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ADMA : ASSOCIATION OF MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS
on Line | Monthly Message : January
Mary leads us to the King of Peace
Through Mary and her motherly
Heart we welcome Jesus King of Peace. Peace is a gift to be invoked
and received in prayer. Jesus particularly wants to dwell in
our hearts and share our every joy and our every pain. We need
to examine our hearts and see if he is really present with his
peace and joy, if he has really conquered our hearts, if he has
redeemed our freedom and led us to a fundamental option for God.
Often we still live in the dark or in the ambiguity of life.
Through Mary and with her help we can open ourselves to the light
and accept God's salvation. Mary urges us to open our hearts
to Jesus and give him our lives.
Those who experience God and his love becomes bearers and messengers
of peace: "That which was from the beginning, which we have
heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked
upon and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life
- the life was made manifest, and we saw it, and testify to it,
and proclaim to you the eternal life which was with the Father
and was made manifest to us - that which we have seen and heard
we proclaim also to you, so that you may have fellowship with
us; and our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus
Christ. And we are writing this that our joy may be complete."(1
Jn 1:1-4). Our faces should reflect the joy of people who have
encountered Jesus and live for his kingdom of peace and justice.
Mary accompanies us with her motherly blessing.
As you will see in the news section of this issue, a new Council
has been elected for the Primary ADMA in Valdocco, Turin. The
spirit and the organization of the new Council are inspired by
our Rules, the directives of the Rector Major, the Charismatic
Identity Card of the Salesian Family, and the needs that arise
from the situation for they are the place where we receive the
inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The event that characterizes
this four-year period is the celebration of the bicentenary of
the birth of Don Bosco, when the International Congress of Mary
Help of Christians will take place in Valdocco. In light of the
responsibilities and role of the Primary to the Association in
the world and in relation to the Salesian Family, these are the
lines of action:
- Care of families, especially the younger ones, in keeping with
the directives of the Rector Major and the journey of the Church.
- Care of senior citizens, as a concrete response to the demands
and opportunities linked to old age.
- Care of the young, in the ways indicated by the Holy Spirit,
and in fidelity to the charism of Don Bosco.
- Formation of members and groups in knowledge and sharing of
best practices of the Rule and of the spirit of the Association.
We wish you a happy feast of Don Bosco lived in the light of
the Strenna that exhorts us to "draw upon the spiritual
experience of Don Bosco, to walk in holiness according to our
Lucca Tullio, President - Don Pierluigi Cameroni SDB, Spiritual
FOR FORMATION 2013-2014: "Da
mighi anima, cetera tolle"
5. The Preventive System: pedagogical method
and spirituality (Fr Roberto CARELLI sdb)
1. A pedagogical approach constantly
We believe that education is the main contribution we can make
to change the world for the coming of the Kingdom. "There
is no doubt," as Pope John Paul II said, "that the
first and most important cultural development is the human person
spiritually mature, that is, the person fully educated, capable
of educating himself or herself and educating others". The
original contribution we can make to the cause of education is
called the Preventive System. It shows its continuing vitality
in its ability to respond to various challenges. In the many
situations in which it operates, it is in constant need of renewal.
An essential element of this renewal is the sharing of pastoral
educational practice in dialogue between SDBs, lay adults and
young people, to acquire new knowledge of the sciences and of
the different contexts in which we operate.
2. Central elements of the
Knowing the Preventive System: it represents the quintessence
of the pedagogical wisdom of Don Bosco and is the prophetic message
that he left to his heirs and to the whole Church. To ensure
fidelity and fecundity in this spiritual and educational experience
we must reconsider the original insights of Don Bosco. He is
convinced that "this system is based entirely on reason,
religion and loving kindness". Reason, religion and loving
kindness are today, more than ever, essential elements in educational
activity and precious seeds that can give life to a more human
society, in response to the expectations of the new generations.
In the mind of Don Bosco, reason is synonymous with dialogue
and persuasion, as opposed to coercion and imposition. It helps
to evaluate things critically and to discover the true value
of earthly things, respecting the autonomy and dignity of secular
values. It leads people to discover and share the great efforts
of the human person, in the incessant and arduous process of
personalization and socialization.
Reason emphasizes the values of Christian humanism, such as the
search for meaning, work, study, friendship, joy, compassion,
freedom that is not divorced from responsibility, and harmony
between human wisdom and Christian wisdom.
