Proclaim and bear witness ”to the young and with the young the Good News of Redemption” (C 8). On the 14th of each month we are invited to relaunch our being missionaries of hope and of joy accepting the invitation to form a GREAT MISSIONARY EXPEDITION in preparation for the 140th anniversary of the First Missionary Expedition.
Mother says, “It would be beautiful if this preparation would revive the ‘strong missionary impulse’ (Cf. 1) that characterized the Institute from the beginning in the heart of every FMA, in the young, and in all the members of the educating community” (Circular 964). It was this missionary impulse that on November 14, 1877, determined the departure of six very young FMA without any particular preparation: Sr. Angela Vallese (23), Sr. Giovanna Borgna (17), Sr. Angela Cassulo (25), Sr. Angela Denegri (17), Sr. Teresa Gedda (24), and Sr. Teresa Mazzarello (17). Some of them had made profession just a few weeks before. None of them had made their Perpetual Profession, but all of them had a Yes forever sealed in their heart. It was a Yes that was translated into courage, into serene detachment, into a joyful response to the mission ad gentes. It was a faithful Yes, the maximum expression of the ‘vado io’…I will go’ ‘Here I am. Send me!’
The missionary impulse is the driving force of this celebration. A first invitation was to revisit “the history of our Institute to arouse and reawaken in our environments, the taste for knowing more deeply our origins and the missionary ardor that sustained and sustains the FMA missionaries ad gentes in the mission places where the Institute is present.”
To continue the preparation together toward the 140th of the first Missionary Expedition, on January 14, 2017, we offer prayer for Mary Help of Christians Province (IPI). All the communities are invited to remember in prayer this Province from which the first six missionaries departed and which through history has given many missionaries ad gents for the Institute on all the continents. They are enterprising women, courageous, with great enthusiasm for evangelization, of solid convictions; resilient women, full of God, ardent in the apostolate, ardent in holiness.
As a concrete gesture, we are invited to place on the altar during the entire day of January 14, Volume 1 of the Institute Elenco, opened to pages 70-71. May our prayer of gratitude and intercession for IPI Province rise up to God and to Mary Help of Christians.
And to our sisters of IPI Province who live near the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians, we ask, as far as possible, to give us a gift: to bring before the Madonna a prayer intention for all the missionary vocations ad gentes in our Institute: those of the present and those of the future.
At this time, we also want to entrust to the prayers of the educating communities, the sisters called to the mission ad gentes who are in Rome at this time because from January 22 to February 1, they will be involved in discernment in view of their destination.
This period is important, not only for them, but for the entire Institute, for the entire educational mission. It is an invitation to live with hope and trust, the dream of God and His project of love.
The Discernment regards all the Provinces because some will have the joy of receiving the gift of a new missionary with whom to share the mission and apostolic fruitfulness. Let us pray, invoking the light of the Spirit over them, letting God guide the journey. (from the letter of Sr. Alaíde Deretti, Councilor for the Missions)