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: ASSOCIATION OF MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS
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| Monthly Message : October 24th,
invites us to be shining stars
Mary, our Mother, the
Help of Christians, exhorts us to be joyful witnesses to the faith.
The gift of faith fills our hearts with joy, and faith is spread through
joy. Faith spreads by radiation, as Pope Francis likes to point out.
Our Lady, Star of Evangelization, invites us to be like the stars that
shine in splendour, giving light and beauty to others, that they too
may experience the joy of life. The stars do not speak, but radiate
light and beauty. Similarly we have to be stars radiating love, peace
and joy to those who have little faith or none. Our Lady wants us to
spread the gospel by living in joy and nourishing it in our hearts through
prayer. Only then will our witness be effective. She wants us to be
men and women of faith and prayer, finding peace in our own hearts and
spreading it to every person. With hearts inflamed with love we receive
within us that light which enlightens everyone who comes into the world
and we pray that the light of the gospel may accompany us always and
We are approaching the Seventh International Congress of Mary Help of
Christians. Each local group and each member, even if they cannot be
physically present in Turin, are called to share this journey with the
whole Association and with the Salesian Family. Through it we receive
the glory that radiates from the Shrine of Mary Help of Christians in
all our homes, our families and groups, so that the mercy of God may
be manifested in our lives and in our history. With Mary Help of Christians
we want God to reign in our homes, that the gospel of forgiveness and
reconciliation may be the leaven of a new humanity, and that the civilization
of love, prophesied by the great Pope Paul VI who was beatified on 19
October 2014, may become a reality. In Evangelii Nuntiandi (8 December
1975) he wrote: "On Pentecost morning, Mary presided with her prayer
over the beginning of evangelization prompted by the Holy Spirit. May
she be the Star of the evangelization ever renewed that the Church,
docile to her Lord, must promote and accomplish, especially in these
times that are difficult but full of hope."
In communion of prayer under the mantle of Mary and guided by our father
and founder Don Bosco,
Sig. Lucca Tullio,
President - Don Pierluigi Cameroni SDB, Spiritual Animator
mihi anima, cetera tolle
Congress of Mary Help of Christians
Torino-Valdocco / Colle
Don Bosco - 6-9 August 2015
mea, inde glory mea"
From the house of Mary to our homes his mercy is from generation
The houses of Mary and the places of grace - Fr Roberto Carelli
There is a law of the
spirit which says the most precious things are the most vulnerable,
and the highest values are the most neglected. This also happens to
the mystery of the "home", to the very human experience of
living, of belonging, of giving hospitality, of building an environment
favourable to bonds of love and growth of life. This is sad but not
surprising. In a culture that reduces the human being to an individual,
everything that is "home" is somehow walked upon. The temples
of God are empty, and the shrines of consumption full. The liturgies
of entertainment multiply. Families suffer and are divided, and meanwhile
society promotes the civil recognition of any form of affective union.
With the legalization of abortion, woman's body becomes a place of death
instead of the womb of life.
Yet the experience of home is radical. It envelops everyone's life in
many ways: our first and last home is God, because everything exists
in the fire of his love. Then there is the world which is the home of
all. The splendour of the cosmos, which in Greek means order and beauty,
tells us that the man moves in an ordered environment that in many ways
recalls the truth, goodness and beauty of the Creator. Our life is not
welcomed in an anonymous space, but in the land and in the history of
a people. Without the gift of language and the culture of a nation our
life would not be human. This freedom makes us unique among all the
creatures that inhabit the earth. Then there is the family nest, a place
of the most intimate affection. In the family we develop our bodies.
Our thoughts are awakened. Our heart is shaped. It is there we learn
to live and love. It is there in our first home that we have a mother.
From her we receive the gift of life. Hers is the first face that meets
our face. In her God implants the first memorable image of himself as
Love and Tenderness. Finally, built between heaven and earth, between
God's dwelling and the homes of people, there are churches, the places
where God is present among his people and where it is given to people
to stand in God's presence! Without these homes where mystery dwells,
heaven would be inaccessible, and the world would be closed in on itself!
The point is that even as Christians we need to be healed of the ancient
and modern illnesses which misunderstand and damage the mystery of "home"
and "temple" Many people go on pilgrimage, visit shrines,
light votive candles and recite novenas to Mary or the Saints. How easy
it is for some to view these people constantly with doubts and objections!
