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

Mary invites us to be strong and resolute in our faith

We are still living the Year of Faith under the gentle look of Mary our Help and in communion with the whole Church led by Pope Francis.
We need to persevere in faith and not allow ourselves to be changed or crushed by discouragement or the opinion of others. Our victory depends on abandonment to God our Father, who loves us also in time of trial, even when we are at our worst or when we fall under the weight of the cross. Belief is not an illusion or a presumption, but an opening of the heart to God. Belief means trusting that there is a God, that he is present even in time of tribulation, that he has been victorious, is victorious and always will be. Faith in Jesus makes us strong in trial and tribulation, because we live in union with Jesus and the Father. "Let nothing disturb you", Don Bosco used to say. The antidote to despair and criticism is praise of God and the memory of the Father's love for us.
We need to follow Jesus in the way he has shown us without wanting to interfere in the lives of others through criticism, gossip or morbid curiosity. Real discernment means seeing others in the Heart of Jesus. There we get to know the truth about people and situations. We must remain in the Heart of Jesus. We must not turn away or distance ourselves from him. We must not interfere in the lives of others, nor be jealous or even curious in their regard. Instead, we should remember God's love and praise him for whatever good there is in us and in others. We have not received the Spirit of slaves but of sons and daughters, who cry out Abbà! God is my Father. He loves me. He knows me better than I know myself. He shields me with the shadow of his wings. He holds me in the palm of his hands. He guards me as the apple of his eye. Today we have distanced ourselves for God's fatherhood. We are like the sons in the parable of the Merciful Father; both of them were very far from the heart of the Father. The Holy Spirit is the living memory which reminds us, especially in times of trial and suffering, that we are children of God, loved by God.
Mary challenges us to be strong and resolute in the faith and to combat the incredulity of our generation in our families and communities. With humble and trusting faith we ourselves, and the people dear to us, will be saved. Faith saves us. Through faith we experience the power of Christ's paschal mystery, setting us free from the slavery of sin and from the destructive power of the evil one. Our faith as parents, educators and consecrated persons can save the young people of our time. We need to stand firm in the Lord. We must not waver, abandon or deviate, we must not be lost. Mary teaches us to have a right heart, to persevere, to live in docility to the Holy Spirit and in obedience to the faith, to remain united to Jesus and not allow ourselves to be separated from him. Mary is the Seat of Wisdom. She teaches us to love the things of God and, like her, to ponder God's word in our hearts, to build our lives on the firm rock of the Word of God. The wise person builds on rock, and chooses the better part. The foolish person worries and is aimless in life. The wise person is the one who remains in the truth.

                    Mr. Lucca Tullio, President - Don Pierluigi Cameroni, SDB, Spiritual Animator


Way for formation 2012-2013: The grace of faith

10. Faith and vision (Fr Roberto Carelli)

Faith that journeys in hope and works in charity is the real miracle that unites earth and heaven. Believing means looking at the visible in the light of the invisible, seeing history in the light of eternity, looking at the things of this world from the point of view of God, naming the things of earth by the Word of God, seeing the vitality and fruitfulness of God who works through the mortal weakness of his creatures. The believer experiences all of this now, because the life of grace is not just directed to glory but is already the beginning of glory. Grace and glory are related as the now and the not yet, as the deposit and the promise, the beginning and the fullness, the dawn and the fullness of day, as the time of journey and strife and the time of rest and victory. The words of the Apostle John express this very well: "See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God's children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is." (1 Jn 3:1-2)
The ultimate truth that we need to meditate on this year, which is dedicated to the miracle of faith, is that life on earth is made for eternal life. Here we see the paradoxical and subversive character of faith, that overturning of mentality that takes place in one who believes and for whom faith is first of all a work of conversion.
People who believe have their roots and their centre of gravity in heaven, not on earth. "If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth." (Col 3: 1-2). On the other hand, believers have their feet on earth precisely because their hearts are in heaven, and they are citizens of this world precisely because they have a home in heaven. "But our commonwealth is in heaven, and from it we await a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power which enables him even to subject all things to himself." (Philipp. 3,20).
Faith in eternal life does not distract from commitment in this life but develops a healthy detachment from things of the world, and great courage in all kinds of difficulty. Believers are convinced that "whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it" (Mk8,35), because they have the certainty, guaranteed by Christ's Paschal Mystery: " ...that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." (2Cor 5,1). Looking to heaven does not make us cease to belong to earth, but makes the believer very sure in all his decisions:
"For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? For what can a man give in return for his life?" (Mk 8,36-37). It is paradoxical but that is how it is: without eternal life, we also lose our earthly life, because we will not be able to overcome death nor will we have motives strong enough to face the obstacles in life.
But on the other hand, whoever believes will have eternal life and, together with it, a hundred-fold of the good things of this life. (cf. Mk 10,30).
Finally, faith in eternal life frees us from fear and fills out hearts with joy: this is why the Lord says: "I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear him!" (Lk 12,4-5). He tells his disciples not to rejoice for earthly success, "but rejoice that your names are written in heaven." (Lk 10,20). The joy that faith brings is so great that persecution for the faith becomes a reason for joy: "Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you (Mt 5,11-12). The intimately eschatological character of faith, which makes us live rooted on earth but directed towards heaven, needs to be explained in at least three ways:
1. First of all, we need to understand clearly that "eternal life" does not mean simply an indefinite period of time, or a life that does not end, or a life no longer subject to death. Indeed, the notion of life without end applies to hell just as much as to paradise! Eternal life is essentially the quality of the life of God. It is our sharing in the trinitarian communion of love. The human meaning of life cannot be reduced to mere existence or survival. To live is to love, and to mature in love is to journey towards paradise. Here we see the profound meaning of the famous words of St Ireneus: "The glory of God is the human person fully alive, and the life of man consists in the vision of God."

