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22/9/2014 - Italy - Opening of the 23rd General Chapter of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians

(ANS - Rome)- The 23rd General Chapter of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians opens today 22 September.  The theme of the Chapter is "Being with the young today as a home that evangelizes”

The opening ceremony was attended by nearly 200 chapter members, led by the Mother General, Mother Yvonne Reungoat.  Also present were Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, accompanied by some members of the Salesian General Council.

Fr Angel participated in the activities of the day from the early hours of the morning and presided at the Eucharist. The opening ceremony began at 10.00 a.m. (Italian time), with a parade of flags and the invocation of the Holy Spirit. This was followed by official speeches from Mother Reungoat, Cardinal Braz de Aviz and Fr Angel Fernadez Artime.

In his address, the Rector Major welcomed the beginning of the Sisters’ Chapter, which is taking place at a historical moment in the Year of the Bicentenary of the Birth of Don Bosco and on the eve of the Year of Consecrated Life.  He said he was certain that the Chapter will renew the apostolic zeal of the Sisters, and that, in keeping with the Pope’s invitation and the charism of the Institute, it will bring a new impetus to “the areas of the mission entrusted to the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, caring for the poor and the least."

Pointing out the similarities between the situation of the Salesian Congregation and that of the FMA, Fr Angel highlighted one of the fundamental topics of the 27th General Chapter of the Salesians, that of fraternity, which is the basis of "any attempt to be truly 'a home that evangelizes', and of any lasting option for young people."  He concluded by inviting the Chapter members to allow themselves to be guided by the Holy Spirit, and promising the support of his own personal prayer, and that of the whole Salesian Family.

Messages were read by representatives of various groups of the Salesian Family and the 23rd General Chapter was formally declared open. The ceremony ended with a song to Mary performed by the FMA novices.  

Published 22/09/2014

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