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ADMA : ASSOCIATION
OF MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS
| Monthly Message: September
us to conversion
We begin this new year for
the association in communion with the whole Salesian Family in
the third year of preparation for the bicentenary of the birth
of our father and founder Don Bosco, and with the knowledge that
Mary is present in our midst. She guides us in our journey of
conversion to holiness. This is her task and her mission. She
sows seeds in our hearts every day and calls us to conversion,
so that prayer, peace and love may grow in our hearts. Our Lady
wants us to be like the gospel seed of grain which dies under
the ground and produces a hundredfold. She admonishes us not
to miss this moment of grace, because one day we may be sorry
that we did not do what we should have done which was to be converted.
All this encourages us to take up again with renewed enthusiasm
our commitment as members of ADMA, purifying our motives ever
more so that we can be a sign of conversion to others.
We invite all the groups to take the 2013-2014 Guidelines into
consideration and the Directives given for promoting ADMAYouth
in the light of their experience (cf www.admadonbosco.org). In
the same line, we invite them to continue the effort already
begun by the various groups for the renewal of the Association
with particular care and accompaniment given to couples and families,
both as a response to the great spiritual and cultural challenge
that exists and as an expression of the popular dimension of
the Salesian charism. Wherever this decision has been taken we
see signs of the Association being renewed and the Salesians
On the occasion of the Marian Day planned for12 and 13 October
as part of the Year of Faith, we will be present in St Peter's
Square in Rome with about 250 members from different groups of
ADMA from Italy, to renew with Pope Francis the consecration
of the world to Mary in the presence of Our Lady of Fatima.
Also, on 19 October the Salesian Family will have the joy of
seeing the Salesian Brother Stefan Sándor (1914-1953)
beatified in Budapest (Hungary). He was a martyr, killed out
of hatred for the faith, and for the salvation of the young people
This issue of ADMAonline will be published also in Polish, bringing
to seven the number of languages in which our booklet of information
and formation appears:
Italian, English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German and Polish.
Finally we invite every ADMA group to offer prayers and special
Eucharistic celebrations for the forthcoming General Chapter
of the Salesians which will be held in Rome during the months
of February and March 2014.
Lucca Tullio, President - Don Pierluigi Cameroni, SDB, Spiritual
PROGRAMME 2013-2014: "Da mihi animas, cetera tolle"
1. Spiritual experience of
In this first article we offer
some of the reflections given by the Rector Major on his presentation
of the Strenna for 2014.
The first year of preparation for the Bicentenary of the birth
of Don Bosco was spent getting to know the historical figure
of Don Bosco. The second year was devoted to studying Don Bosco
the educator and to practising his method of education. In this
third and final year of preparation we intend to go to the source
of his charism, by drawing on his spirituality.
The heart of Christian spirituality is charity, or the very life
of God himself, which is Agape, charity, love. Like all holy
founders, Don Bosco lived the Christian life with an ardent charity.
He contemplated the Lord Jesus from a particular perspective,
that of the charism given to him by God, namely his mission to
the young. Salesian Charity is pastoral charity, because it seeks
the salvation of souls. It is also educative charity because
it finds in education the resource which enables it to help the
young to develop all their forces of good. In this way, young
people can grow as honest citizens, good Christians, and future
citizens of heaven.
I invite you, then, dear brothers and sisters, all members of
the Salesian Family, to draw upon the sources of the spirituality
of Don Bosco, on his pastoral educative charity. It has its model
in Christ the Good Shepherd and finds its prayer and its programme
of life in the motto of Don Bosco "Da mihi animas, cetera
tolle". In this way we will be able to discover a "mystic
Don Bosco " whose spiritual experience is at the basis of
our way of living Salesian spirituality today, in the diversity
of vocations that draw inspiration from it.
1. Spiritual Experience of
Spirituality is a characteristic way of experiencing Christian
holiness and being drawn to it. It is a particular way of ordering
one's life to the acquisition of Christian virtue and participation
in a special charism. In other words, it is lived Christianity,
in union with God, which presupposes faith.