2. Faith is not just knowing that eternal life does exist and that it is our destiny, but it an act, a disposition of the heart, and a virtue which enables us to enter truly into eternal life. On this point, the words of Jesus are unequivocal and must not be undervalued: "he who believes has eternal life." (Jn 6,47), and again, "though he die, yet shall he live. (Jn 11,25) Here we see well how faith is the basis of hope and the motivating force of charity. The promise of eternal life, which is already a reality in faith, sustains us on our journey, strengthens us in time of trial, and gives us courage in bearing testimony. It ensures that our life has meaning and that whatever is sown in love, even in the midst of tears, is far from useless and is not destined to fall into nothingness. Here we see the truth of the words of Jesus when he says that every act of love has theological significance and is of absolute value that can never be wiped out. "As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me." (Mt 25,40).

3. Regarding eternal life, the most beautiful truth is that eternal life is Jesus himself. It is also the hardest truth to make our own, because it goes far beyond both the idea of an interminable period of time, and that of a final reward. Let us try to understand:
Jesus is the Son, eternally begotten by the Father, to whom the Father has given everything, the whole of the Father himself and the whole world. "As the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself," (Jn 5,26) and "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me." (Mt 28,18). Therefore, eternal life is not something but someone - Jesus himself. He in us and we in him. We have eternal life insofar as we are in communion with him. And we lose that life when, and insofar as, we distance ourselves from him. Here too, the words of Jesus cannot be reduced to a simple metaphor: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me." (Jn 14,6). Jesus is so identified with eternal life that when he asked Martha, the sister of Lazarus, if she believed in the resurrection, and she answered yes, that we would rise again on the last day - showing that she had not understood well how radical the gift of Jesus was - he clarified with great precision that eternal life is made present in his person: "I am the resurrection and the life" (Jn 11,25).

If faith unites earth and heaven through love, and by aiming for eternal life, we understand the reasons for Don Bosco's insistence on morality and joy as two great spiritual and pedagogical values. Morality was understood especially as purity, since only the pure of heart can see God. Joy was the reminder of paradise, because to lose paradise is to lose everything. It is interesting that right from the preface to the Companion of Youth, the prayer book for young people compiled by Don Bosco, the young are invited to live with their feet on earth and their hearts in heaven - "good citizens on earth who will become happy dwellers in heaven". Equally clear are his warnings against the two principal deceptions used by the devil to lead young people away from God; "The first is to make them think that serving God means leading a sad life far from any enjoyment and happiness", and the second is to suggest to them the false "hope of a long life with an opportunity for conversion in old age or at the point of death." The first deception corrupts morality because it focuses the hearts of the young on earthly things. The second destroys hope because it distracts young people from heavenly joys.

Nowadays, people speak very little about eternal life or the joys of heaven and the horrors of hell, and this does great harm to the hearts of believers. Don Bosco, however, used to speak about heaven and hell without any fear or hesitation, and without watering down the truth. He brought home to young people the seriousness of this earthly life, and the terrible possibility that exists of losing God and losing oneself, and the exciting challenge of gaining God and all other things with God. One example will suffice: "There are two places prepared for us in the next life. One is hell, for the wicked, where they will undergo every evil. The other is paradise for the good, where they will enjoy all good things. Nothing causes so much torment to the damned in hell as the thought that they wasted the time God gave them to be saved. On the other hand, nothing consoles the blessed in heaven more than the thought that the little time they gave to God has procured for them an eternal good." Here, expectation and vigilance, contemplation and active commitment, are one and the same thing.

FAMILY CHRONICLE


AFRICA: "Thanks and congratulations for all that ADMA is doing month by month in the Salesian world. In the Africa-Madagascar Region we are trying gradually to discover the benefit of all this charismatic richness, with the spiritual renewal it brings, especially in young families. In the four countries of AFW alone, there are more than 119 million young people under the age of 25. We move at different speeds in this vast and varied continent. Some are already on the expressway (like ADMA, for example, in Benin) and some are still in the heart of the forest, clearing a first path through dense vegetation." (Fr Silvio Roggia, SDB).

MODICA - 8TH SICILIAN PILGRIMAGE
"The 8th ADMA Regional Pilgrimage in Sicily took place on 21 April 2013. The pilgrimage was to Modica, a small town in Ragusa, known for its Baroque buildings, numerous churches and its local chocolate. The Regional President, Sig.ra Luigina Ciaramella, welcome the more than 350 participants and named the centres that were represented: Calatabiano, Canicattì, Capaci, Catania Santa Maria Ausiliatrice, Catania San Francesco, Floridia, Gela, Messina SS. Pietro e Paolo, Modica, Palagonia, Palermo Ranchibile, Pozzallo, San Cataldo, Santa Maria La Strada di Giarre and Taormina.

Also present were the regional Spiritual Animators, Fr Edward Cutuli and Sister Carmelina Cappello. Bishop Antonio Staglianò of Noto honoured us with his presence and spoke some words of welcome. The formative input was given by the Provincial of Sicily, Fr Gianni Mazzali, who spoke about "Mary, a Woman of Faith". He urged all to ask Mary to teach us to become men and women of faith. In the afternoon we went to the Shrine of Holy Mary of Bethlehem, where we recited the rosary, meditating on the writings of the Servant of God Nino Baglieri. Fr Gianni Mazzali presided at the Eucharistic Celebration." (Venera Petitto, regional secretary ADMA Sicilia).

RODEO DEL MEDIO (ARGENTINA) - "We began the month of Mary on 24 April with the blessing of the Capillitas, small chaplets with the image of Mary Help of Christians that are brought from house to house. They are about 80 in number and they reach about 2,000 families. The people who bring them are called manzaneras. They are women who belong to ADMA or the Legion of Mary, or they are past pupils or others who are available for this mission. The custom goes back 50 years. It was started by Luis Vazquez, official photographer of the temple and a great devotee of Mary. I was eight years old at the time, but I remember the image of Mary that came to our home, and the neighbours who came to pray the rosary with my mother." (Gladys Sanchez).

PORTO ALEGRE (BRASILE) - ON 5 MAY, 115 members of ADMA from the Province of Porto Alegre met in the city of Massaranduba for their annual reunion. They came from the towns of Aberystwyth, Itajaí (Don Bosco Salesian College and parish), Joinville and Curitiba. After the Mass, at which the Provincial Fr Orestes Carlinhos Fistarol presided, there was a formative input by means of a conference given by the provincial Animator of ADMA, Fr. Tarcizio Paul Odelli. His topic was: "Maria, the greatest teacher of all time". In the afternoon there was time for sharing followed by Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and the recitation of the rosary in the Church dedicated to Mary Help of Christians.

NAVE (BRESCIA) - FAMILIES MEET
On 12 May a group of young families from Lombardy met at the Salesian House of Nave (BS). Fr Pierluigi Cameroni took care of the spiritual part of the meeting. His topic "New Evangelization depends on the domestic Church" was inspired by a talk given in 2011 by Pope Benedict XVI to the Pontifical Council for the family. It touched on concrete steps that can be taken by couples and families in their faith journey. In his reflection, he stressed the importance for couples to do the will of God and to be committed in handing on the faith in the family and by means of the family.

LONDON - FEAST AND PROCESSION OF MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS
More than 260 people took part in the celebration of the Feast of Mary Help of Christians on 19 May. There were eighteen priests, four of them Salesians. Two new members were received, Ayinotu Vivien and D'Souza Barry (Mother Eugenia Pantallaresco).

