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Special issue August 16, 2015


"Hic domus mea, inde gloria mea
- From the house of Mary to our homes"

The Seventh International Congress of Mary Help of Christians, one of the great events of the Salesian Family - organized by the Association of Mary Help of Christians (ADMA) - to celebrate the bicentenary of the birth of Don Bosco.
The conference has as its motto the phrase "Hic domus mea, inde gloria mea - From the house of Mary to our homes". It aims to show the maternal presence of Mary, Mother of the Church and Help of Christians by living as part of a family.
According to the organizers, "Don Bosco still has much to say to the family today. His story, his educational system and spirituality are based on the family spirit of Valdocco which was born and grew under the protection of Mary. The theme of this Congress is in particular harmony with the present day Church which has dedicated two synods to the theme of the family, about which Pope Francis has often spoken in his catechesis".
The Logo of the Congress symbolizes these concepts in its three elements:
" The Basilica of Valdocco symbolizes the charismatic nature of the Salesian Family, in its spirit and in its mission.
" Mary Help of Christians symbolizes the living and active presence of Mary in the life of Don Bosco and in the movement that he founded.
" The family which is the cradle of the presence of Jesus and Mary, for a renewed commitment to education and evangelization.
The title of the hymn is Ausiliatrice delle famiglie (Helper of families). The verses and refrain are based on the biblical account of the Presentation of Jesus in the temple, where God's promises are fulfilled in the coming together of generations, represented by Simeon and Anna. It is a story of grace that continues even to the present day in the journey of faith and the work of education that started in Valdocco, the house of Mary, who now wishes to radiate her glory on families: "At your house there is the wind of the Spirit: you spoke, O Mother, to the heart of Don Bosco, from your house your message pours out like dew that refreshes families."
Words and music are by Fr Domenico Macchetta, priest, composer and musician, who has been living since the early eighties in Bairo Canavese (TO) at the Fraternity of Nazareth, a religious community founded and led by him. The arrangement for the Italian, Spanish and English versions is the work of Marco Falubba, and the Portuguese version is by theCanção Nova Community, one of the groups of the Salesian Family.
The text, the score and the MP version are available on the website of the Congress,http://www.congressomariaausiliatrice2015.org Score, Lyrics and Song on MP3 ITA ESP ENG POR

"One becomes a person staying in a family, growing up with dad and mom, breathing the warmth of a home, the true nest and cradle of life. It is in the family that we receive a name and, hence, our dignity. The family is the place of friendship, affection, the space of intimacy, where one learns the art of dialogue and interpersonal communication". With these words Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime made his speech at the opening ceremony of the Seventh International Congress of Mary Help of Christians, which was held yesterday afternoon, August 6th, at PalaRuffini in Turin.
The words of the Rector Major have been the most significant moment of the opening ceremony, which however from its start had seen other important phases, with the greetings of the Spiritual Animator of the Association of Mary Help of Christians (ADMA), Fr. Pierluigi Cameroni; of Fr. Eusebio Muñoz, Delegate of the Rector Major for the Secretariat for the Salesian Family; of the Presidenf ot Primary ADMA, Tullio Lucca, who went on stage with his family; and the witness of Liliana Cosi.
Especially touching was the animation of the Hymn of Congress, made by Don Domenico Macchetta, by young people and children of ADMA. This was followed by the construction and presentation of the symbol of the Congress, accompanied by the reading of the dream of Don Bosco about the foundation of the Basilica (Hic Domus Mea Mea inde Gloria), in the form of prayerful celebration (conceived by Don Erino Leoni).
Colours and emotions were then brought by the youth of the company of classic ballet of Cosi-Stefanescu, who performed "The Wedding of Cana", with music of George Enescu and choreography of Marinel Stefanescu.
In the end spoke Fr. A. Fr. Artime, who had already been welcomed with warm applauses on his arrival at PalaRuffini, as was also welcomed the Superior General of the Daughter of Mary Help of Christians, Mother Yvonne Reungoat.
In his speech the Rector Major reminded how this Congress, from its very motto - Hic domus mea, inde gloria mea (Here my house, hence my glory) - From the House of Mary to our Homes - aims at "indicating the maternal presence of Mary, Mother of the Church and Help of Christians, in experiencing the beauty of being a family". He then did not deny the present difficulties the family faces, "confronted (as it is) everywhere with factors of crisis" and "ignored by the policies of that very society of which it is the fundamental cell". He also wanted to highlight the witness of service and communion offered by so many Christian families.
He then reasserted the centrality of the theme for the Salesian Family: "Don Bosco has la lot to say to the family today: his life, his educational system and his spirituality are based on the family spirit that was born in Valdocco and grew through entrustment to Mary". In this sense, it was natural to mention Mamma Margherita, an authentic mother for hundreds of boys and the fundamental authoress of the family spirit which was a characteristic of the Oratory of Valdocco".
"For us, Salesian Family, living in a family is not simply a pastoral strategic choice, so urgently needed today, but it is a way of realizing our charism and a target to privilege in our apostolic mission", he then concluded.

