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: ASSOCIATION OF MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS
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Italia -ADMA Valdocco: firstname.lastname@example.org
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| Monthly Message : July
teaches us to discover the wisdom of life
Our Lady is alive and walks
with us, guiding us, through prayer, on the way of peace. Mary
is a teacher of prayer, lived as a real relationship with God,
of listening to His Word and obedience to his will. She wants
to reach the hearts of all people, because, beneath the blanket
of the ephemeral and of sin, the Mother of God sees the thirst
of her children, who long for peace, love and joy. Today more
than ever, people live in a desert far removed from God, in search
of fleeting goods that do not satisfy the hunger for true happiness
that they carry in their heart.
It is in prayer that we meet God and discover the beauty and
grandeur of life in union with him. Mary, our Teacher and Seat
of Wisdom, teaches us the wisdom of life. She helps us to find
joy in life, directing it towards the plan of love that the Father
has for us. Mary is our mother and teacher, educating us in the
formation of the heart in order to achieve wisdom and a taste
for the things of God.
Seat of Wisdom, is the title we use to refer to the maternal
function of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus, her dignity
and her wisdom in the things that pertain to God. Jesus, the
Wisdom of the Father, resides in the womb of the Virgin Mother.
With her maternal help we can arrive at a deep understanding
of our limitations, learning not to be overwhelmed by pride but
to serve with humility, knowing the Lord with the understanding
of faith and loving him with all our hearts.
Today's children and young people are in need of parents and
educators who, like Don Bosco, are able to teach the wisdom of
life, pointing towards heaven, educating the mind and the heart
in the practice of goodness and truth, building our lives on
the solid rock of the word of the Lord that we have heard, meditated
and lived. It is the wisdom of life that shines in the lives
of those who possess educational authority and it becomes a reference
point and secure guide.
To her we entrust our journey of preparation for the Seventh
International Congress of Mary Help of Christians which will
be celebrated in Turin in August 2015.
Lucca Tullio, President - Don Pierluigi Cameroni SDB, Spiritual
anima, cetera tolle
Congress of Mary Help of Christians
Torino-Valdocco / Colle Don
Bosco - 6-9 August 2015
domus mea, inde gloria mea"
From the house of Mary to our homes:
His mercy from generation to generation
From her house, Mary, Mother
of the Church and Help of Christians, wants to raise our love
for the Church and the Salesian Family to new heights and towards
broader horizons. The sacred work of love which is called the
family has for too long been bypassed by emergency issues that
are in urgent need of her help.
The Pope now assigns to Mary a key role, convoking a Synod of
the Church and asking for her help and love. The Pope stated:
"The Synod will be on the family: its riches and problems."
It will deal with the reality of men and women who love each
other and bring up their children, struggling every day with
the tensions and failures of their bonds of love.
1. CONGRESS PERSPECTIVES
1.1 Biblical Perspective: Presentation
of Jesus in the Temple - "His mercy is from generation to
It is customary to see in the
Holy Family of Nazareth, a real and concrete icon of the family,
an image of how our families should be, namely a "domestic
church" where people live the gospel of Jesus Christ. However,
alongside this fundamental image of the family, there is another
that highlights the fact that every family is linked to previous
generations. The family will have a future only if it builds
on the reality represented, as Pope Francis says, by the union
of the two poles of life: youth and old age.
This second image is delivered to us in St Luke's scene of the
presentation of Jesus in the Temple (cf. Lk 2.22-38). Giotto
painted this scene in an extraordinary way in the right transept
of the lower church of Assisi: the old man Simeon, a sign of
the prophecy of the Spirit, is holding the baby Jesus, and the
prophetess Anna, advanced in years, is portrayed in the act of
praising God and proclaiming salvation to those who were waiting
for the redemption of Israel. These two elderly people announce
to future generations the power and justice of God who has redeemed
us in an infant. They are links in the chain of promise that
has its origin in the bosom of Abraham. They are like "traces
of memory like embers of the fire, of the values that make us
great." They remind us that every family, like that of Nazareth,
is part of the history of a people and cannot exist without previous
Old and New Testament met in that encounter between the old man
Simeon and a young mother, Mary. Their meeting represents the
coming together of two generations in a wonderful way, in thanksgiving
for the gift of Light that shone in the darkness so that the
darkness did not prevail. The family of Nazareth, as a small
domestic Church, becomes the "family of families" when
seen in the light of the presentation of Jesus in the Temple.
