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  ADMA :  ASSOCIATION OF MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS    
         ADMAonLine        |          Monthly Message:   February 24th, 2013       

Mary invites us to witness the beauty of faith

In this year of grace, in communion with the whole Church, we are called to be witnesses and people living with a great ideal in the heart: believing in Jesus and the gospel. This is not only crucial for life, but it helps to discover the charm and wonder that life holds. "We see that the time in which we live continues to be marked by forgetfulness and deafness to God. I think, then, that we must learn the simplest and most fundamental lesson of the Council, namely that Christianity in its essence consists in faith in God, who is a Trinity love, and in the encounter, both personal and in the community, with Christ that directs and guides our life: everything else follows.
The important thing today, just as it was the desire of the Council Fathers, is that we see - again, clearly - that God is present, he matters to us, he replies to us. And that, however, when there is no faith in God, what is essential collapses, because man loses his profound dignity and what makes him great: his humanity, against any reductionism. The Council reminds us that the Church, in all its components, has the task of transmitting the word of God that saves, so that the divine call, which contains in itself our eternal bliss, could be heard and accepted. The Second Vatican Council has a strong appeal for us to rediscover the beauty of our faith every day, to know it deeply for a more intense relationship with the Lord, to fully live our Christian vocation. The Virgin Mary, Mother of Christ and of the whole Church, help us realize and conclude what the Council Fathers, inspired by the Holy Spirit, guarded in their heart: the desire that all may know the gospel and meet the Lord Jesus as the way, truth and life. Thanks". (Benedict XVI October 10, 2012).
To achieve this, it is essential a strong path of prayer, an expression of a faith founded on the rock of God's word and not at the mercy of fashion, the fluidity of the feelings, the instability of the will. In this Mary helps us with a lot of love and patience, she teaches us by her example of humility, wisdom and love, strengthens us thanks to the power of God so that we can open our hearts and be witnesses and bearers of God.
We thank in particular Mr. Michele Belotti and our website collaborators for the new graphic version of ADMAonline and invite you to use this training and communion tool more and more in our groups.

