Lebanon (Middle East). From 12 to 25 November 2022, the Superior General of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Mother Chiara Cazzuola, is visiting the Province Jesus as a teenager (MOR), which includes seventeen Houses in five countries of the Middle East: Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, Egypt. Since 2008, Mother General had not visited this Province.
November 12th, Mother Chiara arrived at the airport of Beirut, in Lebanon, in the late evening. To welcome her were the Provincial, Sr. Charlotte Greer, and the Director of the Community Mary Immaculate Help of Christians of Kahale, Sister Lina Abuna.
The following day it began with prayer with the community, followed by a meeting with a first group of sisters from Lebanon and some from houses in Syria, who for bureaucratic reasons could not be included in the visit, and yet were able to join her in Lebanon.
In an atmosphere of joy and fraternity, Mother specified the objective of the meeting in which she would give priority to listening to all the sisters, in the different situations they find themselves living. After giving some news on the FMA Institute and on the activities of the General Council, specifying their attention and prayer for the most difficult realities of the world, Mother underlined the importance of being in the midst of young people, even of different cultures and nationalities different, without being afraid to dialogue with them.
Returning to the category of “presence” of the 24th General Chapter, he said: “it is a rediscovery of what our identity as FMA, Salesian, strongly Marian is. Our Constitutions ask us to be helpers too, it means to bring help. To bring help you have to ‘be there’; this is why the need for presence is underlined. This is how Mary is at Cana”. Mother then reiterated how fundamental the community is in the life of the FMA. “The community – he said – it is constitutive. If we lose the emotional connection, we’d be pieces of marble! We are people, with the need to love and to be loved. So the community relationship is fundamental for us, it constitutes us”. Subsequently, you have left room for some resonances.
During the day, she began to receive the FMA personally, also finding the way to meet a group of Salesian Cooperators and animators of the oratory-youth center, whom she encouraged to continue collaborating with the sisters, for the good of many young people .
November 14thMother Chiara has joined the Community B. Laura Vicuna of Hadath-Baalbek, where she was triumphantly received by the students of the School. She left them a message: “I see that you have very beautiful eyes, and this means that you are good people. I wish you to grow not only in stature, but in your interiority! I thank your teachers and your sisters so much, for their commitment with you, and because they love you so much”. In Hadath-Baalbek he also met the second group of nuns in Syria.
In the late afternoon, she went to the community Mary Help of Christians of Kartaba. In the good night you spoke of the importance of the community meeting and the role of the community animator, placing the emphasis on community sanctity.
November 15thMother’s Day began with a pilgrimage, together with the Provincial, to the Shrine of Our Lady of Lebanon in Harissa, the most important in the country, where she entrusted the FMA of the Province to Mary.
He then joined the Community Mary Help of Christians of Tabarja, placing herself at the disposal of the FMA and also received a welcome from the pupils of the primary school. Among the pupils there was a little girl whose mother is from Ukraine. Her Mother took a picture of her with her, as a sign of unity and solidarity, promising prayers for the country tormented by war. The little girl thanked her with tears in her eyes. The meeting ended with the offer of sweets, always appreciated by the children.
After lunch, Mother Chiara concluded her visit to Lebanese land, expressing her gratitude and encouraging the communities to persevere in the faith, despite the difficulties, relying on the importance of the presence of the FMA among the people. She was then taken to the Beirut airport, from where she departed for Amman, Jordan.
Photo: flickr FMA