It represents the holy people of God, the heir of a promise that
finally was accomplished: the Father, in Christ, by the power
of the Holy Spirit, took care of all the seed of Abraham (cf.
"In this scene three generations come together, the inter-weaving
of three generations: Simeon holds in his arms the child Jesus,
in whom he recognizes the Messiah, while Anna is shown praising
God and proclaiming salvation to those awaiting the redemption
of Israel. These two elderly persons represent faith as memory.
But let me ask you: Do you listen to your grandparents? Do you
open your hearts to the memories that your grandparents pass
on? Grandparents are like the wisdom of the family, they are
the wisdom of a people. And a people that does not listen to
grandparents is one that dies! Listen to your grandparents. Mary
and Joseph are the family, sanctified by the presence of Jesus
who is the fulfilment of all God's promises. Like the Holy Family
of Nazareth, every family is part of the history of a people;
it cannot exist without the generations who have gone before
it. Therefore, today we have grandparents and children. The children
learn from their grandparents, from the previous generation.
Dear families, you, too, are a part of God's people. Walk joyfully
in the midst of this people. Remain ever close to Jesus and carry
him to everyone by your witness." (Pope Francis to Families
- 26 October 2013)
1.2 Theological-Cultural Perspective:
Yes to the family!
"Families are the domestic
Church, where Jesus grows; he grows in the love of spouses, he
grows in the lives of children. That is why the enemy so often
attacks the family. The devil does not want the family; he tries
to destroy it, to make sure that there is no love there. Married
couples are sinners, like us all, but they want to go forward
in faith, in fruitfulness, in their children and their children's
faith. May the Lord bless families and strengthen them in this
time of crisis when the devil is seeking to destroy them."
(Pope Francis on Renewal of the Spirit - June 1, 2014).
The family is made up of faces, of people who love, talk, sacrifice
themselves for others and defend life at all costs. It is in
the family that one becomes a person, growing up with mother
and father, breathing the warmth of the home, which is the real
nest and cradle of life. It is in the family that we receive
our name and, therefore, our dignity. The family is the place
of friendship, of affection, and the space of intimacy, where
we learn the art of dialogue and interpersonal communication.
In God's plan marriage has always been and still is the basis
of the family. In it the process of humanization of the world
takes place, of every person and every society. Marriage is a
sort of "first sacrament" of human life, where the
person finds and understands himself or herself in relation to
others and the love that he or she can give and receive. The
family constituted by the marriage of a man and a woman, which
makes them "one flesh" (Mt 19, 6) open to new life,
is everywhere in crisis. It is surrounded by life styles that
penalize the family. It is neglected by the policies of the society
of which it is the fundamental cell, and is not always respected
in its rhythms and supported in its commitments even by ecclesial
communities. This is precisely what compels us to say that we
must have a special care for the family and for its mission in
the Church and in society. We need to develop support programmes
before and after marriage. We also want to express our gratitude
to the many spouses and the many Christian families who, by their
example, show the world an experience of communion and service
that is the seed of a more fraternal and peaceful society.
1.3 Salesian pedagogical perspective:
living the family spirit in the footsteps of Don Bosco.
In harmony with the Church, the Salesian Family also pays special
attention to the family as the primary object of education and
the first place of evangelization. We too are called to make
sure that youth ministry is increasingly open to family ministry.
The situation of the family is of particular concern, in almost
all contexts. It is threatened not only by the widespread ethical
relativism, but also by the withdrawal of legal support. This
can lead to the break-up of the family and the recognition of
other forms of marriages, with serious consequences in the area
of education, such as the abandonment of children, cohabitation
taxes, violence within the family. "Home" and "family"
are two words often used by Don Bosco to describe the "spirit
of Valdocco" that must prevail in our communities. We welcome
the evangelical and charismatic appeal for mutual understanding
and co-responsibility, fraternal correction and reconciliation.
In particular, right from first evangelization the transmission
of faith from one generation to the next finds its natural place
in the family. In it women play a special role, but we should
not underestimate the role of the father and his responsibility.
The signs of faith, the communication of the basic truths, education
in prayer, the example of the fruits of love are all part of
the lives of children and young people in the context of the
care that every family reserves for its children. It is impossible
to think of new evangelization without feeling a responsibility
to proclaim the Gospel to families and support them in the task
2 OBJECTIVES OF THE CONGRESS
From the house of Mary to our homes: to bring about a new humanity,
the breath of the Spirit who makes all things new, infuses in
families and in the groups of the Salesian Family a network of
authentic relationships, shared responsibility and communion
inspired by the family spirit of Don Bosco.
2.1 Dialogue: the great lack
in many families is precisely dialogue. Everyone stays anchored
to his or her own position. Sometimes people refuse to dialogue
in order to avoid arguments. This wind of God's Spirit that blows
from the house of Mary has the power that is needed to bring
us together and to overcome the prejudices and ambitions which
are the worst enemies of the family.
How many families have been afflicted with a kind of dumbness,
that causes us to keep the truth to ourselves instead of sharing
it in the family. When people share the truth, loving relationships
develop. Strengths are revealed without hiding the flaws. Perfectionists,
moralists and purists kill the spirit and make family relationships
cold, detached and disinterested.
The Spirit gives tongues of fire that enable people to speak
in another language, the language of sincerity that reveals who
God is and who we really are. They show how the love of God is
always greater than our faults and our forgetfulness.
The spirit gives a freshness that renews the mission of the family.
Hard work and the effort needed to educate children, or assist
elderly family members, lead to a tiredness that can only be
overcome by the breath of the Spirit.
2.2 Love one another: the wind
of the Spirit blowing from the house of Mary sweeps away the
dust that settles over time. How many family relationships need
to be dusted by the wind of the Spirit! This is typical of relationships
that have remained unchanged over the years, relationships that
have never found the strength to be renewed and to bear the fruit
one expects in adult life. Sometimes engagements last for many
years without marriage plans. Couples wait for a long time before
being willing to have children. Spouses live in their new family
but remain conditioned by their family of origin. These are examples
of the dust that can accumulate and prevent couples from accepting
the mission entrusted to them by God and living every day in
a spirit of communion and sharing. This implies the positive
attitudes of recognition, forgiveness, and gratitude expressed
in the three little words "please, sorry and thanks",
as Pope Francis reminds us.
2.3 Presence of God: the wind
of the Spirit blowing from the house of Mary, makes of our homes
and communities an Upper Room, where the practice of prayer is
the glue that binds and heals family relationships. Prayer requires
two essential elements: attentiveness and harmony. Attentiveness
means never missing an opportunity to turn to God in all our
actions to ask for inspiration, to acknowledge our mistakes,
express our sorrow and ask for forgiveness. Harmony means keeping
our hearts open to God's will, to live in family unity even when
there are differences of opinion, letting God decide which we
should follow among all the possible choices that may arise.
Attentiveness and harmony are prerequisites for prayer and, at
the same time, the fruit of prayer.
In this way, prayer, fire and wind renew the Christian family
urging it to go beyond the four walls of the home to communicate
to the world the joy of living together, despite the differences,
misunderstandings and limitations of each human person.
BARCELONA (SPAIN) - ANNUAL
On Saturday 18 May 2014, ADMA in the Province of Barcelona held
its annual meeting in Sant Boi de Llobregat, on the occasion
of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Salesian work
in this small town in Catalonia. It was attended by representatives
of almost all the local associations. Two videos were shown:
one on the history of this Salesian community and another on
the 200th anniversary of the institution of the liturgical feast
of Mary Help of Christians. During the celebration of the Eucharist
each local group renewed its commitment and some original poems
dedicated to our Mother were recited. In all the Salesian houses
the feast of Mary Help of Christians was celebrated with renewed
enthusiasm. At the Salesian House of Rocafort (Barcelona), Auxiliary
Bishop Sebastian Taltavull, past pupil of the Salesians of Ciutadella
(Menorca),presided at the Eucharist. As in other years, the ADMA
groups organized "a garden for Mary" with flowers in
the streets, followed by the procession and the solemn entrance
to the Church with the image of Mary and an emotional singing
of the Salve Regina.
