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ADMA :  ASSOCIATION OF MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS    
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|   Monthly Message : 24th nov-dicember 2017      

Mary reminds us that saints are models and an encouragement to holiness

Dear friends,
We write this message to share our joy at the formation of the new Council of the Primary ADMA in Valdocco. Mary Help of Christians always accompanies and renews her Association and we recognize her motherly presence ever more and more.
ADMA "offers a way of holiness through Salesian apostolate" (Reg. Art 2). In other words, ADMA proposes a path of holiness: God calls all to holiness and prayer helps us to recognize the beauty and grandeur of this journey and to witness it. This gift is a call to be open to all that God does through us and to be able to thank God in our lives and to rejoice in all that He does through each of us. The common vocation to holiness becomes specific in the light of the gospel way of life as lived, interpreted and proposed by Don Bosco. In particular, we recall some of the values of the Salesian spirit: service and help, especially to those most in need, simplicity in practices of piety, pastoral charity in apostolic and educational commitment, joyful fraternity, and family spirit.
Saints are models and an encouragement to holiness. "Let us not forget that it is the saints who are the pride of the Church and make it increase." (Pope Francis). Even in our Salesian Family, we recognize many testimonies of faith lived in different living conditions and historical contexts. We need to express our deep gratitude and praise to God for the holiness already recognized in the Salesian Family of Don Bosco and for those on the way to recognition.
With this issue (November-December) we conclude ADMAonline of 2017. We take this opportunity to thank all those who contribute in a number of ways to make this link come out on time, especially our translators and technicians.
Finally, we wish all our members and groups a holy Christmas and a new year filled with blessings.

Renato Valera, President / Fr Pierluigi Cameroni SDB, Spiritual Animator



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
Dear friends,
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 Lucca).


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

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 themes:
" Creation
" The end for which we are created
" The benefits of God
" Sin
" Death
" Judgment
" Hell
" Paradise
" 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 help.
2. Considerations, or points for reflection: this is the fulcrum of the meditation.
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 and emotions.
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 in place.
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 text:
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 decision!
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 purification.
* 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 inclinations.
" 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 too emotional?
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?

Family Chronicle

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 Christians.
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 COUNCILS
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
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   THE President OF ADMA: Signor Tullio LUCCA |E-mail:  Tullio.Lucca@gmail.com   
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