conclusions and future prospects • Istituto Figlie di Maria Auxiliatrice


Roma, Italy). On September 30, 2022, with the final orientations and the Eucharistic celebration presided over by the Rector Major of the Salesians of Don Bosco, Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime, and concelebrated by Fr. Francesco Motto and Fr. Stanisław Zimniak, SDB, President and secretary of the Salesian Association of Curators of History (ACSSA), the International Congress Contribution of the FMA to education (1872-2022) Journey, challenges and perspectives » concluded. It was organized by the Pontifical Faculty of Education “Auxilium” on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the Institute, celebrated in Rome, at the General House of the Institute (RCG), from September 25 to 30. .

Combining memory and renewed commitment to the future, the event crossed different registers: historicalwhich highlighted the commitment to education of generations of educators who, on the five continents, knew how to accompany young people; pedagogic, where topical questions were asked about the training to be guaranteed to meet the needs of young people. Finally, the experiential horizonwith the presentation of two exploratory researches which respectively studied the experience of the FMA in 150 years of history and how today certain nuclei of the Preventive System are conceived and applied by the FMA and the lay collaborators of the educational communities.

The event brought together 270 participants from approximately 70 countries around the world, 1,065 online members, 45 international presenters, with 5 simultaneous translation languages. And also, many ambassadors to the Holy See, religious authorities of the Church and of the Salesian Congregation, and academics.

In the closing session, Mother Chiara Cazzuola,

Mother Chiara CazzuolaSuperior General of the FMA Institute and Grand Chancellor of the Pontifical Faculty of Educational Sciences “Auxilium”, indicates a future perspective for the Institute which, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of its foundation, intends to relaunch the educational mission in various contexts.

It reaffirms that Congress “was not only a festive event as the culmination of a long and meticulous preparation”, but “the starting point of a new journey in the name of responsibility towards the young people entrusted to us, towards our Founders, towards the Church and the society in which we are inserted, in the different geographical and cultural contexts”.

It also highlights the need to “Invest more resolutely in training, because the world changes quickly and complexity is not only confronted with good will, but with qualified and constantly updated training. It takes a “broad vision”, a solid culture, wisdom, a critical and proactive sense that opens up horizons and nourishes dreams. It takes consistency and strength of testimony to be effective.”

The three sessions were united by a red thread: putting the Preventive System in dialogue with the contemporary challenges of educating young people. “Reinterpreting the Preventive System today, that of being good Christians and honest citizens, means developing processes of co-responsibility in the socio-political action of the younger generations. This is one of the Faculty’s commitments for the future that awaits us.” affirms, among others, the Dean of the Faculty, Sr. Piera Ruffinatto, stressing how much education is “the best way to situate oneself in the world and to transform it.”

A few resonances in the room, in which the participants express their gratitude for the richness of the contents and the reflections proposed, as well as for the family atmosphere experienced during the days of the Congress, close the work and prepare to live the Eucharistic celebrationgratitude par excellence, asking Saint Mary Dominica Mazzarello, who was the first to believe in this message, “I entrust them to you”, to help all the FMA to recommit themselves to the Lord, for the work that continues to be carried out even today in the Institute for the good of young people.

In his homily, the Rector Major underlines the journey of 150 years of life of the FMA Institute, of which “History is full of educational miracles, of realities in which love has healed so many lives, where you have managed to transform cities, towns, spaces and families… and this is a glorious page which is present today and which will also be present in the future.” Taking up the Word of God, “God has chosen what is humble in the world” (1 Cor 1:27), he underlined that the strength of Mother Mazzarello resides in her love as a mother, in weakness made strong and in faith. He concluded by saying:

“I invite you to continue to believe that a bright future awaits us, which has little to do with the number of resources we have. The moment when everything is played is when a boy or a girl, after having met us, leaves with a full heart because of a word from us, a smile, a look. I believe it was the strength of the first community of Mornese, of the first community of Valdocco, of the first missionaries, who had almost nothing but heroism and trust in God the Father. On this 150th anniversary of the Institute, I am convinced that in this way the Help of Christians will continue to perform great miracles through you”.

Pictures: FlickrFMA

Congress materials and video recordings

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