SHESHAN (CHINA)
A beautiful piece of news for the whole Association: a young man from ADMA in Turin visited the Marian Shrine at Sheshan, where Mary Help of Christians, Patron of China, is venerated. "I managed to go to Sheshan and I took part in the 10.00 Mass at the Shrine. It was followed by a procession with the statue of Our Lady of Sheshan, and the recitation of the Rosary, in the evocative setting of a bamboo forest. The procession ended in front of three statues representing Jesus, Mary and Joseph. There were a few hundred people coming mainly from the rural areas, with just a few from the cities, and a small number of Europeans. It was indeed an extraordinary experience... people from every part of the world united under the same name."
(Federico).

ROME - WORLD ADVISORY BODY OF THE SALESIAN FAMILY 2013
Representatives of the various groups of the Salesian Family came together at the Generalate in Rome from24 to 26 May for the annual meeting of the World Advisory Body of the Salesian Family. The principal topics of the meeting were: a first presentation of the 2014 Strenna dedicated to the spirituality of Don Bosco; the celebration of the Bicentenary; the 2014 Spirituality Days; exchange of news from the different groups. The President sig. Tullio Lucca was there on behalf of ADMA. The participants were 35 in all, from 20 groups of the Salesian Family. At the request of the Rector Major, the most important aspects of the life and work of the Salesian Family for the six-year period 2008-2014 were highlighted. Among those mentioned were the following: the strong commitment of the Rector Major and his Vicar in animating the Salesian Family; the growth in the number of groups; the theme of the Strenna as a unifying force in the Salesian Family; the high standard of inputs on the Spirituality Days; the Identity Charter of the Salesian Family. Some challenges were also highlighted: a greater awareness and understanding at provincial and local level of the Charter of the Charismatic Identity of the Salesian Family of Don Bosco, and the animation of the Salesian Family as a charismatic duty.

LVIV (UKRAINE) - FEAST OF MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS
"The idea of keeping the Solemn Feast of Mary Help of Christians came from a meeting of the newly formed group of ADMA. The visit of the urn with Don Bosco's relics to Lviv at the beginning of April last was not only a moment of growth in faith, but also a good opportunity to promote devotion to Don Bosco and to Don Bosco's Madonna, the Help of Christians. On the evening of 24 May, in the Salesian parish of Lviv, a solemn liturgy took place followed by the Marian prayer "Moleben" and a procession with a picture of Mary Help of Christians. After the procession the Salesian pre-novices sang "O Maria, Vergine potente", a hymn dear to the heart of Don Bosco. At the conclusion of the celebration, all present received the solemn Blessing of Mary Help of Christians and an anointing with blessed myrrh. Taking part in the function were not only the Salesians and Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, and members of ADMA, but also a large number of students and many families. This is an important step forward in promoting devotion to Mary Help of Christians, which we hope will bear much fruit in the future." (Sr. Brigida Zurawska, FMA, Spiritual Animator).

SPAIN - 8TH NATIONAL CONGRESS OF MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS
The Eighth National Congress of Mary Help of Christians in Spain took place at Saragossa from 31 May to 2 June. It was entitled, "Mary, Teacher of Faith - with her we evangelize by educating." About 500 members of the Salesian Family took part. The Congress dealt with Mary's presence and contribution in education to the faith, helping us to carry out, with fidelity and creativity, the task of evangelizing the world today, 50 years from the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council. The topic was dealt with from different points of view in talks and workshops. Sister María Dolores Ruiz, FMA, developed the biblical aspect. Fr Antonio Maria Calero, SDB, looked at it from a theological point of view. Sister Maria Luisa Miranda, FMA Councillor for the Salesian Family, dealt with the pastoral implications, while Fr Pierluigi Cameroni, Postulator General for the Causes of Saints of the Salesian Family, approached the topic from a Salesian angle. The opening ceremony on Friday 31 May was presided over by Archbishop Manuel Ureña Pastor of Saragossa, in the presence of the president of ADMA Mr Tullio Lucca and his wife Simonetta from Turin, and of Fr Cameroni who is world Spiritual Animator of Adma. The Congress ended on Sunday 2 June, the Feast of Corpus Christi, with Mass in the Basilica of Our Lady of Pilar.

PHILIPPINES: New National Council of ADMA for the four years 2013-2017.

NEW GROUPS OF ADMA
GRANADA - COLEGIO SALESIANO SAN JUAN BOSCO - NICARAGUA
TEGUCIGALPA - INSTITUTO SALESIANO SAN MIGUEL - HONDURAS
QUETZALTENANGO - LICEO GUATEMALA - GUATEMALA
MÉXICO - COLEGIO CIVILIZACIÓN - MÉXICO
COACALCO - VILLA SPEMA - MÉXICO


                 
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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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