After successful inauguration, the second day began with the Eucharistic celebration for the family presided by the Archbishop of Turin Mons. Cesare Nosiglia, who said "the family is like a fundamental fortress of our society and of our future (…) let us look at the family of Nazareth as a model family that lived according to the will of God (…) the parents of Jesus are astonished at what said of their son and the awe is part of their love. It is necessary to renew that wonder and awe to accept the mystery that is present in every family (…) A family that practices the teachings of life and values not only the word of God but also what the parents, though human, teach their children, confirming that they become Christians in the family". Then he recounted how Mamma Margaret educated Don Bosco to love. Mons. Nosiglia concluded saying, "families, have faith because you are favoured by God and live with the faith with joy in your houses".
The morning programme continued with a presentation of Fr. Patrizio Rota Scalabrini, from the diocese of Bergamo on the theme "Presentation of Jesus in the Temple - his mercy is extended from generation to generation". Starting with the gospel of Luke, Fr. Rota Scalabrini emphasised the laws and the family: "For Mary and Joseph, to obey the laws was not a mere legalism but to place their fundamental choices on the will of God (…) for a believer a son is always a gift and a bearer of hope rooted in the divine promise". "The family of Nazareth" he concluded, "communicates a precious truth: obedience and freedom, far from being opposed, imply a proximity because freedom is towards service; and the family is the cradle and the first school in which we understand this truth.
Fr. Rota was followed by life testimonies of Piergiorgio e Mariagrazia Giordani on "The Venerable Attilio Giordani, husband and father". The children of Venerable Giordani recounted of their father, "life of our father was very simple. There weren't any exceptional events or adventures (…) he insisted with us and with the youth that we should make our life choices and not let it go astray. Instead dedicate ourselves to something (…) the centrality of his life was faith. He was convinced that many words were not needed to bear witness to life. Life itself should be the most important word".
The morning thus ended with few other "life testimonies" from the Congregation of Cancao Nova, Paola Mancini, member of ADMA from Korea and some important young people.
The afternoon began with Eucharistic adoration. It was followed by a presentation "from generation to generation: from the house of Valdocco to our own houses" by Sr. Piera Ruffinatto. She recollected that the origin of Don Bosco, underlining "the family experience lived by Johnny, though sadly affected by the absence of his father, was the cornerstone on which he built his personal life and then came forth the educational paradigm of his style of works which he called houses and not institutes. In fact in all these he breathed "Family Spirit", that is a style of relationship characterised by welcoming attitude, respect, confidence, intimacy, accompaniment and support, love, gratitude, forgiveness given and received".
Also in the afternoon there were sharing of life experiences before the good night talk of Madre Yvonne Reungoat, Mother General of Daughters of Mary Help of Christian. She said, "Cannot communicate joy and hope to others, if they are not deeply possessed within ourselves. And these two realities again remind us of the link between the past, present and future. Joy rises from the experience of the eternal love of God that always accompanies every single life, people and whole humanity. Hope opens the future that we are sure that the love of God will continue to accompany every new generation because God is faithful".

