New Council of Primary ADMA
On Sunday 29 October 2017
in Valdocco in Turin, following the voting that had taken place on
15 October, the Councillors elected for Primary ADMA met for the distribution
of responsibilities. The new Council of Primary ADMA for the four-year
period 2017-2021 is as follows: Renato Valera (President); Paolo Peirone
(Vice-President); Andrea Damiani (Treasurer); Mariapia Gallo (Secretary);
Federica Lucca (Youth Councillor); Davide Ricauda (Councillor for
Young People); Gianluca Spesso (Counsellor for the Family); Luciana
Bianchetti (Councillor for the elderly); Fr Pierluigi Cameroni, SDB
(World Spiritual Animator); and Sister Marilena Balcet, FMA (Spiritual
Animator for Piedmont). As stated in art. 15 of the Regulations "The
Association of Mary Help of Christians at the Shrine of Mary Help
of Christians in Valdocco, Turin is the heir and successor of the
first association founded by Don Bosco, and for this reason it is
called 'Primary'. Given its origins and its connection with the Shrine,
it exercises the role of animation, coordination and communication
in the Association at world level. "
Message of the President
and Council members
It is with great joy and enthusiasm, a lot of excitement and a little
concern that we now assume this new responsibility in the council.
It will not be the beginning of a journey, but rather the continuation
of a living experience of prayer, trust, and sharing. This is a task
in which all are involved - no one is excluded - and it unites us
as an association in Jesus and Mary. We want to live our commitment
today, with humility and service, in communion with all of you, knowing
that Mary has gone before us and that she will show us the way as
she has always done so far. Today, for us, is first and foremost a
good time for restitution, thanksgiving and gratitude for those who
trust in Mary and continue to "dream" and keep alive the
association founded by Don Bosco, and to make it a great treasure
entrusted to us today. Our heartfelt thanks go to Fr Pierluigi, to
Fr Roberto and all the priests, to Sister Marilena and to all the
Daughters of Mary Help of Christians who have accompanied us in the
past and will accompany us in the future. Our thanks also to all the
outgoing council, Rosanna Marchisio and her husband Daniele, Giovanni
Scavino and his wife Barbara: a personal thank you to each of you
for all you have done and the way you have become instruments of God's
love for us. A special thanks to Tullio Lucca and his wife Simonetta
because really your presence was (and will still be!) a huge gift
and a great blessing for ADMA. Thank you for the way you accompanied
the Association, for your ability to read important prophetic signs,
for your example of faith and your irreplaceable service. Thank you
finally to all those who have always given of themselves and will
still do so that many people and their families can discover the joy
of entrusting themselves to Jesus through Mary. United in prayer
Renato Valera, President, and all the members of the new council
ADMA has given us so much!
We have discovered a "precious gem" that we cannot help
but share and make known. On tiptoe, in the spirit of service, we
make it available to Mary. May she and Don Bosco be our guides and
enlighten us in our "work" (Paul and Monica Peirone).
Thanks to the prayers
of ADMA we have received a great grace and now we are here to pay
back. We are here under the guidance of Mary Help of Christians to
place ourselves at her service and to say like Don Bosco "She
did it all!" (Maria Pia Gallo and Massimo Bonzanino).
We thank Jesus and Mary
for their presence in our family and for this call to offer a service
to our Association. We trust in your prayers for us always to renew
our "Here I am" (Andrea and Maria Adele Damiani).
For us, ADMA is a family that supports and enhances our love as spouses
and parents under the mantle of Mary. Our desire is to share this
joy with more and more families entrusting ourselves to her, trusting
her, and always smiling (Gian Luca and Mariangela Spesso).
"Here I am"
in the new ADMA council as councillor for the elderly. What will our
commitment be? Let us abandon ourselves to God's will. May we be led
by Mary Help of Christians to be a daily source of joy for all, especially
for our families and for our young people, with our simple, but genuine
and constant faith. Thank you all for your trust in me. (Luciana Bianchetti).
ADMA has been a great
gift helping us to rediscover our vocation as spouses and parents,
especially in the most difficult moments. Thanks to ADMA we have had
the grace and the joy of being able to accompany young people in their
first steps in ADMA. With humility and a spirit of service we begin
this new journey under the maternal gaze of Mary Help of Christians
(David and Chiara Ricauda).
