Turin (Italy). On 12 October 2022, in Turin, in the evocative setting of the Palace of Light, the inaugural event of the 34th Europe Seminar of the Italian Center for Salesian Women’s Works/Professional Training CIOFS/FP took place, with the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Foundation of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (1872-2022), in the presence of the Superior General, Mother Chiara Cazzuola.

Welcoming the guests, Sr. Manuela Robazza, National President of CIOFS/FP, motivated the theme of the event, highlighting the history of Vocational Training that began in 1862, when Mary Domenica Mazzarello, confiding in her friend Petronilla, decides to open a cutting and sewing workshop with the girls (Cronistoria I, 97-99):

“The history of Vocational Training of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians begins here, on the path of the gardens, from a dream, from a project, from a vocation of two young women … Since then, the formation of girls to the dignity of work, to active citizenship, the contribution to be made to the society in which one lives has always been one of the priority objectives of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians”.

This is what we read inl video screened in the hall and presented by Sr. Silvana Rasello, President of CIOFS/FP Piedmont, in which  flows, starting from some scenes of the film “Tralci di una terra forte: Life of St. Mary Domenica Mazzarello,” released in 1972, Centenary of the Institute’s Foundation, vintage photos of workshops and professional activities, up to the projects of excellence of the youth of today’s CIOFS/FP.

After the greeting of Sr. Emma Bergandi, Provincial of the Mary Help of Christians Province (IPI), present with her Council, the word was given to Mother Chiara Cazzuola who, thanking her for the invitation to celebrate the 150th anniversary in the context of the Seminar of European Formation, recalls the sources saying:

“From the first stitches given by the girls of Mornese under the guidance of Mother Mazzarello, retracing the history, we realize that we have a significant heritage for which we are responsible. To live and enhance the generative force, propulsive in our today, for our children who are the future, we need to continue the wonderful educational adventure that you well know, with the enthusiasm and courage that made our origins fruitful”.

She underlines, “The 150th anniversary is a reminder to everyone of the responsibility of preserving and developing the charism. Each of us is personally responsible for its vitality because it is a gift of the Holy Spirit for the building up of the Church. It possesses an intrinsic prophetic dynamism and demands a continuous personal and community conversion … a condition for being able to be ‘generative’ in the transmission of the charism”.

Sr. Manuela Robazza then welcomed Fr. Leonardo Mancini, Superior of the Special Circumscription of Mary Help of Christians of the Salesians of Don Bosco in Piedmont, Valle d’Aosta and Lithuania (ICP), who addressed his greetings to those present. She then introduces Sr. Grazia Loparco, FMA, Professor of Church History at the Pontifical Faculty of Educational Sciences “Auxilium”, who speaks about the development of FMA works in the 150-year history of the Institute.

The event continues with a panel of interventions, aimed at outlining “The social impact of the work of the FMA in civil society today and tomorrow”, moderated by the journalist Marco Zatterin, Deputy Director of the newspaper La Stampa. Those involved,  Msgr. Marco Arnolfi, Archbishop of Vercelli; Gianna Pentenero, Councilor for Labor Policies of the Municipality of Turi; Andrea Tortora, Michelin third star pastry chef; Stefano Borromeo CEO of the Galup company; Gigi Bobba, President of Terzjus , Observatory of Third Sector Law, Philanthropy and Social Enterprise; Pierluigi Dovis, Regional Delegate of Caritas Piedmont and Valle d’Aosta; and Rosalba Fasolo former Official of the Piedmont Region  praise the works and the Vocational Training Centers, urging the FMA to continue to take care of the most disadvantaged and at the same time to value excellence, to carry forward human and Salesian values ​​in favor of the young.


The concluding words of Mother Chiara’s intervention well summarize the atmosphere of mutual esteem and educational alliance aimed at the good of youth and society, breathed by the participants during the evening:

“There are many of us here, we ask through the intercession of Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello to share the educational mission with passion and to know how to generously spend our resources, creating a network among us and with organizations and subjects interested in education and the future of young people.”

With this celebratory moment of the 150th anniversary, the 34th edition of the Europe Seminar organized by CIOFS-FP ETS with the FORMA trade association has opened, which takes place on 13 and 14 October in Turin, on the theme: Networking for GOL (Guarantee of Employability of Workers). The goal is to seek answers to the challenges of the new national and international context, in which Vocational Education and Training can play a crucial role in the social promotion and development of communities and territories. Facebook Page Ciofs-Fp

«Do you want to do a good thing? Educate the youth. Do you want to do a divine thing? Educate the youth. Indeed this, among divine things, is most divine» ( Don Bosco).


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