Incomincia la quinta tappa dell’itinerario verso Mornese. È il tempo della missione. Nella personalità di Maria Mazzarello, coesiste il germe della bontà e della maternità spirituale, insieme a quello della vocazione pedagogica e religiosa. Le sue qualità umane e spirituali fanno di lei un’educatrice particolarmente abile e con uno stile formativo analogo a quello di don Bosco, sintesi equilibrata di doti personali e del lavorio svolto sul suo carattere anche grazie alla guida di don Pestarino.
Tra la bottega del sarto Valentino Campi, davanti alla quale prende consistenza l’intuizione di Maria di fondare un laboratorio di cucito, e la casa dell’Immacolata, adiacente alla Parrocchia dove nel 1867 le prime Figlie dell’Immacolata cominciano a vivere in comune … vi sono altre case: quella di Teresa Pampuro, sede del primo laboratorio, la casa di Angela Maccagno, dove si tenevano le riunioni delle FMI e il cortile di suo fratello, dove Maria D. faceva l’oratorio festivo, la casa Bodrato, sede del primo orfanotrofio. Infine, la casa dell’Immacolata. Sono case che ricordano il graduale prendere forma dei progetti di Dio per l’Istituto delle Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice. Il Signore “costruisce” la sua casa attraverso la disponibilità delle persone che le abitano. Queste case sono traboccanti di storia e di vita perché ricche di relazioni umane intense e sincere. Sono relazioni educative, legami d’amore che fanno crescere!
L’idea del laboratorio prende vita in Maria D. durante la convalescenza dalla malattia del tifo. Essa si realizza nell’arco di alcuni anni e quando, nel 1864, don Bosco si reca a Mornese, Maria con Petronilla non solo dirigono sapientemente il laboratorio, ma hanno aperto anche l’oratorio festivo e diverse attività per favorire la crescita umana e cristiana delle ragazze di Mornese. «Accetteremo qualche ragazza che vorrà imparare a cucire e le insegneremo, col fine principale però, ricordiamolo bene, di toglierla dai pericoli, di farla buona e specialmente di insegnarle a conoscere e amare il Signore». Con la dolcezza, l’affabilità, il rispetto per le ragazze da un lato, e la fermezza, l’autorevolezza e l’esigenza dell’obbedienza dall’altro, Maria applica un metodo in perfetta sintonia con il Sistema Preventivo di don Bosco. Metodo che per il raggiungimento delle finalità che si propone postula la creazione di relazioni positive, ricche di umanità, rispettose della persona dell’educanda, capaci di diventare “laboratorio” di maturazione umana e cristiana. Le FMI, anche attraverso la mediazione formativa di don Pestarino, incarnano questo ideale manifestando uno straordinario ascendente sulla gente. Si dedicano alle ragazze con maggior continuità rispetto a quanto avrebbero potuto fare se fossero rimaste nelle loro famiglie. L’amore educativo vissuto dalle FMI e in particolare da Maria Mazzarello si caratterizza sin dall’inizio per l’accoglienza e la sollecitudine per le ragazze più trascurate e difficili. Uno stile educativo connotato da differenziata adeguatezza, in modo da raggiungere il cuore delle ragazze attraverso l’affetto, i richiami, i consigli, il confronto con i valori e la guida paziente verso la loro graduale assimilazione.
Farsi amare più che temere dalle fanciulle; avere vigilanza solerte, continua, amorosa, non pesante, non diffidente; tenerle sempre occupate fra la preghiera, il lavoro, la ricreazione; formarle a una pietà veramente seria, combattendo in esse la menzogna, la vanità, la leggerezza”.
Educare qui non è questione soltanto di sapere, ma di essere, di comunicare, di influire positivamente e con amorevolezza serena sulle ragazze e sulle loro stesse famiglie.
Comporta perciò l’integrazione dei valori della contemplazione (esercizio della presenza di Dio) con quelli dell’azione (“farsi amare più che temere”, vigilare, tenere le ragazze sempre occupate per formarle donne cristiane), della spiritualità, dell’ascesi e della missione educativa vissuta in comunità.
