Via Maria Ausiliatrice 32 | 10152 Torino-Valdocco, Italia | E-Mail: pcameroni@salesiani.it -ADMA Valdocco: adma.torino@tiscali.it 


ADMAonLine   |     Monthly Message:   February 24th, 2010       |   T  Version

        Mary helps us to grow in faith and love

Our Lady accompanies us like a Mother, and she invites us to set out on the pilgrimage which is our life by putting our trust and love in God the creator, aware of the fact that it is in faith that we discover the beauty and the greatness of life.
In order to fulfill such goal we must devote ourselves to personal prayer: through it we nurse our faith, contact with God and we find the strength to advance along our spiritual jouney. It is vital to have a prayer life during our day, as the latter enables us to search for God, meet Him, to feed on Him and His Grace. Personal prayer occurs in our heart. It is there that we must look for God and listen to His voice. If we can let all noises coming from the outside as well as from our ego die down, we will be able to listen to His words full of light, to be aware of His inspirations, and to be moved by His tenderness. At the same time we can talk to God, in the knowledge that He listens and understands us, like no one else could. Let's tell Him about all our problems, all our needs and requests with the trust that is typical of children. God always grants the wishes of those who pray with faith without growing tired. During a hard day, let's fill our heart with God. God is our rest, our medicine and our strength. It is enough to repeat in our heart short invocations, in order to kindle His presence in our heart. When He is present we do everything well and we do it with love.
People loose their faith because they don't pray. Faith is like a flower: the water that feeds such a flower is prayer. Mary is the Mother who makes us grow, advises us, warns and encourages us by saying: "Grow and rejoice in the Lord who has created you. Rejoice of this wonderful plan of Creation and of Redemption of which you are part. That way you will become a light for those whose minds and hearts are blinded and who can't recognise God's presence and love in their life.
"Love is the essence of God", it gives sense to creation and history, it is the light that gives beauty and goodness to every human being's existence. At the same time, love is God's and all believers "style", as it characterises the behaviour of the one who, by responding to God's love, makes a gift of his own life to God and to his neighbour. In Jesus Christ these two aspects form a perfect unity:He is Love incarnate. Such love is fully revealed in the crucified Christ. By looking at Him, we can confess like the apostle John: " We recognised God's love for us and we believed it"(cfr 1 Gv 4,16; Enc. Deus caritas est, 1).
Dear friends, if we think about the Saints, we recognise the variety of their spiritual gifts, as well of their human characteristics. Each person's life is a hymn to God's love! Today, the 21st of January we remember in particular St John Bosco, founder of the Salesian Family and patron saint of youth.
During this year dedicated to priests, I would like to invoke His intercession, so that priests may always be teachers and fathers for the youth, and so that by experiencing such pastoral love, many young people may answer the call to give their life to Christ and for the Gospel. May Mary Help of Christians, model of love, obtain for us such graces." (Benedict XVI - Angelus of the 31st January 2010).

                                                                               Fr Pier Luigi Cameroni, Spiritual Animator


Domenico Savio arrived at Valdocco's parish youth club in the autumn of 1854, at the end of the deadly plague which had decimated the city of Turin. He immediately befriended Michele Rua, Giovanni Cagliero, Giovanni Bonetti, Giuseppe Bongiovanni, who used to walk with him to school in the city centre. In all likelihood he did not know anything about the "Salesian Association" which Don Bosco had started mentioning to the youth in Jaunary of that year.During the following spring he had an idea he mentioned to Giuseppe Bongiovanni. In the parish youth club there were some wonderful young people, as well as some who were less so and behaved badly, and there were also young people who were hurting, who had problems with their studies and who were home sick.

Individually, each person tried to help them as much as possible, each in their own way. But why couldn' t the most willing and able young people join forces in a "secret society", in order to become a group of little apostles for the benefit of the rest? Giuseppe agreed and talked about it with others who liked the idea. It was decided to name the group " the Immaculate's gathering". Don Bosco gave his consent: they should give it a go and write down regulations. From the minutes of the "Immaculate's gathering" kept in the Salesian archive, we know that the meetings were attended by ten members on a weekly basis: Michele Rua (who was elected president), Domenico Savio, Giuseppe Bongiovanni (who was elected secretary), Celestino Durando, Giovanni B. Francesia, Giovanni Bonetti, Angelo Savio chierico, Giuseppe Rocchietti, Giovanni Turchi, Luigi Marcellino, Giuseppe Reano, Francesco Vaschetti.

Giovanni Cagliero was missing because he was recovering from a serious illness and was living with his mother. The last clause of the rule which was approved by all including Don Bosco stated: " All obstacles will be overcome by a sincere, child-like, endless trust and special tenderness for Mary. This will make us firm in our decisions and towards ourselves, and loving with our neighbour, as well as accurate in everything." The members of the Immaculate's Gathering decided to look after two groups of young people, which in the minutes' secret language were called "clients".