I want to live this experience
with great confidence in the Lord, certain that as young people we
will continue to walk together under the guidance of Mary, as Don
Bosco taught us, carrying on that dream that inspired everything (Federica
Programme 2017-2018: Introduction to Devout Life by St. Francis of
3. MEANS TO CONTINUE THE
CHOICE UP TO THE SOLEMN PROMISE / Fr Gianni Ghiglione
The goal that Francis
sought to achieve in the first part of his book, which includes 24
chapters, is to "lead the soul from the first desire of a devout
life to the firm resolution to embrace it." The heart of this
journey is the purification of the soul from grave sin and also from
attachment to sin. All this is not done in a short time: it takes
patience to go deep and thus avoid a fire of straw. This is the sense
of the ten meditations that are offered to the reader, on the following
" The end for which we are created
" The benefits of God
" Election and choice of paradise
" Election and choice of a devout life
You will notice that the
pattern is the same for all the meditations:
1. Preparation: place yourself in the presence of God and invoke his
2. Considerations, or points for reflection: this is the fulcrum of
3. Affections and resolutions: Francis speaks not only to the intelligence
and the reasoning of the mind. He seeks to involve the heart, appealing
to the affective and emotional dimension, and in this he is exquisitely
modern. In other words, the whole person is involved in choosing God:
mind, heart, intelligence, will, body, soul, present and future, feelings
Francis proposes an integral humanism, a way that enhances and involves
the whole person in its various dimensions, brought into play harmoniously.
"God is the God of the human heart." Only God is able to
fill the heart of man, because it is made for the absolute. Francis
is unable to talk about man without talking about God or to talk about
God without talking about man.
4. The Conclusion consists in thanking the Lord, offering him one's
heart and life, and invoking his help and protection in prayer.
It seems to me to be important to point out that these meditations
are given as an example and can therefore be replaced with others
that in your judgment can be of more help to you. Everything should
be handled with freedom and serenity, also because here and there
some of the expressions and images are related to the time they were
written. What is important is to keep and make your own the scheme
and the fundamental points of meditation, which are as follows:
a. Wherever you meditate, you have to spend some time at the beginning
to place yourself in the presence of God, who is already present in
you and around you. In other words, you have to tune your heart to
this encounter and to remove the many interferences that may exist
or may arise. These are called distractions and there is no need to
be afraid of them. When you realize that your mind is drifting, take
it back and calmly bring it to God. At the beginning of your journey
and even at the beginning of each meditation, distractions can be
very numerous and may discourage you. When you start a challenging
sport, the first workouts are tiring and exhausting. So it is also
with anyone who wants to learn the art of meditating.
b. The second step is the calm attentive reading of the passage you
have chosen or is proposed to you. Sometimes we need to re-read the
text: this is true especially when we meditate on the Word of God.
Little by little, some expressions gain an unexpected significance
and touch what you are experiencing in life, maybe some problems or
difficulties that are affecting you. It's like a light that illuminates
a dark corner where things are in disorder and need to be put back
c. The third step: let what you have read or heard become part of
your life. This is a process that involves reflection, your intelligence
as well as your heart, your affections and your will.
d. Finally, take time to say thanks for what you have received and
pray that the things you have seen with your mind and felt in your
heart may bear concrete fruits through some good resolution.
Now we come to the general confession which needs long and careful
preparation. Francis reminds Philothea that sin will cause us great
sorrow because it offends God, but if we are very humble, telling
the confessor will become less difficult. "When you are in front
of your spiritual father, imagine that you are on Calvary, at the
foot of crucified Jesus Christ, whose blood washes you free of iniquity."
After Confession comes the solemn promise. You will notice the solemnity
with which it is presented: it is performed before God and heaven
and the whole cosmos! Remember the main points of the reflections
aroused by the meditation: the goodness of God, his sweetness and
mercy, and his patience.
There is also a very modern aspect: Philothea's conversion and her
firm and solemn decision to walk decisively towards the good are linked
to Baptism, of which sin was a betrayal! Now there is the renewal
of "the promise of fidelity, made to God in my name during baptism"
for which "I want to be converted to God; I desire, propose,
choose, and irrevocably decide to serve and love him now and for eternity.
To this end, I entrust myself, and dedicate and consecrate my spirit
with all its faculties, my soul with all its powers, my heart with
all its affections, my body with all its senses ... ".
Two things need to be emphasized in order to understand this wonderful
o Conversion involves the whole person (spirit, soul, heart, body
...): it is a return to the integral humanism of which Francis was
a passionate supporter and master.
o It is a serious thing: notice the growing strength of verbs and
adverbs: I desire, propose, choose, decide ... irrevocably ... now
and for eternity! This is my will, my intention and my unalterable
This page gives the lie to the image of a sweet, good, almost simple
Francis for whom everything is OK. Francis is good and sweet in the
noble sense of the words, but also demanding, firm, resolute, without
vacillation. He wants everyone who puts himself or herself in his
hands to be accompanied on the path of holiness! An iron fist, but
a velvet glove!
In confirmation of what has been said, the person who makes the promise
is invited to go to the altar and place his signature there. God will
also sign and affix his seal; indeed, he will be the seal of assurance
on your heart!
The first part closes with some useful tips for complete and radical
* You must free yourself from attachment to venial sin and this for
various reasons. These attachments:
- weaken the forces of the spirit,
- open the door to temptation,
- hinder us from works of charity!