Salesian spirituality consists of various elements: it is a style
of life, prayer, work, and personal relationships. It is a form
of life in community. It is an educative pastoral mission based
on a pedagogical patrimony. It is a way of formation. It is a
collection of values and characteristic attitudes. It pays particular
attention to the Church and to society through specific areas
of commitment. It is a historical heritage of documents and writings.
It has a characteristic language and a typical series of structures
and works. It has its own calendar with proper feasts and celebrations.
The starting point of Don Bosco's spiritual experience is "the
Glory of God and the salvation of souls." In his programme
of life he expressed it as "da mihi animas, cetera tolle".
The deep root of this experience is union with God, as an expression
of the theological life that grows with faith, hope and charity,
and the spirit of genuine devotion. This experience is translated
into visible action. Faith without good works is dead, and without
faith all works are empty.
It has holiness as it point of arrival, a holiness which is possible
for all. It depends on our cooperation with grace and this grace
is given to all.
2. The Centre and Synthesis
of Salesian Spirituality: Pastoral Charity.
Charity is the centre of all Christian spirituality. Not only
is it the first commandment, but it is also the source of all
our power to progress. When charity is enkindled in us, it is
a mystery and a grace. It does not come from any human initiative
but is a participation in the divine life and the result of the
presence of the Spirit. We would not be able to love God if he
had not first loved us, making us feel his love and giving us
the desire, intelligence and will to respond to his love. We
would not even be able to love our neighbour and see the image
of God in him or her, if we did not have a personal experience
of the love of God.
Pastoral Charity is an expression of charity that has many manifestations:
motherly love, conjugal love, compassion, mercy, and forgiveness.
Think of the figure of Jesus the Good Shepherd. Remember not
only his way of acting: kindness, searching for the one who is
lost, dialogue, and forgiveness. Remember also and especially
the substance of his ministry which was to reveal God to every
man and woman. This is clearly different from other forms of
charity which pay preferential attention to particular needs:
health, food and work. The essential elements of pastoral charity
are the proclamation of the Gospel, education to the faith, formation
of the Christian community, and making the gospel leaven in the
Salesian Pastoral Charity is the centre and synthesis of our
spirituality which starts from the spiritual experience of Don
Bosco and his concern for souls. It is expressed in the motto
"da mihi animas, cetera tolle".
3.Salesian Spirituality for
If it is true that Christian spirituality has elements that are
common and valid for all vocations, it is also true that it is
lived in different ways, specific to each state of life - priestly
ministry, consecrated life, lay Christian life, family life,
young people, elderly people
all have their own typical
way of living their spiritual experience. The same is true for
The groups of the Salesian Family involve many lay people in
their ministry. We know that there cannot be full involvement
unless there is also a sharing of the same spirit. We have a
fundamental obligation to share our Salesian spirituality with
the lay people who share responsibility with us in our educative
pastoral ministry. The SDB Salesians, like the other groups of
the Salesian Family, have sought explicitly, in the 24th General
Chapter , to formulate a lay Salesian spirituality. The lay groups
of the Salesian Family are certainly a source of inspiration
for this spirituality.
Since we have become more aware that there can be no youth ministry
without family ministry, we have been studying how best we can
formulate and propose a Salesian spirituality for the family.
There are examples of families who draw inspiration from Don
Bosco. This work is still in its early stages, but it is the
way we should go to develop our mission not only to the young
but also to the ordinary people.
4. Tasks of the Salesian Family
4.1 We pledge ourselves to
study the spiritual experience of Don Bosco and his spiritual
profile in order to discover the "mystical Don Bosco"
and so be able to imitate him living a spiritual experience with
4.2. We live the centre and
synthesis of Salesian Spirituality, which is pastoral charity.
