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ADMA :  ASSOCIATION OF MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS    
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|   Monthly Message : 24th october 2017      

Mary invites us to be generous in renunciation and prayer

The world situation is certainly far from peaceful. There are wars, natural calamities, violence and injustice, and especially the loss of faith among many Christians. Mary Help of Christians is Our Lady in difficult times. She urges us to be generous in renunciation and prayer. We must first of all recognize our poverty - without God we are nothing. That is why Our Lady calls on us to be generous, because when the Holy Spirit fills us, we need to respond with generosity. She calls us to be generous in prayer, and in renunciation especially of sin, and capable of distinguishing good from evil: "Yes, yes; no, no "... We are all sinners, but we must always look to God's mercy. And we must be humble, ready to kneel and say, "Lord, have mercy on me." It is through our poverty and our humility that we become great. Our Lady asks us to renounce Satan and all his temptations. Jesus says that some evil spirits can only be driven away through prayer and fasting ... On our own, we cannot make it, but with God we can!
Unfortunately today, as Pope Francis often reminds us, worldliness affects us all: priests, consecrated persons and lay people. Too we often act like pagans who do not believe in God and have no hope. Yet we have Jesus in our hearts, we have the Holy Spirit guiding us, we have eternal life. Our Lady is calling us to great heights. Through sacrifice, fasting, prayer, and generosity, we will see fruits such as the conversion of many sinners and eternal life itself. Anyone who prays is guided and illuminated by the Holy Spirit. With faith we ask: "Lord, change my heart, change my soul and my mind so that I may be more and more a witness to your love, a witness to heaven, paradise and eternal life." Many souls are in sin and they need us, you and me, all of us. We have been chosen for this. Mary Help of Christians called us to be part of her Association to defend and spread the faith at this time of trial.
The Salesian Family has received the gift of a new Blessed: Titus Zeman, a martyr and patron of vocations. Let us pray through his intercession for all priests, consecrated persons and missionaries, for all those whom the Lord calls to a special vocation, that they may love Jesus with ardour, and that we may devote ourselves to our mission, witnessing to heaven and the mysteries of our faith.

Lucca Tullio, President / Fr Pierluigi Cameroni SDB, Spiritual Animator

Rector Major's Goodnight to ADMA

On the evening of Sunday 24 September, during the ADMA meeting in the Church of St. Francis de Sales in Valdocco, the Rector Major and his Vicar, Fr Francis Cereda, joined in the time of prayer. At the end the Rector Major gave a really encouraging and meaningful "Goodnight":
"I had some free time and I was close by. Believe me when I tell you that the Association of Mary Help of Christians is a light for the whole Salesian Marian world. Many people have their eyes on this house. There are many visitors here wondering what they do because they have heard that at Valdocco there is something very beautiful, and that Adma is a movement that is capable of involving families, young people and parents, children and teenagers. I must say that I personally am very happy that new opportunities arise not as a result of a programme drawn up in an office, but because life calls, and because life shows what can be done. I really want to encourage you. The value of this reality according to me, and according to many of us, is the fact of the faith that is alive in the family and that Out Lady is accompanying families and parents, and the many young people present who are future parents. This has exceptional value for the Church. We talk so much about families ... we talk about pastoral care for families ... and I encourage you to continue this and I encourage you to show others the way and to guide others in our Salesian Family.
Finally, let me share a deep conviction that I carry in my heart. Going around the world I see that very often we make great efforts to do things, to do them well more often than not, also in the social sphere... all this is very good and very Salesian ... However, we miss out on moments of true relationship, talking about God, talking about Jesus ... with one another and with God ... We fail to celebrate our faith, to express the faith that sustains us. We talk about something else, but not about what has deep roots. In this sense, the Association has many beautiful elements, but prayer and faith are a priority. It is something truly exceptional to see families, children, and young people in the Association. I thank you on behalf of the whole Salesian Family. You will enjoy the Lord's protection and the maternal presence of Mary Help of Christians and the intercession of Don Bosco.
Thank you for your witness as we continue to journey with families. God bless you! You should know that I pray for you often. One of the easiest thing a Rector Major can do is to pray for others. I'll tell you something else. I have had a wonderful experience during these four years. I enjoy a real sense of peace that is not the fruit of my prayer, which is very poor, but the fruit of the prayer of many who pray for others. I believe deeply that I am only a novice. Pope Francis believes deeply in prayer for one another and I am convinced that it is a guarantee of the happiness of our lives and also of your lives ... with God you will never miss out on happiness. I do not say that there will not be difficulties, but there is the strength that comes from God and that is certain. Thanks and good evening, indeed good night! I'm glad to have had this hidden opportunity even though it's unlikely to stay hidden!
Thank you!


