Rome (Italy) Mother Yvonne Reungoat’s Circular 996 opens with the echoes of Easter just lived by all the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians in a special atmosphere, sharing with the human family the painful experience of the coronavirus pandemic. An Easter “of profound faith, essentiality, and solidarity ‘lived at home’, but with a heart wide open to the whole world”, in which the news of the Resurrection asks us to be attentive to welcome rebirth.
The impossibility of leaving our homes also brought the World Day of Gratitude to a change of program, which however has not lessened the intensity of the journey of preparation of the communities of the whole world nor the expressions of gratitude which reached Mother General.
Mother Yvonne reciprocates by entrusting her thanks to Mary, asking her to bring it to each FMA, so that she may feel Mary as a “constant, attentive, and caring presence, especially in this time of emergency”, as Don Bosco felt in 1862, when he says to Fr. John Cagliero: “Our Lady wants us to honor her under the title of Mary Help of Christians: times are so sad that we really need the Blessed Virgin to help us preserve and defend the Christian faith” (MB VII, 334 ).
In this “Saturday of silence” of human history there is no lack of questions, the same as Mary at the foot of the cross, touched by the loss of what she held dearest but, as Salesian educators, Mother asks us to be witnesses to the birth of something new: “We are disconcerted, but not discouraged; restless, but not crushed; surprised, but not disappointed. Indeed, we wish to collaborate with the young people to create a new world that the Spirit is about to generate” and to accept the invitation of Pope Francis, expressed on 11 April 2020 in the homily of the Easter Vigil, to avoid yielding to resignation, to being, in communities and in the world, women of hope.
Mother Yvonne Reungoat shares some reflections with all the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, “the fruit of many encounters re-read in the light of the moment we are living”, ideas for living this unprecedented situation with depth and openness, to allow oneself to be transformed by what has been experienced, but also by giving space to the creativity of the Spirit that allows us to glimpse new horizons.
The theme of the 35th World Youth Day (WYD): ‘Youth, I say to you, arise’ is for young people and for everyone, an appeal to boldness, to shake off the state of resignation, to put yourself to serve, and take care of suffering humanity, to be the ‘today of God’ in the Church.
Mother ends the Circular by invoking on each FMA, on the educating communities, on all young people, on the members of the Salesian Family, on the whole of humanity “the blessing of God and the motherly presence of Mary Help of Christians whose feast we will celebrate on May 24 in communion with all the Salesian Family, and with China, of which she is the special Protector”.