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       |     Monthly Message :  March 24th, 2015      

Mary invites us to seek the will of God in prayer

We are journeying towards Easter, the centre and heart of our faith. We are going up with Jesus and Mary to Jerusalem as faithful and courageous disciples. This is why Mary exhorts us to be faithful in prayer, insistent prayer together to obtain from the Father the gift of the Holy Spirit poured out by his beloved Son on the altar of the cross. We live this Lenten period in a spirit of silence and recollection, avoiding useless chatter and empty words. With Jesus and Mary, we seek the will of God and try to fulfil it, observing God's commandments and behaving as true disciples of Christ crucified and risen. In this way we will experience the love of God who does everything for the good of his children, and we will enjoy great peace and joy.
We will spend the months between now and the Congress in the spirit of Mary: accompanying groups and people in the one-to-one style of Mary. Our motto: "Hic domus mea, inde gloria mea - From the house of Mary to our homes", draws attention to the maternal presence of Mary, Mother of the Church and Help of Christians, helping all of us to experience the beauty of family life. Don Bosco still has much to say today to the family: his life, his educational system and spirituality are based on the family spirit which was born in Valdocco and developed through Mary's help.
Registration is now open for the Seventh International Congress of Mary Help of Christians. It is a Salesian Family event, promoted by the Association of Mary Help of Christians. The Congress will be held in Turin (Palaruffini and Valdocco) and Colle Don Bosco from 6 to 9 August 2015. It will be an opportunity for groups of the Salesian Family to take part in the celebration of the bicentenary of the birth of Don Bosco, and to reflect on the family in the context of the new evangelization.
Various initiatives have been planned to encourage active participation in the Congress. One of these is an invitation to groups of the Salesian Family to make a short video that responds to one of the following two questions: "What does the presence of Mary Help of Christians mean for you?" "How does Mary renew our families?". The most interesting videos will be shown during the Seventh International Congress of Mary Help of Christians. The videos, which must be received by April 30, can be presented in any of the official languages of the Congress: Italian, English or Spanish. These are the technical specifications:
Format of video: AVI, MOV, MPEG and MP4
Duration: One minute (maximum).
Last date for submission: 30 April 2015
Send the video to a: ans.sdb@gmail.com
For further information go to the Congress website or write to congresso@admadonbosco.org.
May our Immaculate Mother Mary who is without sin sustain us in our spiritual battle against sin, and accompany us during this favourable time so that we may come together to sing the joy of victory on the day of Easter. Happy Easter!