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

     WAY FOR FORMATION 2012-2013


6. Faith and conversion (Don Roberto Carelli)

We address in this sixth catechesis one of the most crucial points to understand and live faith. The act of faith which is a gift of God and abandonment to Him, is in any case a fully human act, and particularly challenging, because it involves a radical change of mentality: the gulf between the thoughts and ways of God and the thoughts and ways of man (cf. Is 55:9) is bridged only by a "metanoia", a reversal of convictions and a change of habits that result in the death of the old man and the birth of the new man, the interruption of what was taken for granted and the willingness to accept the surprises of God: "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature: old things have passed away: behold, the new has come" (2 Cor 5:17) .
All Scripture is crossed by the twofold invitation to faith and to conversion: the proclamation of faith cannot be separated from the call to conversion. The public manifestation of Jesus, who is at the centre of salvation history and inaugurates the fulfilment, begins with these words: "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent and believe the gospel" (Mk 1:15). Faith is always continuity and rupture, stability and novelty: continuity, because man's success is always at stake, but it's also separation, because the building of grace is not on the ground of sin; stability, because it is based on the fidelity of God and the rock of His Word, but also novelty, because of the generosity and abundance of the gifts of God, which surpass all and every desire. Faith asks, therefore, conversion; because believing is letting the initiative of God, who unexpectedly contests, meets and exceeds the wishes and judgment of man, surprise us.
Even the preaching of the Prophets and the Apostles, who prepare the coming of the Messiah and proclaim that Jesus is the Lord, is a continuous and clarion call to conversion of heart and life, the only sacrifice pleasing to God, without which any other offer is hypocrisy. High is the voice of Isaiah: "stop bringing meaningless offerings, incense is an abomination to me ... I can not endure iniquity and solemnity ... wash and clean away the evil of your doings from before my eyes. Cease to do evil, learn to do good "(Is 1:13-16). Similarly St. Paul: "I urge you therefore, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may discern the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect "(Rom 12:1-2).
Listening to the Scripture also makes clear that the conversion itself, such as faith, prior to a commitment of man, is a gift of God: the self-denial that is required to the Christian is primarily the result of the abandonment of Christ. It is He who coming into the world said, "you did not desire sacrifice and offering, but a body hast thou prepared me. You do have no pleasure in burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin. Then said I, lo, I come to do, O God, thy will "(Heb 10.5 to 7). For but for His sacrifice, as we read in the Letter to the Hebrews, we would not even become aware of our sins! Similarly, with accents of deep gratitude Saint Peter expressed: "He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. (1 Peter 2, 24-25).
The biblical message of conversion, without which you can't enter the realm of faith, is all the more urgent today, as we stopped to report the reality to the mystery and are inclined to reduce what is beyond us and is the object of faith to the control of reason and the possibility of our initiative. We live in a culture where man, after elevating himself against God, is self-withdrawn, deifying the measures of his desire, a man who is naive and presumptuous, continually exposed to the tyranny of opinion and the immediate feeling, wrongly convinced that affects should be indulged in their spontaneity, and not subject to reason and regulated by the will.
Hence the educational crisis of our time: our youth are said that the heart can't be controlled, that the feeling of love justifies any choice, that there are no truths but only preferences, there are no faults but only wrongs, you have to stay good to do good, you must love yourself first in order to love others, that God is happy if you are happy, and so on. A true religion would not accord with the will of God, but accord God with our will, as if the psychological well-being, inner freedom, harmony with others, the satisfaction at work were points of departure and not of arrival, as if they were simple rights at no cost. Here's the point: you are given the idea of a religion without redemption, a faith without conversion, a Christianity without the cross, a life of grace without memory of the original sin, of a mystical agreement without any ascetic effort.
Indeed, compared to our culture period, Christian culture is truly wonderful: it is more satisfying and more realistic! In the yield of the conversion man understands that without faith he will do only what is possible, but only in faith he will make the impossible: Mary is announced that "nothing is impossible to God" (Lk 1:37), the paralytic is given health and safety, the supplication of the Centurion is heard, the five thousand are fed, Peter walks on the water, Zacchaeus returns four times as much, Lazarus is given back his life, the thief is promised Paradise. And the secret is always the same: repent and believe, commit yourself not to your ego but to God, put your trust in Jesus, be blinded to see the light, be poor in spirit to enter into the joy of Kingdom. De Caussade in his famous treatise on the abandonment to Divine Providence has strong words about this: "This is the secret of divine wisdom: to impoverish the senses by enriching the heart, the emptiness of one is the fullness of the other ... Darkness here takes the place of light, knowledge is ignorance and without seeing you see... Don't you see that you measure by the senses and the reason what can be measured only by faith? It takes faith to consider all that is divine. If we lived without any interruption of the life of faith, we would be in a constant dialogue with God, we would speak with him face to face. "
Yet even among believers, such as the recent Popes have repeatedly denounced, circulates the opinion that we should not convert, it is neither necessary nor appropriate: despite the clear mandate of Jesus himself, "it is often assumed that any attempt to convince others in religious matters is a limitation of their freedom. It would only be legitimate to expose their ideas and to invite people to act according to their consciences, without aiming at their conversion to Christ and to the Catholic faith. However, it is undisputed that "evangelization of Jesus leads quite naturally to the human experience of conversion," and that "the first announcement has as its purpose the conversion, which then remains constant in the Christian life" (EN 24,139). The Catechism says clearly that "the first work of grace is the conversion" (CCC 1989), so much so that Jesus, saying that he had come not to call the righteous but sinners, closely connected the proclamation of the Kingdom to the work of conversion (Mk 2:17); he also speaks of the joy of the Father for every sinner who repents (Mt 26:28), makes Confession his first gift as the Risen Christ (Jn 20:23), and, finally, entrusts to the Apostles the mission to call to conversion (Lk 24, 47).
The task of this month, at the beginning of Lent, which is a time of conversion, is to deal seriously with the demands of faith that require a change of mentality. Here are the main ones. Conversion:
1. is to recognize that Jesus is the Lord. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life; only in Him is revealed to us the face of God as a good and merciful Father and his desire to make us his children; that "in no other there is salvation, no other name given to men in which it is determined that we must be saved "(Acts 4:12);
2. is to renounce one's own will to surrender to the will of God, because "in your law is my delight" (Ps 118.77);
3. is self-despair and distrust of one's own resources, in order to work hard and trust without any reserve, fully aware that "it is better to take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in man" (Psalm 118.8);
4. is to be convinced that to save one's life is to lose it, that the given goods are kept while if you hold them you lose them, that in the end "your love is better than life" (Psalm 62.3);
5. is to become aware that it is useless to protect the body and lose your soul, that it is foolish to worry about your lives and forget about eternal life, that life is worth living with feet on the ground and head in the sky, because "our country is in heaven "(Phil 3:20);
6. is facing the trials knowing that what is sacred is related with sacrifice, that behind the darkness of the Cross is the light of the Resurrection, that it is better to suffer evil than to commit it and it is still better to suffer than to stop loving, that evil is won with good and hatred with forgiveness, because "there is no greater love than he who gives life" (Jn 15:13).

