Circular No. 1024 • Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians

Rome Italy). The Mother General of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Sister Chiara Cazzuola, in Circular No. 1024 presents the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and the Educating Communities the Strenna 2023 of the Rector Major of the Salesians of Don Bosco, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime:

The lay dimension of Don Bosco’s Family”

Recalling the recipients of the Strenna – addressed to children, adolescents, young people and Groups of the Salesian Family, invited to rediscover the lay dimension and called to be true leaven among the people of this time – Mother highlights the charismatic specificity of the FMA :

“As you consecrated, in the Salesian Family, we too are called to be “leaven in the dough of humanity’s bread” and to live alongside others, together with others, for others, allowing ourselves to be enriched by the evangelical secularism of our brothers and sisters, to make the Family complete and alive. Faithful to our specific educational charism, we wish to help girls and boys, adolescents, young men and women, to discover their own resources of good so as to be in the world the leaven which helps to leaven the dough and make the “family bread” tastier Human”.

The similitude of yeastdrawn from the Gospel parable (Lk 13:20-21), reveals an abundance of pedagogical and educational elements and well describes the reality of the Kingdom of God, “humanly small and seemingly irrelevant” which requires poverty of heart, trust, humility, collaboration, “but it is above all an initiative and a gift from the Lord”which multiplies the good and makes every action fruitful.

This is what Mother Mazzarello also expresses, saying “It is the hand of God working in us” (cf L 66,2), words that reveal the experience of a woman who “she let herself be enlightened and worked internally by the grace of God”with the belief that “we must let ourselves be molded for life by the creative and purifying hand of God”.

The Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, together with the other Groups of the Salesian Family, are therefore consulted “to to be the good leaven in the flour of humanity and to recognize the richness of the vocation of lay men and women in all educating communities by valuing, in different cultures and societies, the gift of life, the strength of faith, the creativity of love, the beauty of the family, the experience and professional competence, evangelical witness”.

The enhancement of everyday life as a place where life is embodied, the promotion of youth protagonism and the consolidation of behaviors that strengthen peace and fraternity among peoples, are elements on which the Salesian spiritualitywhich animates and gives life to the Salesian Youth Movement, in which relationships are marked by family spirit.

“Leavening in today’s world”summarizes Mother Clare, “is answering the call to be thereto to be a presence that generates lifewhich accompanies the growth and maturation especially of young men and women in feeling a living part of society and of the Church, willing to leave the narrow horizons of their own lives to discover, in the texture of daily life, the dimension of ecclesial, political and social”.

At the end of an intense year of celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the FMA Institute, Mother invites us to continue the journey by keeping alive the fire of belonging to the Lord and to the Salesian Family.

In the name of all the FMA, she also expresses her gratitude to the Rector Major for having offered, with this Strenna, “the opportunity to renew our commitment to be instruments of communion within the Salesian Family, giving our specific contribution as consecrated women educators”.

The Circular concludes with best wishes to the Salesian confreres, to the Groups of the Salesian Family, to the Educating Communities, and to all the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, “for a 2023 bearer of peace and understanding between nations”.

Circular No. 1024

Circular No. 1024 • Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians