Luanda (Angola). From 4 to 22 April 2024, the Superior General of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Mother Chiara Cazzuola, is visiting Queen of Peace Preprovince (ANG).

On 4 April 2024 – a significant day for the country, which celebrates the Day of Peace won in 2002 – the Superior of the Province, Sister Natália Miguel, with the Vicar and other Councilors, the Community Animators of Angola, and the Temporary Professed, received her at Luanda International Airport. Also present were teenagers and young people from Cacuaco and Luanda and some representatives of the Salesian Family in Angola in celebration.

Upon arrival at the see of the Preprovince, she was welcomed by the children of the Mary Mazzarello School and by the Educating Community. The Provincial of the Province of Mamá Muxima (ANG), Fr. Victor Sequeira, greeted her on behalf of the Salesians of Don Bosco and, in the evening, celebrated the Eucharist in the chapel of the Community. After dinner, at the Good night still in the joy of Easter, Mother invited the Sisters to live this time as days of encounter with Jesus, in the certainty that He has something to say to each one.

The next day, Mother met with the Council of the Preprovince and in the afternoon with the Animators of the seven Communities of the Preprovince. Even the youngest Sisters, the ten Temporary Professed FMA, had the privilege on 6 April of a meeting all for them to share the joy of being FMA and listening to her word. The day began with the Eucharist, during which the young FMA at the moment of thanksgiving, expressed in their own way the celebration of the encounter with the Lord through dance. In dialogue with the Sisters, Mother Chiara invited them to have courage, joy, and the commitment to become saints, based on the letter of Mother Mazzarello to the Novice Sister Laura Rodríguez (L18).

The second Sunday of Easter, Mercy Sunday, was lived in the Community of Zango, Diocese of Viana, where Mother participated in the Eucharistic Celebration with the Christian community presided over by the pastor, Fr. Cirilo Pedro. She received greetings from various groups and dedicated time to listening and meeting with the Sisters of the Maria Romero Meneses Community. The day before, she had the opportunity to meet also with the Bishop of this Diocese, Msgr. Emílio Sumbelelo, who thanked her for the presence of the Sisters and the Charism, which makes the difference in this reality.

On 8 April, Mother visited the Community of St. John Bosco of Cacuaco, where she was warmly received by children, adolescents, young people, and representatives of the Educating Community and the Salesian Family. It was a significant moment of listening to the Sisters and to their reality, marked by the joy of her presence. It was also reached by all the FMA of the two communities that could not visit personally: St. Mary Mazzarello of Calulo and O. L. of Light of Luena.

A special day was that of April 9, with the visit to Cabinda, reached by plane together with the Preprovince Superior, Sister Natália Miguel. After the reception, Mother had the joy of laying the foundation stone for the construction of the House for the Community Mary Help of Christians. The local Bishop, Msgr. Belmiro Cuica Chissengueti blessed the stone and presided over the Eucharist concelebrated by other priests, in the presence of friends and the first students of the Kindergarten St. Domenico Savio. During his homily, he highlighted the significant presence of the FMA in the Diocese, their role in pastoral work and, specifically in the field of education. In the evening Mother met with the young people.

Returning to Luanda, on 10 April Mother Chiara met the Archbishop of Luanda, Msgr. Filomeno do Nascimento Vieira Dias, who thanked her for the charismatic presence of the FMA in Angola and for their great contribution in pastoral work with young people, with special attention to the poorest.

Laura Vicuña Community of Benguela was the last to be reached personally by her on 12 April. After the joyful and colorful reception at the airport, with the presence of a small orchestra of young people, she arrived in the Community, escorted by young people and school pupils. She received from them as a gift, a small statue representing the Zungueira, the Angolan woman who travels miles away with products to sell at the market to support her family, a symbol of courage and resilience.

Mother then met the young women in formation – 11 aspirants, of whom 6 came from Luena, and 6 postulants who gave her a tree of Ibondeiro and other symbolic gifts. Mother Chiara also wore the typical dress of the Umbundo tribe of the area. She then listened to the educating community and met many children, adolescents, and young people of Laura Vicuña school complex in celebration.

On 13 April, she had a meeting with the young people of the coordination team of the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM) and with the Bishop of Benguela, Msgr. Antônio Jaca.

On her return to Luanda, in the evening, Mother Chiara was welcomed by the Provincials of the CIAM Conference of Africa and Madagascar. They had arrived in the capital to participate with her in the Spiritual Exercises from 14 to 21 April in the diocesan house of Spiritual Exercises in Ramiros, Luanda, preached by the Bishop of Luena, Msgr. Martin Lasarte Topolansky, Salesian of Don Bosco.

After the Exercises, on 23 April, they will leave for Mozambique where, on 26 April in Maputo, si celebra the World Feast of Gratitude is celebrated.

Photos: Flickr FMA


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