      FAMILY CHRONICLE


CARACAS-Dolorita (VENEZUELA) - ADMA Youth Participation in the beatification of Sister Maria Troncatti November 24 to Macas (Ecuador)

RODEO IN THE MIDDLE (ARGENTINA) - NEW LOCAL COUNCIL: Chairman: Lidia Rodriguez de Cechin; Vice: Micaela Guevara; Treasurer: Sardon de Rosa Cruz; Secretary: Gladys Sanchez de Basile; collaborators: Cristina Sarmiento de Tobar (pro-secretary) and Mary Crozier de Tejada (pro-treasurer). We are very happy and proud to continue this great work with a great team of people who are already involved in the Association and we are sure that the great devotion they feel to our Mother Mary Help of Christians will encourage them to continue the great work that our Don Bosco has entrusted to us. We also want to highlight the commitment of the current Vice-President who is only 18 years and was elected by the shareholders who put their trust in her.

SRI LANKA - CHRISTMAS RETREAT As a group we met on December 21, 2012 to have a day of prayer and sharing in the joy and happiness that Jesus has brought to our hearts. There was a conference on Unity, which was followed by a time for confessions. The Holy Mass was presided over by the inspector, Fr Nihal Liyanage, and concelebrated by Fr Sunil Perera and Fr Milinda. After this, there have been some games that helped to meet and know each other. Then we had a Christmas lunch, prepared by each group. Br Dickson, Vice Provincial and Fr Felix Mallawarachchi were present for the function. Today I received the newsletter ADMAonline and I translated it into Sinhala and distributed among the members of ADMA (Fr Sunil Perera, Spiritual Animator).

ADMA PRIMARIA - Medjugorje Pilgrimage
On the occasion of the Year of Faith ADMA Primaria of Turin Valdocco organized a pilgrimage to Medjugorje from 28 December 2012 to 2 January 2013. About thirty young people, accompanied by Don Enrico Lupano and with the presence of young families, wanted to entrust to Mary, Queen of Peace, their journey of faith. The pilgrimage was an opportunity to deepen the main points of the message that has been given for more than thirty years to the world from Medjugorje: Peace, Faith, Conversion, Confession, Fasting, Prayer. The very message of peace has taken on a very special colour at the light of the message of December 25, 2012 at which Jesus, who spoke for the first time in Medjugorje, said, "I am your peace." Medjugorje has been especially a chance of a spiritual journey, at the school of Jesus and Mary, grateful for the countless testimonies of converted people or communities flourished around the preventing presence of Mary, such as Nancy and Patrick, a married couple from Canada who left everything to build a welcoming place for priests and religious in difficulty or Sister Milena who, with courage and great faith, stressed the centrality of the prayer of the heart as a means to seek and find peace.

TURIN - ADMA PRIMARIA - FAMILY RETREAT ADMA
On Sunday, January 13, 2013, Feast of the Baptism of Jesus, there was the usual Christmas retreat of ADMA families and the renewal of the commitments to the ordinary time. It was attended by about 160 adults and over 100 children divided into different age groups. 11 families followed the catechesis of Don Roberto Carelli in streaming. The theme was "Faith and the sacraments," in line with the progress proposed on Admaonline. The chance to deepen the close relationship between the sacraments and our faith gave us a lot of joy, rediscovering how necessary it is 'to live' in concrete and entrust everything to Jesus through Mary in order for families to understand the fruitfulness more deeply. At the end of the Mass Fr Roberto gathered all the children around the altar to give them a special blessing. It was a simple but very beautiful moment: each of us as parents brought their children, and even those who were not physically present were remembered in the prayer. It seemed to hear directly the voice of Jesus: "Let the children come to me ..." (Marchisio Rosanna).

SPIRITUALITY DAYS OF THE SALESIAN FAMILY 2013
Come to the XXXI edition, this experience of learning, unity and charismatic sharing saw the participation of about 400 people from 28 nations. The theme, inspired by the Strenna of the Rector Major, has been dedicated to Don Bosco's pedagogy. In 2013 edition 23 groups were represented. For ADMA, there were about 30 members, with the President Mr Tullio Lucca. The texts of reports, videos, photographs, and audio resources are available on http://gfs.sdb.org/it/.
ADMA was also present with five young people from Turin, to which we want to leave the word to share their impressions and reflections.

