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ADMA : ASSOCIATION
OF MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS
Monthly Message: January
Jesus to us, he is our peace
This year we want to live under
the protection and under the sight of our mother Mary Help of
Christians. In this Year of Faith she invites us to the life
in Christ her Son, to spread the peace and love, to welcome God's
Truth and to pray that the Holy Spirit might be our guide. Guided
by Mary and as her apostles we can take God to all those who
are lost by showing them the way of faith. We are invited together
with Mary, to bring about the repentance of sinners and free
them in the life of God's children. Our Mother Mary calls us
to the life in light and not to live as prisoners of sin, saying
no to sin and evil, to give our hearts to her Son Jesus and to
live God's commandments.
The Association of Mary Help of Christians particularly feels
the call to live by faith and to care for its transmission mostly
in families through the teachings of Pope Benedict XV: "The
great joy in Milan when so many families from all around the
world has shown that, inspite of all kinds of controversies,
the family is strong and alive up to today. It is without contest,
but, is also threatened by the world crisis, mostly in the western
world. I was struck by the Synod that holds the importance of
the family in the transmission of faith as an authentic place
in which fundamental forms of the human being are transmitted.
They are learnt in living them and suffering them all together.
It was put then into evidence that in the topic on family it
is not only matter of a given social form but we deal with the
human being itself - what is a human being and what we must do
to be true humans in a proper way. There are many complex challenges.
There is first of all the capacity of a man to relate even in
his actual difficulties of creating links. Can a man be bound
the whole of his life? Is is natural? Is it not in contrast with
his freedom and his self realization? Can man become himself
and remain autonomous in interacting with others only through
relationships that he can interrupt at any moment? Is a whole
life link in contrast with freedom? Does a relationship merit
sufferings? Refusing a human link, that spreads more and more
because of an erroneous comprehension of freedom and self-realization,
as well as the reason for the flight in front of the patient
bearing of suffering, means that human being remains locked in
himself and lastly holds the proper "I" for himself,
and never overcomes it. But only in giving himself man attains
himself and only in opening himself to others, to the family,
to the children, only in letting shape in sufferings, he discovers
the magnitude of being a human person. In refusing that link
even the fundamental figures of the human existence disappear:
the father, the mother, the son; existential dimensions of the
being a human person experience fall" (Benedict XVI 21rst
This could also be our concrete mode to live this year's strenna:
"Like Don Bosco, educator, we offer young people the Gospel
of joy through a pedagogy of kindness". May don Bosco intercede
for the whole Salesian Family to announce and witness the 'gospel
of joy' , that characterizes the whole story of Don Bosco and
that has been the soul of his various activities. Good salesian
month, Happy feast of don Bosco!
Lucca Tullio, President
Don Pierluigi Cameroni SDB, Spiritual Animator
WAY FOR FORMATION 2011-2012
and sacraments (don Roberto Carelli sdb)
Last month we saw that faith
is not only belief, but belonging. To come to faith is to know
Jesus, recognize him as definate Word of God, follow him and
imitate him as the unique Master, to conform and to identify
oneself with his guidelines as Son, to reach the status of sons
of God. Faith is way of faith, an itinerary that implicates body
and soul, intelligence and will, affections and links, an itinerary
that begins from the personal encounter with Jesus and develops
in the intimate friendship with Him. Concerning the unshakable
way of the simple knowledge of truth and pure obedience to the
law, here is outlined the sacramental character of faith.
The "sacramental economy" of faith - is given in the
Catechism (CCC II,1) - with its roots in the mystery of Incarnation,
whereby "the invisible Word became visible" (Pref.
Nativity. II) and "the Word became flesh" (Jn 1,14).
A real "wedding ceremony" took place between divinity
and humanity, and that "mysterious exchange" (Pref.
Nat. III) for which the Son of God assumed the whole weakness
of man, so that every man might assume the dignity of God's son.
Now the sacraments exist for that: in order to have always the
same great in which the heavens and the earth touch and mingle:
God is involved in human flesh and man involved in life with
God. The language itself witnesses that great mysterious encounter
of love: significantly, the latin language sacramentum translates
the grec mysterion!
