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The Congress

The Congress is held on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.

The reflection starts from historical data to review some aspects of the contribution of the FMA to education, identifies diachronic and synchronic pathways, deriving from them elements for critical reflection; stimulates confrontation with the present challenges in order to relaunch the educational mission of the FMA today and tomorrow. The reflection is part of the ongoing movement to support the Global Educational Pact launched by Pope Francis in 2019 and to cooperate in a new developmental model.

The purpose

  • To deepen the knowledge of the Institute in its development and relaunch the mission of the FMA through a new understanding of a “Preventive” style of education in the world of today with specific attention to young people in different contexts

  • To become more aware of the potential and challenges of a Salesian educational culture and practice called to integrate and renew education in the various contexts, without conforming itself to certain local habits that are less respectful to the human person in his/her integrality.

  • To engage in a fruitful dialogue, aimed at placing us in the pluralism of today in a more conscious way and to propose again the great axes of our anthropological, pedagogical and Salesian proposal in a more stimulating and innovative way

  • To offer elements of reflection and methodological aspects on the educational and formation policies of the Institute and to contribute to the Global Educational Pact for a more humane and humanizing society

  • To strengthen the network with other educational institutions at the international level, highlighting the educational heritage of the Institute, a common good for society and for the Church.

 The congress is developed with multidisciplinary and multicultural interpretations in three sessions.

I session: Historical journey: data and experiences

To outline a panoramic view of the Institute in its 150 years (houses, people, works in each country where FMA are present), indicating hypotheses and research pathways in the light of the current historiography.

To highlight some diachronic and synchronic aspects of the contribution of the FMA in different contexts, especially through the commitment to education of young people among the low and middle classes.

To gather from the lived experiences cues for critical reflection for the actualization of the Salesian mission in the Church and in the society.

The work  sessions

II session: Confrontation with the challenges of education today

To be aware of some transversal challenges present in contemporary life that have a strong impact on mentality (they create ways of thinking, lead to a certain ways of interpreting reality, human beings, society, culture, relationships, institutions, politics, education, learning, etc.) and the concrete behaviour of the individual and the community, especially on young people and educators today, on the processes of growth. 

To be conscious of the variety of contexts and appeals to education.

To better understand and confront ourselves with some contemporary anthropologies in order to reconsider their impact on the formative processes and to orient the educational commitment.

III session: Pathways and Perspectives for the future on education in the light of the Preventive Stystem

To acquire awareness of how some key aspects of the Preventive System are understood and lived today by the FMA and the laity who share the mission in the educating communities in various contexts.

To reflect together on the specific educational and formative contribution that the FMA Institute can give today in society.

  • Piera Ruffinatto (Preside)

  • Eliane Anschau Petri

  • Hiang-Chu Ausilia Chang

  • Maria Antonia Chinello

  • Marcella Farina

  • Josmy Jose

  • Grazia Loparco

  • Magna Mayela Martínez Jiménez

  • Lucy Mutoni Nderi

  • Enrica Ottone

  • Martha Séïde

  • Maria Teresa Spiga

  • Maria Spólnik

  • Katarzyna Szczodrak

Scientific and organizing Committee

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