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: ASSOCIATION OF MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS
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Monthly Message : June 24th, 2015
Mary invites us to believe in the power
Our Association is called to promote the love of Jesus in the Eucharist
and of Mary Help of Christians through a strong witness of prayer. The
power of prayer leads us to open our hearts to God and his love and
together to manifest this love to our brothers and sisters with joy
and goodness. Today in particular Pope Francis, with his example and
his words, encourages us to experience the merciful love of God with
maternal tenderness and generous availability.
Speaking of prayer, St. Faustina Kowalska writes in her diary: "With
prayer the soul is ready to face any battle. No matter what condition
your soul is in, you must pray. A pure and beautiful soul must pray,
because otherwise it will lose its beauty. A soul that is striving for
purity must pray, otherwise it will never attain it. The soul of one
who has just been converted must pray, otherwise that soul will fall
again. The sinful soul must pray, immersed in its sins, to be able to
rise again. There is no soul that has not the duty to pray, since every
grace comes through prayer."
Led by Mary Help of Christians, in our journey and life of prayer, we
get to know more about God and about ourselves. We learn to recognize
the presence of God in everyday life, to appreciate everything, to thank
God for everything, to trust him in time of trial and above all to follow
faithfully the smallest breath of the Holy Spirit, rejoicing in this
spiritual guest and clinging to him like a child to his mother.
In this spirit, we invite all our members, especially the sick, and
all our groups to intensify their prayer to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus,
Mary and Joseph for the Seventh International Congress of Mary Help
of Christians so that it may be for the whole Salesian Family an event
of grace in this jubilee year of the birth of our father Don Bosco.
In communion of prayer
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
10. Mary Mother of the Church - Fr
Roberto Carelli sdb
In the mystery of the love of God, who chose to live among us in order
to make us his dwelling place, Mary has the highest place: She is the
Mother of God, our Mother, Mother of the Church, and universal Mother.
God created her to be the abode of His Son, and the Son, after taking
her as his home, has extended her motherhood without limit.
In relation to the Church Mary has a special position. She is Ecclesia
Mater and Mater Ecclesiae, womb of the Church and Mother of the Church,
model of the Church and at the same time a member of the Church. She
is the holiness of the Church in person and the holiest person in the
Church. As Jesus is the Head of the Church, Mary is its heart. While
Peter represents the institutional aspect and the visible unity of the
Church, Mary realizes the invisible unity of the Church, the charismatic
aspect. One provides the means of sanctification, the other is the model
Mary is certainly not a divine person, as some people might imagine,
nor is she simply a creature like any other. She is an "all-holy"
creature, free from all sin, totally open to the will of God. On the
one hand she is a creature of God, but at the same time she is the Mother
of God! Similarly, on one hand, she is part of the Church, on the other
hand she is its mother. The Council says of Mary, "because she
belongs to the offspring of Adam she is one with all those who are to
be saved. She is "the mother of the members of Christ . . . having
cooperated by charity that the faithful might be born in the Church,
who are members of that Head
Wherefore she is hailed as a pre-eminent
and singular member of the Church, and as its type and excellent exemplar
in faith and charity. The Catholic Church, taught by the Holy Spirit,
honours her with filial affection and piety as a most beloved mother."
All this is due to the fullness of her yes, which was already perfect
in Nazareth as she welcomed the Incarnation of the Word, and then further
perfected at Calvary as she accepted the sacrifice of her Son. Through
her history of saying yes to God, and through her whole being, she was
a "pilgrim of faith" as John Paul II used to say. Mary reached
the highest point of the emotional maturity of a mother: able to accept
and to lose her son, to welcome him within herself and to give him to
the world, to guard him and to deliver him with the same love. In the
fullness of joy at first and then in sorrow, in the joyful birth of
Jesus and then in the painful birth of the Church, but always with a
living faith, an ardent hope and perfect charity, she became "our
Mother in the order of grace." (LG 61).
The great theologian von Balthasar speaks admirably of this. The "crucial
situation" from which the Church is born is the Passion of Jesus,
when he experienced both the abandonment of his Father, and the compassion
of his Mother, who suffers the desolation of the loss of her Son, and
all this to take charge of us sinners, to free us from death, which
is the wages of sin. "The fearful need for love to give its assent
to death, the "unbloody martyrdom" on the part of Mary, is
the crucial situation out of which the Church springs to life. It is
the fertility of the Mater Dolorosa, the apocalyptic woman in her birth
pangs. The cry uttered by the Church at her birth is heard at the same
moment as the Mother's inaudible cry uttered as she beholds her dying
Son. Tis death cry is, however, only the final outcome of that original
assent given in Nazareth which accorded God the freedom to carry out
a divine plan unforeseeable in its consequences and reaching far beyond
the powers of man. Mary's original assent carried within it the seeds
of death, whether she was aware of it or not. It was an assent to which
no limits could be set and which therefore contained within itself the
willing assent to death and to being killed, since it is 'according
to thy word'."