Formation Programme 2017-2018:Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis of Sales

2. CLARITY AND GOOD WILL:
THE FIRST ELEMENTS FOR A JOURNEY TO HOLINESS! / Fr Gianni Ghiglione

We need to say two words on the title in order to understand the goal that Francis is proposing to the reader. The book is meant to be an introduction, that is, the beginning of a journey towards a "new" life that is called "devout". Today, this term sounds strange and is likely to evoke images of the neck to one side and a vein of bigotry. Here there is no trace whatsoever of all this: devout and devotion are the opposite of mediocre and mediocrity. The devout life is then a life that aims high and aspires to the heights. And Philothea? We are not talking about a woman, but a soul, a person who wants to become "a friend of God", as the etymology of the name suggests. To this person, who wants to become progressively the friend of God, Francis offers an uphill journey, so we must leave our comfort zones of mediocrity and warmth, and "launch out into the deep" as St. John Paul II taught us.
When you are setting out on a journey, you need clarity about the destination, the equipment you need and the will or desire needed if you are to reach the goal. Let us try to understand what Francis proposes and demands.
1. Get rid of hypocritical ways of acting, which are puppets and caricatures of a "true" Christian life. You will notice the irony with which Francis immediately stigmatizes double faced behaviour!
" There are those who consider themselves good (or devout) because they fast and do penance, but don't worry about speaking ill, slandering others on all sides ...
" There are those who show off with endless parades of prayer and have a clear conscience because of this, while acting arrogantly and offensively towards their neighbour.
" There are those who gladly give money for good causes, but maintain grudges and do not forgive offences or do not pay debts contracted.
"[These] are nothing more than statues and illusions of devotion" according to Francis. (I, 1)

2. Aiming high is quite another thing! (I, 2)
What then is the true "devotion", the will to aim high? We read: "Dear Philothea, devotion that is true and living presupposes the love of God, rather it is nothing else than a true love of God… But when it grows to such a degree of perfection that it makes us not only to do good but rather moves us to do it carefully, frequently and promptly, it is called devotion... True and living devotion, Philothea, demands the love of God, but is nothing but a true love of God ... when God's love has come to such a level of perfection, so not only does it give us the strength to act well but pushes us to act with care, often and promptly, then it is called devotion ... [it] is nothing else than a spiritual agility and liveliness by means of which charity realizes its actions in us, or we do so by charity, promptly and lovingly… to be good one must have charity. To be devout one must not only have charity but a great liveliness and promptness in doing charitable actions."
The goal is to develop gradually a heart that desires to love God more and more, with more and more enthusiasm; a heart inhabited by generous and joyful love for God and the world.

I emphasize three words that make a difference:
o Carefully: do things well, not just any old way!
o Often: not just once as a generous concession, because I'm in a good mood or coming back from a day of retreat ... but sicut erat, as it was in the beginning! "Often" means whenever it occurs, whenever there is need or opportunity.
o Promptly: with a bit of enthusiasm, not merely with resignation, with a long face, grumbling, repeating things a thousand times ...
In other words, you can have faith but not devotion, if you are negligent, niggardly, legalistic, inwardly angry ....

3. The call is for everyone!!! (I, 3)
Aiming for a "holy" Christian life, is a task for all the baptized, not just for religious, according to Francis. And this was a novelty for those times, when there was a large number of vocations in monasteries and priestly life, but real vocation was lacking. With great balance and common sense, the Bishop of Geneva writes: "Devotion is to be practised differently by the nobleman, the workman, the servant, the prince, the widow, the young girl, the wife. Even more than this, the practice of devotion has to be adapted to the strength, life-situation and duties of each individual… It is an error, or rather, a heresy, to try to exclude the devout life from the soldiers' regiment, the workmen's shop, the court of rulers or the home of the married… No matter where we are, we can and we should seek a life of perfection" which means a life generously oriented towards God. Francis repeats today what St. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians: "The Lord wants you to be holy", that is to open the doors of your heart to His love with willingness and joy.