By his deeds more than by his words, Don Bosco shows that, at
the root of his educational system, there is a solid humanism,
and a genuine appreciation of created things. This makes the
preventive system an open system, full of hope in the human person,
able to deal with different cultural situations. It therefore
involves special attention to contexts, a prior reading of the
situation of young people and well planned educational interventions.
Religion, understood as faith received and responded to, is the
point of intersection of the Mystery of God and the mystery of
man, linked to the fragility of human history and its culture,
but also prompted by the certain call of God. The awareness of
this reality invites us to imitate God's patience, meeting young
people and lay people "at the point where they have their
Religion means making room for Grace that saves, cultivating
the desire for God, favouring the encounter with Christ the Lord
which gives full meaning to life and a response to the thirst
for happiness, and gradual integration into the life and mission
of the Church. We need to realize that the mission land now extends
to every part of the world. We must also be ready to undertake
programmes of education to the faith that are targeted and gradual.
In Christian contexts it is still possible to carry out the preventive
system more or less in its entirety and help lay faithful, both
adults and young people, to discover the Face of Jesus. Listening
to the Word and preaching the Word, celebrating the sacraments,
especially the Eucharist and Penance, a commitment to charity
and witness, the happiness of living under the gaze of a loving
Father - all these are still valid educational means to be promoted,
without being excessively shy about them.
In secularized contexts, where the culture seems mute and unable
to speak of the Father of Jesus Christ, it will be necessary
to educate to an awareness of the transcendent and the big questions
posed by the meaning of life and death, pain and love, without
hiding the ray of light that comes to us from our faith.
In the contexts of the great monotheistic and traditional religions,
the first educational dialogue will be with the lay people who
are closest to us in order to recognize with them the grace already
present in them, to encourage in them the desire for prayer,
and to value the fragments of the Gospel and the educational
wisdom present in the culture, the life and the experience of
young people. We often find ourselves working with young people
and lay people, with men and women of good will who do not show
an explicit religious affiliation. Then the Preventive System
moves us to seek and receive the spark of truth deposited in
the heart of each person, to promote the "dialogue of life"
- especially "in the concern for human life" and "promoting
the dignity of women" - " which prepares the way for
a deeper sharing."
c) Loving Kindness
For an effective educational relationship, young people must
not only be loved, but must know that they are loved. Loving
kindness is a particular style of relationship. A loving heart
awakens the energy in the hearts of young people and helps them
to mature even to the point of self-sacrifice.
It is expressed as unconditional acceptance and constructive
and purposeful sharing of joys and sorrows. The love between
educator and young people is expressed in positive signs. Loving
kindness also finds expression in that pastoral charity which
leads to a new educational culture which "offers a specific
contribution also to the work of other educators." We have
an explicit duty to seek the best ways and means to transplant
the genius of Don Bosco in public life, in the world of culture,
politics and social life. It will then give birth to a new education,
which opens the way for the new evangelization. We need to look
with special attention at strategies to deliver the preventive
system to families, helping them to shed light upon the aspirations
and problems of today, to create an environment of happiness,
dialogue and solidarity, and in this way transforming them into
true "domestic churches".
3. The Preventive System is
There are elements of spirituality common to all groups of the
Salesian Family. These are all inspired by Don Bosco, who is
the founder of the Salesians, the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians
(with Mother Mazzarello), the Salesian Cooperators and the Association
of Mary Help of Christians. Other groups refer to their founders.
These elements are found in the Identity Card of the Salesian
Family, which should be known and studied, because it is the
reference point for our spirituality of communion and for our
formation in communion.
Let's not forget that the preventive system is a concrete expression
and translation of this common spirituality. It reconnects us
to the soul, attitudes and gospel choices of Don Bosco. The attractiveness
of his spirit is linked to the practice of the preventive system.
It is a successful system which is a model and inspiration for
all those today who are engaged in education in different continents,
in multicultural and multi-religious contexts. It is a model
that demands of us all a constant reflection to ensure that young
people always have a central place in our Salesian mission as
recipients and as protagonists.
The practice of the preventive
system leads us to the heart of Salesian spirituality which is
pastoral charity. It was lived by Don Bosco as the pursuit of
"the glory of God and the salvation of souls." Da mihi
animas, cetera tolle became his prayer and his programme of life.
Pastoral charity needs to be founded and nourished in prayer,
contemplating the Heart of Christ, imitating the Good Shepherd,
meditating on the Scriptures, living the Eucharist, making time
for personal prayer, assuming a mentality of service to young
people. It is a charity that is reflected and made visible in
concrete gestures of closeness, affection, work and dedication.