The day began with Marian morning prayer which was followed by the theological presentation on "Family - the cradle of love and life" by Fr. Roberto Carelli. Using again the image of the presentation of Jesus in the Temple, the theologian underlined the "generative function" and "educational mission" of the family. "Education is a natural development of the generation and the primary and inalienable mission of the parents who are the first and foremost educators of their children and are educators because of their parenthood (…) In short it means that every educational institute must be inspired by the model of the family, paternal and maternal elements of education. In this light, it is emphasised that the beautiful responsibility of the patents and every educator is to bring God to children and lead them to God, more precisely to Jesus.
Lodovica Maria Zanet, collaborator of the Postulation General for the Cause of the Salesian Saints, inllustrated the "profile of the suffering families in the history of the Salesian holiness". Highlighting the fact, "despite being habituated to imagine a family as a harmonious reality, marking the presence of generations, the passage "from the house of Maria to our own houses" is however at times more painful than what could be imagined, as confirmed by the recent events involving the history and reforms of laws". The resource person repeated that the story of Salesian holiness has gone through such families, starting with Don Bosco, orphaned very young without a father. Then there were Laura Vicuna, the servant of God - Carlo Braga nad Anna Maria Lozano. She concluded saying, "these stories teach us a hard way of sustaining us in difficulties, and allow God let us flourish in such moments. The freedom of choice here assumes highest form of adhesion, in the "fiat!"".
The rest of the day was transferred to the mother house at Valdocco where, in the afternoon, the Rector Major presided over the Eucharist in honour of Mary of Help of Christians.

Sunday. August 9th - Colle Don Bosco
Tthe concluding ceremony of the Seventh International Congress of Mary Help of Christians
"Get up and Eat"
This is what one can draw from the reading of today's gospel and applies in a proper way to the Salesian experience, which in the Bicentenary of Don Bosco's birth wanted to recognize, through this Congress, the central role of Mary in its history. The Rector Major, Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime, in his homily recalled the image Don Bosco gave to his youth when he wanted to indicate the two anchor points in their journey of faith: the Eucharist and the Mother of Jesus. But there is a further awareness deriving from such a vision: "The entire globe is supported by these two columns", emphasized Don Bosco, i.e. the entire human history is centred on Mary's capability to ransom humankind, that was subdued to Satan, when she accepted to become the mother of the Redeemer, and (is centred) on the total self-giving of the Son, which is renewed in the Eucharist. Even today the call for Salesians is precisely to "get up", to take heart to face the challenges of education in our time, to sustain with enthusiasm pedagogic creativity. And to "eat", i.e. to feed the deep motivation of their commitment with the spiritual Food on the altar and to sustain in this way the fatigue of the journey.
Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime announced the next world appointment: the Eighth Congress of Mary Help of Christians will be held in Argentina in August 2019. The reasons for the choice of the venue are manifold: the land of the first Salesian missionary expedition, the homeland of Pope Francis, the full availability of the local Salesian Family to host the event. Besides, it will be the 150th anniversary of the foundation of ADMA, and two sanctuaries - Our Lady of Luján and Maria Auxiliadora of Almagro - are ready to catalyse this special Salesian devotion.
The celebration ended with heartfelt thanks to the organizers, to the crowd of youth and grown-ups "with their blue T-shirt and the writing Staff". The Rector Major addressed them recognizing their great availability and efficiency that ensured a perfect organization of the entire Congress. "A simple and humble work", remarked Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime, among long and spontaneous applauses in the temple of Don Bosco; a remark echoed in Fr. Pier Luigi Cameroni's comment. The Spiritual Animator of ADMA, Association that has promoted the Congress in collaboration with the Salesians and the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, does not hesitate to call it a "miracle". "Despite the uncertainties we had, everything went well: we had to put together for four days persons coming from different continents and who did not know each other. We overcame the language barrier. Everything went to its place in the appropriate time and way: this is the way our Lady likes it, she who is source of balance and harmony". "We felt truly accompanied by the sure guidance of Mary throughout the preparation of the Congress, which was prepared by families for families" says Tullio Lucca President ADMA "it moves me to remember the commitment and dedication of so many families who have contributed to preparing for the event and, by making themselves available, they have designed and built with joy this Congress, which we hope will be a fruitful seed of evangelization".The same acknowledgment and enthusiasm were also worded by Mother Yvonne Reungoat, who lingered for a long while with the youth at the end of the celebration.

