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  ADMA :  ASSOCIATION OF MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS    

     ADMA on Line              |        Monthly Message :  January 24th, 2015      

Mary invites us to pray and adore her Son Jesus

Mary gives us her Son. She offers him to us as our Saviour and as the Prince of Peace. She invites us to welcome him into our hearts and into our lives. Fidelity to prayer is the way to open our hearts to the grace and truth of Jesus Christ as the Saviour of the world. Adoring Jesus means acknowledging that He is the Lord of our lives.
Our filial entrustment to Mary Help of Christians is an expression of faith in the triumph of God's love and of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It is a guarantee that we will not lose hope in a world marked by suffering and pain where hatred, violence, jealousy and envy often prevail. Following Mary means nourishing hope in our hearts, believing that Jesus is the life of the world, and living his Gospel message of love, forgiveness and sacrifice.
This month of January is particularly significant for the whole Salesian Family in this bicentenary year of the birth of our father and founder Don Bosco. We want to welcome the Strenna of the Rector Major as a gift to be lived: "LIKE DON BOSCO, WITH THE YOUNG AND FOR THE YOUNG!" The primary purpose of the Strenna is not to be a pastoral programme for the year, but rather a message that creates unity and communion in the whole Salesian Family. The Strenna invites us to have the pastoral heart of Don Bosco, to get involved in God's plan for the salvation of youth, through the maternal mediation of Mary. We want to be with and among young people, showing them our pastoral predilection. We are for young people, especially the poor, because they need role models and adult believers. They have a right to such models. We are for young people, meeting them personally and accompanying them on their educational and spiritual journey. Young people are not only recipients. They are a gift of God to us. In this apostolic and educational work the Rector Major recalls Mamma Margaret, mother and educator of Don Bosco, and her role in the history of the oratory and the beginning of the Salesian charism. Finally, he emphasizes the role and the mediation of Mary, the outstanding collaborator of the Holy Spirit. To her we entrust the world of young people, that they may be attracted and guided by her, and through our educational work attain the stature of new men and women for a new world: the world of Christ, Our Lord and Master "(cfr. John Paul II, Iuvenum patris, n. 20).
In this spirit we pray that Mary from her home may renew our homes, as she invites us to journey with our Association towards the Seventh International Congress of Mary Help of Christians. We invite all groups to share the formative programme proposed monthly through ADMA online and to do everything possible to participate in this event of the Salesian Family in the bicentenary of the birth of our father and founder Don Bosco. All the necessary information can be found on the website: http://www.congressomariaausiliatrice2015.org. For additional help and clarification write to: congresso@admadonbosco.org.
WE wish you a happy Salesian month and happy feast of our father and founder Don Bos

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


FORMATION PROGRAMME 2013-14: Da mihi anima, cetera tolle - Roberto CARELLI sdb


Seventh International Congress of Mary Help of Christians
Torino-Valdocco / Colle Don Bosco - 6-9 August 2015

"Hic domus mea, inde glory mea"
From the house of Mary to our homes his mercy is from generation to generation

