of the Province of Our Lady of the Nations (FRB), who made her First Profession in Paris on 5 August 2021.

The Eucharistic Celebration, animated in song and liturgy by the Salesian Novices of Don Bosco, was presided over by Fr. Juan Carlos Pérez Godoy, Salesian of Don Bosco, Councilor for the Mediterranean Region, and concelebrated by various SDBs and priests who accompanied the young women on their journey.

The Superior General, Mother Chiara Cazzuola, welcomed the newly professed to the FMA Institute. Also present were the Vicar General, Sr. María del Rosario García Ribas; the Councilor for Formation, Sr. Nilza Fátima de Moraes; and some General Councilors, the Provincials, family members, young people, and the FMA from the Provinces of the candidates.

In the homily, the celebrant addressed the young people and the newly professed:

“Dear young people, this celebration is the sign that God has not forgotten about us, and for this reason He is giving us the gift of ten new Daughters of Mary Help of Christians to express His love for us. This is what they do today: offer their lives to God, to be a sign of God’s love for all of us. This has a great foundation: the ‘bench behind you’, that is, the family where you first experienced the love of God. (…) A love that you then lived in a very personal way, as we heard in the Gospel (Jn 15: 9-17): the love of Jesus, which can fill your life entirely.

And today, you offer your life to respond to His Love with your love, a love without conditions, which can lead to the cross, which can be frightening. But we have heard, ‘Do not be afraid, because I am with you’ (Jr 1: 4-10). The Lord called the prophet Jeremiah and gave him one sign: I will be with you. (…) To do what? To live this love in community, religious, educational-pastoral, with some signs that we heard in the 2nd reading (Col 3: 12-17), ‘sentiments of tenderness, goodness, humility, meekness, magnanimity, supporting each other and forgiving one another.’ This is living the Preventive System that Mother Mazzarello and Don Bosco experienced, in the community and together with the young. It is the way to continue being a sign of this Love.”

After the homily, the Rite of Religious Profession began. The Formators, Sr. Maria Giovanna Mammarella and Sr. María Teresa Espinoza, presented the young women. In response to the Father’s Love, each read the formula of Profession, expressing her donation to God and the young and the commitment to live the evangelical counsels according to the Constitutions of the FMA Institute.

Mother Chiara Cazzuola welcomed each professed into the Institute and gave her the Constitutions and the Crucifix. The newly professed then entrusted themselves to Mary with the powerful singing of ‘Mary Most Powerful Virgin’.

Among the final thanks, the young FMA expressed their gratitude to Sr. Teresa Espinoza, Formator of the Novitiate of Castelgandolfo, who concludes her nine-year mandate. Mother Chiara thanked the parents in a particular way for their generosity and the ability to respect the freedom of choice of their daughters, and all the people who followed the path of these young women, because “having close friends who help to discover the meaning of their own life is very important, especially when thinking about the ruined lives of young people who perhaps did not have those who helped them discover that life is precious.”

Mother concluded by telling the young sisters, “every time a young sister enters, we can say that the Institute still has something to hope for.” And she wished them “to be fully happy women, fulfilled in your vocation, faithful, mothers and sisters of all the young and of the people you will encounter.”

Photo Flickr FMA


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