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

     ADMA on Line           |          Monthly Message:   October 24th, 2012       

Only in God we find peace and hope, says Mary

In our Association of Mary Help of Christians, to live worthly the Year of Faith is felt as an invitation from Mary, in a special mode. It's a time of grace to be lived under her protection and guidance, in profound communion of soul with Her, to become missionaries of God's love. We are called to a special mission for which she strengthens us, she fills us of graces, she protects us from the evil spirit, she consoles us in times of trials.
The Second Vatican Council is already part of the VIIIth Chapter of the Dogamatic Constitution on the Church Lumen gentium: "The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God in the mystery of Christ and of the Church", willed to underline the profound link between Mary and Christ and between Christ and the Church. "It is matter of the "nexus mysteriorum", the intimate link between the mysteries of the christian faith, indicated by the Council as a horizon to understand the single elements and the various afermations of the heritage of the Catholic faith… the chapter on Mary Mother of God, in which Mary's figure is re-read and re-suggested from God's Word, form the patrisitic tradition and litrugical texts appears in its beauty and particularity and is closely inserted in the fondamental mysteries of the christian faith. Mary mentioned in our faith, is understood in the Most Holy Trinity mystery of love and communion; from her cooperation to the divine plan of salvation and the unique mediation of Christ is clearly stated and justly underlined, making of her the model and point of reference for the Church that recognizes in Her, its own vocation and mission. The popular piety to Mary is always nourished by references to the Bible and the Fathers of the Church. Certainly, the council texts have not exhausted the problematics related to the figure of Mary Mother of God, but consitutes the essential hermeneutical horizon for any ultimate reflection of a theological and the most decidedly spiritual and pastoral colour. It represents, furthermore, a precious balance point, always necessary, between theological rationality and belief effectiveness. The particular figure of the Mother of God has to be grasped and deepened from various and complementary perspectives: while it remains always valid and necessarily the via veritatis, we cannot do without covering also the via pulchritudinis and the via amoris to discover and contemplate more deeply crystalline and solid faith of Mary, her love for God, her unfailing hope… the upcoming Year of faith might represent for all the Christ believers a real moment of grace, in which faith in Mary preceeds and accompanies us as a lighthouse and as a model of christian fulness and maturity to keep in full confidence and from which and joy enthusiasm are met to live our vocation as children of God always with more commitment and major consistency, brothers in Christ, living members of his Body that is the Church" (Benedict XVI, 8th September 2012).
Let us give thanks to Mary Help of Christians for the enriching life with which she is guiding our Assocation, in particular in this period of celebration of Congresses and Encounters at the national and provincial levels (cfr. chronicle).