The Church knows perfectly that faith is not related to thought
nor to the action before looking at the heart and the flesh.
A very old exhortation from Ignatius of Antiochus goes the same
surprising way: "cover yourself of humility and sprout again
in the faith that is the flesh of our Lord. Renew yourself in
the charity that is the blood of Jesus Christ". It is to
say: faith is not a mental fact but it is eucharistic! No need
to separate faith and sacraments, but to recognize the sacramental
character of faith. It might seem difficult but trully it is
reasonable: like the natural life, blooming in conscience and
love, it comes first of all from the body, from the blood and
from the cares of a mother, analogically the supernatural life
that puts wisdom and God's kindness in us, is communicated to
us through the body, in the shed blood and in the sacrifice of
Faith is tightly linked to sacraments, because faith is a faith
generation: not in a set of beliefs, but a life to welcome, a
life that releases all its beauty, kindness and truth by the
happenings of freedom that welcomes. That is why the Church qualifies
faith as a "theological vertue", as a participation
to the being of God: because it is a dress for the interior that
originates from God, not from the beginning of the human kind;
it is an effused gift not an aquired capacity; it is fruit of
grace not an outcome of human force. It is then easy to make
an existential assessment: 1. There are many religions and humans
are usually religious, but in fact christian faith is not given
as a development of a religious feeling, but as an effect of
the Word of God and of Baptism, of an anounce and a rite; 2.
To convince everybody that faith, instead of being a conversion
to grace is grace itself, one could ask: who finds it simple
to recognize, consent and abandon oneself totally to God's will?
Who has the courage to retain simply free from the fight against
doubt, distrust, unbelief? And who can say to be naturally inclined
to what the Catechism listed as principal consequences of faith,
mostly "believe in God and move him whole heartedly",
"know the greatness and the majesty of God", "live
in thanksgiving ", "recognize the unity and dignity
of all human beings", "use correctly the created things",
"trust in God in all circumstances, even in adversity"
Obviously, faith is engaged in the trust dimension that lies
in every man, but then overcomes it in all senses: purifies and
transforms, gives back to itself and carries it out of itself.
Up to when it turns upside down the most elementary worldly securities:
what mattered before, in faith has no more any value; what was
present that rendered her cumbersome in faith becomes even "rubbish"
in front of the knowledge of Christ (Ph 3,8) and what first nourrished
and secured life (but that could not avoid death) in faith gives
up to the most substantial food and the most secured rock of
living according to the Word of God (that obvious death of the
old man, but also entrance to a life that never ends). That is
why Jesus said: "my food is to do the will of the one who
sent me to do his work" (Jn 4,34), and translated for us
in sacramental terms: "because my flesh is real food and
my blood is real drink" (Jn 6,55).
It is worth to insist a little on the grace of faith, even to
the extend of lacking of gratitude to Jesus, who obtained such
a grace with a higher price: humility of his incarnation and
humiliation of his passion. To explain a little bit the idea,
during Advent the Church reads, every year, a most beautiful
page of St Ireneus interpreting faith as a delicate and dramatic
adaptation of Man to God: "if without a vain superb receives
the authentic glory that comes from what is has been created
and from the one who has created it, mainly God, the most powerful,
the author of all the things that exist, and if it remains in
love of him in respectful submission and continuous thanksgiving,
will still receive major glory and will make progress continuously
on that way until it becomes similar to the one who died to save
The Word of God dwelt among men and became the son
of man to accustom them to the comprehension of God and to accustom
God to dwell in man according to the Father's will". The
work of God here appears so much great that really faith is nothing
else than obedience of faith, that is a progressive adaptation
to God's mentality and a more and more deep assimilation to His
way of being and loving. The logic of faith is then the same
thing with the sacramental logic, because what is said and done
in liturgy is not oriented in locking God up in our measures,
but to disclose man to the mystery of God. In the things of the
heart, of God like in human's heart, there are things that we
cannot know before seeing them, things of which no intelligence
is possible without any kind of initial experience, nor have
of it a real comprehension without any initiation. In fact, obedience
In other words, being a participation to the feelings of the
Son, faith has a vitality and an energy, a logical and pedagogical,
a communication mode to spread originally, whose source lays
on sacraments. The Catechism, with a very beautiful expression
says that "in the Liturgy the Holy Spirit is the pedagogue
of faith": it is Him who "awakens faith, the conversion
of heart and the will of the Father", it is Him who gives
"the spiritual intelligence of the Word of God" and
"recalls what Christ has gained for us" (CCC 1099.1098.1101.1103).