Martina Franca (Taranto - ITALY)
- NEW MEMBERS
On 22 May 2014 in the church of Mary Help of Christians at Martina
Franca (Taranto), Calella Maria, De Vito Rosy, Greco Elide, Lofrumento
Dino e Marangi Anna stated their commitment to membership of
ADMA. The Eucharist was celebrated by Fr Tarcisio of the Consolata
Missionaries. Among those present were the Daughters of Mary
Help of Christians, with their Superior, Sister Rosetta Labbate,
relatives, friends and members of ADMA. These new members had
been prepared by Sister Carmela Marangi. They had a wonderful
day, full of joy and grace and the witness of their love for
Mary. They pledged to make her known and to spread devotion to
HIALEAH (UNITED STATES)
On May 24, 2014, the feast of Mary Help of Christians, in a solemn
celebration which was attended by more than 500 people, forty-seven
children received a medal of Mary Help of Christians, while sixteen
new members joined ADMA. The liturgy in the church of the Immaculate
Conception was an emotional occasion because we said goodbye
to our pastor, Fr Francisco Hernandez, destined for a new community,
and to our Animator, Sister Antonia Guzman Marisol. (Mari Carmen
GELA (SICILY - ITALY) - PEREGRINATIO
On 28 May 2014, in Gela in the Salesian parish of St. Dominic
Savio, Peregrinatio Mariae ended with a Mass in the home of the
Scaglione family. Mary Help of Christians is ever present to
comfort the families who come to her with love. She hears the
prayers and calms the souls of those who trust in her. We welcome
Mary into our homes and talk to her as our heavenly Mother. She
then speaks to her Son, and asks for all the graces we need to
alleviate the sufferings that afflict us.
We never tire of accompanying Mary from home to home. It is lovely
to see the little ones singing and praying! Young people, families,
and young couples are always present at our meetings and we are
often asked to come again because community prayer strengthens
the spirits. Sometimes I ask why did they want to host the Madonna
in their homes, and I listen with great simplicity to what they
say. They want to place themselves under her mantle not only
so that she may hear their prayer but above all that she may
help them to endure all life's vicissitudes in a Christian way.
In the company of Mary we walk secure. On 30 May there was a
pilgrimage to Bitalemi, a location on the outskirts of the city
where there is a small shrine. (Luigina Ciaramella)
SICILY - ADMA REGIONAL PILGRIMAGE
On 8 June 2014, on the occasion of the centenary of the presence
of the FMA in Calatabiano, the ADMA Provincial Council in Sicily
decided to hold its ninth regional pilgrimage in the town. There
were four hundred participants. Among those taking part were
the regional president, Luigina Ciaramella, the spiritual leaders,
Fr Angelo Grasso and Sister Carmelina Cappello, and representatives
of the local authorities. Fr Giuseppe Ruta, Provincial of the
Salesians, addressed them. After the welcome, there was a formative
moment at the municipal theatre. The Provincial, Sister Anna
Razionale, spoke on Don Bosco's Marian spirituality. At the wedding
at Cana Mary showed herself to be a woman who trusted and entrusted
herself fully to God. At the foot of the cross of her son Jesus,
she pledged to care for all humanity. All who rely on her, as
she intercedes with her Son, will have a secure place in Heaven.
Don Bosco was guided by Mary since his dream at the age of nine
and we can see what she did and continues to do. In the afternoon,
there was Rosary and concelebrated Mass in the church of the
Annunciation in Calatabiano. At the end there was the blessing
of the banner of the centre of Giarre-Santa Maria La Strada,
where the spiritual director is Fr Mario Gullo. (Petitto Venera
- Regional secretary ADMA Sicily).
