Witnesses of Joy on the Outskirts of the World
Witnesses of Joy on the Outskirts of the World
Mornese (Italy). The 5th World Elective Assembly of the Past Pupils of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians took place at Mornese on August 10-17 on the theme, “Witnesses of Joy on the Outskirts of the World”. About 240 members from the 63 Federations participated from the various nations of the 4 continents: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, South Korea, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Philippines, France, Germany, Japan, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Italy, Mexico, Mozambique, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominican Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, United States, Thailand, East Timor, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Vietnam.
On August 11, there was a pilgrimage to the Mornese holy land guided by Marco Pestarino, Past Pupil of Mornese, and by Sr. Rosanna Costantini. In the afternoon, the opening Assembly was preceded by the Eucharistic Celebration at the Valponasca, presided by Fr. Eusebio Muñoz, Delegate of the Rector Major for the Salesian Family, with the special participation of the Past Pupil Choir of Mornese. In the evening, there was the parade of international flags, followed by the greetings and introduction to work by the Confederation President, Mrs. Paola Staiano.
On August 12, there was the pilgrimage to the Salesian holy land of Valdocco. There was the encounter with the Rector Major, Fr. Angel Fernández, in the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians, who presided at the Eucharist together with his secretary, Fr. Horacio López. The Rector Major exhorted all those present: “Before being the FMA Past Pupil Association, we are the Salesian Family of Don Bosco. The real foundation of the past pupils is found in recognizing that what they have received in their life, in a Salesian house, are the great Christian and human values. The real definition of a past pupil does not consist in signing a book of the Association, but it is carrying in their heart and with conviction, the Christian and Salesian values they have received in a Salesian house”.
On August 13, there was a presentation by the Confederation President, Paola Staiano, by the Confederation Delegate, Sr. Maritza Ortiz, and the financial presentation by the Confederation Treasurer, Maria Maghini. In the afternoon, Mother Yvonne Reungoat presented the central theme of the Assembly, “Being Witnesses of Joy on the Outskirts of the World”. “Joy comes from feeling one belongs to something and to someone. Belonging to the Past Pupil Association reinforces this joy. The greater the sense of belonging, the greater is the joy that comes from it. For this reason, one of your major preoccupations must be that of maintaining a strong sense of belonging that is not reduced to a ‘being together’ of members who only meet occasionally. Identity without belonging leads to individualistic complacency. Belonging without identity can become inauthentic. In either case, you feel that this does not fill the heart with joy nor lead to change”. After Mother’s presentation, the participants divided into work groups to present the final Motions to the Assembly.
On August 14, there was the approval of the Confederation Statutes, and in the evening, there was a Salesian recreation permeated with joy and an intercultural sharing of dances and songs.
On August 15, the Feast of the Assumption, Sr. Maria Luisa Miranda, General Councillor for the Salesian Family, guided the discernment for the first voting. After her presentation, all the candidates for the Confederation Council were presented in Assembly, to the college of Labor and to the college of Accounts Revisers.
After the scrutiny, the new Confederation Council for 2015-2021 was elected. The new Council is comprised of the following:
President, Maria Maghini (Lombardy Holy Family); Vice President Renée Seghers (South Belgium); Treasurer Michele Cutro (South); Secretary Rosa Maria Giordano (Sicily Catania); Councillor for Africa Mutita Clotilde (Congo) and Ana Lourdes of Conceição (Mozambican); Concillor for Central and North America Maria Carmen Castillon (USA); Councillor for the Bolivian nations Lourdes Magali Saavedra Espinoza (Peru); Concillor for South Cono Maria Marcela Aman (Argentina Bahìa Blanca); Councillor for Brazil Maria Inês Estima Maranhão (Recife); Councillor for North Asia Wongpradu Manasawee (Thailand); Councillor for Asia-India Sunita D’souza (India Bombay); Councillor for East Europe Adriana Žele (Slovenia-Croatia); Councillor for the European Iberian Peninsula Maria Isabel Pérez Aguilera (Spain Madrid); Councillor for Europe Italy: Maria Teresa Vaghi (Lombardy Immaculata), Laura Pollino Piedmont Mary Help of Christians, Maria Rita Di Curzio (Rome St. Agnes), Maurizia Panzini (Conegliano Veneto); and Olivia Furlan (Padua).