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: ASSOCIATION OF MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS
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| Monthly Message : June
calls us to holiness
Every day we meet people and
we face situations of confusion, bewilderment, and sometimes
despair. We often prefer darkness to light and we do not always
live by the truth. This is because too often we live as if God
did not exist, and we do not realize that without Him we are
dust, we are no more than a breath, we are "like the flower
of the field that rises in the morning and withers in the evening."
By her life and her presence, Mary encourages us to turn our
thoughts to God, to open our hearts to Him, to raise our eyes
to Him, to make prayer the breath of our mortal existence. Above
all, her maternal mediation leads us to accept and trust in the
love of God, in his fatherly love and providence.
The love of God poured into our hearts makes us witnesses of
his goodness especially to those who are far away, and those
who have not experienced salvation in the name of Jesus. Faith
radiates. Only if Jesus is the love of our hearts will we be
able to help others to meet him. Each of us is loved by God,
and precious in his sight, as noted by the prophet Isaiah : "Fear
not for I have redeemed you, I have called you by name, you are
mine. I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.
You are precious in my eyes and honoured, and I love you. Do
not fear for I am with you"(Is 43, 1.3-5 ). The Father sent
his only-begotten Son into the world not to condemn it, but to
save it. He gives us the power of the Spirit, so that we may
believe in him, may do no evil, but live by the truth.
Aware of our weakness and also of our preciousness, at the school
of Mary we must aim for holiness and eternal life in heaven.
Don Bosco used to say to his boys: "A little bit piece of
paradise will make everything all right." It is good to
know that there is One who thinks about us, is waiting for us,
and has prepared a place for us. We were desired from the beginning
to the end of the world! It is faith in Jesus that overcomes
our fears and anxieties. We should not live at the mercy of thoughts
and feelings. Instead, we should be grounded and anchored in
the love of God. Through Mary we open our hearts to the light,
to hope and joy. Jesus is our home. Jesus is our way. The Madonna,
who comes from heaven, invites us to look to heaven, where Jesus
has gone to prepare a place for us. She warns us about the vanity
of a life without God and reminds us of the beauty and greatness
of life with God, when we trust in His love.
Under the mantle of Mary, under her protection and defence, we
can walk together towards heaven, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus,
the blessed fruit of her womb !
Lucca Tullio, President - Don Pierluigi Cameroni SDB, Spiritual
anima, cetera tolle
Woman, Mother, Teacher and Help"
the Rector Major Fr Ángel Fernández Artime
Solemnity of Mary Help of Christians - Torino-Valdocco ( 24 May
Dear young people, dear Mother
Yvonne, dear confreres, sisters, members of the Salesian Family,
friends of Don Bosco and of Mary Help of Christians: This is
my first time in this basilica as Rector Major, and I can say
that I am at home here! A week ago I was with the Salesian Family
of Portugal in the sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima. All over
the world, Mary, the Mother of Jesus, is present in a powerful
and significant way. Very often she is the Good Shepherdess who
brings her children to Jesus. As members of the Family of Don
Bosco we cannot forget her, because "she did everything"
and continues to do so! At this point I have to ask you a question:
What does Mary mean to you? Who is she for you? Who is she for
me? [Let's take a few seconds to answer ...] . Dear friends,
today I invite you to contemplate Mary with the eyes of the mind
and heart, and think of her as Woman, Mother, Teacher and Help.
She is first and foremost a
Woman. In the Fourth Gospel Jesus himself twice refers to her
as Woman, at very significant times. The first was at the sign
given by Jesus at the wedding of Cana (cf. Jn 2:1-12 ), the sign
by which " his disciples believed in him," and the
second was at the hour of the cross, when Mary was there with
the disciple whom Jesus loved. (cf. Jn 19: 25-27).
"Woman, what do you want from me? " And "Woman,
behold your son." 'Woman' is the title given to the new
Eve, the mother of the new Adam. In her, the whole of humanity
awakens and is reborn through the action of the Son. St. Paul
also, in speaking about the humanity of the only Son of God,
defines him as "born of woman " (Gal 4:4). We cannot
understand the mystery of the Incarnation without contemplating
Mary as a woman. And contemplating her as a woman means taking
more and more seriously the process of humanization that characterizes
the Salesian vocation of all the members of our family. We live
and work for true humanity, brotherhood, solidarity and peace.
Mary is the one who first accompanies us in doing so.
Mary is our Mother also. God
chose a real mother for His Son. As he grew up in the home of
Mary and Joseph, Jesus experienced the warm love he had known
from all eternity with his Father who is the Father of us all.