Il tratto cordiale e amorevole, infatti, sembra essere il segreto che affeziona le ragazze alle prime FMI, in particolare a Maria Domenica tanto che esse «desideravano di non stare un solo giorno lontane da lei». Insieme alla bontà, Maria unisce l’autorevolezza con la quale esige dalle ragazze diligenza, impegno, schiettezza. L’amore ad esse donato ritorna alle educatrici attraverso una dinamica di reciprocità e si trasforma in apertura, confidenza, docilità verso chi si dedica a loro con sollecita cura. Inoltre, l’armonizzare autorevolezza ed amorevolezza crea un clima educativo che fa evitare l’uso dei castighi perché, sentendosi amate ed aiutate, le ragazze corrispondono facilmente all’intervento formativo. Le loro testimonianze sono significative a questo proposito: «Maria ci sgridava se lo meritavamo; ma, dopo la sgridata, dopo averci fatto comprendere il male commesso, ci voleva bene come prima e non conservava alcun malumore; non ne parlava più e ci trattava come se nulla fosse accaduto. Era sempre di uguale umore; non ricordiamo di averla vista imbronciata, né incollerita, benché noi fanciulle le occasioni non gliele lasciassimo mancare».
Youth Pastoral Day 2015 (GBR Province)
Salesian Sisters and Laity gathered at the Provincial House for our annual Youth Pastoral Day. The theme for the day was ‘Continuing the Dream… with new Brushstrokes’. We chose this theme because we wanted everyone to look at how we can make the dream of Don Bosco relevant to our young people today, in 2015. We based the idea around a quote from Mother Yvonne:
Today, we are called to complete the work sketched by Don Bosco and Maria Domenica Mazzarello… to restore the splendour to the ancient colours with new brushstrokes.’
Mother Yvonne Reungoat
As this is the Bi-Centenary year of Don Bosco, we chose to focus on his story and so we also focused on his words:
“You will complete the work that I have started: I sketch, you will paint in the colours.’
The day also followed the theme of the Strenna. Session One was entitled ‘Like Don Bosco’. In this session, we looked together at Don Bosco’s ‘oratorian heart’. This was followed by a very lively group discussion, where participants were encouraged to reflect on how we can each live the call of ‘da mihi animas’ today, in our present youth culture.
Session Two was called ‘With the Young’. In this exciting session, we looked at the present reality of the world of young people. We also took part in some very engaging discussions on the questions young people asked at the most recent Chapter.
Session Three was entitled, ‘For the Young’. In this session, we invited two visiting speakers to talk about their experience of working with young people on the margins. One speaker discussed the impact of economic poverty on young people and discussed the work of ‘Food banks’. This is a project that gives out food to families who are not in the financial position to buy their own. Another speaker focused on spiritual and emotional poverty and talked about his experience of being a prison chaplain. He shared with us his thoughts on what we can try and do as Salesian educators to prevent young people from turning to crime. Both speakers were inspiring and left us with many questions and thoughts.
The day began and ended with creative prayer, as well as everyone sharing a wonderful lunch. We believe that the dream of Don Bosco is very much alive here in GBR and we look forward to the challenges and opportunities that will come our way as we strive to move forwards together.
Youth Pastoral Coordinator
Kolkata India Auxi Aura – Bosco 200
The communities in the Province of Mary Help of Christians – Kolkata continues the celebration of DB 200 to make him known to all especially to those who not yet known him. Auxilium Barasat organized Auxi Aura –Bosco 200 an event of awe and enjoyment on the 16th July 2015 was an endevour on the part of the Barasat Auxilians to spread our Founder and Father, Don Bosco’s mission to educate young children. The inaugural programme included a beautiful musical on Don Bosco- BOSCO ALIVE. Sr. Rose Ezarath, the provincial of INC Kolkata province was the chief guest of the event and she declared the AUXI AURA ’15 open.
We had our neighbourhood schools coming in to participate in a host of cultural, educational and innovative events. International Public School, Sudhir Memorial Institute, Aditya Academy Senior Secondary, Adamas World School, Julien day School, Purba Barasat Adarsha Vidyapeeth, Mahatma Gandhi Memorial and Sankar Math O’ Mission wer the schools who competed with each other as also with us to bag various titles and prizes. It was a quest to sort out the best schools as also to uphold Don Bosco’s Maxim ‘ACT AS A SHINING LIGHT TO OTHERS.’
It was revelation of young talents as students engaged themselves in Mask – making, producing the best out of waste, painting and story writing. Little children showed their sudden impact within a fraction of 2 minutes, twisted and turned their bodies in Auxi star, better known as ‘Two Minutes to Fame. On stage events had ecstatic participants searing the stage with their exuberant performances, like Auxi – Aradhana (Prayer song with action), Auxi –Exquizzit (Quiz), Auxi –Pep Up (Indipop) and Auxi Jhoomer an initiative to revive classical folk dance. We had Auxi – Floraux, Vibgyora, and other floral events intended to fill the fest with an essence of divinity. Auxi – Jhankar had undoubtedly made mellifluous hymns to enliven our souls. The fest ended with the guest performances of Sirsha Rakshit a renowned playback singer and Kushal Paul, a Zee Bangla Sa Re Ga Ma Pa champion and ultimately the programme ended with the National Anthem and prize Distribution Ceremony. The fest was added with a final touch of Disc- Jockeying (DJ) beats and the sparkling fireworks.
