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: ASSOCIATION OF MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS
ADMA on Line
| Monthly Message : April 24th, 2015
Mary calls us to pray and fight against temptation
Mary Help of Christians is Our Lady in difficult times. She guides us
in the path of conversion. She is a solicitous mother who cares for
the salvation of her children, especially for those who are closed to
grace and do not listen to her appeals. Our Mother urges us to remain
steadfast in faith against the satanic temptation to build a world without
God, where man is under the illusion that he can do what he wants. For
a world without God, there is no future or eternal life. We look to
the Lord who was crucified and has risen. We keep hold of the Cross.
From the Cross comes the salvation of the world. The Cross renews Christ's
victory over Satan in us.
In this regard we welcome with gratitude the announcement of a great
ecclesial event: "Dear brothers and sisters, I have often thought
about how the Church might make clear its mission of being a witness
to mercy. It is a journey that begins with a spiritual conversion. For
this reason, I have decided to call an extraordinary Jubilee that is
to have the mercy of God at its centre. It shall be a Holy Year of Mercy.
We want to live this Year in the light of the Lord's words: "Be
merciful, just as your Father is merciful. (cf. Lk 6:36)"
This Holy Year will begin on this coming Solemnity of the Immaculate
Conception and will end on 20 November 2016, the Sunday dedicated to
Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe - and living face of the
I am convinced that the whole Church will find
in this Jubilee the joy needed to rediscover and make fruitful the mercy
of God, with which all of us are called to give consolation to every
man and woman of our time. Do not forget that God forgives all, and
God always forgives. We never tire of asking for forgiveness. From this
moment, we entrust this Holy Year to the Mother of Mercy, that she might
turn her gaze upon us and watch over our journey with an open heart,
to receive the indulgence of God, to receive God's mercy "(Pope
Francis March 14, 2015).
Meanwhile we continue the process of preparation as we draw near to
the Seventh International Congress of Mary Help of Christians (Turin
- Colle Don Bosco, 6 to 9 August 2015). We give thanks to Divine Providence
and to the many people of good will who are contributing to the success
of the event. We are grateful for those who have already registered
and for the expressions of interest received from different parts of
the world. They show us that the Salesian Family, out of love for Mary
Help of Christians, is now preparing for this significant event during
the Bicentenary of the birth of Don Bosco and of the institution of
the liturgical feast of Mary Help of Christians. For information, visit
the website of the Congress, or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We invite all our members and groups to join with particular devotion
in the novena and the feast of Mary Help of Christians, entrusting the
August Congress to her in a special way.
Lucca Tullio, President
Fr 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 gloria
From the house of Mary to our homes: his mercy is from generation to
8. The home, a place of fraternal love - Fr Roberto Carelli
Fraternity is an essential aspect of love in the family and in the
church. It is the fruit of natural fertility, because brothers and sisters
are born from the love of the spouses. Fraternity is also the fruit
of a supernatural fecundity, because by his Incarnation and Passion
the Son of God became our brother and has made us all brothers and sisters
united in the love of the one Father. Fraternity is so central to the
Christian lexicon that Christian love and fraternal love tend to become
one and the same.
Among Christians it is so normal to call one another brothers and sisters
in the Lord, especially among consecrated men and women, that we run
the risk of trivializing the terms. Indeed, as noted by Pope Francis,
brother and sister are "words that Christianity loves" and
"words that all cultures and all eras understand". It is therefore
necessary to recognize that the community of faith and the ideal of
universal brotherhood are the gift of God, not of nature. They are the
fruit of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus, not the work
of human hands. Where the sense of God's gift is diminished, the ideal
of fraternity gives way to ethnic nationalism and selfishness. These
lead, not to basic hospitality and equality, but to the very opposite.
They exacerbate differences and arouse mistrust, alienation, hatred,
There is a lesson to be learnt from modern culture. In it the ideal
of fraternity is founded on the rational argument of our common humanity
rather than on faith in the fatherhood of God. This kind of fraternity
has resulted in the monster of a selfish individualistic culture, with
nationalist policies and racist ideologies, which led to the philanthropy
of 1968 or the globalism of today.
