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Feast of the Institute 

March 25, 2018

"The Institute: our train, that is, the train of the Immaculata. It is a train that begun by the will of God from the maternal love of the Virgin and will end when.... when God wills. It is a train united, unique. There are many cars, but they are activated by the same force, directed toward the same goal, Heaven." (Father Luigi Faccenda)

Dearest Missionaries and Volunteers, 
The Feast of the Institute this year falls near the extraordinary experience of the Spirit that will be the General Assembly IX. I believe that an address of Pope Francis, given on May 31, 2013, can help us to live well this time of immediate preparation. The Holy Father outlines three Marian attitudes: 

Listening. Mary knew how to l is ten to God... a “listening” that consists in attention, acceptance... Mary also listen to the events, that is, interpret the events of daily life...(she) does not stop on the surface, but goes to the depths to understand its meaning.   Mary is the mother of listening, attentive listening to God and of equally listening to the events of her life. 

Decision. Mary … “kept all these things, pondering them in her heart” (cf. Lk 2:19, 51) ... Mary does not let herself be dragged along by events; she does not avoid the effort of taking a decision. And this happens both in the fundamental decision that was to change her life: “I am the handmaid of the Lord…” (cf. Lk 1:38), and in her daily decisions, routine but also full of meaning.  Mary goes against the tide; she listens to God, she reflects and seeks to understand reality and decides to entrust herself totally to God. 

Action. Mary set out on a journey and “went with haste” (cf. Lk 1:39). … In prayer, before God who speaks, in thinking and meditating on the facts of her life, Mary is not in a hurry, she does not let herself be swept away by the moment, she does not let herself be dragged along by events. However, when she has clearly understood what God is asking of her, what she has to do, she does not loiter, she does not delay, but goes “with haste”. St Ambrose commented: “There is nothing slow about the Holy Spirit” (Expos. Evang. sec. Lucam, II, 19: PL 15,1560). 

Listening, decision, action. May these three attitudes resound for us as a program of life today and always. This is my wish for you as we continue the journey to the Assembly. 

Giovanna Venturi
General Directress