Sig. Lucca Tullio, President
Don Pierluigi Cameroni SDB, Spiritual Animator


2. Faith and reason                                                             (don Roberto Carelli sdb)

In this second catechesis we are going to deal with the most important issue, the connection between faith and reason. The fact is that usually, as soon as you speak about religion you end up discussing about faith and religion or science, and unfailingly the idea that both are great and incompatible or that their relationship remains problematic. On our shoulders, we carry the heavy heritage of the modern culture, it is an evidence. We have been used to think faith and reason as two greatnesses that are exterior and alternatives: exteriors, because reason might be the camp of evidence and objectivity, while faith might be the lack of evidence and subjectivity; alternatives, because one cannot stand near to the other. It is almost and often taken for granted that reason never serves the belief and that to believe is to renounce reasoning. What is sad to notice is that in that conflict there are no winners: reason is reduced to calculations, faith is jumping in the dark, both are not able to grasp te truth. The discredit is reciprocal and it has lowered both, damaging believers and non believers: reason is limited to what is merely visible, limiting itself to what is visible, it doesnt understand the world of affections, whereas faith is assigned to the camp of the invisible, it never achieves any form of a reliable knowledge. John Paul II puts it clearly in the Encyclical Fides et Ratio: " Deprived of what Revelation offers, reason has taken side-tracks which expose it to the danger of losing sight of its final goal. Deprived of reason, faith has stressed feeling and experience, and so run the risk of no longer being a universal proposition". (FR 48).
In fact in our times, to the crisis of faith corresponds the sound of reason. The exaltation of reason and the crowning of faith have weakened both, reciprocally they become useless. Reason, forgetting its own limit as creature, claims to put itself as criterion of judgement compared to faith and faith, to defend its own specificity, to be precise the reference to God and His revelation, has become culturally irrelevant. From it the "divorce between faith and culture" was pointed out by Paul VI as the principal evil of our time. Besides, reason concentrating on knowledge rather than on being, instead of underlining the reason's capacity to know the truth, "prefered to underline its limits and its conditionings", but then "the legitimate plurality of positions has given up to an indifferentiated pluralism based on the proposition that all positions are equal" reducing every knowledge to mere opinion: even religion, instead of being noticed in relationship with the absolute is under-evaluated for its cultural size (FR 5). Among the most flashy consequences there is the complete change of link between science and faith: science, whose knowledge is reductive in itself, appears reliable, whereas religion, which concerns the profound sense in things, is seen as inevitably untrustworthy. In fact, it is worth to recall in mind that "truth is reached not only through ways of reason, but also by means of trustworthy abandonment to other persons who are able to guarantee the certitude and authenticity of the truth itself. The capacity and the choice to trust in oneself and to one's own life prefering it to another person, constitute certainly one of the most significative and expressive anthropological acts" (FR 33). Anyway, warns John Paul II, a weak reason and a weak faith are damageable for both: "it is illusory to think that faith, in front of a poor reason can get a major incisiveness; it falls instead in a serious danger of being reduced to myth or superstition. Similarly, a reason faced to a non matured faith is not challenged to newness and radicaliy of being " (FR 5). To reason and faith it is not good a "feeble" figure but it needs a "humble" figure: reason needs to keep, for itself, that everything is wounded and needs redemption; faith might not forget that Revelation, its foundation, is certified by the wisdom of the Cross: " but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong" (1Cor 1,27-28)
Besides, the separation of faith and reason is globally responsible of what Benedict XVI called "educative emergency", for which "the young generations are exposed to the feeling of being without authentic points of reference" (FR 6) which is particularly underlines in the flitting between rationality and affectivity suffered by our youth: they are hit by excessive stimulus, they achieve fragile identities, they are invaded by too many informations, they have difficulties in obtaining a unitarian vision of things. It is urgent to recover, the way it was said by the Committee of the Italian Conference of Bishops on the theme on the challenge in education, the twofold good of an "affective rationality and of a reasonable rationality". After all, all the great spiritual masters have taught that the mature person is manifested in the equilibrium, in the common sense and imagination, when the affections have supplied good thoughts, good thoughts orientate stable affections.
An interesting thing about it is that the figure of a reason separated from faith is is not plausible, totally incapable of giving an account of the modes with which man relates to reality and to others, the modes with which he knows and loves. It is easy to notice it: trust in someone without control or pretend to control all without trusting none, are simply decadent ways of living in this world. When reason is not used in a relationship, it is easy to fall into manipulation and conflict and when there is lack of trust, we fall into suspicion and fear. Man's life braids always trusts and assessments: more or less, it can work well but man always tends to trust and always wants to assess. In confirmation, with difficulty man is easily pleased with only promises, and pure arguments never convince him. Everybody would like to encounter with reasonable and trustful persons instead. Even God is of the same opinion: in the Vatican Council document on the Word of God it is said, in fact, that "this plan of revelation is realized by deeds and words having in inner unity: the deeds wrought by God in the history of salvation manifest and confirm the teaching and realities signified by the words, while the words proclaim the deeds and clarify the mystery contained in them" (DV 2). In short, reason is not extraneous to the field of faith and faith is just a form of knowledge: " there exists a knowledge which is peculiar to faith, This knowledge expresses a truth based upon the very fact of God who reveals himself, a truth which is most certain, since God neither deceives nor wishes to deceive" (FR 8).
Now, the Gospel's God News is that faith is both force and light, knowledge and love. Certainly, faith is confidence illuminated in God, but God does not plan to mortify reason and human freedom. Instead, faith in God brings intelligence and freedom, participation to God's wisdom and goodness! In fact, when Jesus calls the disciples, he does not ask them to renounce reason and freedom, but when he tells them "come and see" (Jn 1,39), he asks for it expressly! In faith, "intellect and will play at their maximum, their spiritual nature", in order that the subject might accomplish fully free and personal acts (FR 13). The same when Jesus, asks for belief in Him he says it knowing that this is what makes us human! - to their own advantage: "you'll know the truth and the truth will make you free " (Jn 8,11). Practically, to mature faith, it is good to look inside and not oppose head and heart, reflection and devotion! In brief: no to secularism, no to spiritualism. The Church to which is entrusted to "diaconia of the truth" (GS 16), never stops to repeat that both reason and faith are able of truth and contribute to it: " He is happy the person who is concerned with wisdom and who uses good sense, he studies the ways of Wisdom and will also learn her secrets" (Sir 14,20). It garantees that faith does good to reason, prevents its extolment (rationalism) and to limit itself (irrationality), reason does good to faith too, because it provides its expiry in blind assent (un questionning belief) and compulsion (fondamentalism). From this, there is the twofold classical formula of the credo ut intellegam and intellego ut credam: to believe helps understanding and understanding helps to believe. All this is based on the fact that truth is unique which concerns mind and heart, and that God is the unique end of our search for truth and our desire for good: " the God of creation is also the God of salvation history. It is the one and the same God who establishes and guarantees the intelligibility and reasonableness of the natural order of things upon which scientists confidently depend and who reveals himself as the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ " FR 34).