There is no escaping the fact that fraternity is founded in the family
and in God, not anywhere else! It is the fruit of generation and redemption,
not an institution or a convention! It is written in the flesh and blood
of parents, and is redeemed in the flesh and blood of Christ! We must
not confuse Christian fraternity with the "fellowship" of
the enlightenment. Fraternity is real, fellowship is an abstraction.
Fraternity brings life, fellowship sows the seeds of death. As Pope
Francis says, "perhaps we are not always aware of it, but it is
the family that creates fraternity in the world", and it is from
there "that it radiates to the whole of society"! A vague
humanitarianism, based on the feeling of our common human nature, is
incomplete and imperfect, unable to counteract the selfishness that
exists in the human heart. For this reason the Pope goes on to say,
"Freedom and equality, without fraternity, can become individualism
Scripture recognises the beauty and drama of fraternity. From the stories
of Cain and Abel, Jacob and Esau, and Joseph and his brothers, to the
parables of Jesus (the one of the two sons and that of the merciful
father), Scripture reveals often the ambivalent nature of fraternity.
It can be both helpful and harmful. It can be both freedom and threat.
It enables us to choose but it is not the object of choice. We all have
the same origin but different destinies. It unites us as one but we
are all different. There is a perennial tension between affection and
envy, laying claim to our own position but also making way for others.
One part of Scripture can exclaim "How good and pleasant it is
when brothers dwell in unity" (Ps 132, 1), and another says: "Why
then are we faithless to one another, profaning the covenant of our
ancestors?" (Mal 2, 10). We will try to understand the meaning
of fraternity with four observations:
1. It is the least arbitrary and longest lasting bond. Just as we do
not choose our parents, neither do we choose our brothers and sisters.
But the bond between brothers and sisters is longer lasting than that
with our parents. We are brothers and sisters long before we marry and
the bond between us remains after the death of our parents. For this
reason it is a reassuring bond but can also be a difficult one. It creates
an alliance that is strong even though unwritten, but it can become
an alliance that is suffered more than chosen. It is a source of security,
but requires patience in accepting and recognizing that the other is
like me but different and distinct from me. We have many things in common,
but also things that distinguish us.
2. It is a relationship of blood and a bond of faith. In general terms,
fraternity is a link between equals, and it makes room for others who
are like us. It is learnt in the family and it extends to the whole
world. The result is the tension between consanguinity and common humanity.
On the one hand the ties of blood are the most immediate and binding,
with the risk of making us less free. The bonds of faith are more discreet
and allow for greater freedom, with the risk of being a bit anonymous.
On the other hand the bonds of faith are more critical and deeper than
blood ties, unless those blood ties are also bonds of faith. It is important
then that among natural brothers the bond does not become exclusive,
while between brothers in Christ it is important to keep God at the
centre, keeping in mind always the motives of faith that unite us.
3. It is a link between equals with different identities. The experience
of family in the course of history and in a variety of cultures makes
us well aware of the tension between complicity and ongoing quarrels.
This tension arises for many reasons: the rights of the firstborn, rivalry
for recognition, parental preferences, jealousy and envy that generates
resentment and can even lead to murder. The arrival of a brother or
sister is always a critical event. The dilemma is whether there is room
or they can make room for one more, if the desire to be unique in the
eyes of the parents can be both exclusive and inclusive. On the one
hand we grow up in the shadow of our brothers and sisters, and on the
other hand there is the fear that our brothers and sisters will leave
us in the shade.
4. The drama of agreement and disagreement. It should also be taken
into account that the bond of fraternity needs a lot of attention. The
relationship is easy, but often becomes perfunctory. The relationship
between brothers and sisters must combine immediacy and respect, loving
oneself and treating oneself well. It is terrible when there is discord
between brothers. If it is serious, it can be very hard to heal. Their
alliance is unwritten and inviolable, spontaneous and at the same time
mandatory. Brothers and sisters are more likely to defend each other
and also more likely to maltreat each other. Wrongs committed between
brothers and sisters break the natural bond that exists, and end up
increasing resentment and making forgiveness difficult.