Mary was a mother like so many mothers of today, or the mothers
we see on television, like so many of our own mothers. "Son,
why have you done this? Behold, your father and I have sought
you sorrowing "(Luke 2:48). This passage in Luke shows us
the heart of a mother. How often mothers feel anxiety for their
And what did the shepherds see when they went to Bethlehem? Did
they not find a mother and a father taking care of a little child?
(cf. Lk 2, 16) That's why she is a mother - because she takes
care of us! So we see the beauty of the gift of Jesus to his
friend John, "Behold your mother" (Jn 19,27). She is
our Mother because in taking care of us she teaches us to take
care of ourselves and of one another, to take care of life, of
creation, of our brothers and sisters, of the life of those who
are most at risk of losing and getting lost ... Dear friends,
as the Salesian Family and friends of Don Bosco, we take care
of life ! Let's take care of each other !
We should not forget what our beloved Don Bosco did when he lost
his mother Margherita. He went to the Sanctuary of the Consolata
and with all his heart renewed his confidence in the heavenly
mother who was always there for him and for his boys. Today we
also want to say to Mary, "be our mother and teach us to
take care of life!"
Mary is also our teacher! As
teacher she tells us again and again: "Do whatever he tells
you " (John 2:5). She is the teacher who first managed to
guard in her heart all the things that concerned Jesus (cf. Lk
2:51), and she teaches us to do the same. A Christian is one
who knows how to keep the things that concern Jesus in his or
her heart and always draws on this treasure.
She, the woman and mother, was given by Jesus to Don Bosco as
the teacher who would teach him how to accomplish the mission
he was given, "the teacher under whose guidance you will
become wise and without whom all wisdom is folly" (MO).
Being taught is typical of "disciples." We are good
disciples of Mary, as Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello were, the
first disciples at the beginning of our Salesian Family.
Finally, Mary is our help.
The first act of the woman when she became a mother was to put
herself at the service of Elizabeth (cf. Lk 1, 39 et seq.). The
Gospel says that "she got up and went with haste!"
What a beautiful expression of ecclesial service and especially
Salesian service: we hasten to the service of others, especially
to take care of the life that is growing and that is often threatened.
We respond quickly to the cry of young people, especially those
most at risk - quickly
but without undue haste. We take as much time as is necessary,
like Mary who "stayed with [Elizabeth] about three months,
[before] returning to her home." Mary was the one who realized
that there was no wine at Cana ... She prompted Jesus to act,
and she still does the same so that her children may not be without
joy in the celebration of life.
So, dear brothers and sisters,
today in Valdocco, this house of Mary, I tell you once again:
do not be afraid of anything! Because Mary is our Help. She is
our Mother and Teacher. She teaches us to be true disciples and
missionaries of Jesus, to take care of our life, to make it more
human, according to the measure of Christ, the eternal Word born
of a Woman.
Mary, Help of Christians, Pray for us!
THE WORLD COUNCIL OF THE SALESIAN
From 30 May to 1 June 2014, the annual meeting of the World Council
of the Salesian Family was held at the Salesian Generalate. Fr
Ángel Fernández Artime, 10th successor of Don Bosco,
participated for the first time, accompanying the work from beginning
to end. ADMA was represented by Lucca Tullio, President, and
Fr Pierluigi Cameroni, Spiritual Animator.
The purpose of the World Council, as stated in Article 46 of
the Charter of Identity for the Salesian Family, is to propose
"the essential lines of animation in the coming pastoral
year". In addition , the meeting also broadened the perspective
to the coming years, presenting some programme guidelines and
proposals for the Salesian Family for the entire six-year period
After an initial greeting of the Rector Major, the video message
he addressed to the Salesian Family a few days after his election,
was screened. The members reflected on the significance of the
forthcoming Bicentenary of the birth of Don Bosco and examined
the programme of activities. Saturday 31 May was devoted mainly
to sharing on the situation of the various groups of the Salesian
Family. Particular attention was paid also to other topics: the
participation of the Salesian Family at the Universal Exhibition
in Milan in 2015; the preparation of the 2015 Spirituality Days
of the Salesian Family; the submission of the Salesian Congregation
for the "Prince of Asturias Award for Concord 2014",
as proposed by the Salesian Past Pupils of Spain.