How to live the teaching of this catechesis? We dare to suggest few points:

1. For a generation living practices of faith but which is not able to give reason to younger generations, the first commitment is to be passionate for the truth of faith and its intimate reasonableness, in such a way to " be ready at all times to answer anyone who asks you to explain the hope you have in you, but do it with gentleness and respect " (1Pt 3,15). This means formation and edifying readings, obedience to pastors and courage in witnessing, sound doctrine and sound conduct: so that they might really understand only what is lived.

2. For a wounded reason from sin that swing between excessive claims and decline of any pretention, the second commitment is Pope Benedeict XVI's happily expressed in the invitation to "widen spaces of reason". This is certainly a complex undertaking but from the part of the faithful it requires prayer and adoration, immersion and contemplation of God's realm, plea and intercession for those whose duty is to ensure, deepen and transmit entirely the truth of our faith: the Pope, Bishops, theologians, preachers and catechists.



From 31st August to 2nd September we celebrated the XXIIIrd Assembly and the XXIVth National Encounter of the ADMA of Venezuela at the Retreat House of the Paúles Fathers in the city of Caracas. We gave special place to 21 young people who participated. They were representatives of 15 local groups: Caracas (La Dolorita, Sarría y Boleíta); Barquisimeto, Coro, El Vigía, Maracaibo y San Felix; and more participation from the local associations of La Vega, Amazonas, Valencia Centro y El Consejo, Judibana, Puerto La Cruz (Sección Divino Niño) y Pan de Azúcar. The National President adressed words of welcome and gave a talk on the year 2011-2012's achievement and the presentation of the itinerary to various groups. On 1rst September professor Arturo Díaz taught on the theme: "Towards a new Evangelization", in sinthony with the convocation letter for the Year of Faith. Father Luis Azzalini presented the way for formation of the ADMA at the world level in preparation to the bicentenary of don Bosco's birth, while Karina Barrios, National Referent for the Salesian Youth Movement, gave his word of welcome. On Sunday, after the "mañanitas" to the Vergin Help of Christians, few proposals were presented to the youth for the formation in the ADMA youth at the national level: - to present a clear marian identity by offering given motivations to the youth, as animation, music, theatre, singing, sport, together with elements of good christian formation, creating a family atmosphere; - having an annual encounter for youth marian groups; - organizing annual pilgrimage at the marian local sanctuary; - initiate with pre-adolescents, after first communion, Sundays oratories, taking them to a progressive life of their consecration to Mary, with weekly meetings and starting simple experiences of social. We concluded the activity with a significative choreography with adults asking the youth about their "youthful presence" and the youth responding to it by the "will to take on their commitment in this society, making of don Bosco their Father, Master and Friend". The Sunday mass was presided by Fr José María Estébanez, Delegate for the Salesian Family. He urged us to reniew the ADMA, surprised as he was, to se so many youth (Ingrid González de Gómez - National President).


On 8th September, Nativity Day of Mary, the Mary Help of Christians Association of the Philippines South (ADMA-FIS) celebrated its first Congress at the "St. Louis School-Don Bosco" of Dumaguete City. Members of the Association of Victorias, Negros Occidental, Cebu and Dumaguete were present. The theme of the Congress was: "ADMA yesterday and today: continuation of the great devotion to Saint John Bosco and Mary Help of Christians". In the morning the holy mass was celebrated, presided by don Roland Guiao, Provincial Vicar and concelebrated by other salesians: don Daniel Elemia, Spiritual Animator of Dumaguete; don Godofredo Atienza, Animator of the Victorias and Cebu; don Wilbert Dianon, don Vernil Lopez and don Nestor Impelido, Provincial Delegate for the ADMA North, who also gave the homely. During the day the lady Demetria Locsin, one of the first members of ADMA and the other members mister Dumaguete were awarded a price for the love and the devotion to Jesus and to Mary Help of Christians Gesù, for the untiring commitment for the association and the exemple given by the association members for the young ones. The presence of the ADMA leaders of the Philipines North Province was highly felt and appreciated, through the presence of Maria Junifer Maliglig and Rheena May Lim, respectively President and Vice President. The conclusion was marked by hte blessing of Mary Help of Christians and the prayer of entrustement. At the end of the day the ADMA members were satisfied per by the experience of communion and sharing looking forward to the up coming provincial congress in 2013.