"If God is everywhere, why go to church? After all, if Christian
worship is spiritual, why are there so many practices? Is this not superstition
and bigotry? And if it is true that God knows everything and knows our
hearts, why pray, why go to confession, why offer sacrifices? Does this
not take away our dignity and freedom of conscience? And why all this
love for Mary, is Jesus not enough? Is there not the risk of adoring
a creature and putting her on the same level of the Creator? Why did
Mary speak to Don Bosco about the Church as her house? Is it not the
house of Jesus? And why did she speak of her glory? Is it not a question
of God's glory? "
Let's be clear: we need to think outside the rigid schemes of spiritualists
and the vague patterns of secularists. We don't want either the nostalgic
visions of traditionalists or the ideology of the progressives! On the
one hand there are those who reduce worship to mere ritual and belief
in doctrine plus works of charity. And on the other hand, there are
those for whom every teaching is strict dogma, every rite become a ritual
and all morality becomes moralizing.. Some are concerned about Christian
identity and oppose dialogue with doctrine. Others, in the name of openness
to the world, are convinced of the need for dialogue while denying the
value of truth and of doctrine. The former think they are very spiritual
but are too attached to things, while the latter, despite being secular,
despise the little things. Both positions are obviously unacceptable
for the Christian. Because Jesus is true man and true God, and the Word
made flesh, the Christian will always try to speak the truth in charity
and practise charity in truth, carefully avoiding any tendency to separate
doctrine from moral theory and practice, or universal values from concrete
Let us try, therefore, to bring some order and a little bit of light.
The theological question that takes into account all the intellectual
objections and ecclesial imbalances that we have mentioned can be worded
as follows: why is grace is localized? Why does God limit his presence
and his actions to certain places and certain times?
1 Before any answer is
given, there has to be a warning that is well expressed by the two great
thinkers, Marcel and De Lubac: let's be careful not to turn a mystery
into a problem! God, in his infinite wisdom, has chosen to act as he
does: although He Himself is our home, he wants to find his home in
us! So it is good for us to question, not in order to argue, but to
understand! And this is possible, because the mystery of grace is beyond
us, but it is not unreasonable.
2 Coming to some kind
of response, let us say, first of all, that grace is localized because
we are localized, we live in space and time, we exist in our bodies
and in the social body and the body of Christ which is the Church. And
so the temple, the body of Jesus, the Church and the churches are the
sign of the love of God, the proof of his condescension towards us,
his poor creatures. At the same time, the desire of God to dwell in
our homes and to make his home in us expresses and guarantees the truth,
goodness and beauty of our lowly existence. God chooses us to be his
partners in a covenant of love, and assumes our lowliness in order to
raise us up to his height! This is characteristic of love: God is not
afraid of our lowliness and we should not be afraid of his infinite
goodness. In love, the one who is great bows down and the lowly are
raised up, the Lord becomes a servant and the servant becomes a friend.
3 Grace has times and
places, because both human love and divine love are concrete and differentiated.
As in the family not only is there affection, but affection is expressed
and developed in the gestures and deeds, so also in churches and shrines
the encounter with God is expressed and realized in signs and liturgical
gestures, in specific forms of presence and special graces.
4 More profoundly, grace
seeks hospitality in the world of people, so that people may find hospitality
in God's world. Here we explain the unique attraction of the houses
of God. In churches, heaven and earth meet. Mystery is made present
and the things of earth are made partakers of the mystery. This is why
the Christian life becomes a journey with our feet on the ground and
our heart in heaven, as we see beautifully in Don Bosco. We live among
visible things as if seeing the invisible, understanding life as if
we had already entered eternal life.
5 In any case, a simple
look at the Scriptures on the subject of "temple", clarifies
immediately many things about the way of doing God's will. Right from
the Old Testament, through the words of Nathan the prophet, Yahweh reveals
himself as one who first rejects and then accepts King David's proposal
to build him a temple. The God who created the heavens and whom the
heavens cannot contain is the same God who desires to live on earth.
The houses of God tell us then that God's greatness co-exists with humility,
his omnipotence with weakness. This is the miracle of love: making space
for another and finding space in the other, opening the other's heart
and becoming small enough to be able to live there.
The Incarnation confirms
definitively the God's humble and wonderful way of acting. By the power
of the Spirit, the Word is made flesh in the humility of Mary's womb.