Turin ADMA-Primary - Solemnity
of Mary, Help of Christians
Our Association joined the whole Salesian Family and the devotees
of Mary Help of Christians on her feast which was attended for
the first time by Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, in
his new role as successor of Don Bosco, The ADMA Primary prepared
for the feast by animating one of the nights of the novena, and
with a day of retreat and formation. The procession of Mary Help
of Christians was a great experience of faith. ADMA was well
represented with youth, families, and senior members, all united
in the love of Mary and resolved to walk under her banner to
proclaim the gospel of joy in our time.
SICILY - PILGRIMAGE TO ROME
On 27 April, on the occasion of the canonization of Sts John
XXIII and John Paul II, ADMA members enjoyed a moving experience
in St. Peter's Square in Rome. In our meeting with Pope Francis
we presented him with a "Carrettino Siciliano" and
a life of the Servant of God Nino Baglieri. We also paid a visit
to the tombs of the two holy popes!
NORTHERN PHILIPPINES: PROVINCIAL
On 27 April 2014, council members from different groups of ADMA
in the North Filipino Province met for the annual meeting of
the Provincial Council. The meeting was held at the Don Bosco
Hall in Makati City and was attended by forty-five members. The
chairperson of each Council reported on their activities, the
situation of members (aspirants, sick and deceased members) and
plans for the future. This was also the occasion to commemorate
the 145th Foundation Day of ADMA (18 April 1869). Mrs. Mary Junifer
Maliglig, National President, spoke about the new Rector Major
Fr Angel Fernandez Artime, 10th successor of St. John Bosco,
who reminds us specifically that Don Bosco himself was the founder
of ADMA. This day was also an opportunity for the members to
renew their commitment to the mission entrusted to us by St.
John Bosco to spread the love of Christ and devotion to Mary
Help of Christians. The Mass presided over by Fr. Antonio Molavin,
SDB, was offered for the sick and deceased members of ADMA. (Junifer).
The ADMA group met in the month of May in the home of Mrs. Anna
Maria, with the presence of the Father José Correa and
a group of ladies from Montevideo.
ROME - PIUS XI - BASILICA OF
MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS
On 6 May 2014, in the parish of Mary Help of Christians in Rome,
the members of our group renewed their membership of ADMA during
Mass, celebrated by Fr Pierluigi Cameroni, on the feast of St.
Dominic Savio. The group, made up of 23 people, participated
fervently in the recitation of the Rosary, meditating with the
help of thoughts drawn from the writings of Don Bosco. The members
responded "Here I am," with deep emotion when their
names were called, thus confirming their wholehearted devotion
to Mary Help of Christians.
Our ADMA group meets on the 24th of each month for a formation
meeting based on themes proposed in ADMA online. Our desire is
to pray as Mary did, and to help us in this we take time to meditate
on the psalms, chosen according to the topic of the month. We
read together the lives of Salesian saints or we reflect on passages
regarding the spirituality of St. John Bosco. We conclude the
meeting with the recitation of the Holy Rosary and Holy Mass.
Our plan is to organize the pilgrimage of the "Missionary
Madonna" to families in our neighborhood, on the occasion
of the bicentenary of the birth of Don Bosco (Andrea Mancusi).
Fr Pierluigi Cameroni met with some members of the ADMA groups
of Ljubljana, Murska Sobota and Maribor on Thursday 8 May 2014
at the Shrine of Mary Help of Christians in Rakovink-Ljubljana.
The meeting was attended by the Provincial, Fr Janez Potocnik,
the FMA Provincial, Sr. Tramte Damjana, the spiritual director,
Fr Tone Ciglar, and the national President, Doctor Romana Karas.
In a family atmosphere of fraternal joy the members reflected
on the life of the association and the guidelines for formation
and the development of groups. Fr Pierluigi left three messages:
be docile to the Spirit like Mary; pay careful attention to formation;
live the missionary dimension of faith by proclaiming Jesus today.
ALBARÉ (VERONA) - MARIAN
We thank God for the presence of more than 150 people from Lombardy
and Veneto, who shared a day of fraternity and devotion to Mary
Help of Christians in the spirit of ADMA. The meeting was held
at the Da mihi animas cetera tolle centre of Albaré, animated
by the Shalom community founded by Sr. Rosalina Ravasio. The
purpose of the day was to make the spirit and mission of ADMA
known to new people and new groups. It was an experience of church,
of the people of God united in faith and in the peace of the
Lord. It was good to see families, youth, the elderly, children,
religious, all united in the same faith, the same love, the same
devotion to Mary. Fr Pierluigi Cameroni, spiritual director of
the association, presented the history and spirit of ADMA, telling
the story of the life of the association. Some couples shared
their experience and their history of belonging to ADMA. The
young people at Shalom, who enlivened the day with their generous
service and warm welcome, also shared their experience of faith
and love for Mary. Highlights of the busy day were the shared
lunch, a visit to the newly renovated community house, and the
choral recital of the rosary. The day ended with the solemn celebration
of the Eucharist, during which all were invited personally to
take the message of Easter into their own lives and to rise from
situations of paralysis and death. Each group was called to receive
the word of life with which Jesus and Mary urge us to make use
of the grace of this experience.