We adopt the Preventive System as a spiritual experience and
not just as a way of evangelization or a method of education.
It finds its source in the love of God who "provides in
advance for all his creatures, is ever present at their side,
and freely gives his life to save them". It disposes us
to receive God in young people and calls us to serve Him in them,
recognizing their dignity, renewing their confidence in their
resources for good, and educating them to the fullness of life.
TURIN-VALDOCCO: NEW COUNCIL OF PRIMARY ADMA
Following the elections held on 15 December 2013 the new Council of
the Primary ADMA Turin -Valdocco was set up. It will remain in office
for the years 2014 to 2017. The members are as follows (pictured from
left): Walter Gambarotto, councillor and coordinator of youth committee;
Andrea Damiani, treasurer; Fr Pierluigi Cameroni, spiritual animator;
Tullio Lucca, President and coordinator of the communications committee;
Sr. Marilena Balcet, spiritual animator FMA; Rosanna Marchisio, secretary;
Giovanni Scavino, vice-president and coordinator of the committee on
family; Rocco Biondino, councillor and coordinator of the senior committee.
The role of the Primary ADMA is defined in art. 15 of the Regulations:
"The Association of Mary Help of Christians at the Shrine of Mary
Help of Christians in Turin-Valdocco is the heir and successor of the
first ADMA founded by Don Bosco, and for this reason is called Primary.
Given its origin and its connection with the Sanctuary, it exercises
a role of animation, coordination and information for the Association
at world level."
GUATEMALA - NATIONAL RETREAT
The ADMA National Retreat for Guatemala was held from 8 to 10
November at Choacorral San Lucas Sacatepequez (Guatemala). It
was organized by the ADMA centre of the Divina Providencia parish
and given by Fr Guido Maroto. Frs Miguel Aguilar SDB, Agustín
Vasquez SDB, Eduardo Castro SDB and Javier Rivas, SDB all cooperated
generously. The topics for study and reflection were as follows:
Mary, model of faith, Salesian spirituality , the Holy Eucharist,
Contemplating Christ through the eyes of Don Bosco and the Apostolate
of ADMA members. The film El Gran Milagro was shown and the Rector
Major's Strenna for 2014 was discussed. Finally the apostolate
of ADMA members was emphasized, preaching the gospel and helping
young people, as Don Bosco did. (Otoniel Cifuentes, National
President of ADMA in Guatemala)
BOBO (BURKINA FASO) RENEWAL
The ADMA group in Bobo has maintained the tradition of devotion
to Our Lady Help of Christians on the 24th of each month. On
the evening of 24 November 2013, the Feast of Christ the King,
the members recited the Rosary and renewed their commitment.
The parish priest, Father Lawrence Campillo, presided at the
BARAKALDO (SPAIN) - MEETING
OF LOCAL ADMA COUNCILS IN THE BILBAO PROVINCE
On Sunday 24 November 2013, about fifty members of the seventeen
Local ADMA Councils in the Province of Bilbao gathered in Barakaldo
for a formation day. We were welcomed at the Salesian House and
the local group did everything possible to make us feel at home.
The morning was devoted to reflecting on Salesian spirituality
in preparation for the celebration of the bicentenary of the
birth of Don Bosco. Fr Arcadio helped us to reflect on the instructions
given by the personage in John Bosco's dream at the age of nine
when he commissioned John to teach young people the ugliness
of sin and the beauty of virtue. Throughout his life Don Bosco
developed a way of life which he left us as the foundation of
our Salesian spirituality. In the afternoon, Fr José Antonio
Hernández presented a practical exercise on the project
of life along the lines of the morning reflection. We were presented
with two booklets on devotion to Don Bosco and Mary Help of Christians,
which will serve to increase our devotion to our Mother and to
prepare us to be "helpers" wherever we are. (Fr Arcadio
Cuadrado, Provincial Spiritual Animator).
GELA (SICILY) - ACT OF ENTRUSTMENT
OF CHILDREN TO MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS
On 5 December 2013, in the Parish of St. Dominic Savio in Gela,
there was a celebration for 56 children who were lovingly entrusted
by their parents to Our Lady. At the beginning of the Eucharistic
celebration, at which the parish priest Fr Giuseppe Di Enna presided,
there was a brief introduction by the president Luigina Ciaramella
in which she commented on a passage from the Biographical Memoirs
of Don Bosco. This was followed by a heartfelt Ave Maria as a
response to the prayers in Mary's honour. In his homily the Parish
Priest expressed his joy at seeing the Church unusually crowded
and he hoped that these occasions might be repeated more frequently.
