New Presence in Azerbaijan
New Presence in Azerbaijan
Bratislava (Slovakia). On October 18, the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians opened a new presence in Azerbaijan at Baku. The Institute responded to the invitation of Msgr. Vladimir Fekete, SDB, the Apostolic Prefect in Azerbaijan. The Slovak Province of St. John Bosco (SLK) sent two FMA, Sr. Slávka Butková and Sr. Andrea Mladošová.
The FMA arrived at Baku in September, 2015, and thus were able to participate in the festivities for the 15th anniversary of Salesian presence in this land. During the solemnity, Msgr. Vladimir Fekete spoke of the greatest gift they received with the arrival of the Sisters. In fact, the mission needs new proclaimers, new hearts, and new hands able to work for Jesus, to proclaim Him, and to love Him in those who do not yet know Him.
On the Liturgical Feast of St. Teresa of Avila, October 15, 2015, the new FMA presence was officially begun. The ceremony took place in the Chapel at Genclik, the area of the roots of Salesian presence, and also the place that was blessed by the presence of Pope St. John Paul II. During the Eucharist presided by Msgr. Fekete with some Salesians, Sr. Alaide Deretti, FMA, General Councillor for the Missions, officially read the Decree of the FMA Mother General, Mother Yvonne Reungoat, with which the new FMA presence was inaugurated. Sr. Alaide gave the Constitutions and the cross to the FMA, and encouraged them to follow in the footsteps of Mother Mazzarello, never forgetting the spirit of Mornese and loving the Constitutions which are the evangelical project of the Congregation.
The FMA will dedicate themselves to parish activities, attentive to the young people and women, and will collaborate in the Social Centre run by the Salesians. Thus the Institute, through the Slovakian Province to which the new presence belongs, concretely responded to the call of GC XXIII, broadening their vision and becoming an outgoing Church according to the requests of Pope Francis.
Present at the celebration was also the Provincial, Sr. Jana Kurkinová, and her Vicar, Sr. Monika Skalová. Sr. Jana appreciated the availability and the faith of the Sisters and encouraged them to be open to, not only studying the language, but to have open hearts and minds to know the new field prepared for them by the Lord.
The opening of this new presence comes in the Year of Consecrated Life, in the Year of Bicentenary of Don Bosco’s birth, in the 500th Anniversary of the Birth of St. Teresa of Avila, and in the 75th Anniversary of FMA presence in Slovakia. The FMA are present in 15 communities. They number 85 and have 5 Novices, one of which comes from Baku.