As FMA, the sisters are aware that the secret of the efficacy of the educational mission lies in the experience of a community in continual formation. The community recognizes the need to constantly renew the gift received, through a deeper rootedness in Christ and an enthusiastic assimilation of Salesian Spirtuality.
The formative journey of the FMA grows out of the vocational experience and the call that the Father addresses to them to enter into the Covenant of love established with Don Bosco and Maria Domenica Mazzarello.
Within the Church, the Institute participates in the salvific mission of Christ(…) “through the Christian education of the young according to the Preventive System” (C1). The educational charism that shapes the vocation of the FMA in so far as it is a gift of the Spirit, has an intrinsic prophetic dynamism. It requires the daily assumption of a mentality of change in line with the Gospel, in order to translate the creative vision of the Founders into the context in which the FMA live and work.
The aim of formation is “(…)the maturing of the whole person in a gradual, progressive putting on Christ sent by the Father. This configuration becomes real if entered into through a process of ongoing conversion, starting with the formation requirements and leading towards identification of adequate choices and perspectives.
The journey of formation requires that the FMA enter ever more deeply into the mystery of the Covenant with God. For this reason they commit themselves to follow Jesus chaste, poor and obedient, totally available for His mission of salvation especially among girls and young women.
Formation aims to make the face of the Son emerge in the life of everyone; bring alive the face of Jesus who is the model of the vocation of every person. It is a commitment and a choice so that the imprinted face of Christ may shine in the life and in the conscience of the formees. It is an action that does not come from outside; rather it is an interior action that liberates the energies of our conscience in the mysterious dialogue with the Spirit who lives in us.
It is an open ended period that offers an atmosphere of Salesian experience in close contact with the FMA helping the probable candidates to discern God’s plan in their regard.
Goal: To grow in human and Christian values, to understand life as a call and be open to discern God’s loving plan. Priority areas during this period are:
- Human growth and development
- Growth in faith
- Ability to relate
- Salesian spirituality and Educative mission
Period of assessment and Guidance
The period of assessment and guidance is a time in which the foundations of the formative journey are established. This helps the young woman to assess her vocational choice and through experience, to ensure that she possesses the qualities required to live Salesian life.
It is the first phase of the journey towards religious life. It is a period of self discovery, a time to intensify the experience of Christian living and get initiated into the religious and the Salesian way of life. During this period, the candidate will be initiated into community and apostolic life in the spirit of the Institute and will endeavour to reach the degree of maturity necessary for her to make her choice of vocation freely and responsibly
Goal: To grow in human and Christian maturity so as to respond freely with greater clarity to one’s vocation.
The postulancy is the time of immediate preparation for the novitiate. It is a time of personal spiritual growth and ministry experience. During this period the candidate will endeavour to deepen her understanding of God`s call. The work of formation will be intensified by a deeper experience of prayer, community life and the apostolate; by a more accurate doctrinal preparation and a progressive assimilation of the spirit of Don Bosco and of Mother Mazzarello.
Goal: To deepen one’s vocational experience and gradually, but decisively make those detachments spoken of in the Gospel which are indispensible for a true personal meeting with Christ and a more generous dedication to the mission among the young people.
The journey of formal commitment begins in the novitiate. Through reflection on the Word of God, diligent study and assimilation of the Constitutions, daily effort in self-discipline, and the integration of work and prayer, the novice will understand ever better the demands of the following of Christ in our Salesian vocation. Through participation in community life and suitable apostolic experience she will become aware of the sense of mission.
Goal: To conform oneself to Christ- chaste, poor and obedient and to assume the identity of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians in the total self-gift to God and the young.
The Juniorate corresponds to the entire period of temporary vows. It is a very important time of formation for growth in one’s vocation and preparation for perpetual profession. It is intended to consolidate in the Daughter of Mary Help of Christians, the life of union with God and the sense of belonging to the Institute; to introduce her gradually into pastoral work with young people while continuing her specific Salesian formation.
Goal: To prepare oneself for the total consecration to God in the following of Christ, being fully involved in the Salesian style of community life and mission in the service of the Church.
Formation and Vocation Pastoral
General Objective: Passionately in love with Jesus like Mary, we build genuine relationships with one another and proclaim the gospel of joy and love to the young people, families especially those in periphery, by listening and accompanying them in the spirit of da mihi animas.
Strengthen and Deepen
Fidelity to our daily personal prayer
Be faithful to:
Build up genuine
– Unconditional and sincere acceptance of one another
– Be Christ like in our interactions, dealings, words and action
Listen and Accompany
– Be Committed and Responsible to promote vocations
1. Strenna – 2018
2. Document on upcoming Synod on Youth & Mission
3. Guidelines For the Management of Goods in the FMA Institute
1. How did you strengthen & deepen your prayer life? What transformation did it bring to personal and community life?
2. Did you succeed to listen and accompany the young people to lead them toward holiness? And how?
Phase – II
1. How did you contribute to build up genuine relationship in the community? What concrete signs are seen?
3. How did you communicate Jesus to others?
4. Did our presence and contact help the young people to commit themselves to Jesus?