What the Word of God says on the theme of brotherly love is very clear.
The beauty of being brothers and sisters is marked by two major efforts
that are part of the fraternal relationship - the effort to control
their rivalry and the effort to accept what is different in the other.
The Bible records that the just man in general and Jesus in particular,
suffer through envy and presumption which are the two main threats to
the fraternal relationship. Envy leads to an inability to see due to
our always making comparisons: "Let us lie in wait for the righteous
man because he is inconvenient to us and opposes our actions; he reproaches
us for sins against the law, and accuses us of sins against our training.
(Wisdom 2) Presumption leads us to think we see everything because we
know someone well. "We know where this man comes from; and when
the Christ appears, no one will know where he comes from." So Jesus
proclaimed, as he taught in the temple, "You know me, and you know
where I come from? But I have not come of my own accord; he who sent
me is true, and him you do not know. I know him, for I come from him,
and he sent me." So they sought to arrest him. (John 7)
We could well examine our conscience on our fraternal relationships
in the family, in the community, and in the association:
1. When a brother is better than I am, he is both a living model and
a living reproach. How do I fight against envy, and how do I grow in
humility? Do I rejoice in the gifts of others? Do I allow myself to
be inspired and corrected by their virtues? Do I avoid judging others?
2. Do I think I know my brothers well and run the risk of never getting
to know them? Do I accept that others are different, each with their
strengths and weaknesses? Do I listen without judging? Do I recognize,
appreciate and value the gifts of God in my brother or sister, or do
I fail to know them and appreciate them?
3. In the face of wrongs and misunderstandings, am I able to overcome
hurt and bitterness, anger and resentment? Do I overcome the temptations
of withdrawal and rebellion, cold and formal relationships, discouragement
and cynicism? Do I rebuild fraternal relationships, taking the first
step in seeking clarification and asking or granting forgiveness?
Lord Jesus, teach us to love one another as you have loved us, teach
us "to love one another with brotherly affection, outdoing one
another in showing honour" (Rom 12:10), to "have unity of
spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart and a humble
mind." (1 Peter 3.8).
150th ANNIVERSARY OF THE LAYING OF THE CORNERSTONE
OF THE BASILICA OF MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS
On 27 April 1865 the laying of the cornerstone of the church of Mary
Help of Christians was celebrated with great solemnity. Blessed by Bishop
Odone of Susa, the stone was laid by Duke Amedeo of Aosta, son of Vittorio
Emanuele II, with the participation of the mayor, the prefect and other
eminent personalities. Don Bosco advertised the fact with a commemorative
booklet and launched a grand raffle. The construction work, which was
entrusted to the master builder Carlo Buzzetti, had begun in the autumn
of 1863. When the excavations were finished in April 1864, Don Bosco
told Buzzetti: "I want to give you a down payment for this great
work." So saying, he pulled out his wallet, opened it and emptied
into the hands of Buzzetti all that was in it - eight soldi, not even
half a lira! "'Do not worry!" he said, "Our Lady will
provide the money needed for her church."
DAUGHTERS OF MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS: ASSISTANCE TO ADMA
During their recent General Chapter the Institute of the Daughters of
Mary Help of Christians made a commitment, in the article dedicated
to the Councillor for the Salesian Family, to work with the Salesians
in assisting our Association. We thank Mother Yvonne and the Sisters
of the Institute for this support to ADMA in the common task of promoting
devotion to Mary Help of Christians. Here is the article:
129 bis. The Councillor for the Salesian Family offers guidelines for
the Institute to give its original contribution - feminine and Marian
- to the growth of communion and collaboration in the Salesian Family.
The Institute accompanies the Association of Past Pupils with particular
attention that they may live their lay vocation with responsibility
and autonomy. It shares with the Salesians of Don Bosco the animation
of the Association of Salesian Cooperators and the Association of Mary
Help of Christians.
THE SALESIAN FAMILY AT EXPO IN MILAN
This year EXPO 2015 will be held in Milan (www.expo2015.org). The theme
is that of food and nutrition "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life."
