Between the memory of the past and the dream of the future - 50th anniversary of the foundation of the Generalate of the FMA
Rome (Italy). 11 October 1969 – 11 October 2019. Fifty years have passed since the opening of the House of the Generalate, the community which – as the Salesian Bishop Msgr. Enrico Covolo emphasized in his introduction as he presided over the solemn Eucharistic Celebration of thanksgiving to God for this Jubilee – houses the General Council and a community formed of many FMA who daily offer their study and work for the Institute. There are many stories, lives, programs, prayers, and hopes of sisters from all over the world, sign and prophecy of communion, that are part of the one sign of love that has as its center the mandate of Mary to Main: “I entrust them to you”.
To celebrate an anniversary means bringing to the memory of the heart and affections, a reality that is still able to be light for our paths. For this reason at the beginning of the celebration, together with the first and latest edition of the house chronicle that contains the history of the community which has always had as its beacon the mission at the service of the young people of the whole world, there were also brought before the altar the general ‘elenco’ of all the FMA and seeds to represent all the activities that are carried out in our communities, signs of hope for all of humanity, and flowers, gift of nature that generates beauty and gratitude.
Here are some historical notes that testify to the event:
Towards the end of 1968, while the construction was being completed, the House opened (December 10) to welcome the first participants in the Special General Chapter called for at the beginning of 1969. During the Chapter work, Mother and the General Council, with a decision ratified by the same Chapter, agreed to allocate the new building to the seat of the General Council and of the central offices of the Institute; this to allow an adequate organizational arrangement in view of the activities that the renewal in progress provided for. The approval of the Holy See was obtained on June 25, with a letter from Cardinal Hildebrand Antoniutti, Prefect of the Congregation for Religious, to the Superior General M. Ersilia Canta. These are his words: "We willingly consent to this proposal, motivated by the gratifying development of this Institute and also by the opportunity for greater closeness to the See of the Vicar of Christ". The definitive transfer of the entire General Council from the Turin office to that of Rome - Via Ateneo Salesiano, 81 - took place on 11 October 1969, the feast of the Motherhood of Mary Most Holy. On the same date the religious community was formed, to which were assigned tasks of collaboration in the various services, in addition to an incipient apostolic activity in the district that was rising in the area.
In his homily Msgr. Dal Covolo expressed gratitude for what he received from the Community in the year in which he was the Chaplain of the Generalate (between 1987 and 1988) and then shared the reasons for celebrating a Jubilee. To let ourselves be guided by the Word of God and with gratitude for the many FMA who lived and made possible an ordinary, anonymous path of sanctity, whose fruits are gathered today, cultivating the attitudes of the ‘Miserere and the Magnificat’. "Miserere nostri Domine", for all the omissions concerning work and the community and "Magnificat anima mea Dominum", because the Kingdom of God is already present in the sisters present in this house, or who inhabited it - who for a short time, who for much longer - in these years.
The community celebrated this important event of the historical date of its foundation, awaiting the commemorative moment that will be celebrated on December 7th and 8th.