5. From generation to generation - Fr Roberto Carelli
How precious is a home! It is the place of love and life, because love tends to life and life is the fruit of love. It is the home of the family, where the fruit of a marriage blooms, the work of a father and a mother. The link between generations is always at the centre. It is the meeting point of gender and generation, where the intimacy of the spouses results in the fertility of the parents, where children are born and grow up, where they belong and become free, where they resemble each other but each one is unique. The home is at the crossroads of the generations: in it the young grow older and the elderly are not abandoned. The melody of love becomes a wedding duet and a harmonious family song. This is very true, but when it is not the case, the home becomes a prison. Affection becomes resentment, family ties become heavy chains, the inheritance becomes something to be grabbed or a burden to be got rid of.
The depth of the generative bond is well illustrated by Monsignor Camisasca in a recent talk on the beauty of the family: "The word 'generate' contains the reference to a source, genos. The same word connects us with the male and female gender and with genealogy or family history, that is, with a thread that unites generations. Generation is not only a step forward - pro-creation - but it also makes us look backwards, to the fact that the progenitors, the parents, are themselves generated, the children of their parents. Each child has its own name, but also has a surname. He or she is part of a family history, has a genealogy, carries in himself or herself the genes of many generations, both on the mother's side and that of the father, and has a direct relationship with the grandparents who often take care of them."
It is good to remember all this. Our society is obsessed with the rights of individuals. It speaks about love but rejects the bonds of love. Birth and death take place in hospitals. Motherhood becomes a medical event and fatherhood is no longer necessary. Educating the young is seen as a burden, with the emphasis on efficiency and the idea of giving freely is disappearing. Schools are neutral and non-personal, leading to behaviour that is competitive rather than cooperative. In such a world it is nice to be able to recover at home, in a home where one is expected and wanted, surrounded by good things and loved ones, people who are reliable and responsible, understanding and merciful, united in diversity and in a common destiny that nourishes confidence and hope. It is important to recall the mystery of the home as a place of generation and generations, because the three axes of the family (the alliance between the genders, the act of generation and dialogue between generations), suffer when they are separated from each other: marriages become increasingly unstable, society enters a demographic winter, and there is a break with tradition resulting in loss of memory and of hope.
Speaking of the home as a meeting between generations brings us to the essential fact that we are all children in every sense. We come from those who went before us, we love because we are loved, and we give birth because we ourselves were born. Everything in the natural life and also in the supernatural depends on generation, which is transmission of life and love. In God's plan, the first word is precisely "generation." Before creation there is the eternal generation of the Son. There is no architect, but a Father (Jn 1,1-3)! Man's destiny is in the call to become sons in the Son (Eph 1,4-5), to take on the mind of the Son (Phil 2.5 and Col 3:12) and to reach the fullness of maturity in Christ (Eph 4: 13). The centre of God's design lies in the mystery of the Incarnation, in that mysterious exchange in which the Son of God became the son of man, so that the children of men might become children of God. The "Only Begotten" became "the firstborn "of many brethren (Rom 8:29), so that they are no longer only created but generated, not only made to exist but made sharers in the life of the Son (Jn 1,12-13). And this design is realized in a story that goes from generation to generation. Even Jesus, who comes from God, has a human genealogy (Mt 1.1 to 17). He came down from heaven but is also of the lineage of David. He is the Son of the Father in heaven and of a Mother on earth (Mt 1, 18. 20). Everything is concentrated in the adorable mystery of Christmas, from the cave of Bethlehem and the home of Nazareth, in the domestic space of the Holy Family and the liturgical space of the Temple of Jerusalem: God has taken up residence among us (John 1:14).
At Christmas, in a very special way, everything speaks of generation and home, as a crossroads of salvation history that proceeds "from generation to generation" (Lk 1,50, The expression occurs forty times in Scripture). The mystery of God is realized in the genealogy of a people to be extended to all nations: God's logic is "genealogical". The prophetic word of Nathan to David is a good example: "I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them so that they may live in their own place ... The Lord will make you a house ... I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come forth from your body ... I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me." (2 Sam 7.10 to 14). And the liturgy says, "I will sing forever of your love O Lord, from generation to generation ...your love lasts forever ... I have sworn to David my servant. I will establish your dynasty forever, and set up your throne through all ages."(Ps 88.2-5). We should try therefore to understand better the preciousness of the bonds between generations, returning again to the episode of the Presentation in the Temple, aware that the deeper the roots the more solid our identity. A people that loses its roots is opting for infertility and death.
As we have already noted, the scene of the Presentation shows the meeting of three generations: the child, the parents, and the elders. Simeon and Anna represent memory and prophecy, that wealth of history and mystery without which the event is not understood as a passage of God. We must not lose sight of this fact, because today it is largely forgotten. There are more elderly people than ever before but old age and seniority have never been so much despised. In this sense, we are really struck by the force with which Pope Francis talks about the importance of the roots of a people as the energy of the future. "The first aspect of education is remembering one's roots. A people that has no memory of their roots have lost one of the most important pillars of their identity ... If you lose the roots, the trunk slowly empties and dies, and the branches bend towards the ground and fall ... Any progress decoupled from the memory of the origins is fiction and suicide ... there can be no education in losing one's roots." This is why the Pope often seizes the opportunity to talk about grandparents, to invoke the affection and respect that is due to them and to denounce the scourge of so many elderly people who are neglected, abused or abandoned. Grandparents are important because they are a ring of life. "A people that does not guard and does not respect their grandparents has no future, because it has no memory ... Grandparents are the wisdom of the family, the wisdom of a people. And if a people does not listen to the grandparents, that people will die!"
There is nobody like Mary to help us to grasp these profound truths about generation. She is the star of Christmas. She is the House of God, the Ark of the Covenant, the Tent of Meeting, the Sanctuary of God, the Mother of God. It is to her that we go to meet Jesus. It is she, together with the Father, who offers us the Son. In Bethlehem, Jesus is found in her arms. In Jerusalem he is offered from her arms. In Mary the mystery of the Incarnation is a matter of family intimacy and also the history of a people. Human generation and divine generation are brought together. In his book The Houses of Mary, Hermes Ronchi writes: "In her, in her body the invisible line and the visible line in the history of salvation meet. Her house is filled with heaven ... Without the body of Mary, the Gospel loses its body and becomes gnosis or ideology or moral code." But let us go a bit deeper…

- The text says that Mary met "Simeon, who was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel" (Lk 2:25). His was a life that was spent waiting, and now here is the joy: the Expected One has arrived. He recognizes the child, because it is love that gives clear vision, and he must have had great love to have waited so long. One is reminded of Simone Weil: "love means waiting!" What about me? Whom or what am I waiting for? With how much fidelity and with what hope?