One of the concluding events of the Bicentenary of Don Bosco's birth was the celebration of the Seventh International Congress of Mary Help of Christians, a meeting of the Salesian Family, with the participation of more than 1300 people, coming from 50 different countries, which took place in Colle Don Bosco from August 6th to 9th. We asked a few questions from Fr. Pierluigi Cameroni, the spiritual Animator of the Association of Mary Help of Christians (ADMA), the group of the Salesian Family promoter of the event.
What was the atmosphere that characterized this meeting of the Salesian Family?
Under the perspective of the motto of the Congress "Hic domus mea, inde Gloria mea. From the house of Mary to our Houses", we experienced the wind of the Holy Spirit that blows from the House of Mary and renews our houses and religious communities; in the irrepressible joy of the participants; in the gratitude of those who in different ways collaborated in the preparation and the success of the congress as a sign of the authentic devotion to Mary; in the truth and power of prayer; in the in the richness of the contents presented in the papers, in the witness of the lives of saints, in the strong and touching life experiences; in the homilies of Eucharistic celebrations; in the beauty and diligence of hymns and prayer; in the joy of fraternity and friendship; in the presence of all age ranges, from the new-born to the elderly, to recall how God's mercy extends from generation to generation. This really was a miracle of Mary Help of Christians!
What is the message that originates from the Congress?
The message of the Congress that is now entrusted to the Salesian Family in its various and manifold groups is: living the preventive system which is a spirituality, a pedagogy and a style of relationship in the family and in religious communities; growing in complementarity and collaboration between the call to married life and the call to religious, priestly and missionary life; experiencing that a true ministry of the youth originates and grows in welcoming and collaborating with the ministry of the family.
Is the International Congress of Mary Help of Christians an event of the Salesian Family?
From the Congress of 2001 that was celebrated in Czestochowa in Poland, the Rector Major of the time wanted that this event become a meeting of all the Salesian Family, which in entrusting themselves to Mary Help of Christians find one of the fundamental points of their spiritual and apostolic identity. The Rector Major, Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime, confirmed this choice, and because of this I wish to express particular thanks to him for his continuous and paternal presence throughout the days and moments of the Congress and for the guidelines he gave us; I also wish to thank all the Superiors and representatives of the Salesian Family who participated in this meeting.
How can we make the most of the Congress experience?
This central event of the Bicentenary of the birth of our Father Don Bosco has been perceived by all as a cenacle of intense spirituality and deep communion of the hearts. I would like to invite to make the best out of all the material of the Congress (Acts, videos, photos) that can be found in the website www.congressomariaausiliatrice2015.organd to propose it in various contexts.
Let us pray to Mary Help of Christians, St. Joseph and Don Bosco that they intercede and give growth to the seeds of hope and novelty that have been sowed in our hearts during these wonderful days!
"Arrivederci" in Argentina in 2019, for the Eighth International Congress of Mary Help of Christians.

In the simplicity of the style typical of Mary and in the unpredictable surprises of the Holy Spirit, the VII International Congress of Mary Help of Christians had on Monday morning, August 10th a significant prolongation, almost as a seal of the experience of grace and shared communion.
At the end of a Mass in the church of St. Francis of Sales in Turin Valdocco, the diploma of aggregation to Primary ADMA of Turin was handed over to a family from England. It is the family of Romy and David Powels, with their daughters Tania aged 15 and Hannah aged 12. In recent years this family has promoted the devotion to Mary Help of Christians in the parish of St. Thomas More in the English town of Bournemouth, recently constituting the ADMA group and involving other families, youth and children. The delivery of the Diploma from the President of the Association, Mr. Tullio Lucca, with the presence of the spiritual animator Don Pierluigi Cameroni, was like a sign and a fulfillment of the motto of the Congress: "Hic domus mea, inde glory mea. From Mary's house to our homes." In plastic form Maria confirmed the request expressed to her by the hymn of the congress: "make families cradles of life, oasis of Joy", embodying in them the preventive system of Don Bosco.
Finally it aroused amazement and emotion to see in the church of St. Francis of Sales the painting of the prophetic vision of St. Dominic Savio in 1856 who sees the Pope bring the torch of faith back to England!


Guinea Ecuatorial

Timor Est

Santo Domingo
Stati Uniti


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