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

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

7. The family, the body of love - Fr Roberto Carelli

Home is the place where love is not just an idea or an ideal, a feeling or emotion. The home is in fact the place of the family, and the family is the body of love. It is where love takes shape and becomes concrete. In the family we learn to love, because it is in the family we first learn to listen and to speak, to appreciate and to judge, to decide and to act, to care and be cared for, to laugh and cry, to enjoy and to make sacrifices, to live and die. Most of all, in the family we learn to pray, to love God and to love like God. All this may seem obvious, but today it is less and less so, because in our culture love has come to be treated as a commodity. Love is deified and, at the same time, it has been secularized. On the one hand, in fact, love is considered the most important thing, the only thing that matters, the most transparent, subject to no restrictions and taking priority over all other considerations. Love is love ... when there is a feeling of love ... but do we really love each other? On the other hand - as noted by Xavier Lacroix, well known French philosopher and theologian - in spite of this very clear idea of love, nothing seems to be so much misunderstood as love. "How can one word come to have so many different meanings often completely opposed to each other? The same word is used for pleasure, lust and enjoyment and for the movement towards God, through desire and attachment. It is used for maternal affection and for carnal pleasure, for a consuming passion and for married love… Some people say they love chocolate! Others might love a Vermeer painting!"
In fact, when love is separated from any real spiritual reference, it becomes an idol - everything and nothing at the same time. Everything in the sense that it takes the place of God, nothing, because the idol is inconsistent. Worse - as C.S. Lewis says in the famous book Four Loves - since God is love, "when love is no longer God, it becomes a demon," and, for the same reason, "when love is made into a god, then too it becomes a demon." That's what happens to love, when it is torn from its roots in its natural and supernatural foundations, when it ceases to be real. After all, as we well know, the battle between Christ and Satan is the clash between reality and abstractions. The Antichrist - according to St. John - is in fact the one who "denies God in the flesh" (2 Jn 7) and does not recognize "the Father and the Son "(1 Jn 2:22), while Christ is precisely" the Word made flesh "and the only- begotten Son of the Father "(Jn 1:14). Don Bosco's intuition that "it is not enough to love" is truer today than ever. It must be true love, and must be recognizable. At the present time, they speak of "family affection" where only feelings count. Laws, agreements and alliances do not matter. Meanwhile families break up. Certainly there must be an awareness that love is essential, but it is not the only essential. Love is all-encompassing, but not self-sufficient. The power of love cannot exist without some kind of form, and when there is suffering, love cannot last without the stability of family bonds. Lacroix says it very well: "Can love be the only foundation of marriage and family? We must have the courage to say, love is not enough. Love, no matter how strong it is, does not exclude difficulties in communication and sharing wishes and pains. Love alone does not enable couples to disagree calmly, without the fear of being swallowed up in the relationship."
Don Bosco was always clear: love is not suspended in the air, with no anchor and no compass, no references and foundations. Love is God and comes from God. It is given to us in the body of Jesus and the outpouring of his Spirit. We meet love in the great family which is the Church and from the faith that we breathe in the family. For this reason, as the Rector Major wrote in the commentary on the Strenna, "we consider the family spirit as the heart of the Salesian charism." The family spirit - as described in the rule of life of the children of Don Bosco - means that everyone feels "at home", feels welcomed and responsible, experiences mutual confidence and mutual affection, a mature willingness to share and the ability to forgive. Certainly Don Bosco, and we with him, owe much to his two mothers, Mamma Margaret on earth and Mary, the mother and teacher given to him from heaven. Thanks to them Don Bosco has developed all the details of a love that take on a specific way of expression and an original appearance. The Rector Major calls it "the peasant's wisdom, a healthy astuteness, a spirit of work, a true appreciation of what was important, readiness to work hard when something needed to be done, optimism under all trials, resilience in times of misfortune, the ability to start again after set-backs, cheerfulness always and everywhere, a spirit of solidarity, a lively faith, genuine and deep affection, a readiness to welcome and to be hospitable."
It is not by chance that the pedagogical legacy of Don Bosco, his preventive system, is based on the convergence of reason, religion and loving kindness. Love is undoubtedly at the centre, but Don Bosco deemed love inseparable from reason and religion, from wisdom and providence, from common sense and the sense of God. Today we see how well the three dimensions of the preventive system either stand or fall together. Without reason and religion, love is reduced to feeling, and ends up becoming the criterion of legitimacy of moral disorders (in secular societies) or of religious violence (in religious societies). Similarly, without true love, reason is weakened and religion dies. Without all three, people are ill. Their mind is disoriented and their heart is upset. They have no desire for wholeness and happiness. Without truth and without God, love becomes the absolute criterion, and ultimately there is no criterion. Love becomes arbitrary and selfish, and ends up in disorder and violence.
The Church is now more than ever aware that there is an order of love that comes from God and to some extent can be discovered in creation. The myth of "free love" does not achieve a truly "free love", but condemns not just individuals but entire societies to the slavery of individualism, narcissism, hedonism. In his Apostolic Letter Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis reminds us clearly that love is both feeling and responsibility, and not one without the other, and that human love finds its fulfilment in marriage. "The indispensible contribution of marriage to society transcends the feelings and momentary needs of the couple. As the French bishops have taught, 'it is not born of loving sentiment, ephemeral by definition, but from the depth of the obligation assumed by the spouses who accept to enter a total communion of life.'"
The Church, in turn, models its love on the sources of the Gospel, in the intimate communication with the person, the words and the life of the Lord Jesus. In the Church - and also in Don Bosco's pedagogy, which is not just a style of education but a spiritual programme - the roots of "reason, religion and loving kindness" are found in Jesus' life and actions. No wonder the Italian Bishops, in their Guidelines for Education, use the evangelical icon of Mk 6.34-41, where the evangelist describes the public life of Jesus, and shows that Jesus inaugurates the coming of the Kingdom of God by calling, teaching and healing, thus speaking to the heart, the mind and the desire for God: 1. Jesus came to make us know and experience the love of God, because without it all is vain: it is for this that Jesus calls his disciples! 2. Jesus also sees that man does not know clearly who God is and what love is, Man's worst mistakes are made in the name of love and in the name of God. He sees that man has more need of the Word than of bread. This is why Jesus taught the people! 3. Finally, Jesus does not just talk about love and God, but in fact incarnates the lordship of the merciful Father working through the power of the Spirit: this is why Jesus heals!
Lord Jesus, consecrate us in truth, unite us in love, and communicate your holiness to us! Make us capable of accompanying young people to share your sentiments, to see the world - and things and people in the world - in the light of your wisdom and your mercy, to recognize the fatherly face of God and to love him with the heart of children.


