1. Rome, Missionary October 2017.
From St. Teresa Province in Manaus (Brazil), where I am making the Canonical Visit, I thought
it would be a great joy to communicate with you, to wish you a fruitful missionary month and a
good preparation to live the experience of the great Missionary Expedition on November 14!
Your life of donation, your missionary presence, your generous YES renewed daily, are for me
a precious occasion to thank God and to pray for you. May the Lord always make you more
and more the expression of His love full of tenderness and goodness toward the people you
meet each day; may they find the Face of Jesus in you.
The message of the Pope for the 91st
World Missionary Day this year has the theme: the
missions at the heart of Christian faith.
In it, the Pope affirms that “The Church is missionary by nature; if it were not, it would no
longer be the Church of Christ, but an association among many others that would soon end with
the depletion of its aim and disappear. Thus, we are invited to ask ourselves some questions that
touch our own Christian identity and our responsibilities as believers. What is the foundation of
the mission? What is the heart of the mission? What are the vital attitudes of the mission?
The mission of the Church is animated by a spirituality of continuous exodus. The mission of
the Church stimulates an attitude of continual pilgrimage across the various deserts of life,
through the various experiences of hunger and thirst for truth and justice.
The young are the hope of the mission. The person of Jesus and the Good News proclaimed
by Him continue to attract many young people. There are many young people who offer their
help in solidarity in the face of the evils of the world and undertake various forms of action and
volunteering… How beautiful it is that the young are the ‘faith voyagers’, happy to bring
Jesus to every street, to every plaza, to every corner of the earth!”
I wanted to revisit these elements of the Pope’s Message so that they will help us to revive the
missionary fire and live our mission in synchrony with the Church, journeying toward the
Synod of the Youth, in in synergy with the Institute “Broadening vision and heart” toward the
existential and geographical peripheries of children and young people present today on all the
Continents, searching for the meaning of life, for acceptance, for real love, that of Jesus the
Dearest, we are living a marvelous year! We are one step away from boarding the ship of the
Great Expedition of the 140 years since the first missionary departure! This is for each FMA,
and in a special way for you, a motive for joy, for jubilation, for Magnificat to the Lord!
2. I invite you to take the Cronistoria (volume II) again and re-read the part that speaks of how, a
few days before their departure for America on November 9, 1877, Sr. Angela Vallese receives
the blessing of the Holy Father at Rome, where she had gone together with Mother Mazzarello
and Sr. Giovanna Borgna, and a group of Salesian missionaries led by Fr. John Cagliero.
Beloved, let us remember Pius IX's counsel to the first missionaries "to be like the large shells
of the fountains that receive water and then pour it out for the benefit of all: that is, shells full of
virtue and of knowledge, for the benefit of everyone”. Then the Pope, placing his hands on the
head of the missionaries added, “God bless you so that you may do much, much good!”
It is a grace to have been chosen to receive and pour out the water of the Charism, of the Word,
of the BREAD of LIFE upon the new generations, especially the poor and the excluded.
You, my dear sister, have been chosen because the Lord looked at you with love and chose you
to be one of His special collaborators in implementing His plan of salvation.
I encourage you to cultivate more and more an OPEN, AVAILABLE, GRATUITOUS
HEART in order to be a prophetic instrument in the Lord’s hands and a mediation so that the
touch of God’s love may reach the heart of every person. I suggest that at every moment you
pronounce “HERE I AM Lord!” A HERE I AM that is transformed into a HYMN to life in
the mission: “Here I am, Lord, I come to You, my God, shape my heart and I will live of
You. If You wish, Send me Lord and I will proclaim Your name. I will be the way You
want me; I will go where You want me to go”.
Beloved, taste fully the joy and grace of being a living part of the GREAT EXPEDITION of
anniversary of the first missionary departure, carrying in your heart the call to be
missionaries of peace, of hope, of life for the new generations.
May the Lord bless you so that you can continue to be the bearers of God’s blessing to the
community and to the people you meet each moment. May the Madonna of the smiling Baby be
Your tender Mother on the journey so that you can continue to sow peace, reconciliation, hope,
fraternal gestures of humanity. May God bless you and protect you always!
I accompany you daily with my prayer and I thank the Lord for your missionary life. I ask
Mary to keep you close under the protection of her mantle at every moment.
Let us remain in communion always. With much affection and a strong embrace.
Councilor for the Missions