Roma (Italy) From 4 to 6 February 2020 in Rome, at Sacred Heart House of the Roman Province of St. John Bosco (IRO), 24 Community Animators of the Italian Provinces of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians met to deepen, reflect, and share on the theme:  “Accompany, discern, integrate personal and community resources and fragilities to be generative communities.”

The days, organized by the Italian Interprovincial Conference (CII), led by Sister Anna Razionale and by the Councilors of Formation of the Provinces who prepared and carried out the different moments, were marked by the verbs recognize, interpret, choose.

RECOGNIZE The first morning was dedicated to prayer: a time of silence and adoration to prepare the soul to welcome the experience.

In the afternoon, Sister Bruna Zaltron, of the Ursuline Congregation of Vicenza, psychologist, accompanied the group in studying the theme: “Recognizing wounds, fragilities, and resources”. With simplicity and competence, she helped to reflect on personal, relational, and community dynamics to lead to a rereading of one’s own experience with a view to hope and the possibility of always starting over. The main concept is contained in a statement by the theologian Antonietta Potente: “Only a person who recognizes, who lives the limit, can be a community person”.

The first day ended with the Good Night of Sister Maria Helena Moreira, Councilor for Communications of the FMA Institute. With creativity, transmitted not only with words, but also with images, colors, and objects, Sister Maria Helena made us reflect on the verbs of art. 164 of the FMA Constitutions regarding the Animator.

INTERPRET  The second morning was dedicated to visiting the Basilica of St. Clemente in Rome. Led by art historian Dr. Anna Delle Foglie, the community animators immersed themselves in the “Way of Beauty”, as a place of integration of fragility and resources. Contemplating the flowery Cross, which stands out in the apse, made us understand the fullest sense of a “crucified power“.

In the afternoon, Sister Eliane Petri, FMA, Professor of Salesian Spirituality at the Pontifical Faculty of Education Sciences Auxilium, developed the theme: “Accompanying, discerning, and integrating fragility and resources through the experience of Mother Mazzarello and the first community of Mornese! “

The day ended with the Good Night of the Mother General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Sister Yvonne Reungoat who thanked the Animators for the service they carry out in the communities and encouraged them to never lose hope.

Thus, in the light of the Crucified Power, of the experience of the first community of Mornese, and helped by the words of Mother, the participants were invited to interpret the experience of Community Animators: an experience that becomes service, but which is also a gift of grace.

CHOOSE  The third morning was dedicated to personal reflection in order to re-read one’s Life Plan, to identify the steps to be taken when returning to one’s own Community, and to share the choices made in the group discussion.

In the afternoon there was the meeting at the FMA Generalate with the Vicar General, Sister Chiara Cazzuola, who listened to the questions born from the morning discussion and conversed with the Animators in a sisterly time of sharing experiences.

In the prayer of Vespers, gratitude for the rich experience was made visible by using a rolled out ball, which passing from hand to hand, helped to visually build the prayer network that unites the participants.

The third and final day ended with the narration of the human and spiritual profile of Mother Rosetta Marchese – Superior General of the FMA Institute from 1981 until her death in 1982 – whose cause for beatification was initiated, presented by Sister Francesca Caggiano, Vice Postulator for the Cause.

Fr. Carlo Maria Zanotti, Salesian of Don Bosco, celebrated the Eucharist for the group during the three days, helping the group to summarize the theme through his homilies.


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