On the Feast of Don Bosco, in this Bicentenary Year, a meeting took place in Turin of the Major Superiors and Coordinators of the various groups of the Salesian Family, to celebrate as a family the origin of their charism and to renew their commitment to journey together. Mr Tullio Lucca, President of ADMA Primary, attended on behalf of our Association. The leaders of the Salesian Family shared moments of prayer and mutual understanding, and they visited the places where the Salesian charism was born and grew. The leaders made a profession of communion and belonging to Don Bosco, the Salesian Family and the Church, and they participated in the Mass in the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in honour of St. John Bosco. On Sunday morning, 1 February, they went to Colle Don Bosco, where the Rector Major presided at the Eucharist. In the afternoon there was an update of the book on the Salesian Family and the presentation of the Strenna for 2015, on the theme "Like Don Bosco: with young people and for young people."
Some of our members from ADMA primary helped in organizing the evening of fraternity around the Rector Major.

ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE SECRETARIAT FOR THE SALESIAN FAMILY AND THE DELEGATE OF THE RECTOR MAJOR TO THE SECRETARIAT During the meeting of the Major Superiors and Coordinators of the Salesian Family, held in Turin on 31 January and 1 February, there was also the announcement of the Secretariat for the Salesian Family and the Delegate of the Rector Major for the Secretariat.
The Secretariat for the Salesian Family is an organ of animation, formation and coordination established by the 27th General Chapter. It is dependent directly on the Rector Major. Its function is to animate the Congregation with regard to the Salesian Family and to promote the communion of the various groups, while respecting their specific identity and autonomy. The Delegate of the Rector Major for the Secretariat for the Salesian Family is the Secretary of the Central Secretariat. Along with him there are other Salesians who have responsibility for the central animation of the groups of the Salesian Family for which the Salesian Congregation has charismatic responsibility (Salesian Cooperators, Past Pupils of Don Bosco, ADMA, Don Bosco Volunteers, and Volunteers with Don Bosco). In addition there are three members of the Advisory Council of the Salesian Family.
As First Delegate, for the three years 2015-2018, the Rector Major, has appointed Fr Eusebio Muñoz Ruiz. He was born 26 December 1944 in Pozoblanco, Spain and has been a Salesian since 16 August 1962. He made his perpetual profession on 26 July, 1968 and was ordained priest on 22 July 1972. He was Director of the Salesian houses in Ronda and Montilla, in the aspirantate at Cordoba, - in the house at Sanlúcar La Mayor in Granada and at the same time Novice Master - and finally in the St John Bosco community in the Vice-Province of the UPS. He has also been Vice-Provincial and Provincial Delegate for the Salesian Family in the Province of Spain-Cordoba; and later Delegate for the Salesian Cooperators and the Past Pupils of the Province of Spain-Seville.