For that reason, if sacraments are "sacraments of Christ"
and "sacraments of the Church", however they are called
"sacraments of faith" too: in fact they are not only
"assumed faith, but with the words and ritual elements that
nourrish it, strengthen it and express it" (CCC 1123). From
that close link between faith and sacraments derives from the
traditional latin formula "lex orandi, lex credendi",
which means: "the law of prayer is the law of faith, the
Church believes the way it prays" (CCC 1124).
In the light of these considerations, the conviction that faith
matures from Eucharist in Eucharist and Confession in Confession,
which means gradually the heart that purifies itself from sin
and grows from the life of grace, melt from the chains of pride
and becomes meet to the action of the Holy Spirit. We must deepen
the conviction that in front of the proofs of life, the grace
of the sacrament of Marriage for the spouses, the same as the
grace of Ordination for priests makes possible the life of duties
when everything seems superior to our capacities of comprehension
and patience, to the ressources of our will and of our courage:
in what regards God's will, faith overtakes every obstacle because
it has space in the heart of our weakness, to the power of God's
love. Faith, nourrished by sacraments, allows the believer to
live that paradox of Saint Paul: "when I am weak then I
am strong " (2Cor 12,10).
Two suggestions to grow in faith. 1. Live the eucharistic communion
in full trust, knowing that we receive the Grace and the power
to obtain graces: how could a God that gives up to Himself not
give us any other good thing that is not in contrast with His?
2. Show the children the reasonableness and the preciosity of
the obedience of faith, sommoning them on the risk of following
ones own conviction and ones own immediate feeling: trusting
in oneself rather than in God, listening to the words of the
world rather than the Word of God, satisfying with any other
bread rather than the eucharistic bread, does not set us free,
we become slaves instead!
TORINO ADMA PRIMARIA - "GROUPS
OF THE SALESIAN FAMILY"
During Advent we had the first experience of small groups of
"Families in Family". Its an encounter with families
that availed themselves to welcome other families. There was
a large participation, not only in terms of number, even though
around 40 families were involved, but of joy and intensity. Families
were so much determined so that a simple notice was enough to
get all these people, organize and welcome others with joy and
tenacity. All participants showed seriousness and implication.
So many tried their best in order to be there, in even winning
over that great or small unwillingness to "pop in"
in someone's house, who maybe does not know us properly! Further,
this was the fruit of a way initiated from the evangelization
and the education for the family through family.
GELA (SICILIA - ITALY) ENTRUSTMENT
OF CHILDREN TO MARY
The ADMA of Gela since many years, during the novenna to Mary
Immaculate, invites the families in the territory to pray and
to ask to Our Lady the protection under her mantle of all her
little children. Every year that moment is awaited and willed
because families feel comfortable for her presence: Mary is more
than ever before present, she bows over children, caresses one
by one, the small innocent heads and embraces with affection
the tiny with the affection that only a Loving Mother can offer.
On 6th december there was an act of entrustment. At the beginning
Luigina Ciaramella recalled how Mamma Margherita was consacrated,
from when he was little child, John and Mary said how much important
it was to spread the devotion to our Heavenly Mother. The Holy
Mass was presided by Don Calogero Di Gregorio (ADMA Spiritual
Animator) and the church was full of children who were accompanied
by their parents, grand parents and relatives. Before the concluding
blessing two associate members of ADMA presented the 48 kids,
to the parish priest Don Giuseppe of Leonforte. All this was
followed by a speech to the parents and a nice considerate welcome
to the little ones. The Blessing of Mary Help of Christians provoked
a profound commotion in the assembly. The day was concluded with
a lot of photos and sweets for the children and their families
(Luigina Ciaramella, President ADMA Gela).
