Prayer is the support of all of the actions and works of the Salesian Sisters. Each day begins and ends with the Sisters praying together as a family. Throughout the day each Sister often returns to the Blessed Sacrament for moments of prayer and reflection, and during even her most mundane tasks, she lifts her heart to the Lord.
The source of each Sister’s strength and hope is the gift of love, the Blessed Sacrament. Christ remains in the tabernacle as a pledge of love for the world, and we are called to imitate this generous self giving in our own lives, as a pledge of God’s love to the young and the poor.
Today there is a need to rediscover that Jesus Christ is not just a private conviction or an abstract idea, but a real person, whose becoming part of human history is capable of renewing the life of every man and woman. Hence the Eucharist, as the source and summit of the Church’s life and mission, must be translated into spirituality, into a life lived “according to the Spirit” (Rom 8:4ff.; cf. Gal 5:16, 25). It is significant that Saint Paul, in the passage of the Letter to the Romans where he invites his hearers to offer the new spiritual worship, also speaks of the need for a change in their way of living and thinking: “Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (12:2). – Pope Benedict XVI, Sacramentum Caritatis
Daily Mass is the cornerstone of our spiritual life. The “Bread of Life” strengthens us in our vocation and ministry, which can be difficult and discouraging at times. Through building a living faith in the love of God through the sacrifice of Jesus and the Eucharist. we comes to meet the Spouse who has called us to this Institute.
Visits to the Blessed Sacrament are a particular tradition which has been handed down to us by our founders. In community and individually we gather each day to offer Our Lord our adoration, love, and intentions. Whenever possible we try to include the larger community in this practice as ours is a living faith in the Real Presence.
The Liturgy of the Hours is the prayer of the Church. As faithful members of the Body of Christ, we unite ourselves in prayer with other through this particular liturgical prayer. Every morning and evening we gather in community to offer the world’s prayers to God and to pray for those who have no one to pray for them, or who do not know how to pray. The ancient prayer of the psalms, which echo back through the centuries, even to the Old Testament community, unites us to centuries of believers in the providence and care of God.
The word of God nourishes our souls, and spiritual reading is an extension of the Liturgy of the Word in our lives. Each day we spend time reading a good book to give us food for meditation and personal reflection.
As women religious, the Church asks us to spend time in meditation each day as a way of keeping ourselves focused upon the Lord and his call. It is easy to be distracted from the daily call of God to fidelity, and our daily meditation helps us to keep our eyes fixed upon the Face of Christ, and our ears open to the Holy Spirit.
Every month we have a day of recollection, and each year we go on retreat. United with our sisters all over the world we pray for a strengthening of our vocation and family spirit and the charism of the Salesian Family. Our time of recollection and retreat is a graced one for it gives us the opportunity to step back from daily life and to discern the movement of the Holy Spirit within us and our communities. As inheritors of the traditions of St John Bosco and St Mary Mazzarello we have been gifted with the practice of the “Exercise for a Happy Death” wherein we reflect on our lives and make resolutions about how to grow in sanctity and love. Combined with a sincere celebration of the sacraments of penance and the Eucharist, we are given the renewed grace to “run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1),
Our religious community is Marian. We regard Mary Help of Christians as the one who inspired St John Bosco and St Mary Mazzarello to found our Institute. She has been our support and guide and we daily dedicate ourselves to imitating her virtues. Daily prayer of the rosary and our communal consecration to Our Lady help us to remember that we are not only the Salesian Sisters, but the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.
Every 24th of the month we commemorate our patroness and heavenly foundress, Mary Help of Christians. Our monthly commemoration of Mary Help of Christians is our way of showing honor to the heavenly Mother who desired that our Institute be founded to aid the poor and the young. Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello directed us to imitate Mary in every way, so monthly we remember the great gift which we have been given in being called Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.
“And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not overcome it.” (Matt 16:18) With those words Jesus established the role of the pope as a leader and father to the faithful. We are proud to pledge our fidelity to Church magesterium and are loyal to the Holy Father. One cannot be Salesian and not be faithful to the pope – it is a contradiction in terms!
We try to live in union with the will of God. Every day we renew our “yes” to God which we offered when we entered religious life and confirmed on the day of our profession. Our “yes” to God is the source of our joy, for how can one do God’s will and not feel tremendous peace? By working with the young God enables us to experience a real youthful optimism that gives us hope in the future and trust in God’s goodness.
“We have entered religious life, so courage, courage and always have a great cheerfulness that is the sign of a heart that really loves the Lord very much” – St Mary Mazzarello (L 60,5).