On the last Saturday of every month we carry out our apostolate
at a prison for young women called Cephas. Young mothers and
their babies are detained there. This year we celebrated the
Way of the Cross with them during Lent. We also brought them
each a bag with food and articles for personal use. In this way,
little by little, we carry out different activities and most
importantly, we spread devotion to Mary Help of Christians and
the love of the Blessed Sacrament. (De Cordova Carmen).
TURIN - ADMA YOUTH RETREAT
From 13-15 June 2014, at the picturesque shrine of Our Lady of
Lourdes in Forno di Coazze (Turin), a group of young members
of ADMA from Turin shared a few days of retreat under the guidance
of Fr Pierluigi Cameroni, together with some young couples who
accompany them on their formation journey.
Praying at the grotto, which is similar to that of Lourdes, the
young people experienced how important it is to be well protected
and guarded under the mantle of Mary. During the times of sharing
and discussion it was acknowledged once more that ADMA-Youth
belongs to the young people and they must be given space; adults
supervise and accompany it. The traits of ADMA-Youth are in the
spirit of the Sodality of the Immaculate Conception: be joyful,
strive for perfection, have faith in each other, be of one mind,
live in peace. The young people made some resolutions: to walk
together helping one another along the way, to live up to their
responsibilities, to prepare for the Congress in 2015 and to
have a spiritual guide.
TURIN - PRIMARY ADMA - ANNUAL PILGRIMAGE
On 22 June 2014, the feast of Corpus Christi, the Turin ADMA
went on pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Mercy in Savona,
a place closely linked to the history of Mary Help of Christians.
Here, Our Lady appeared in 1536 and Pope Pius VII came here several
times during the years of his imprisonment under Napoleon. After
his release he crowned the statue of the Mother of Mercy. This
event is also depicted in the facade of the basilica in Turin.
For the members who participated it was a day of grace and friendship.
The centrepiece of the day was the solemn celebration of the
Eucharist and the prayer vigil in the crypt which houses the
statue of the Madonna.
ARGENTINA - PROVINCIAL COUNCIL
OF THE CEFERINO NAMUNCURÁ PROVINCE OF ARGENTINA-SOUTH
The Council and the Animator, Fr Luis Timossi, visited the Salesian
Houses in the Province of La Pampa, General Pico and Santa Rosa.
When they reached the Don Bosco Houses in Toay, the members of
ADMA were warmly welcomed by the Salesians. The Council plans
to visit all the houses where there is an ADMA group to get to
know each other better, sharing the Salesian spirit that urges
us to continue working for our brothers most in need, and encouraging
us as members of the Salesian Family.
ADMA NATIONAL COUNCIL SPAIN
A meeting of the National Council of ADMA in Spain was held on Saturday
28 June 2014 at the Salesian provincial centre in Madrid. The participants
included lay people, Salesians and Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.
The meeting was also attended by the World President ADMA Turin-Valdocco,
Mr. Tullio Lucca, with the animator Fr Pierluigi Cameroni. Also present
were the two new Provincials of the Salesians in Spain: Fr Cristóbal
López and Fr Juan Carlos Pérez, who expressed their interest
in ADMA and made some suggestions for the way forward.
Several points were raised and shared: the implementation of the commitments
made after the National Congress last year in Zaragoza; suggestions
for animating ADMA after the re-structuring of the Salesians in Spain;
promoting the responsibility of the laity in the conduct of the Association.
Mr Tullio Lucca and Fr Cameroni then presented the lines of animation
of ADMA for 2014-2015. They spoke also about the International Congress
of Mary Help of Christians in Turin next year on the occasion of the
bicentenary of the birth of Don Bosco and the institution of the liturgical
feast of Mary Help of Christians. They gave some indications of the
content and logistics of both commemorations. The meeting was characterized
by a great atmosphere of brotherhood and co-responsibility in the knowledge
that Mary Help of Christians is with us and guiding us with a mother's
love and apostolic concern.
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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 |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: email@example.com
Websites: www.donbosco-torino.it |
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