For Don Bosco, this meant seeking "the glory of God and
the salvation of souls, and it became for him a prayer and a
programme of life in his "da mihi animas, cetera tolle".
It is a charity that needs to be nourished in prayer and based
on it, looking at Christ the Good Shepherd, meditating on the
Sacred Scripture, living the Eucharist, making time for personal
prayer, taking on the mentality of service to the young. It is
a charity that is rendered visible in concrete gestures of closeness,
affection, work and dedication. We adopt the preventive system
as a spiritual experience and not only as a method of education
and evangelization. It finds its source in the love of God who,
in his Providence, takes care of all his creatures, accompanying
them with this presence. He saves them by giving his life for
It makes us willing to welcome God in young people and it calls
us to serve him in them, recognizing their dignity, renewing
our faith in their capacity for good, and educating them to the
fullness of life.
4.3. We share the call to Salesian
spirituality in different ways according to our different vocations,
especially with young people, with lay people involved in the
mission of Don Bosco, and with families. Salesian spirituality
needs to be lived according to the vocation that each one receives
from God. We recognize the spiritual traits common to all the
groups of the Salesian Family, indicated in the "Identity
Care", we make known the examples of Salesian holiness,
we invoke the intercession of our Blessed, our Venerable and
our Servants of God, and we pray for the grace of their canonization.
To the young people we accompany, we offer Salesian youth spirituality.
We propose Salesian spirituality to lay people who are committed
to sharing in Don Bosco's mission. In our concern for family
ministry, we show families a spirituality that is suited to their
condition. Finally, we extend the invitation to share our spiritual
experience with young people, lay people and families in our
educative-pastoral communities, and with members of groups and
associations of other religions, as well as people who are indifferent
in relation to God. They too can enjoy a spiritual experience
as a time for inner reflection, silence, dialogue with their
conscience and openness to the transcendent.
4.4. We should read some texts
of Don Bosco which we consider sources of Salesian spirituality.
First of all, I invite you to read again and put into practice
the dream of the ten diamonds. It offers a picture of the spiritual
profile of all who are inspired by Don Bosco.
MONTREAL (CANADA) - During our monthly meeting on 29 May, our
group celebrated the renewal of the promise of four of our members,
while another three aspirants declared publicly their intention
of joining. All who were present received badges or medals from
Sister Alphonsine Roy, FMA. Our ADMA group was formed only recently
and we still have only fourteen members. However, it is growing,
slowly but surely, guided in our faith journey by our beloved
and esteemed Fr Dominic Britschu, SDB. Every meeting begins with
coffee and cakes, by now a ritual. The conversation around the
table is bilingual and always lively. It gives everybody a chance
to discuss new plans and those already under way in our little
group. Our Rosary is often recited in Italian, French and Creole.
GENOA - START OF A GROUP OF
A group of ADMA Families is getting under way in Genoa. On Sunday
30 June, Fr Roberto Carelli led a day for families, with 27 adults
and a big number of children taking part. After Mass in the Church
of the Blessed Sacrament Sisters, Fr Roberto introduced the most
recent catechetical programme for this Year of Faith, dealing
with the last things: seeing God and paradise. After dinner,
many approached the sacrament of confession.
GELA - 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF
THE CANONICAL ERECTION AND MEMBERSHIP OF ADMA. In the St Dominic
Savio Parish in Gela, 4 July 2013 was a day of grace, not only
for ADMA, but for the whole Salesian Family and Parish Community.
The 50th anniversary of the erection of the ADMA group was celebrated.
The banner was placed near the Cross and proceedings began with
the recital of the Rosary, followed by Vespers and a sermon.
Before Mass, the president, Luigina Ciaramella, gave some details
of the history of the Association and introduced the letter of
the former Rector Major, Fr Egidio Viganò, regarding the
official recognition of ADMA as a member of the Salesian Family.
