Asunción (Paraguay). From 26 to 28 November 2021, the spiritual vocational retreat organized by the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of  St. Raphael Archangel Province (PAR) took place at  Mary Help of Christians camping house in Piribebuy, Cordillera Department.

Ten young Past Pupils of the Schools and some with ties to the works of the FMA Province participated in the experience, proposed as a strong time of encounter with the Word of God and of confrontation with the educational charism of Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello.

In the time of grace that the Institute is experiencing in preparation for the 150th anniversary of Foundation, the Educating Communities are encouraged to walk with the young people to accompany them to discover God’s plan for their life:

“Aware that Mary walks in our house and wants to reach many young people, we will make our communities more open to welcoming young people to listen to them, to let their dreams, questions, and needs emerge.” (Circular 989)

The young people, accompanied by Sr. Graciela Fernández, Sr. Elda Echeverría, and Sr. Maura Martínez, FMA, had the opportunity to reflect on their own life and ideals starting from the question: which dreams are nestled in your heart?

The retreat days were marked by moments of prayerful silence, group reflections, interventions on the theme, spaces for listening and discussion, and ended with a pilgrimage to the Basilica of the Immaculate Virgin of Caacupé, patron saint of Paraguay, to entrust to Her the vocation of each one and the already clear choice of a vocational journey of some of them.

At the end of the experience, the young women formed a vocational group with the desire to encourage other young people in listening and discerning God’s call in their own lives.

In continuity with the reflection of the XXIV General Chapter, “being a generative community” means bearing witness to the beauty and joy of one’s own vocation, to arouse and free profound questions, and to guide young people to authentic choices, walking with them “in the way of holiness”.


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