The Mass ended with the entrustment to Mary Help of Christians
led by one of the mothers (Graziana Di Stefano), the dedication
of the children read by a little girl (Alice Vullo) and the act
of entrustment of young people to Our Lady by the President (Luigina
Ciaramella). The list of all the children present was then read.
The Parish Priest concluded with the blessing of Mary Help of
Christians. At the end, sweets were distributed and all were
invited to come back next year (Luigina Ciaramella, ADMA Regional
MANILA (PHILIPPINES) - DON
BOSCO'S MADONNA MAKES A FIRST APPEARANCE IN THE GRAND PROCESSION
IN HONOUR OF OUR LADY.
The statue of Mary Help of Christians was carried for the first
time, along with a hundred other Marian statues from all over
the Philippines, in the annual Grand Marian Procession which
takes place in Manila on the first Sunday of Advent. This annual
festival in honour of the Immaculate Conception began on 8 December
1619. It was interrupted during the Second World War and was
resumed only in 1980. It takes place around the ancient walled
city of Manila, called Intramuros, where the Cathedral is located.
More than 400 parishioners, students, confreres, members of the
Salesian Family and other devotees of Mary Help of Christians
accompanied the statue during the long procession as an expression
of Marian devotion. Don Bosco banners followed the procession,
along with the musical band of the City of Mandaluyong. The statue
of Mary Help of Christians was singled out among other statues,
when they stopped in front of Manila Cathedral. It was decorated
with a garland of local flowers by the Salesian Archbishop of
Yangon in Myanmar, his Excellency Carlo Bo, guest of honour for
TURIN - 8 DECEMBER: CHURCH
OF SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI
As is the tradition, on 8 December the Salesian Family of Turin
visited the church of St. Francis of Assisi to commemorate the
beginning of the Oratory of Don Bosco and his meeting with Bartholomew
Garelli. Some of our ADMA members also went, including the President
Lucca Tullio. They took part in the celebration of the Eucharist
presided over this year by Fr Gianni Moriondo who is in charge
of the oratory of Valdocco. In his comment on Don Bosco's meeting
with the young mason, Fr Gianni drew attention to Don Bosco's
insisting on wanting to start the catechism lesson NOW, beginning
with the recitation of a Hail Mary. With Bartholomew Garelli,
Don Bosco could not wait another moment. He did not give him
another appointment. He did not sit down and begin to organize
something complicated. He said "Let's start now". Now,
now, now ... is the time of God and Mary! Forty-five years later
Don Bosco told his Salesians: "All the blessings showered
on us from heaven are the result of that first Hail Mary said
with fervour and right intention."
VALUE OF ADMA ONLINE
I quote a passage from an email received from one of our members. I
think it will help us to recognize and appreciate ADMA ONLINE as members
and groups. It is a means given to us by Mary to be formed and to grow
in communion and in Salesian spirituality. "I was very impressed
by the message in December concerning the Virgin Mary which invites
us to open the doors of our hearts, to be overshadowed by a deep discernment.
It came to my spirit like balm or consolation, a message full of faith
and hope. How beautiful! Thanks for sharing it: we too will share in
the local ADMA. Everything is precious because the theme of formation
for daily life in the spirituality of St. Francis de Sales and Don Bosco
is a lesson in life for every member of the Salesian Family and for
all those to whom we can pass on this message by our example.
Also I am very happy for this man of God, Attilio Giordani, who was
recently declared Venerable. He died at 59 years, and gave great example
as a father and husband, practising the Salesian Preventive System with
young people. He was formed as a layman in the oratory where he worked
and which he attended since he was a child. He is a wonderful example
and I have already asked him to help me in this journey towards holiness
of life because we need intercessors to encourage us not to fail in
any undertaking. His life is a real motivation for us. Personally I
am delighted whenever I read about the saints"(Patricia).
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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
THE President OF ADMA: Signor Tullio LUCCA (until 2014) |E-mail: Tullio.Lucca@gmail.com
Spiritual Animator of ADMA:
Don Pier Luigi CAMERONI /Casa Generalizia
SDB - Via della Pisana 1111 - ROMA
Cell 3401452349 | E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Websites: www.donbosco-torino.it/ |
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