Some reactions: "Thank you for a great day yesterday, for
the joyful welcome to the wonderful location, your great availability
to us and the task entrusted to us." (Alessandro Giusti).
"A beautiful place ... but especially people who open their
hearts to us! Thank you!"(Laura Maria Magnaghi). "It
was a beautiful day! In our time all Christians of good will
should work to support and promote the family consisting of a
man and a woman with Christ, and sanctified by the sacrament.
It is the basis of civil society and a small domestic church
"(Mauro Chiampesan). "Thanks for a lovely day spent
together with the community and young couples. We felt we also
involved the elderly and it was good to pray together and to
spend a Saturday together in community"(Parents of Sr. Rose).
Responding to the wishes of Mary Help of Christians, we started
a group dedicated to her in Bournemouth, England, praying the
novena in preparation for her feast on 24 May and celebrating
Mass in her honor. This was followed by a procession with the
ladies and the boys of the Don Bosco Oratory and altar servers.
With great joy they carried a small statue of Our Lady in procession.
The ladies want to continue meeting to pray the rosary, attend
Mass, follow the formation programme and read the monthly message
from ADMA. We will meet on the last Friday of each month and
later we will decide in which church to meet. Up to now I have
offered my house for the monthly rosary, prayer and reflection
GENOA SAMPIERDARENA - NEW ADMA
On 24 May 2014, the Solemnity of Mary Help of Christians, in
a spirit of joy and gratitude to Mary, a new ADMA group was officially
launched at Genoa Sampierdarena with twelve members, elevenLatin
Americans and one Italian. It was a feast for the whole parish
community and Salesian Family which was united with the group
through the presence Fr Dobraves Alojzij, Rector of the community
and the parish priest, Fr Mario Carattino. The group is led by
Fr Daniel Coronel, a Salesian from Peru, who for some years now
has been accompanying the large community of Latin Americans
in this district of Genova, especially Ecuadorians and Peruvians.
Through the foundation of ADMA we hope to renew and continue
the Salesian Marian spirit, here in the "second Valdocco,"
which is the name given to the Salesian House in Genoa Sampierdarena,
founded by Don Bosco in 1872.
CALATABIANO (CATANIA) - NEW
On 29 May 2014, during the celebration of the Eucharist presided
over by Fr Angelo Grasso, Spiritual Animator of ADMA in Sicily,
nine new candidates were welcomed. They have expressed their
"commitment" to following Jesus in the Salesian Family,
entrusting themselves to Mary Help of Christians. This celebration
falls during the centenary year of the FMA presence in this town
in Sicily. Many people welcomed the new members, especially the
parish priest, Fr Sebastian Leotta, himself a member of ADMA,
and Sister Carmelina Cappello, provincial and local animator.
VALENCIA (SPAIN) - MEETING
OF THE ASSOCIATION OF MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS
The thirty-second meeting of the groups of the Association of
Mary Help of Christians (ADMA) in the Province of Valencia was
held on Saturday 31 May in the village of Sant Joan d'Alacant.
There are twenty-three local groups throughout Aragon, Comunidad
Valenciana, Murcia and Albacete. The meeting was attended by
approximately 500-550 people. It is the first time that such
a meeting has taken place in Sant Joan where ADMA was officially
founded in 2000, after separating from the ADMA group of Campello.
It has sixty-five members and is one of the few groups not connected
to a Salesian House or Institute.
In the Province of Valencia there are more than 6,000 people
enrolled in the twenty-three local groups of ADMA: Albacete,
Juan XXIII Alcoy, San Vicente Ferrer Alcoy, Parish of St. Stephen
Alicante, Mary Help of Christians Alicante, Cabezo de Torres,
Cartagena, Campello, Elche, Ibi, La Almunia de Doña Godina,
Sueca, Torrente, Valencia, San Antonio Abad, Mary Help of Christians
Valencia, Villena, Salesians Zaragoza and the Daughters of Mary
Help of Christians Zaragoza. Most of these groups are connected
with local Salesian parishes and shrines, and cooperate in activities
such as Caritas, assistance to the sick and the marginalized,
and social work.
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