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

Mary guides 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 charism revitalized.
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 of Hungary,
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.

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


FORMATION PROGRAMME 2013-2014: "Da mihi animas, cetera tolle"

1. Spiritual experience of Don Bosco

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 Don Bosco
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 world.
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 all vocations
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 Salesian spirituality.
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 charismatic identity.

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 them.
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.


FAMILY CHRONICLE

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 ADMA FAMILIES.
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 at Castelgandolfo.

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 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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