VIII International Congress of Mary Help of Christians
Buenos Aires (Argentina). The VIII International Congress of Mary Help of Christians is taking place in an atmosphere of cordiality and celebration, characteristics of the family spirit of Salesian spirituality. And it could not be otherwise, given that it takes place around the figure of Mary Help of Christians, Mother and Teacher of the Salesian Family.
The inaugural Eucharist of the Congress, the parade of the flags of all the participating Countries, and the evening constituted an introduction that placed everyone in a harmony of hearts and spirit. The presentation of Salesian holiness was really opportune with the staging of the meeting of Pope Francis with Don Bosco, Mother Mazzarello, Mamma Margaret, and with the Salesian saints who flourished in this land of Don Bosco's dreams: Laura Vicuña, Zeffirino Namuncurá, and Artemide Zatti. The dramatization called all those present to find the determination to walk with joy on the path of Salesian holiness, lived in the heroism of everyday life.
With his Good Night, the Rector Major closed the day, calling on two indigenous Ibororos sisters who belong to ADMA, as fruits of the Salesian mission, who concluded the evening with a song to Mary in their native language.
The next morning began with the celebration of the Eucharist in different languages and different places. Fr. Roberto Carelli presented the journey of faith in Mary with the talk: "Mary, the colors of faith". Very interesting are the Marian testimonies that have given substance to what was expressed by Fr. Carelli.
In the afternoon, after a time of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians, Fr. Gustavo Cavagnari, SDB, presented to the assembly the theme: "Walking with the young in the steps of Our Lady of Solicitude", where in the light of the Visitation he brought questions and a call for a Youth Ministry that is truly the proclamation of the Gospel that leads to the contagion, and the experience of ‘intergenerational’ faith. There was no lack of testimonies from groups, families, people who highlighted the concreteness of Mary's presence in ordinary life and her evangelizing and transforming power. The recitation of the Rosary in the different languages concluded the afternoon activities.
Mother Yvonne Reungoat gave a special tone to the event with her cordiality and closeness to the Salesian Family and with her enthusiastic participation in the songs and moments of animation experienced by the assembly. With her Good Night she closed the intense day, recalling the Salesian Family to a renewed love for Mary, which is an evangelizing force and a call for a pastoral vocation for the whole Salesian reality.
Later the Rector Major, Mother General, Renato Valera, president of Primary ADMA, and Dagmar K, Responsible of the Secular Institute of Volunteers of Don Bosco (VDB), met in the first Shrine in America dedicated to Mary Help of Christians, which is located in Home of the FMA, where they had a lively and interesting open dialogue with a group of young people from the various Salesian houses and with the participants in the Congress.
The presence of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians at the ADMA Congress is numerous and significant, bringing to the event the "feminine and Marian face" that they are called to bring, also through the large presence of Past Pupils of the FMA.