But precisely in this way, through the pain and the joy of the Paschal
mystery, a new fertility is opened. The Church is born, a sign and sacrament
of salvation for all mankind. The Paschal mystery of Christ becomes
our Passover, and the Mother of Christ becomes our Mother! And so the
journey of every Christian consists in nothing other than following
her with filial, humble and obedient affection. The Church journeys
through time proceeding along the path already trodden by the Virgin
Mary, who "advanced in her pilgrimage of faith, and loyally persevered
in her union with her Son unto the cross." (RM 2). In practice,
to be a Christian, to be Church and to be Marian are not three distinct
things but three aspects of one reality, which is our belonging to God.
There is a very intimate unity between Mary and the Church because both
carry out the maternal dimension of God's plan, Mary in a personal archetypal
way and the Church in a collective manner. Pope Francis says: "Jesus
founded the Church and founded us in the Church. The mystery of the
Church is closely united to the mystery of Mary, the Mother of God and
Mother of the Church. Mary gives birth to us and rears us. So also does
the Church. Mary makes us grow. So also does the Church. And at the
hour of death, the priest bids us farewell in the name of the Church
and leaves us in the arms of Mary ... So when we look at the Church,
we feel towards her the same devotion we have to Mary." Our love
for Mary urges us to love the Church more, to love as a Church, to overcome
a naive and imperfect love that is purely instinctive and natural, to
cultivate holiness, fruitfulness and Christian discipline.
Here are the three recommendations of Pope Francis:
1 Holiness. It is a holiness that is reflected in zeal for evangelization,
bearing in mind that "our zeal for evangelization springs from
true holiness of life," nourished by prayer and the Eucharist.
2. Fruitfulness. The maternity of Mary and of the Church is gifted with
supernatural fecundity. It is designed to give birth to the sons and
daughters of God and help them to grow. It does not follow our plans,
but God's plans. It is not calculating but superabundant. It is a recognition
that the Lord does not abandon us and keeps his word to stay with us
until the end of the world. It is a paradoxical fruitfulness. It is
to be fruitful and, at the same time, not to measure anything. It is
to bear fruit and to feel that we are nothing on our own but that we
participate in the lordship of Christ and become ever more servants.
3. Discipline. The Church is a body, and this requires discipline. Peter
does not equal Mary in holiness, but it never enters Mary's mind to
appropriate the ministry of Peter. This invites us to understand that
evangelization is never an individual work, but an organic ecclesial
task. Here Pope Francis quotes Paul VI: "Our adherence to the Kingdom
cannot remain abstract and unincarnated. It reveals itself concretely
by a visible entry into a community of believers
To claim to love
Christ but not the Church, to listen to Christ, but not the Church,
to belong to Christ but outside the Church is an absurd dichotomy."
Prayer of the Synod for the Family
Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
in you we contemplate
the splendour of true love,
to you we turn with trust.
Holy Family of Nazareth,
grant that our families too
may be places of communion and prayer,
authentic schools of the Gospel
and small domestic Churches.
Holy Family of Nazareth,
may families never again
experience violence, rejection and division:
may all who have been hurt or scandalized
find ready comfort and healing.
Holy Family of Nazareth,
may the approaching Synod of Bishops
make us once more mindful
of the sacredness and inviolability of the family,
and its beauty in God's plan.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
graciously hear our prayer.
EAST TIMOR - FIRST ADMA NATIONAL CONGRESS
From 1 to 3 May 2015, the Association of Mary Help of Christians in
East Timor celebrated its First National Congress in Fatumaca, with
the presence of the world spiritual animator Fr Pierluigi Cameroni,
SDB. About 150 associate members of ADMA, representing 10 local groups,
accompanied by animators from the Salesians and the Daughters of Mary
Help of Christians, participated in the event. It was organized as part
of the Bicentenary of the birth of Don Bosco and of the institution
of the feast of Mary Help of Christians. Fr Virgilio Da Silva, Superior
of the Salesian Vice-Province of Indonesia-Timor, Sr. Alma Castagna,
FMA Provincial, and Fr. Manuel Ximenes, Provincial Animator of ADMA,
The Congress, as well as being an occasion for understanding and communion
between the members of ADMA, served to present the Rules of the Association.
In the opening celebration the National President, Fatima Belo, spoke
of the birth, about 35 years ago, of ADMA in East Timor, thanks to the
Spanish missionary Fr Alfonso Maria Nacher. From a humble start, with
a few people devoted to Our Lady, ADMA is now an ecclesial movement
and a moral force in Timorese society, with over 1,000 members active
in apostolic work. It is an important group of the Salesian Family and
a significant apostolic presence at the service of the three dioceses
of Timor, in communion and solidarity with other ecclesial groups.
During the three days the conference dealt mainly with the commentary
on the Regulations which have already been translated into Tetum, and
with ideas and thoughts directly suggested by Fr Cameroni. They also
addressed other issues relevant to the life and fidelity of each member.
