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Dear friends of ADMA,

We started a new year, and faithful to our tradition, we organised the Salesian Family Spirituality Days, a meeting for all the members of our Family. More than 250 people gathered in Valdocco from 12th to 15th January 2023, presided over by our dear Fr. Angel Fernández Artime, Rector Major. We reflected on this year’s Strenna “To be leaven in today’s human family", which invites us to reflect and pray together on the lay dimension of our Salesian Family.

This event offers us an opportunity to renew our sense of belonging to the Salesian Family as members of ADMA.

This family. first of all, is Salesian because it refers to St. Francis de Sales, chosen by Don Bosco as our inspiration and patron. Salesian Humanism does not ignore man’s weakness but is based on the unshakeable trust in the goodness of the person because he is loved by God and called by Him to Christian perfection in every life situation. It values everything that is positive rooted in people’s lives, in created realities, in the events of history.

Our family is Charismatic because it has its deepest roots in the Trinitarian Mystery, infinite Love uniting the Father, the Son and the Spirit, the source, model and goal of every human family. This spirituality involves: 1) Placing God at the centre of one’s life by cultivating an intense and continuous relationship of love with Him in order to live in "union with God" in daily life. 2) Remaining grafted into Christ by virtue of Baptism, placing at the centre of one's spiritual life and apostolic action a convinced devotion to Jesus present in the Eucharist, allowing oneself to be inserted into Him. 3) Being docile to the Spirit: to live the spirituality of daily life with generosity and gratuitousness in concrete dedication to the welfare of people. This belonging commits us to honour Mary, helper and mother of the Church, participating in Don Bosco’s youthful and popular mission, especially in increasing and defending the Christian faith among the people.

Our family is also Apostolic insofar as in it the Holy Spirit creates an inner dynamism that drives to gift and service for the good of souls. The members of the Salesian Family live a "missionary communion" that promotes the Preventive System of Don Bosco's pedagogical wisdom: 1) Reason, which emphasises the values of Christian humanism (search for meaning, work, study, friendship, joy, piety, freedom coupled with responsibility, harmony between human wisdom and Christian wisdom); 2) Religion which means making room for the Grace that saves, cultivating the desire for God, fostering the encounter with Christ the Lord; 3) Loving-kindness, which expresses the need of young people not only to be loved but to know that they are loved, in order to initiate an effective educative relationship; it is a particular style of relationships and it is a loving-kindness that awakens the energies of the young heart and makes them mature to the point of self-giving. Privileged recipients are the young, God's gift to the Salesian Family and the field indicated by the Lord and Mary to Don Bosco, the working class and the family.

Finally, our family is Marian, because all its spirituality and concern finds in Mary the shining example of self-giving. Love for Mary was - along with love for Jesus in the Eucharist and for the Pope - one of the three passions that marked Don Bosco's spiritual and apostolic life. The whole Salesian Family is and feels like a Marian family, born out of the maternal concern of the Immaculate Help of Christians. The ADMA in the Salesian Family has the task of underlining the particular Eucharistic and Marian devotion lived and spread by St. John Bosco, which expresses the fundamental element of the Salesian charism. In this perspective, ADMA participates in the youth and popular mission proper to the Salesian charism, in the commitment to the safe-guarding, increase and defense of the faith among the people of God, and sees, in the present times, the family as the privileged recipient.

Renato Valera, ADMA Valdocco President.

Alejandro Guevara Sdb, Spiritual Animator, ADMA Valdocco.

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