The Salesian Family will be there with a small pavilion, called Casa
Don Bosco. The theme will be presented from a Salesian perspective:
"Educating young people, energy for life", with a broader
approach. Hunger and malnutrition, far from being just a matter of sustainable
production or availability of healthy food, will be presented as relating
directly to the education of the younger generation. An essential aspect
of this process of education and integral formation is the promotion
and protection of the rights of every person - of children, of the elderly
and disadvantaged, of women and men. Two hundred years after his birth
Don Bosco still has much to say and to offer parents and educators,
Civil Society and the International Community by putting the care of
the younger generation at the centre of the political agenda.
Fr Claudio Belfiore of CNOS at Sacro Cuore in Rome is responsible for
the organization of the Salesian participation in EXPO. Casa Don Bosco
will be strategically located at the intersection of the two main roads
of EXPO. There will be only three pavilions managed by religious organizations:
Caritas, the Vatican and the Salesians. The area available is approximately
750 square meters of which about 240 will be occupied by the pavilion,
which is a small prefabricated structure meant to look like a house,
just in the style of Don Bosco. The message we want to communicate is:
"Don Bosco educates the young people of the World." The three
slogans of the Salesian pavilion are "nurture the dream",
"educate the person," "nourish the body."
There is an agreement with EXPO by which tickets can be had at a significant
discount. Book tickets by e-mail at email@example.com. For
information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org . (Stefano Uberti).
PHILIPPINES - SALESIAN FAMILY DAY
On 14 February 2015, about 100 members of ADMA with other groups of
the Salesian Family met at the Don Bosco College in Canlubang Laguna
to celebrate Salesian Family Day. The day began with concelebrated Mass
in the Diocesan Shrine of Mary Help of Christians. Fr Gerry Martin,
SDB, Rector of the pre-novitiate, presided. After Mass, there was the
Amazing Race, a time for games and activities with much joy. Seven groups
participated in the Family Day, including young people, the laity, the
FMA and SDB. In the afternoon there was a short play and a mini-lottery.
Everyone enjoyed the Salesian Family Day: "Run, jump, shout, but
do not sin," Don Bosco used to say. (Junifer).
In the suburbs of Turin there is a village called SNIA, where the kindergarten
run by the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians is located. Several
years ago a group of people there founded ADMA.
On Saturday 21 February 2015 the worldwide spiritual animator, Fr Pier
Luigi Cameroni, and the president, Tullio Lucca, came for a visit and
a prayer meeting on the occasion of the bicentenary of St. John Bosco,
to the joy and amazement of all. A big number of people gathered and
the overall atmosphere was very warm. Devotees of Mary Help of Christians
came from the neighbouring villages, along with various groups of the
Salesian Family and supporters, as if called by the sweet sound of a
bell. It was a beautiful encounter. There was prayer and reflection
on the difficult time we are going through. The message of Don Bosco
is not to give up but to have confidence in our Mother and Helper. With
so much faith, so much simplicity, so much friendship, we can look to
the future, with our feet firmly on the ground but our eyes turned towards
heaven. The Holy Mass was the central part of this unforgettable meeting.
TUXTLA GUTIERREZ (CHIAPAS - MEXICO) - REGIONAL RETREAT
This year, as in previous years, members of the Chiapas region came
together for our annual retreat on the theme: "Make your hearts
firm." (Message of Pope Francis for Lent 2015). Starting from his
insistence on the "globalization of indifference," we reflect
on the Salesian Family, to which we must not remain indifferent. The
retreat took place at the Parish of St. John the Apostle in Tuxtla Gutierrez
After the opening session, we went to the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament
where we had a prayer service with Psalms edited by Professor June Esperanza
Pascasio, a member of ADMA from Chiapa de Corzo. This helped us to communicate
with God and to lay a good foundation for our reflection on the Pope's
message. The theme of the message was presented by some of our ADMA
members who have vast experience in the pastoral care of the Parish:
Víctor Manuel Castillejos, Carmelita Galdámez and Esperanza
de Jesus Enriquez.