4. The most important recommendation. (I, 4)
You will be amazed at reading what is said to Philothea who is about to begin her journey to the heights: "If you want to set out earnestly on the path of devotion, find some good person to guide and direct you. This is the most important advice." And Francis, an expert in the field, adds:
¢ Pray very earnestly to God to give you one (a guide) after his own heart.
¢ In your dealings with him [or her] open your heart, with complete sincerity and fidelity.
¢ This friendship should be strong and gentle, entirely holy, entirely sacred, entirely divine and entirely spiritual.
¢ The spiritual director must be full of charity, of knowledge and of prudence.
¢ When you find one give thanks to God. Be faithful and do not look for others.
¢ Your journey will be full of happiness.

Francis always had a spiritual guide. We do not know the name of the one who accompanied him in his years in Paris. In Padua he chose Fr Antonio Possevino, then it was the turn of Fr Fourier and of Michael Favre, his secretary. Don Bosco also had various spiritual guides: Don Calosso, Canon Maloria, Don Cafasso, Don Giacomelli ... and he insisted very much with his young people on a "stable confessor" who would guide their heart with kindness and firmness to a relationship with God that would become increasingly lively and serene.

5. First step: purify the soul
"Whoever seeks the honour of being a spouse of Christ has to strip off the old self and be clothed in the new (I, 5). This requires effort and time. There is great wisdom and practicality in this: "The illnesses of the heart, like those of the body, come on horseback very fast, but they go away on foot, slowly."
Courage and patience are required. Francis warns that when faced with the effort, there is a risk of giving in to the temptation to give up on everything and go back, as sometimes happens when mountain-climbing. We can become tired and discouraged by the climb, and start going downhill. Rather, "let us not be disturbed by our imperfections, because our perfection consists in fighting them… the only thing that matters is that they should not make us lose courage. We have a happy condition in this warfare that we shall always be victorious as long as we want to fight."
We must begin by making a purification from mortal sin and the means to realize it is the holy sacrament of Penance. Look for the best confessor you can find. Detest [sin]with all the contrition and regret that your heart is capable of. (I, 6).
Here Francis is speaking of a general confession, that is, of one's whole life. "I am sure that it will be of very great help to you, now in the beginning... it is necessary to give a shock to the soul". Personally, I think this type of confession is important, especially at certain moments of life: before marriage, on the occasion of a significant anniversary (25 years, 50 years ...) or before a difficult and risky operation. It does not have to become a habitual practice. Pay attention also to what Francis says about ordinary confession: prepare well and have the necessary repentance. We need to eradicate from the heart all attachment to sin (I, 7).

¢ There are penitents who in fact leave sin but do not leave their attachment to it. They regard as happy those who sin.
¢ If this purification from attachment to sin is lacking and the heart is still linked to sin, there is the danger of falling again and not having the strength to do good frequently and with promptness and diligence.
¢ A strong resolute contrition detests all the attachments, consequences and ways of sin. Note that word "ways". We all know the ways that lead to sin. I am thinking of those who are unable to overcome certain vices (alcohol, smoking, internet, phone calls, etc). How hard it is to abandon the ways of sin!

For personal reflection:
Think of the enormous evil caused by sin compared to the trivial way the world speaks of sin: "What harm is it? They are all doing it!" This kind of thinking renders the Cross of Christ irrelevant.
" Have I a sense of sin? Not just an intellectual sense but a real felt sense?
" Do I really want to detach my heart from sin? What is my attachment?
" How are my confessions? Have I a regular confessor? Do I prepare well to receive God's mercy?

