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: ASSOCIATION OF MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS
ADMA on Line
| 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: email@example.com
For further information go to the Congress website or write to firstname.lastname@example.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
Congress of Mary Help of Christians
Torino-Valdocco / Colle Don
Bosco - 6-9 August 2015
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
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
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.
TURIN - MEETING OF THE MAJOR SUPERIORS AND COORDINATORS OF THE SALESIAN
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
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
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,
SÃO JOSÉ DOS CAMPOS - SAO PAOLO (BRAZIL)
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).
MATUNGA - MUMBAI (INDIA)
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 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
3401452349 | E-mail: email@example.com
Websites: www.donbosco-torino.it |
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