The Mass was celebrated by Fr Calogero Di Gregorio, Spiritual
Director of ADMA, with the Rector of the Salesian Community,
Fr Giuseppe Troina, and the Parish Priest, Fr Giuseppe Di Leonforte,
concelebrating. It was beautiful to see past pupils, cooperators,
and family groups taking part in this special event. The ADMA
choir, under the direction of Maria Luisa Cascino and Anna Cafà,
led the liturgical singing. The celebration concluded with the
prayer of consecration to Mary Help of Christians by the entire
assembly. The day ended with a party with the Salesians, the
members of ADMA and invited guests.
(Luigina Ciaramella, President ADMA Gela).
AFO: 3RD ADMA CONGRESS - From
11 to 13 July, the Salesian House at Bobo-Dioulasso (Burkina
Faso) hosted the members of ADMA of French-speaking West Africa
for their Third Provincial Congress. The various delegations
from Bénin, Guinea, Cote d'Ivoire, Senegal, Togo and Burkina
Faso met at the Don Bosco Centre, a total of 254 members. The
welcoming ceremony, with music and dance, was led by Antoine
Bakendé. Then there was the opening prayer, and a talk
given by Fr Jean Aurélien Lemondo, Provincial Animator.
The theme of the Congress was "Mary model of faith".
The Provincial, Fr Faustino Garcia, presided at the opening Mass.
He invited the Association to involve families and young people.
The Congress days were filled with conferences, group work, reports
from the various delegations, prayer and festivity. The Provincial
Council of ADMA was renewed with the appointment of Antoine Sassou
from Lomé-Togo as president. Johayna Françoise
H. Bassène of ADMA (Dakar-Sénégal) spoke
about Mary who found favour in God's eyes and remained faithful
to her mission, despite constant difficulties and misapprehension.
She continues to sustain the faith of Christians who, like Don
Bosco, invoke her intercession as Help of Christians. Fr Antonio
Fernandez César, SDB (Korhogo-RCI), said that to Don Bosco's
way of thinking, ADMA calls on its members to be missionaries
of the young, and encourages them to strive for holiness. Archbishop
Paul Y. Ouédraogo of Bobo-Dioulasso, presided at the closing
Eucharist. He expressed his joy at the gift he received of a
statue of Mary Help of Christians.
HONDURAS - The first meeting
of the two ADMA groups of Tegucigalpa, one from the Don Bosco
Centre and the other from the Parish of Mary Help of Christians,
took place on 10 August at the San Miguel Institute under the
guidance of Fr. Miguel Zamora. The meeting was planned by the
coordinators of the two groups, Francisco Mendez and Carmen de
Cordova. It was held in memory of Nelly Maradiaga, a member whom
the Lord called to himself last February. During the meeting,
the members of the two groups shared their plans and activities,
and set up some new structures to ensure that the groups get
to know each other better. They also studied the theme of the
Personal Life Plan.
VENEZUELA: 24TH ASSEMBLY AND
25TH NATIONAL MEETING
The 24th Assembly and the 25th National Meeting of ADMA in Venezuela
took place from 16 to 18 August at the Casa di Nazaret Ventre,
Via el Jarillo, (Miranda). About 100 members took part. The meeting
was convened by Fr Luis Azzalini, National Animator, and coordinated
by the National Committee: Mrs Ingrid González, President;
Mrs. Lucy Matamoros, Secretary; Antonio Valdéz, Treasurer;
Mrs Elizabeth de Támara, Councillor for Vocations Ministry;
Mrs Flor de Rivas, Councillor for Liturgical Ministry and Mrs
Cristina de Díaz, Councillor for Social Ministry. Each
group gave its annual report, sharing the results achieved and
the difficulties encountered. There was also the annual report
of the National Council. Fr José María Estébanez,
Delegate for the Salesian Family, presented the Charismatic Identity
Card of the Salesian Family. There was support for the request
for reference to be made to ADMA in the Constitutions of the
Salesians at the next General Chapter, and for the 200x200 campaign
promoted by the Rector Major Fr Pascual Chavez, to seek 200 young
members from every province for the forthcoming Bicentenary of
the birth of Don Bosco in 2015. A second talk given by the theologian
Guillermo Domínguez, dealt with the Encyclical Lumen Fidei.