Do young people know how to live? how to interpret life? Do they know how to savour its meaning? To help them to respond positively to these questions, we follow the words of the Rector Major and highlight the concept of vocational pedagogy. In education, at this point, it becomes necessary to transmit through us the beauty of life as a gift of God. We must be those "windows" which can filter the light of God. If we could do this, we would really leave so much to our kids and we could call ourselves educators (Alessandro Ferrucci).

This trip to Rome was really a gift, the theme was basically the one I had developed in my school final paper and that I feel so much part of me: the preventive system, being an honest citizen and a good Christian, the vocational aspect, the love for the person ... I have rediscovered the importance of prayer and the constant awareness of being loved forever. This experience comes at the right time in my life, when I have been assigned various tasks especially in my oratory and I am coming to understand what to do with my future (Agnese Ottonello).

You must have the joy of living because it is in Christ, because he gives all we have to us. I then started to wonder how to bring all this in my everyday life, at school or in college or at work. Multiple confirmations of a chance of life, the fruit of the Salesian educational system, were the testimonies given by the school in Bamberg, Germany, which has set its teaching and learning strategies for children and young people at risk of social exclusion on circus activities and issues, the band of Poiares known in Portugal and abroad for its quality performances, the recital staged by the post novices from Nave "Quick Silver." Now that we are back home, it's up to us to go back to real life using the 'tools' presented in these days: the Gospel of Joy, the Rector Mayor Strenna, Don Bosco with his charisma and his preventive system, the unity and wealth of the Salesian Family, the sense of belonging to a group, the importance of dedication to the young. I will try, with all my limitations and difficulties, to use them because I want to live as a good Christian and an honest citizen (Federico Delfino).

The days of Spirituality of the Salesian Family in Rome have been a source of great personal enrichment and created in me a desire to learn more about the figure of Don Bosco: a father, a teacher and a friend. In fact, he is and will always be an example, a guide and a life partner! "Be more Don Bosco" was one of the messages given to us by the Rector Major, Fr Pascual Chávez, who inspired in me the desire to commit to bring young people to the Lord. All this, by drawing strength and hope from Him and His Love (Federica Lucca).

I am very happy to have participated in these days so beautiful and intense. There were many talks about oratory and social commitment, fields in which I am directly involved. I was struck by the intervention of Don Bruno Ferrero on the educational force of Don Bosco, as still relevant for us: "the educator can't but want the happiness of the children." Happiness is to follow the example of the saints, to be bearers of light in turn to others (Giulio Aiassa).

CANADA - TORONTO
This year has been another wonderful year filled with many blessings for the Mary Help of Christians Association in Toronto. On January 22nd we renewed our commitment to the Mary, Help of Christians Association by reciting our solemn promise during the celebration of mass in honour of St. Francis de Sales. We celebrated afterwards with a reception and socializing. This was truly a wonderful time of great joy and unity as we shared in the blessings of the day. Fr. Joseph Occhio, SDB continues to be our spiritual director. He reviews all material that we study at our meetings, shares his spiritual maturity and insight with us and guides us in our faith formation. We are truly grateful to God for blessing us with such a wise and humble priest. His wisdom and spiritual insight are a guiding force in our faith formation. May God bless him with the strength and good health to carry on His work within our community. We still continue to meet each month to receive our spiritual feeding. This time of spiritual formation and sharing has become an integral part of our lives as we continue to strive to be Jesus' good and faithful servants here on earth, with the help of our loving and blessed Holy Mother. Our meetings still consist of the recitation of the rosary, a period of spiritual learning and formation with sharing afterwards. We take a short coffee break and share some social time together and then continue with our time of scripture reading and feedback. Fr. Occhio concludes our meetings with the Blessing of Mary, Help of Christians. This year our group requested another retreat be added to our schedule to increase our annual retreats to three times a year. As our group does not meet during the summer, so that we can all take a break from our many duties, we decided to add a June retreat to help carry us through our break time. It is both encouraging and rewarding to see how the spirit of our group is growing under the protective guidance of our blessed Mother. May we continue to grow in love for God and one another and may Our Blessed Mother protect and guide us as we carry on our journey here on earth. We remain united in Christ,(Margaret Pupulin -Coordinator, ADMA Toronto)


                 
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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
                                                                www.admadonbosco.org



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