Family Chronicle

Fr Tom Uzhunnalil released
On 12 September, Memorial of the Most Holy Name of Mary, Fr Tom was released after 18 months in prison in South Yemen. Joy at his release was felt all around the world. Thousands of people expressed gratitude to God for this gift. We in ADMA had been praying for his release and we proposed a special novena to Mary Help of Christians by the whole Salesian Family.
When he arrived in Rome, Fr Tom did nothing other than repeat words of thanks, first of all to God and to Our Lady. One of his first requests was to pray in the chapel of the Salesian community in the Vatican, to celebrate Mass and make his confession. Fr Uzhunnalil said that throughout the period of his detention he continued to celebrate Mass spiritually every day, recalling from memory the readings and the parts of the Mass, as he did not have either the liturgical texts or the species to celebrate.
He confirmed that when the assailants kidnapped him he was in the chapel of the community of the Missionaries of Charity in Aden. He said that he had never been mistreated following his kidnapping. "I never thought I would be killed," he said. He also recalled an episode on 3 March 2016, the night before the massacre. The Directress of the House of the Missionaries of Charity in Aden commented on the difficult situation they were in as religious in the war territory, and said that it would be good if they were all martyred together for Christ.

Venezuela
The Assembly of ADMA in Venezuela was held in San Antonio de los Altos from 1 to 3 September. It was convened by the National Coordinator, Fr Orlando Gramcko, SDB. During the Assembly experiences were shared, activities evaluated, and a new council was elected for the period 2017-2021.

Brazil - Meeting of Delegates for the Salesian Family of the Southern Cone
A Meeting of Delegates for the Salesian Family of the Southern Cone was held in Brasilia from 4 to 6 September, with representatives from the Salesian Provinces of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay. It was coordinated by Fr Eusebio Muñoz, Delegate of the Rector Major for the Salesian Family. There were 30 Salesian participants who conducted a study of the role and mission of the Delegate in the task of animating and creating communion among the various branches of the Salesian Family, which is growing and showing a desire to be faithful to the charism of Don Bosco. Fr Pier Luigi Cameroni, Postulator for the Causes of the Saints of the Salesian Family, participated in animating and spoke of the fruitfulness of holiness in Salesian life.

Brazil - Fourth National Congress of ADMA
The Fourth National Congress of Mary Help of Christians was held from 7 to 10 September at the Catholic University "Dom Bosco" in the Salesian Province of Campo Grande (BCG). It was led by Fr Pier Luigi Cameroni, World Animator of the Association of Mary Help of Christians (ADMA) and Tullio Lucca, Chairman of the Primary ADMA. The event was attended by 250 members of ADMA and the Salesian Family of Brazil, with the presence of Fr Asídio Deretti, Provincial of Porto Alegre (BPA), and Fr Gildasio Mendes, Provincial of BCG. On 8 September Fr Gildasio said, "We are gathered for this national congress in this Marian year, celebrating the 100th anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima, the 300th anniversary of the appearance of Our Lady of Aparecida, Patron of Brazil, and the Feast of the Birthday of Our Lady."
They were days of intense fraternity, deep communion and sharing of the new lines of ADMA with attention to families and young people. The presence of all the SDB animators of the different provinces of Brazil was significant, in particular that of the national animator Bro. Antonio Carlos, a Salesian Brother. The presence of ADMA youth offered great hope and witness, especially the newly formed group in Campo Grande, a group rich in vitality and testimony.

Porto Alegre (Brazil) - Provincial Meeting
The provincial meeting of the ADMA in Porto Alegre was held on Sunday 24 September in the Salesian College of Itajai. It was a real experience of God ... People of faith and joy with great Salesian spirit! Two words summarize this encounter: hope and renewal (Leandro Brum Pinheiro SDB, Provincial Spiritual Animator).

São José dos Campos (Brazil) - ADMA children and youth
The ADMA of the Holy Family Parish in São José dos Campos (São Paulo - Brazil) welcomed the ADMA children and young people in a family atmosphere. Loving and serving God with Mary is what motivates this work. The main goal is to introduce the "little ones" to the love and devotion to Mary Help of Christians according to the Salesian charism.
The members have embraced the cause of the Help of Christians with love. They attend monthly formation activities with Fr Silvio Cesar (spiritual animator) and Tânia Campos (coordinator). These are moments when they learn the teachings of Don Bosco in simplicity.
The parish community joins the group of children and young people with daily intercession for them to be steadfast and faithful in courageous, joyful search for Jesus. Through the recitation of the Holy Rosary, the children's choir, formation activities, moments of leisure and socialization, Mary Help of Christians is teaching each one to love Jesus as She does, being forever present in the life of the little ones! (Tânia Maria Costa Esteves de Campos - Coordinator).


       
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   ADMA HEADQUARTERS, Torino-Valdocco, ITALIA:
   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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