Calcutta (India). Mary Help of Christians Province of Calcutta (INC), in preparation for the 100th anniversary of the presence of the FMA in India (1922-2022), organized four Webinars to study in depth the theme proposed by the Provincial Conference of India (PCI), “Welcoming a mandate: ‘I entrust them to you’ To revive the spirit of the Salesian Family and strengthen community communion”.

The Webinars, addressed to all the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of the INC Province divided into four groups, were held on 24 July, 14 August, 28 August, and 11 September 2021. The speakers were some FMA from the Province.  Sr. Stella Potteparambil, Sr. Celine Alexander, Sr. Rosalia Tirkey, and Sr. Teresa Adampakallel were the Moderators of the Webinars coordinated by Sr. Lily Perumpettikunnel.

The theme was divided into four topics: the family spirit lived in Valdocco, lived in Mornese, in the Constitutions of the FMA Institute, lived by the first FMA missionaries in India.

About 50 FMA and Novices participated in the first Webinar. Sr. Francesca Ekka led the participants to Castelnuovo Don Bosco, to  Becchi, and to Valdocco, Turin, where Don Bosco and Mamma Margherita created an atmosphere for the children to grow as in a family. The second speaker, Sr. Deepa Minj, deepened the spirit of Mornese, emphasizing the three Yes’s of Mary Domenica Mazzarello: the Yes to Life, the Yes to faith, and the Yes to suffering. Sr. Rosy Veliyan spoke of the Constitutions as a guide to holiness, while Sr. Maria Goretti Ekka outlined the profile of the first FMA missionaries in India, who knew how to be sisters and mothers for everyone.

With the second group, on 14 August, Sr. Mary Ekka, Sr. Aquila Phawa, Sr. Nirmala Tigga, and Sr. Maria Pettayil intervened. Sr. Mary dwelt on the Preventive System practiced by Don Bosco; Sr. Aquila deepened the aspect of the “house of the love of God” of the first FMA in Mornese; Sr. Nirmala took into consideration the elements of the family spirit; and Sr. Maria spoke of Sr. Maria Avio, an exemplary FMA in living the family spirit with intensity.

In the third Webinar, Sr. Mary John took the participants to Valdocco for an ‘online picnic’, inviting them to create a home where everyone feels loved; Sr. Aruna Kispotta gave practical advice on how to nourish the family spirit; Sr. Shanti Tirkey carried out an interactive report, deepening the articles of the Constitutions regarding the family spirit, and finally Sr. Teresa Pulickathadathil highlighted the family spirit lived by our pioneering FMA, in particular Sr. Cesira Gallina.

In the fourth Webinar the speakers, Sr. Prema Lourdu Francis, Sister Basanti Ekka, Sr. Emilia Vas, and Sr. Lucy Kachira led the participants to rediscover the family atmosphere that reigned in Valdocco and Mornese, permeating the Rules and the life of the first sisters. Sr. Prema led them to Valdocco, the cradle of the family spirit, followed by Sr. Basanti who underlined the importance of practicing the family spirit among the sisters and girls. Sr. Emilia underlined the aspects of the family spirit found in the Constitutions, while Sr. Lucia invited the group to follow the example of the pioneer missionary from the Northeast, Sr. Clotilde Appiano, who overcame all kinds of the difficulties of the beginning by living her own motto, “give and don’t count the cost”.

The Webinars were an appeal to carry on the rich charismatic heritage received from Don Bosco, Mother Mazzarello, and the first FMA, so that it may continue to bear fruit today and in the years to come. “The family spirit, the creative outpouring of Don Bosco’s heart, must characterize all our communities and requires the commitment of everyone”, was underlined by all the speakers.


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