The first group was formed by the "out of hand" students, those who frequently used bad language and liked to have fights. Each member would look after one boy in particular and behave as his "guardian angel" for all the time that was required (Michele Magone had a persevering "guardian angel"!). The second group was made up of the newcomers. They helped them to spend the first few days in joyful happiness, when they still didn't know anyone, didn't know how to play, only spoke their local dialect and were homesick. (Francesco Cerruti had Domenico Savio as a guardian angel and spoke with admiration of their first meetings.)In the minutes we can read about each single meeting with their "clients": a moment of prayer, a few minutes of an uplifting reading, a mutual urging to go to Confession and Communion.

They encouraged those who seemed spiritually deaf and insensitive to be patient and to trust in God, to be vigilant and kind towards those who were willing to listen."

If we compare the names of the members of the Immaculate's Gathering with the first members of the "Pious Association", one has the moving impression that "the Immaculate's Gathering" was a "rehearsal" for the congregation that Don Bosco was about to found. The latter was the small field where the the first Salesian flowers sprouted.

The "Immaculate's Gathering" became the yeast for the parish youth club, which transformed those ordinary young people into little apostles through a simple formula: a weekly prayer meeting, the listening of an uplifting reading, mutual urging to receive the sacraments, a program for those who needed to be helped in their daily life, such as a short talk regarding one's failures and successes of the past few days. Don Bosco was very impressed and made a point of having something similar in his newly founded Salesian Family, which was to be the focus for future Salesian and priestly vocations.

In the four pages of advice to Michele Rua who was on his way to founding the first Salesian home outside Turin in Mirabello, Don Bosco ( in one of his best summaries of his educational system which was always handed to all new Salesian directors from then onwards) Don Bosco says the following: " Make sure you set up the Immaculate's Gathering, however, you will only be a promoter and not the director. Consider it as belonging to the youth."
In every Salesian work, a group of committed young people based on the "Immaculate's Gathering" was the secret to encourage Salesian and priestly vocations.It is important to tell young people the story of the beginning of Don Bosco's Congregation, of which young people were co-founders.

The majority (Rua, Cagliero, Bonetti, Durando, Marcellino, Bongiovanni, Francesia, Lazzero, Savio) were Domenico Savio's friends as well as members of the Immaculate's Gathering, and twelve remained at Don Bosco's side until his death. It is our hope that the memory of this will help us to involve more and more young people in the apostolic mission for the salvation of other young people.



General intention: " So that the world economy may be run according to criteria of justice and equality, keeping in mind the peoples' real needs, in particular those of the poorest.."
Missionary Intention: "For the African churches, so that they may be a sign and an instrument of reconciliation and justice in every region and every continent."
Bishop's intention: "So that Lent may purify our hearts from pride through prayer, fasting and good works, by making us God's closer friends and more attentive towards those who need our help."
Marian intention: "So that by standing at the foot of the Cross we may entrust ourselves to Mary and consider Her as one of our closest friends."


Days devoted to the spirituality of the Salesian Family - Rome 21-24th January 2010

"Lord, we want to see Jesus!"

The XXVIII edition of the Days of Spirituality of the Salesian Family (Rome 21st -24th January 2010), based on the Christmas message for 2010 given by the Rector has renewed the commitment of the whole Salesian Family in their task to gain new strength in their "sequela Christi" and to bring the Gospel to the youth. Two Biblical icons accompanied the moments of sharing and reflection of the past few days: that of the disciples of Emmaus, where the evangelist Luke shows us what it is like to meet Jesus. This should bring us to ask ourselves: "What is my Emmaus? When and where did the Lord Jesus become my travelling companion? When did I recognised Him as the Risen one?"

It is only when individuals, communities and groups share the experience of the Risen one that the passion for a missionary evangelisation towards the youth arises. The second icon is the picture by the priest and artist Siger Koeder representing the merciful Father, which was chosen by the Rector as a metaphor of Christmas 2010: it presents Don Bosco as a teacher and as an evangeliser, whose main message is to be a sign of the merciful and fatherly love of God, who wants the salvation of his children and reconciliation within the community of believers.
In this path of faith, Holy Mary is the role model for all believers. "This is the way she is portrayed from the very start of Luke's Gospel, who in the story of the Annunciation shows her to be unconditionally open to God's will, even though the latter did not coincide with her own and even though she did not understand everything. (cf. Lc 1, 26-38; 2,19.50.51).