The lowly handmaid of the Lord, who dwells in the heart of God from
all eternity, now becomes in history the most beautiful dwelling place
of God! From the mystery of Christ, we come finally to the mystery of
the Christian. The reasoning is the same. The truth of the Temple of
Jerusalem is fulfilled in the new temple, which is the Body of Christ.
In the same way, the Body of Christ, through the outpouring of the Spirit
and the gift of the Eucharist, becomes a spiritual temple for all who
believe in Him. The Christian churches are places where we are built
into "a holy temple in the Lord" as "a dwelling place
of God through the Spirit" (Eph 2.21- 22).
If this is the mystery of the temple, two things come to mind at once.
They will be our main concern in this second stage of our journey.
1. Let us follow the
ways of Grace! We are not seeking an intellectual faith, always in search
of an explanation, nor a moralistic faith, over concerned about behaviour.
These are ways that conceal our pride. Let us rather, go to God with
simplicity, enjoying the practices that have been recognized as genuine
by God's people over the centuries. And let us be careful not to look
down on popular piety. Rather let us follow the example of Don Bosco,
and carry out the task he entrusted in a special way to the members
of ADMA. Let us promote devotion by our humble, convinced, joyful, serene
and courageous example. Mystics, teachers and pastors agree on this
point. Listen to Grignon de Montfort:
"A counterfeiter usually makes coins only of gold and silver, rarely
of other methods, because these latter would not be worth the trouble.
Similarly, the devil leaves other devotions alone and counterfeits those
mostly directed to Jesus and Mary ... because these are to other devotions
what gold and silver are to other metals." It is therefore important
to recognize false devotions to the Blessed Virgin. 1 Devout critics:
they criticize almost all the practices of piety that simple people
perform in honour of Our Lady. They cast doubt on all miracles and stories
reported by creditable authors, and get annoyed at seeing simple and
humble people kneeling to pray to God before an altar or an image of
Mary. 2 Scrupulous devotees: these are people who are afraid of dishonouring
the Son by honouring the Mother, afraid that they are belittling one
by exalting the other...
Ignatius was of the same opinion. At the end of the Exercises he had
this to say: "We praise the relics of the saints, venerating them
and praying to the saints; we approve of stations, pilgrimages, indulgences,
jubilees, crusades and lighting candles in churches. We praise the provisions
on fasting and abstinence, such as those for Lent, Ember Days, vigils,
for Friday and Saturday; we also praise penances, not only internal
but also external. We praise the ornaments and the buildings of the
churches, as well as images, venerating them for what they represent."
And recently, to revive popular piety with all its missionary potential
as part of the new evangelization, Pope Francis had this to say in his
letter Evangelii Gaudium:
Popular piety enables us to see how the faith, once received, becomes
embodied in a culture and is constantly passed on. Once looked down
upon, popular piety came to be appreciated once more in the decades
following the Council. In the Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi, Pope
Paul VI gave a decisive impulse in this area. There he stated that popular
piety "manifests a thirst for God which only the poor and the simple
can know" and that "it makes people capable of generosity
and sacrifice even to the point of heroism, when it is a question of
bearing witness to belief," ... "Journeying together to shrines
and taking part in other manifestations of popular piety, also by taking
one's children or inviting others, is in itself an evangelizing gesture".
Let us not stifle or presume to control this missionary power! ... Only
from the affective connaturality born of love can we appreciate the
theological life present in the piety of Christian peoples, especially
among their poor... No one who loves God's holy people will view these
actions as the expression of a purely human search for the divine. They
are the manifestation of a theological life nourished by the working
of the Holy Spirit who has been poured into our hearts.
2 In her houses, Mary
teaches us order and beauty in the praise and service of God. Similarly
Our Lady wants to teach us to make of our homes domestic churches, where
love is found and we can breathe God, where we take care of one another
and become servants, where relationships are familiar and respectful,
where we are attentive to the times and the areas we share, where we
take care of the order and beauty of the rooms and objects, where the
times for work and rest are not left to chance, and similarly times
for speaking and times of silence.
We could summarize this month's commitment in this way: liturgy well
celebrated and well-ordered homes. Or, in the words of the liturgy,
we aim to be "faithful in service, ardent in praise"!