This past year has been filled with many blessings for our Toronto based group of the Mary Help of Christians Association.
However, on December 13, 2014, our dear friend and spiritual animator, Fr. Joseph Occhio, SDB passed away. He had been the spiritual animator of ADMA for the past 14 years. There are many qualities of Fr. Occhio that touched our group but the one that stands out is that of teacher. As our spiritual animator, he gently and wisely guided us with carefully chosen words, steering us on a path of sanctification and apostleship. But Fr. Occhio's teachings went much deeper than that. His whole attitude towards daily living, the people he encountered, the ministries he was involved in and the struggles that came his way, he approached all with a deep peace and joy that came from a complete trust in God and our Blessed Mother. It was very apparent that Fr. Occhio had a deep personal knowledge of God's love and communion with God, which he shared with us. He always had a smile and a kind word to encourage us and we never ended a meeting without taking some of that peace and joy with us. The greatest dimension of Fr. Occhio's teaching was that he taught us by example, by the way he lived his life each moment, and for that we are truly grateful that God shared so precious a priest with us. Fr. Occhio will be greatly missed but we take comfort in the words we often heard him speak, "Rest assured of my prayers. I will be with you in spirit."
Fr. John Puntino, SDB is our new spiritual animator. Fr. John, the director of the Salesian community in Toronto, is the Coordinator of the Salesian Family Consulta and has a background in Salesian spirituality from the Salesian Pontifical University (UPS) in Rome. Though this is his first time as spiritual animator of an ADMA group he has served as provincial delegate to Salesian Cooperators and has interacted with ADMA groups in New York and Florida. He is also a local ecclesiastical assistant for Don Bosco Volunteers and Volunteers with Don Bosco.
On January 27th we renewed our commitment to the Mary, Help of Christians Association by reciting our solemn promise during the celebration of mass in honour of St. John Bosco. We celebrated afterwards with a reception and socializing. Our time together was filled with great joy and unity as we shared in the blessings of the day.
We continue to meet on a monthly basis and hold three retreats each year. This year we focused on journeying inward and interior freedom. This time of spiritual formation and sharing has become a vital part of our spiritual learning as we continue to strive to be Jesus' good and faithful servants here on earth, with the help of our blessed Holy Mother. Our meetings consist of the recitation of the rosary, spiritual learning and formation and then scripture reading and feedback. We conclude our meetings with the Blessing of Mary, Help of Christians. It is encouraging and rewarding to see how the spirit of our group is growing under the protective guidance of our Blessed Mother. May we continue to grow in love for God and one another and may Our Blessed Mother protect and guide us as we carry on our journey here on earth (Margaret Pupulin, President).

The ADMA group of the Sagrada Familia parish of São José dos Campos joined ADMA throughout the world in prayer and intercession for the Seventh International Congress of Mary Help of Christians. To the great joy of the whole parish we received our Diploma of membership. This is a matter of great joy and even greater responsibility. The Regional, Fr Natale Vitali, told us: "Now you have to live the mission with even greater commitment." The group is only one year old. It was founded in December 2013 by the spiritual animator, the Parish Priest Fr Silvio César da Silva. He leads and directs the group with the heart of a pastor and a true disciple of Don Bosco. The group currently has 40 members and 10 aspirants who are preparing to make their commitment. We strive daily to promote the love of the Blessed Sacrament and devotion to Mary Help of Christians. Moved by the Holy Spirit we are a movement of people who work in different ways, for young people most in need, and to meet the needs and to the signs of the times. (Tânia Campos).

On 26 January 2015 The ADMA group of the Shrine of the Madonna of Don Bosco, Matunga, Mumbai, India held their annual pilgrimage. Each year the members take the opportunity to visit one of the places of Marian devotion that help them grow in their love for Mary and for the Church. This year they went to the shrine of Our Lady of Velankanni, Utan, Mumbai, India. It is a beautiful church built on a hill overlooking the Arabian Sea. Besides the attractive surrounding landscape, it offers an environment of prayer and religious renewal. Fr. Wilfred D'Souza SDB, Spiritual Animator, accompanied the group, celebrated Mass and directed the programme. The thirty members also had the opportunity to visit Our Lady of Bethlehem, an ancient church 400 years old and the chapel on the hill dedicated to St. Anthony. It was a day rich in spirit that helped the participants to grow in their sense of belonging to ADMA and to take part in the celebration of the bicentenary of the birth of Don Bosco.

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   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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