- The story continues and says that Simeon "took the child in his arms and blessed God" (Lk 2,28). Praise and blessing are the first step in prayer addressed to God and they are the most important gesture of grandparents and of parents towards their children! Praise goes in the first place to God and blessing to their loved ones! Praise and blessing take first place because "faith puts at the centre, not what I do for God, but what God does for me" (E. Ronchi). Blessing is the core of love, because love basically says this: "it is good that you exist", "you are a gift to me!" Do I bless my husband or my wife, my children, friends, people who are good to me? Am I convinced, like Don Bosco, that it is not enough to love, but that it is important that love be demonstrated?

- In his song of praise, Simeon says, "my eyes have seen your salvation" - a salvation that not only affects the Jewish people but all nations (Lk 2.30 to 32). Everyone else sees only an infant like so many other infants, but Simeon and Anna can see the salvation of God. What about me? Am I waiting for salvation? What salvation? From whom do I await salvation? Have I a burning desire for God? Or do I settle for something less? Do I let my life flow between small pains and small pleasures, with a sense of resignation? What habits, patterns, prejudices, or hasty evaluations prevent me from discovering the presence of God?

- The fact remains that Anna and Simeon are two elderly people, and the text emphasizes this fact. It recalls the story of their loyalty to the temple, and their expectation of the Messiah (Luke 2,26.36). It is not to be taken for granted that the old should able to welcome the new and the child. We are often afraid that the children will be unable or unwilling to nurture and pursue the great ideals that we propose to them. This is why there is so much attachment to the past and so much distrust towards the young and mistrust towards the future. Old age can be a time of grace, but it can sometimes be experienced as a misfortune. It can be a time of grace, but it is not so automatically. On the one hand, it is the time of weakness, illness and the loss of life on earth, and on the other, the time of maturity, wisdom, and the testimony of what matters for eternal life.

It is a time of grace if we assume the task that is proper to grandparents. Pope Francis says: "Grandparents are entrusted with a great task - to hand on the experience of life, the story of a family, a community, a people; to share wisdom with simplicity, and to pass on the faith which is the most precious legacy." But old age, rather than being a time of wisdom, can become a time of foolishness. And here it demands great vigilance. Grandparents easily run the risk of living with regrets for the past, or resigned to their own faults, or anxious for their health, maybe inflexible in their habits, or attached to worldly goods. They can make demands of their children. Instead of looking forward to eternal life they are afraid of death. This is why the Word of God invites elderly people to a lifestyle that is edifying for their children and grandchildren "Tell the older men to be temperate, serious, prudent and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. Likewise, tell the older women to behave in a manner worthy of believers." (Titus 2,2-3). Most of all, older people need to understand that the greatest legacy to be delivered to the children is the life of faith and witness to the truth. The memory of roots is all the more convincing when the roots are deep, the more they sink into the mystery of God. Quoting the great poet Clemente Rebora, who wrote that "the deeper the trunk goes, the more it is true," When he spoke to grandparents, Pope Francis said simply this: "the roots are nourished on the truth."

FAMILY CHRONICLE

CORNWALL (CANADA) - THE NATIVITY GROUP
On 22 October 2014, in the city of Cornwall, Ontario, a new ADMA group was formed, called The Nativity. After two years of intense preparation with their animator, Sr Roberte Johnson, eleven ladies are committed to live and spread devotion to Mary Help of Christians in their families and in their environment. Bishop Marcel Damphousse celebrated the Eucharist with joy and presided over the ceremony of commitment of the new group. From the General Chapter in Rome, the Provincial, Sister Elisabeth Purcell, sent a message of hope and encouragement to the new group. Sr. Alphonsine Roy, head of the Salesian Family, came to Toronto to attend the ceremony of commitment and took the opportunity to congratulate our dear Sister Roberte. With her devotion and love for Our Lady, she was the one founder of the three groups of ADMA in Canada: Toronto St. Benedict, St. Dominic Savio in Montreal and The Nativity in Cornwall. Sister Francine Guillemette and sisters of the community participated willingly in the monthly meetings; their welcoming presence and their interest have allowed this beautiful and lively group to feel at ease, as they get to know and live the Salesian charism. After receiving the regulations and medals, the group met for a friendly social gathering. We thank God for this new bud that has sprouted on our Canadian soil. May Mary Help of Christians accompany this new ADMA group and help the members to grow in faith and love of Our Lady.