It was found that even for ADMA members, family life is a major challenge
offering pastoral and educational opportunities. The formation of all
the members, new and old, is very important. Each member must be accompanied
in the formation process, especially by the local council, which has
an important role and responsibility in the life of the Association.
There were numerous functions and liturgical celebrations during the
conference, culminating in the solemn Eucharistic liturgy of Sunday,
3 May with the participation of about 600 members. During the celebration
approximately 50 new members made their commitment and were welcomed
into the association. The new office bearers of the Association were
installed. The Diploma of aggregation was awarded to each group. The
communion between the Shrine of Mary Help of Christians in Fatumaca
and the one in Turin was recognised.
Three operational guidelines were decided on at the conference:
- Assessment of ongoing experiences in local groups, trying to give
reasons in line with the identity and spirit of the Association and
taking care of the Salesian and apostolic quality of the group.
- Care of the formation of candidates, through a systematic review of
the Regulations, including ongoing formation programmes on the Strenna
of the Rector Major, which is the motto he has proposed to the Association
and to the whole Salesian Family in the world, and also in harmony with
the path of the Church at the present time.
- Special attention to the family, in harmony with the journey of the
Church and the Salesian Family, practising the Preventive System, through
dialogue, living in the presence of God, and establishing relationships
characterized by respect and affection.
May the seeds sown in these days, through the intercession of Mary Help
of Christians and Don Bosco, bring fruits of Salesian apostolic renewal
to ADMA and the whole Salesian Family in East Timor (Fr Ramoncito Padilla,
TURIN - VALDOCCO - FEAST OF MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS
The Feast of Mary Help of Christians coincided this year with the Solemnity
of Pentecost: the mission of Mary Help of Christians accompanies us
in our efforts to follow the ways of the Spirit and to collaborate in
the coming of the Kingdom of God. This year the ADMA Primary in Turin
participated in the different functions that were held in the Basilica,
for the Bicentenary of the birth of Don Bosco, with the presence of
about 90 Salesian Cardinals, Archbishops and Bishops. The culmination
of the festivities was the procession of Mary Help of Christians. The
occasion was noteworthy for the presence of a large number of our members
and for the joyous family spirit that distinguished it. After the procession,
Archbishop Cesare Nosiglia of Turin called on young people to follow
the example of Mary and of Don Bosco and to dare to fly high, and not
allow themselves to be robbed of their future. Before the blessing,
all present were invited to pray for the Catholics of China. Cardinal
Joseph Zen, SDB, Bishop Emeritus of Hong Kong, recalled that on 24 May
24 the Shrine of Sheshan near Shanghai, thousands of pilgrims gather
just as at Valdocco to venerate the Virgin Mary Help of Christians.
We entrusted all of our groups around the world to Mary Help of Christians
in a special way, and the celebration of the Seventh International Congress.
CUBA - REOPENING OF THE TEMPLE OF MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS
After being closed for eight years for restoration work by the dell'Historiador
company, the Temple of Mary Help of Christians in the city of Havana
was solemnly reopened on 24 May 2015. This Temple is the Centre of devotion
to Mary Help of Christians and Don Bosco in Cuba.
SÃO CARLOS (BRAZIL)
24 May 2015 was a great day! Filled with faith and joy, and led by Our
Lady, we passed through the streets praising and thanking God for the
many graces he gives us through the hands of Mary Help of Christians.
Father Paul, SDB, Salesian Rector of this house, presided over the Mass,
accompanied by Fr Narciso and Fr Milton. After the homily, some members
of the congregation made their commitment of membership to ADMA and
at the end of the celebration we had a beautiful ceremony of the coronation
of the Virgin Mary, by the children of our community.
On 27 May 2015 Fr Pierluigi Cameroni visited the ADMA group in Latina.
This group was started in 1999 and today has over 30 members led by
the President, Signora Anna Giannone, and the animator Fr Pasquale Valente,
SDB. The meeting included a presentation on ADMA by Fr Pierluigi, and
a talk by Fr Andrea Marianelli on the history and life of this group
within the parish of the Salesian community. It is a lively group, rich
in spirit, engaged in the promotion of prayer and the exercise of charity
towards the needy. After Mass the Diploma of aggregation was given to
the ADMA Primary.
IN MEMORY OF LUIGINA CIARAMELLA - REGIONAL PRESIDENT OF ADMA IN SICILY
On 28 May 2015, the Lord called to himself our associate Signora Luigina
Ciaramella, Regional President of ADMA in Sicily. We remember her with
affection and gratitude for her great love for Mary Help of Christians
and for our Association, as well as her leadership of ADMA for several
years. May the Risen Lord, Our Lady Help of Christians and Don Bosco
welcome her to the Salesian garden! We still hold in our hearts the
memory of her radiant joy, her enthusiasm and her confident reliance
on Mary Help of Christians whom she loved and followed with the love
of a devoted and faithful daughter, promoting devotion especially among
children and families.
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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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Websites: www.donbosco-torino.it |
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