This year too, intensively and lively, the ADMA youth group of the Shalom Community of Palazzolo (Brescia) animated, from 5th to 16th September under the guidance of don Pierluigi Cameroni, the mission of evangelization in the parish of Mozzo (Diocese of Bergamo). Fifty young people of that community founded by Sr Rosalina Ravasio has taken the Good News proclamation and the proper testimony of life to more than 3.000 families causing a great interest and a participated response from many people. In the whole mission, the prolific dream of don Bosco of the two columns, was suggested in a visible form. Some couples of ADMA of Torino and Nave participated in giving their own experience, while don Roberto Carelli gave two significative contributions on conjugal and falial life. That experience with young people coming from deviant stories and of transgression become struments of evangelization, express the perenial newness of the action of the Holy Spirit and act together in a new way the Church's commitment for a new evangelization on the eve of the Year of Faith.


In the city of Olmedo, province of Loja, the VIIIth National Congress was held, with the participation of 135 members, 7 salesain and diocesan priests and religious. We were honoured by the presence of Dr. Jorge Márquez. The Olmedo canton is the eye of a needle of many salesian, franciscans and even diocesan religious vocations. Two themes were developped: "Mary Help of Christians in the life of don Bosco" and "Mary, disciple and missonary", exposé from the salesians Jorge Molina and Luis Mosquera, their messages were deepened, mostly to confirm the devotion and the entrustement to Mary. From the other part, as mary was present in don Bosco's life in a perceived, loved, active and stimulating form, such an attitude must be present in a special way in all members of the ADMA. Mary Help of Chrisitians offers always a hand, much more in difficult times that is why it is we should maintain alive that full trust and that profound devotion. It is good to see that the Association counts on the presence of young people who are disposed to continue that devotion and keep contacts with the ADMA centres, for a sharing of experiences and to learn from one another. Participants to various activities remained joyful, committed, with entire cultural nights in which various artistic presentations were made in honour of Mary Help of Christians. During the closing celebration, 12 persons did their pledge of acceptance. It was a moment of a great emotion in witnessing how much the devotion to our Mother Mary is alive (Ing. Jeaneth Barahona Reportera de ADMA).


From 21rst to 23rd September at the national Sanctuary of the Lord of Lujan, the First National Congress of Mary Help of Christians of Argentine, promotted by the ADMA and coordinated by hte provincial animators Fr. Luis Timossi and Fr. Aldo Tobares. More than 400 members of the Salesian Family shared a strong experience of faith an fraternity, meditating and experimenting like Mary Help of Christians, she was in the life of don Bosco. Fr. Luis Timossi made a deep reading of the nine years old dream emphasizing how Mary was the shaper of the salesian charism. Don Pierluigi Cameroni, world Spiritual Animator of ADMA, had a meeting with all presidents of local groups and offered a reflection on Mary, the one who manifested "her glory" in the life of don Bosco, for the sancturay in Turin, the foundation of ADMA and her daily presence in the life of the Church. Sr Marta Riccioli, FMA, communicated experimentally the beauty and the commitment related to being also, today, the Mary's hand that helps and consoles. Young salesians of the postnovitiate animated us and so many children and young people of the ADMA were present. They gave a celebrative tune to the whole encounter. The Regional, don Natale Vitali and the provincials of Argentina, Fr. Angel Artime and Fr. Manuel Cayo, shared entirely the experience as a great gift of the renewal for the entire Salesian Family of Argentina in the name of Mary Help of Christians. The Congress was concluded in a solemn and participated celebration in the sanctuary of Nostra Signora di Lujan, presided by Mons. Agostino Radrizzani, Salesian, Archbishop of Mercedes-Lujan.

Honduras - IVth Congress of the ADMA of Central America

From 26th to 30th September 2012, at the Centre "Tres Rosas" (Valle de Angeles - Honduras), the IVth Congress of the ADMA of Central America was held with the participation on nearly members from Panama, Honduras, Guatemala, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua. The atmosphere of great joy and fraternity in sharing days of intense prayer, formation and filial love for the Help of Christians. During the opening celebration the Cardinal of Tegucigalpa, Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, Salesian, gave words of greetings and invited all to radiate with the strength of the christian hope, the christian message. The Nuncio of Honduras Mons. Luigi Bianco too gave his words of welcome. The workshops were guided by don Pierluigi Cameroni, world Animator of the ADMA and developped through reports, group discussions, sharing of experiences centered on the presentation of the ADMA identity and on the guidelines for the renewal of the Association. The focus was put on the implication and the formation of the young families and the groups of ADMA youth. The eucharistic celebration on 29 September was an intense moment during which more than 20 new members of the groups of Tegucigalpa showed their adhesion to the association. The groups commitment of the ADMA groups of Honduras was of a great impact. They were coordinated by the President Sig.ra Carmen De Cordova, in the preparation and the coordination of the Congress. The support of Fr. Hernandez Alejandro is to continue the commitment for the di diffusion of ADMA in the Central America countries as an expression of the popular dimension of the salesian charism.

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

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     ADMA HEADQUARTERS, Torino-Valdocco:
     ADMA | Santuario 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:  Tullio.Lucca@gmail.com   
     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
                                Websites: www.donbosco-torino.it/eng/adma


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