LA HABANA (CUBA) - TENTH NATIONAL MEETING
The Tenth National Meeting of ADMA in Cuba was held at St Mary Mazzarello House of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians in Peñalver Guanabacoa from 14 to 16 November 2014. It was attended by representatives of all the local councils: Santiago de Cuba, Manzanillo, Camagüey , Santa Clara, Manguito-Amarillas-Céspedes (Matanza) with their spiritual animator Sr. Nancy Leonor Quiste, Mary Help of Christians Church (Habana Vieja), San Juan Bosco Parish and Youth ADMA (Víbora, La Habana) and La Hata (Peñalver, Guanabacoa), with their spiritual animator Sr. Rosa Angelica Rodriguez. The meeting was led by Fr Miguel Ángel Fernández, Spiritual Animator and National Delegate of the Salesian Family, and Ms. Anna Gloria Alvarez Torres, National President of ADMA, together with the members of the Coordination Council.
It began, like all our meetings, by thanking "the One who has done everything." This gathering was dedicated as a posthumous tribute to Sister Lina Pegoraro who was called by the Lord on 30 October. She was a witness to faith in joy and was one of those shining stars that brought light into the lives of all. She was always a strong bulwark of ADMA, and for this reason we remembered her in this meeting marked by fraternal and cheerful sharing, typically Salesian, underlined by the presence of the ADMA youth group.
In the bicentenary year of our founder, we remembered his saintly mother, Margaret Occhiena, with a special rosary. In the formation part of the meeting we were lucky to have Fr Bruno Roccaro who presented the figure of the Servant of God Fr José Vandor. He helped us to get to know where Fr Vandor spent his childhood and youth and the various places where he lived. He encouraged us to ask his intercession with the Lord for some grace that might lead to his beatification. Fr Manuel Morancho (Delegate for Youth Ministry) presented the messages sent by the Rector Major. The delegate, Fr Miguel Ángel Fernández, entertained us with Salesian stories linked to our values and our spirituality. As ADMA we had to acknowledge the message of Pope Francis sent on the occasion of the celebration of our patron Maria de la Caridad del Cobre. He urges us to follow Mary in the light of three verbs: rejoice (radiate faith), get up (serve with tenderness and mercy) and persevere (remain in the love of God and neighbour).
The meeting concluded with the Eucharist celebrated by our Delegate, Fr. Miguel Ángel Fernández, offering to the Lord the service that best characterizes each local ADMA.
As we always say: "She has done everything," for the glory of God and the good of souls. Our ADMA members go away from these meetings strengthened and renewed to continue to serve in the vineyard of the Lord in this land of Cuba (Anna Gloria Alvarez Torres).

COACALCO (MEXICO) - FIRST ADMA YOUTH GROUP
The first ADMA Youth group in Mexico consists of five young people: - Sergio Vazquez, Daniel Barrera, Aaron Toledo, Laura Estrella, Diana Rizo. The Spiritual Animator is Fr José Luis Vazquez Castro.

GELA - ENTRUSTMENT OF CHILDREN TO MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS
4 December 2014. The ceremony of entrustment of children took place this year also for all the children and families who requested it. The small children present showed interest and the older ones were happy to take part. After Mass there was the blessing by Fr Calogero Di Gregorio and every child received a souvenir photo. The evening ended with sweets for the children and all present. May Jesus and Mary Help of Christians, the guiding stars of our journey, help us to continue these simple Salesian traditions that gladden the heart. The memories will remain with the children for the rest of their lives. The families dedicate their children to the Blessed Virgin, as Mamma Margaret did. It's nice, then, to hear a mother's act of entrustment to Mary and the prayer of dedication to Our Lady by one of the little children. (Luigina Ciaramella, Regional President of ADMA Sicily).

GWANGJU (SOUTH KOREA)
On 8 December 2014, Feast of the Immaculate Conception, we received the Diploma of Aggregation to the Primary ADMA in Turin. Sixteen new aspirants posed for a souvenir photo. In the centre of the photo is Ms. Kim Lucia reverently holding the Diploma of Aggregation. To her left is Sister Susanna Lee, Spiritual Animator, on her right the Provincial, Sister Choi Silvia. and then Sister Angela Nho.

We remember in prayer and express our thanksgiving for Father Joseph Occhio, SDB, whom the Lord called to himself in Etobicoke, Ontario (Canada), on 13 December 2014. He was a great promoter and animator of ADMA in Canada. May Mary Help of Christians welcome him into the Salesian garden!


                 
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   ADMA HEADQUARTERS, Torino-Valdocco, ITALIA:
   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 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: pcameroni@sdb.org
                       Websites: www.donbosco-torino.it     |    www.admadonbosco.org


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