According to Jesus' own testimony, his mother's greatness is that of having listened to the Word of God and having guarded it with love (cf. Lc 11,28). This is her real maternity!This vision of Mary as a model of faith and as the mother of believers also appears is John's Gospel, who names her only twice, and as a "woman" at the beginning of the wedding of Cana (Gv 2,1-11), and with her own faith in her Son increasing the disciples' faith, and in the end, at the foot of the cross (Gv 19,25-27), when the beloved disciple is entrusted to Her as a mother. The greatness of Mary is therefore her faith, and in this regard she is presented to us as the role model to imitate and as the mother to welcome."

(Fr Pascual Chávez). And Mary is the Help of Christians especially in our path of faith, by bringing Jesus to us and by letting us get to know Him through her heart of Mother and believer.

The content presented in this article has as a source the experiences and testimonies which are the expression of the apostolic richness of the groups of the Salesian Family.In particular we remember the initiative of the Salesians from Pila in Poland, which for many years has been encouraging young people to go on pilgrimages and evangelisation meetings both in the squares and in the streets, by drawing its inspiration from Don Bosco's "autumn walks". This experience, which began in 1991 in Jasna Gora, when John Paul II gave young people a specific mandate: "to go and preach", which involved thousands of people in a path of faith.

Another testimony was that of the couple Armando and Pina Bellocchi, a couple of Salesian cooperators from Biancavilla (Sicily) with five children, who are devoting their lives to bringing the Gospel to the youth through the Salesian charisma as well as through music and theatre. By both giving up a promising career and by putting first the young people they were helping (often before their own family), they have built an atmosphere of solidarity similar to that in their own family, therefore creating a wonderful alliance between parents and children, in order for all to collaborate to the same mission.

Our Association was well represented by at least thirty members from different parts of Italy and of Sicily in particular, as well as from other parts of the world. The "Good night" of Saturday 23d of Jaunary was a special moment filled with grace, as it allowed us to announce to the whole Salesian Family the celebration of the VI International Congress of Mary help of Christians which will take place in Poland, at the shrine of Czestochova from the 3d until the 6th of August 2011.

Fr Pierluigi Cameroni, promoter of spiritual activities, Mr Tullio Lucca, President of the Primary ADMA, together with his wife Simonetta, illustrated the meaning and importance of such initiative, as a moment of communion and renewed apostolic commitment for the whole Salesian Family, under the protection and with the help of Mary. The Days of Spirituality of the Salesian Family took place in the light of the motto "We want to see Jesus!", and were simbolised by miming of "glasses", as Venerable Pope John Paul II used to do. We think this has helped us to see the Lord Jesus more clearly and from close up, and (with Mary's help) to announce it to the young people of our time. (Tullio, Simonetta, Alessandro, Laura and fr Pierluigi).


NEW ADMA GROUP. We had the joy of setting up a new group made up of 3 people, the seed for many people who will devote their energies and enthusiasm to spread the devotion to the Eucharist and to Mary Help of Christians. The celebration for the welcoming of such first members took place in the shrine of the Virgen de la Candelaria on the 12th of December 2009. It was presided by the parish priest P. Parroco Miguel Coquelet SCV. It was followed by many believers and by a group of teenagers who will make up the ADMA-JUVENIL in the future. (Sr. Carmela Sánchez Robles FMA - Promoter for
Peru's ADMA)


On Sunday the 10th of January the aspiring ADMA members from Capaci (PA) met in the "M.Mazzarello" home for a day devoted to prayer, reflection and look back on the past year. 23 memebers were present among whom were 8 couples. The theme of the day was taken from a text written by Pope Benededict XVI: " The spiritual man gets stronger through reason enlightened by faith." During the time devoted to personal reflection I approached one of the members in the corridor and asked for his impressions. His name is F, a 54 year old manager who despite attending such meeting only to please his wife, felt deeply involved and could not explain why. He told me he is a believer but he's not really practicing. As a child he was adopted and spoke fondly of his adoptive parents. He has travelled a lot on business.
As we were speaking a lady told us there was a missionary who was available for confessions( Fr Filippo Taormina, Missionary brother of Mercy). I looked at F and asked him: "Shall we go?" And he agreed, even though he hadn't gone to confession for many years. Later, during the sermon he stood up and told everyone he wanted to change his life. His wife burst into tears and a round of applause from all present followed. It was a real miracle! After the Holy Mass we had lunch and we felt the Lord's and Mary's presence in a very tangible way. In a corner we found a notebook where anyone could write about the impressions and thoughts of the day or a resolution which could be a stimulus for all.