" You also need to free yourself from unnecessary or dangerous
things (shows, friends, TV, alcohol ...): the harm is not in doing
them but in loving them. The enemy of devotion is tepidity or mediocrity.
You can be a Christian or even a religious (having chosen religious
life), and still not have chosen God!
" You must pay great attention to bad inclinations related to
temperament. Some people are by nature light-hearted, some are arrogant,
and others are incapable of listening. Some tend to get indignant
at everything, some tend to anger, and others easily fall in love.
With care and attention, you can correct or at least moderate these
" The conclusion has to be that of Salesian optimism: there is
no temperament so perverse that it cannot be corrected and improved
with the grace of God, and with effort and commitment.
For personal reflection:
a. Do you devote time to meditation, to the calm and careful reading
of the Word of God?
b. Do you prepare well for Sunday Mass, or do you attend without knowing
what the readings are about?
c. Does your relationship with God risk being too intellectual or
d. Check your heart with regard to attachment to evil: sin always
has its own charm and its delight. Does this break into your heart
and keep you connected to bad habits, friendships or vices?
e. Do you pay attention to your character, aware that you experience
great joys or great troubles from your way of being and relating?
SPAIN - ASSEMBLIES OF
LOACL ADMA COUNCILS IN SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA AND LEÓN
On September 9 and 16, the Local Councils of ADMA took place in Santiago
de Compostela for the Galicia and León sectors, and in Leon
for the Asturias-Castile-Leon region. In both meetings, the Provincial
President of the Zone, Marta Celada, with the Provincial Council of
ADMA of the Leon area chaired the Assemblies.
The Assemblies began at 10.30 in both places with a word of welcome,
followed by a prayer to Our Laady: "May your word be done in
me! Mary: teach us to listen." Then came the reading and approval
of the minutes, followed by the report of the 2016-2017 Provincial
Council of ADMA in the Leon area, the economic budget of the course,
the guidelines and action of Primary ADMA for 2017-2018, the communication
of the indications of the ADMA National Coordination,
the annual programming for 2017-2018, the 2017-2018 calendar with
the various events, the celebration of the Salesian Family in honour
of Mary Help of Christians to be held on 27 May at Cambados for the
Galicia region and at Avilés for the Asturias -Castilla y Leon
sector, ending with several notices on renewal of councils, appointments,
local information etc. Information was also provided on the "Juan-Soñador"
Foundation whose Council is part of the Association of Mary Help of
Each Assembly ended with the Eucharistic celebration at which the
Provincial animator Fr Eleuterio Lobato presided. A friendly meal
followed. (Mª Begoña Fernández Prado, Treasurer
and MCS ADMA Zone LEÓN).
SICILY - MEETING OF LOCAL
On Sunday 3 October. at San Cataldo (Caltanissetta), the meeting of
the ADMA local councils of Sicily took place. It began with the presentation
of the new Spiritual Animators Fr Paolo Cicala, SDB, and Sister Maria
Lavenia, FMA. This was followed by a formation session on ADMA's membership
of the Salesian Family, by the Provincial President, Mr. Giuseppe
Auteri, with group dynamics. About 100 members participated from the
various centres of Sicily: Alcamo, Barcelona, Capaci, Canicattì,
Calatabiano, Catania, Giarre, Gela, Lercarafriddi, Misilmeri, Messina,
Marsala, Palermo and San Cataldo.
SPAIN - NATIONAL COORDINATION
At the beginning of October we had the first meeting of the National
Coordination of ADMA in Spain. At it we shared the experience of the
spiritual exercises with families in Pracharbon (Italy). The zones
of the Centre and Barcelona areas are planning meetings to share the
experience. This will be presented at the Zone Encounters and the
Formation Meeting we have planned. We have also prepared a brochure
with the formation topics of the year, inspired by the Philothea of
St. Francis of Sales. (Laura Barneto, National Coordinator ADMA).
MEXICO - MEETING OF DELEGATES
OF THE SALESIAN FAMILY OF THE INTERAMERIC REGION
Amateur, Mexico - October 2017 - From 22 to 24 October, a meeting
of the Provincial Delegates of the Salesian Family of the Inter-America
Region was held, coordinated by Fr.Eusebio Muñoz, Delegate
of the Rector Major for the Salesian Family. Among those present were
Fr Jayapalan Raphael, Delegate for the Past Pupils of Don Bosco; Fr
Pierluigi Cameroni, World Spiritual Animator of ADMA and Postulator
for the Causes of Saints of the Salesian Family; Fr Joan Lluís
Playá, Central Assistant of the VDB and CDB, and 26 representatives
of all the Provinces of the Inter-America Region. During the meeting
the participants reflected on the reasons for being and feeling part
of the Salesian Family founded by Don Bosco, and on the weaknesses,
opportunities and challenges for those working in this field.
Saturday October 21 - Fr Pierluigi meets the provincial council of
ADMA in Guadalajara (Mexico)