Rome (Italy). On 6 August 2021, at the Salesian Parish of Our Lady of Hope in Rome, five young women from the International Novitiates Mary Help of Christians of Castel Gandolfo (Rome) and Sister Teresa Valsè Pantellini of Rome made their First Religious Profession in the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.
The newly professed, belonging to the Italian Provinces Holy Family (ILO), Mary Help of Christians (IPI), St. John Bosco (IRO), St. Mary Mazzarello (ITV), are added to the companions of the International Novitiates – two from the Province of Our Lady of Jasna Góra (PLJ) and Mary Help of Christians (SPA) – who made their First Profession in their respective Provinces on 5 August 2021.
The Eucharistic Celebration, animated in song and liturgy by the FMA Novices and SDB Novices, was presided over by Fr. Mario Guariento, a Salesian of Don Bosco and concelebrated by various SDBs and priests who accompanied the young women.
Present were the Mother General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Sr. Yvonne Reungoat, who welcomed the newly professed to the Institute of the FMA; the Vicar General, Sr. Chiara Cazzuola; Sr. Nieves Reboso, Councilor for Formation and some General Councilors; the Provincials, family members, young people, and FMA coming from the provinces of newly professed.
In his homily, the celebrant took up the passage from John’s Gospel “Remain in my love” (Jn 15: 9-17), emphasizing the theme of joy:
“Our consecrated life can only be lived as an experience of love and joy, otherwise we betray the meaning, the beauty, and the Mystery it carries within itself. … Joy is ‘the face of God in the world’ (J. Moltmann). So every time we welcome joy in our hearts before the young people who seek it, desire it, we are the face of God. The mission is to witness joy, it is to show the face of God to the young people we meet and are the place of our gift. Joy in the life of the FMA constitutes a characteristic charismatic trait. It is a spousal relationship of love without measure for the One who fills our hearts, our eyes, and our life. ‘This I command you, love one another’: community, relationship, are a place of gift and happiness. There we learn to make the gift to the Lord grow in humility and mercy, in welcome and hospitality”.
After the homily, the Rite of Religious Profession took place. The Formators, Sr. Maria Giovanna Mammarella and Sr. María Teresa Espinosa, presented the young women, who accepted the invitation to give themselves to God for the good of young people in the FMA Institute. Each read the formula of Religious Profession by committing herself, in response to the Love of God the Father, to live the evangelical counsels according to the Constitutions of the FMA Institute.
Mother General gave the Constitutions and the Crucifix, signs of the spousal covenant with Christ. At the end of the Rite of Consecration, the newly Professed entrusted themselves to Mary with the song ‘Mary living presence’.
The Celebration ended with words of gratitude to God the Father for the call to follow Him more closely, to the parents for the gift of life and faith, to the Provinces, Communities, priests and FMA who guided them on their journey, to the Formators, the novices of the 1st year, Salesian novices, family members, friends, young people present and those who participated via live streaming.
“Today five new Daughters of Mary Help of Christians join the other 120 FMA from the different countries who have made their First Profession in the FMA Institute.” Mother Yvonne Reungoat thanked the families who accompanied the young people on the path of vocational response, a sign of communion with the family of the FMA Institute and of hope for many young people. She then expressed her thanks to the Provincials, representing the Communities that will welcome the newly professed, who from this moment on are part of a Family “as big as the world”.
The day ended with a moment of fraternity, in which the 1st year Novices represented the “Story of a little light”, wishing the Professed that the Light will shine in them to be the “Transparency of the Love of God and a reflection of maternal goodness of Mary” for young people and for all they will meet. In the Good Night, Mother wished, “Whatever our vocation, whatever our age, Jesus is in us, He is the Light that shines through the face of each one of us when we let Him live in our life. May our life always be for others, in the desire to bring the Light to those who await us on the path, infecting with joy and hope according to the Salesian charism. Together we are light”.