Prayer for the Seventh
International Congress of Mary Help of Christians
Hic domus mea, inde glory mea
From the house of Mary to our homes: for his mercy is from generation
O God our Father,
who for your glory
and to honour the Virgin Mary,
inspired your servant St. John Bosco
to build a temple in honour of the Mother of God,
under the title Help of Christians,
hear our confident prayer.
The apostle of the Help of Christians was convinced
that Our Lady herself had built her house,
whence her glory would radiate.
We also proclaim with joy
that Mary is the House of Gold, adorned with the gifts of the
the royal palace illuminated by the Sun of Justice,
the holy city enlivened by rivers of grace,
the ark of the covenant carrying the author of the new law,
Jesus Saviour of the world.
We pray that, guarding the grace of the Sacraments,
our homes may be a place of communion, solidarity and forgiveness.
Your mercy is revealed also in our generation,
stronger than any form of division and violence,
and education to the way of life of the Gospel
is passed on to new generations.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen!
CUYO (ARGENTINA) - SALESIAN
A retreat took place in the San Juan ADMA retreat centre on 24 August
2014. It was open to the whole Salesian Family in the area of Cuyo (Argentina).
The preacher was Fr Rubén Romero, SDB, who took as his topic
"A place, a time". He invited the participants to take risks,
like the disciples, at the feet of Jesus, to live a personal encounter
with Him, to get to know the Word of God in a profound and vital way,
to reflect on the vocation to which every person is called and to strengthen
the roots of faith. It was attended by members of t he Salesian houses
in Mendoza (Mendoza-Centrr, Rodeo del Medio, Ceferino, San Rafael),
San Luis and San Juan. The retreat was organized and promoted by the
San Juan community. It was a retreat of silence, lived with intensity
all the time: the pilgrim rosary, Eucharistic adoration, Mass. (Stella
Maris Correa de Recio - President ADMA ARN).
Niteroi (BRAZIL) - FOURTH
The Fourth National Congress of Mary Help of Christians, sponsored by
the Association of Mary Help of Christians (ADMA) and by the Province
of Belo Horizonte was held from 5 to 7 September 2014. The theme was
"Help of Christians, the Virgin of Don Bosco." It was attended
by the Councillor for the America South Cone Region, Fr Natale Vitali,
the Provincial Fr Orestes Fistarol and over 120 members of ADMA,.
- SECOND CONVENTION
The second Convention of ADMA in the Southern Philippines Province was
held on 6 September 2014 at the Don Bosco Technology Centre, Cebu. The
theme was "The journey of ADMA: Up Close and Personal". It
was attended by members of ADMA from Cebu, Dumaguete, Davao City and
Victorias, in addition to the President and the Secretary of ADMA North.
The Holy Mass was celebrated by Father George Militante, SDB (Provincial
of the Southern Philippines). Eight members of ADMA made their commitment.
The new members received the Rules and the ADMA card from Fr Militante,
the medal from Fr Godofredo Atienza, SDB (Animator Douthern Province)
and the badge from Maria Junifer L. Maliglig (President Northern Province).
In the afternoon they visited the Chapel of Mary Help of Christians
in Buhisan, Cebu City, recited the rosary and donated flowers. They
also made a pilgrimage to the chapel of St. Pedro Calungsod. (Maria
SAN JUAN (ARGENTINA)
- COMMITMENT OF NEW MEMBERS
ADMA day was celebrated on the feast of the Nativity of Mary, 8 September
2014. About a year ago we started a successful formation programme for
couples, knowing that these are the pillars of the family, responsible
for the education of children and young people. With great joy, five
couples have made their commitment to membership of the Association
of Mary Help of Christians. The celebration was presided over by the
Rector of San Juan, Fr Orlando Sanchez, SDB, accompanied by Fr Rubén
Romero , SDB, for several years animator of ADMA in San Juan. All the
members renewed their pledge of allegiance to the Virgin according to
the Salesian charism. (Stella Maris Correa de Recio - President ADMA
San Juan ARN).
YOUTH ADMA TORINO
Greetings from the planning session of YOUTH ADMA of Turin. We are looking
forward to the Congress of 2015 !!!
On 31 May 2014, the ADMA group in Potenza celebrated the admission of
ten new members. In the photo along with the new members are the Rector
and Parish Priest, Fr Italo Pasquale Sammarro, SDB, the spiritual animator
Fr Vincenzo Adesso, SDB and the President, Pecoraro Rocco.
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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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Websites: www.donbosco-torino.it |
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