The three parts of the document were well explained:
1. If one member suffers, all suffer with it (1 Cor 12:20). The Church.
2. Where is your brother? (Gen 4.9). The parish and the community.
3. Make your hearts firm (James 5.8). The believer.
At the end of the Eucharist five new members were accepted for the Parral
group and two for Villaflores.
We thank God for his protection because all returned safely to their
places of origin and with a desire to continue to be the Church. The
response to the Pope's message was very clear and now we begin to live
it. (Carmelita Galdámez Alegría).
MADRID (SPAIN) - AREA MEETING
The meeting of the councils at the La Elipa ADMA began on 28 February
2015 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the foundation. This
is a parish entrusted to Augustinian Recollects. Thirteen local councils
gathered in the parish hall, in a warm fraternal meeting with the relic
of Don Bosco present. After sharing the life of each group we moved
into the temple, where we worshipped the Blessed Sacrament with great
recollection. Then we had Mass. Fr Luis Fernando Alvarez, spiritual
animator of La Elipa, presided while the Archpriest of the area, the
curate of the parish and the Salesian spiritual animators concelebrated.
We ended with a simple meal, with the joy of sharing our experiences
and common prayer. (Bianco Somoza Gloria - President of ADMA in the
PHILIPPINES - DEVOTION TO MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS
As a perfect gift for Don Bosco, the National Shrine of Mary Help of
Christians in Parañaque City, Philippines, is in the forefront
in spreading devotion to the Marian title that Don Bosco recommended
to his children, not only to see what miracles are, but also and above
all, to express their filial devotion to the Virgin Mary, whom he regarded
as teacher, guide and mother. This is especially true this year when
we also celebrate the bicentenary of the institution of the liturgical
feast of Mary Help of Christians.
On the 24 of every month, the Shrine hosts the commemoration in honour
of Mary Help of Christians. The new rector of the Shrine, Fr Remo Bati,
has introduced some initiatives that have led to a rapid growth in the
number of devotees. Just before the Mass he burns the letters with requests
written and placed in the box located at the Pilgrim Centre. This is
a way of asking Mary Help of Christians to intercede with her Son. There
is also a short procession with the image of Mary Help of Christians,
while the rosary is recited. At the conclusion the devotees offer flowers
to the Virgin. This also marks the beginning of the Mass. At 7.00 a.m.
there is a Mass of healing or a prayer-service of healing for the faithful.
Fr. Remo has recognized two miracles attributed to the intercession
of Mary Help of Christians. One concerns a man who was freed of a gall
stone. Another concerns a person who came to the shrine on crutches
because of problems with gout, but walked away comfortably immediately
after the Mass of healing. A Franciscan nun, Sister Mary Edna, shared
her experience of how Mary Help of Christians was the instrument of
her recovery and now uses her to promote the devotion.
Fr. Remo reminded everyone that the preparation for the annual feast
of Mary Help of Christians on 24 May is in full swing. Among other things,
he cannot wait to publish a coffee-table book (photo album) in honour
of Mary Help of Christians, with photos of about 32 parishes and chapels
which bear the name of Mary Help of Christians.
On 24 February, Fr Anthony Paul Bicomong, Provincial of the Northern
Philippines, blessed a life-size statue of Mary Help of Christians.
It was received with great joy by pilgrims, especially by young people
who put their photos with the Mother of God in their social media accounts.
The Salesians and the aspirants of the three houses of formation, have
produced a video documentary on the diocesan shrine of Mary Help of
Christians, located in the Diocese of San Pablo.
VIBORA (HAVANA - CUBA) - MEMORY OF MARIA DOLORES HERRERA VALENZUELA
The death occurred on 19 March of Maria Dolores Herrera Valenzuela,
tireless missionary and catechist of the San Juan Bosco Parish in Víbora
(Havana). She was a very active and enthusiastic member of the Salesian
Family. She animated the local ADMA and attended meetings of ADMA National.
She was an enthusiastic collaborator in the summer activities. Joy and
availability characterized her in all her pastoral duties. She had a
great apostolate in Caritas. Thank you Lord for giving us this sister
so full of enthusiasm who went in search of the sheep with Easter joy.
(The Salesian community of San Juan Bosco-Víbora).
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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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