Finally, Mrs Cristina Ramírez, Councillor for Social Ministry,
spoke on the Social Doctrine of the Church, Conscience and Formation
of Lay People, and Our Role in Society. This was the theme of
the National Council of the Assembly of the Laity. A particularly
moving moment was the presentation to her husband of a plaque
to the memory of Mrs Mélida de Gallardo who had been a
member of ADMA for more than 40 years. She was National Secretary
of ADMA for 6 years, and returned to her Father's home at the
start of the year, leaving the memory of an unforgettable friend
and a faithful member of the Association. The people in charge
of Social Communication at national level were chosen: Roberth
della Dolorita, from Petare and Mrs Chiquinquira Rodríguez
of Sarría. The meeting ended on Sunday 8 August with Mass
celebrated by Fr Azzalini, thanking God for the success of the
meeting, aware that despite our difficulties we go forward led
by the hand of Mary Help of Christians.
ADMA - FAMILY RETREATS: "The
spiritual combat". This was the theme for the two ADMA retreats
for couples and families that took place between 5 and 17 August
2013. More than 80 families took part in the beautiful Alpine
surroundings of Pracharbon (Valle d'Aosta). The retreats, led
by Fr Pierluigi Cameroni, covered the following topics: 1. Jacob,
the man who fought with God, and the experience of the desert
fathers. 2. Jeremiah the prophet in conflict with God and the
teaching of St Francis de Sales on the virtues. 3. Jesus the
model of the struggle and the ascetics of love in the little
way of St Teresa of the Child Jesus. 4. The disciple and the
narrow gate, and the witness of Blessed Laura Vicuna. This theme
of the spiritual combat, presented in the light of the lives
and testimony of the Saints, touched the participants and led
them to a journey of reconciliation, through purification of
the heart and freedom from forms of dependence, of falsehood
and resentment, and a commitment to a renewed choice for God.
At the end of each week the retreatants renewed their baptismal
promises and, in the presence of the Eucharist consecrated their
families to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the hearts of Mary
and Joseph, and to the Archangel Michael. During these days Mary
renewed the sense of belonging and the commitment of many families
to ADMA through the review and animation of the local groups
of families (Genoa, Val Chisone, Chieri, Valle d'Aosta...) with
the monthly meeting (prayer of the Rosary, formation, and sharing).
Many husbands and fathers asked how they could recognize the
presence of Mary in their lives, in what does true devotion to
Mary consist and how would they know if they were true members
of ADMA. These two weeks were a time of special grace also for
the members of ADMAYouth. Many young people, led by two couples,
Sergio and Cecilia Durighello and David and Chiara Ricauda, took
part in leading the younger people and children with the result
that together they grew in their sense of belonging to ADMA.
Following formative programmes together and the experience shared
between families and young couples helped them to experience
the beauty of communion and the mutual support between different
vocations in the Church. Fr Roberto Carelli, Mr Tullio Lucca,
president of ADMA and some couples, together with Sister Marilena
Balcet FMA, coordinated and accompanied the exercise. Almost
400 people experienced the beauty of faith and the joy of growing
together under the motherly protection of the Help of Christians.
On 16 July, memorial of Our
Lady of Mount Carmel, Fr Pierluigi Cameroni introduced ADMA to
the General Council of the FMA and to the 16 new Provincials
BENY TAPIA ARROYO: we remember
with affection and gratitude this member who was president of
ADMA in Salamanca (Spain) for 18 years, whom the Lord called
to himself on 14 June 2013. She was a true daughter and grand
devotee of Mary Help of Christians, a woman of kindness and communion,
committed to the apostolate, to cultural and social activities
and dedicated to the missions and to vocations.
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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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