Here are some of them:

" As my faith grows, I understood that it is by acting with truth and love that we can find true peace.
" Even though man may grow old on the outside, on the inside he renews himself day by day.
" If we let ourselves be filled with Christ's love we will learn to see through His eyes everything that sorrounds us and both man and the world will be full of harmony!
" As God gave us His love, so can I let other people get to know about His love, with His help and with that of our mother Mary, Mother of God and our Mother.
" In life we must be aware of the presence of evil and only God can give us the strength we need. Let's entrust ourselves to HIM. By praying we can be saved and we can also save the whole humanity because God is love.
" I am very happy to have had such experience, as I have been able to reflect and to grow.
" If we love God we have faith, love and we do His will, so please increase in me the hope to love God much more than I do now.
" I must not depend on material possessions as everything will pass. Only God can free us from the inner emptiness which sorrounds us. Only in God can we find true happiness.
" If I love God I must also love those around me.
" I thank God for the wonderful day. Today has been a wonderful day for me.Thank you Jesus!Lord, give me the strengtht to share in my life what I have received today.
" Today was a special day for me, a once in a lifetime experience. Till now I can' t fully comprehend it. All I know is that I feel calmer and safer and I feel something that draws me to the Church and to God. Today was a special day and I want to keep trying hard to be good and to grow in faith.I hope God will forgive me for all the wrong I did in the past.
" Thanks to all of you
" Thank you Lord, because today you took away from my heart all bad thoughts and all the bad things I have done to fill me with Your Presence, You who have given me so much joy and strength.
One cannot describe the joy you can see on everyone's face, the thankfullness for the gift of this day lived in the company of Mary Help of Christians. We have touched salvation! (Sr. Francesca Vicari, FMA - Promoter).


Our Mary Help of Christians group in Toronto experienced another year blessed by spiritual growth, sharing and training through our monthly meetings and the days devoted to the Salesian Family. Our Salesian Family Days began in 2008, following Fr Chavez' indications regarding spiritual training for the different branches of the Salesian Family, in order to promote both knowledge and friendship. Our meeting include the Rosary, a moment of spiritual training and sharing, then an uplifting reading and the reading of the Word of God. Fr Occhio concludes every meeting with the blessing of Mary Help of Christians. This year our aim was to focus on a certain theme and discuss spiritually uplifting topics.This change was welcomed by our members and many expressed their appreciation. We will continue moving in this direction, as the Spirit guides us. Fr Occhio Joseph SDB continues to be our promoter of spiritual activities. He reviews all material we study during our meetings and guides us on our spiritual journey. He is a true gift of God and we pray he will have the strength and the health to continue his work, despite his numerous commitments. This year we haven't had any new members but on the 26th of January 2010 we celebrated the Mass in honour of St Francis of Sales and we renewed the solemn promise to our Mother. We pray Her to send us new members as soon as possible, to protect us and guide us, so that we keep growing in strength and numbers and spread the true devotion and the love of Mary Help of Christians.
(Margaret Pupulin, ADMA President).


Here are some pictures of Don Bosco's ADMA in Odxel, India-Panjim, taken during the celebration of the day dedicated to children. We started the ADMA on the 31st July 2009 with 11 members, which have now gone up to 14. (Fr. Lobo Joaquim, SDB promoter)

On the February 2010 issue of the magazine "Mother of God", which comes out monthly and was founded by blessed Giacomo Alberione and is published by Paolini, a very important article regarding the charisma of the Association of Mary Help of Christians can be found. I am very fond of it as I am aware of how much my founder owes to Don Bosco and to the Salesian family. (Fr Mariano Tadone, ssp, the Magazine's editor).

We warmly invite all the groups of Spanish language, particularly those of America, to make known and spread the Review of Mary Help of Christians in the Spanish Edition.

Revista del Santuario Basílica María Ausiliatrice, Torino-Valdocco, Italia

Edición Hispana - P.O. Box Internacional No.025577, PBMo36482
Miami, FL. 33102-5577 - Tel.: (809) 530-5377 o (809) 229-2935

Web Site: www.maria-auxiliadora.org - Email: revista@maria-auxiliadora.org
Josephine Modesto Directora Edición Hispana - Email: josephine@maria-auxiliadora.org

             INFO ADMA   -   INFO ADMA   -   INFO ADMA   -   INFO ADMA    -   INFO ADMA  

     ADMA HEADQUARTERS, Torino-Valdocco:
     ADMA | Santuario di Maria Ausiliatrice | Via Maria Ausiliatrice 32 | 10152 TORINO-VALDOCCO | ITALIA
    Tel.: 0039-011-5224216 / Fax.: 0039-011-52224213 |
E-mail: adma.torino@tiscali.it 
                                  THE President OF ADMA:
                                  Signor LUCCA TULLIO (until 2014) |E-mail: lucca.tullio@alice.it
     Spiritual Animator of ADMA:
     Don Pier Luigi CAMERONI / Istituto Salesiano | Via S. G. Bosco 1 - 25075 NAVE - BS
    TEL. 030-2530262 - FAX 030-2533190 / CELL. 3401452349 |
E-mail: pcameroni@salesiani.it
                                Website: www.donbosco-torino.it/eng/adma


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