ADMA INTRODUCED TO THE NEWLY
We had a moment of grace for our Association and we had the opportunity
to introduce theADMA, from the animator don Pierluigi Cameroni,
to the ten newly provincials elected, who had a moment of formation
in Rome at the General House, to the provincial, don Karol Manik,
and to some confreres of Slovacchia, at Bratislava on 7th december
2012. These are the 10 superiors to whom was presented the identity
and the mission of the ADMA: don Giovanni Rolandi, Provincial
of Est Africa (AFE); don Greg Chambers, Provincial of Australia
(AUL); don Edson Castilho, Provincial of Brasile San Paolo (BSP);
don Munir El Ra'I, Provincial of Middle East (MOR); don Thomas
Vattathara, Provincial of India Guwahati (ING); don George Maliekal,
Superior of the new Province of India Silchar (INS); don John
Jairo Gómez, Provincial of Colombia Medellín (COM);
don Nestor Guria, Provincial of India Dimapur (IND); don Camiel
Swertvagher, Superior of the Africa Great Lacs Visitatory (AGL);
don Onorino Pistellato, Provincial of the new Circonscription
with a special status of Ukrain greek-catholic (UKR).
PANJIM-KONKAN (INDIA) - ADMA
The Province of Panjim-Konkan celebrated her first ADMA DAY at
the Don Bosco, Panjim, on 9th november 2012. The them of that
encounter was: "Do what she'll tell you". The first
ADMA group in Odxel was recognized on august, year 2009, followed
by the group of Parra on december 2010, after a year of preparation.
The Carona and Loutolim groups are actually preparing for their
commitment. Clare Castelino gave the words of welcome and president
(Odxel), Fr. Ian Figueiredo, the provincial of the salesians,
celebrated the Holy Eucharist and Fr. Joaquim Lobo gave a speech
of orientation. Through small presentations some important questions
related to the province and their needed help were illustrated.
to Most Holy Mary of the balance
Virgin, Mother of God and men,
we ask you the gift of christian equilibrium,
so much necessary for the Church and the world today.
Deliver us from evil and from our meanness,
save us from compromises and conformisms,
keep us away from myths and illusions,
from discouragement and pride,
from timidity and condescending airs,
from presomption and ignorance,
from error, from harshness of heart.
Grant us the tenacity in effort,
stillness in defeat,
the courage to start anew,
the humility in success.
Open our hearts to sanctity,
give us a perfect simplicity,
a pure heart, the love for truth and for the essential,
the strength to commit ourselves without calculation,
loyalty to know our limits and to respect them.
Grant us to welcome and live the Word of God,
grant us the gift of prayer.
Open our hearts to God:
give us the love for the Church,
the way your Son wanted,
to participate in it and with it,
in communion and fellowship with all members, hierarchy and faithful,
to the salvation of men our brothers.
Instill in us comprehension
and respect for humans,
mercifulness and love.
Open our hearts to others:
maintain us in the commitment to live and to grow
that balance, with faith and hope,
wisdom and rectitude,
spirit of initiatives and caution,
openess and interiority,
total gift, love.
we trust in you tenderness.
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.
del Santuario Basílica María Ausiliatrice, Torino-Valdocco,
Internacional No.025577,PBMo36482 Miami, FL. 33102-5577 / Tel.:
(809) 530-5377 o (809) 229-2935
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ADMA | Santuario Maria Ausiliatrice
| Via Maria Ausiliatrice 32 | 10152 TORINO-VALDOCCO | ITALIA
Tel.: 0039-011-5224216 / Fax.: 0039-011-52224213
THE President OF ADMA:
Signor LUCCA TULLIO (until 2014) |E-mail: Tullio.Lucca@gmail.com
Don Pier Luigi CAMERONI / Istituto
Salesiano | Via S. G. Bosco 1 - 25075 NAVE - BS
TEL. 030-2530262 - FAX 030-2533190 /
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