Debasree Pal. Class IX
3rd -7th July 2015 – Youth Rally Bicentenary Celebration at City Of Hope Lusaka Zambia
There was great joy at city of Hope, Lusaka- Zambia, the community of the Salesian sisters where the Youth Rally Bicentenary celebration took Place from the 3rd to the 7th of July 2015.
The youth Rally was organized by the FMA Pastoral of the AFM Province and the SDB Youth Delegate of the ZMB Province.
The Delegations of the youth comprised of young people from Namibia, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Zambia. The youth rally attracted over 900 hundred people. Present were 15 Salesian sisters, 5 FMA novices, 12 FMA Aspirants, 18 Salesian priests, 10 Salesian novices 4 Salesian Deacons and over 30 Salesian seminarians. In attendance was also a good number of Salesians coo-operators and lay people, who along with us all assisted the young people very well.
Friday- 3rd of July- The evening started with welcoming remarks and a prayer by Fr. Vincent Tembo, the sdb youth delegate, soon after the youth took to the stage with group introductions, based on the theme “Celebrating 200 years of Don Bosco’s Birth”. This was done with a lot of creativity and here one could witness the beauty of the various cultural expressions within our African context. The day was closed with a night prayer, which was conducted by city of Hope young people.
Saturday 4th of July. After breakfast and Morning Prayer, sr. Rysarda Piejko read the opening remarks sent by Sr. Julienne Munyemba our provincial who could not be with us. This was followed by two talks, the first one was on “Don Bosco and the Church”, given by Fr.Hamwete, newly ordained Sdb and the second one was on the “role of the youth in the Church” and it was given by Fr. Musonda Kaputula, a diocesan priest from the archdiocese of Kasama. The first talk was concluded with a group discussion and feed back to the assembly, while the second one was ended up with an open forum where the young people could ask questions to a panel of adults.
The pick moment of the 4th was the opening Mass, which was presided over by Fr. George Chalisery, the sdb provincial. In which the young people participated actively.
Worth highlighting still on the second day of the youth Rally was the evening Adoration, which was guided by Deacon Simba Sdb. The 900 plus young people and adults were all recollected in a prayerful silence, after which we all retired to sleep.
Sunday 5th July, This was our great day of the pilgrimage to the Marian shrine. At the beginning of the pilgrimage, Fr. Louis Malama had to climb on top of the minibus, to make sure that all the youth heard his explanation of the meaning of the pilgrimage. It was amazing to see the joyful multitude of young people on the street of Lusaka heading to Mother Mary’s shrine, carrying their painted Don Bosco Banners, singing with drums. The people in vehicles and those on foot stopped to look at what was happening on that Sunday morning.
Upon arrival at the Shrine, the youth were prepared for confession by Fr. Michael Mbandama sdb, after confessions we had Mass, which was presided over by Fr. Charles Mukuka, a Fransciscan priest. After Mass, we had our packed lunch and a free moment of relaxation and interaction before going back home. In the evening after supper we had Don Bosco Quiz.
Monday 6th of July, – We still had talks on our Christian calling and the call to religious life, these were co-presented by Mrs Veronica Pepala and Sr. Mulenga Florence FMA. This was followed by our closing Mass. In the afternoon we had sports.
Well appreciated on this day was the message of Sr. Runita Borja FMA, our Councilor for Youth ministry which she sent to the young people through email. Thanks a lot Sister Runita for following us with lots of love, prayer and support, we hope to see you in our province one day.
In the evening we had a competion on the various banners which the youth from different places had painted in honour of Don Bosco. This was followed by a great social evening. We concluded with price giving in the various activities.
Looking back, one can say that the Youth Bicentenary celebration was an expression of gratitude to God, who gave Don Bosco such a big heart. It was great to see young people from different back grounds being able to speak the common language transmitted to them through the Salesian charism. Yes Don Bosco lives and he shall continue to live as long as there will be committed Members of the Salesian family to carry on his dream. We give Glory to God for all what we have experienced during this special time. A special blessing from God upon all who contributed in one way or another to the success of this great day. May our Lady continue to intercede for us the grace of loving the young people who are entrusted to us in every corner of the World.
Report from: Sr. Constance Chanda Nsofwa FMA, Pastoral Team AFM Province.