BRIEF HISTORY OF OUR CONGREGATION

Our religious family has its origin in the heart and mind of St. John Bosco and in the creative fidelity with which St. Mary Domenica Mazzarello and her Sisters assumed the project he intended, that of being called ‘Daughters of Mary Help of Christians’ (Salesian Sisters), a living monument of gratitude to his Madonna.
At the persistent request of many people in Turin, and as a result of his own perceptions, Don Bosco resolved to take steps in setting up an Institute that would reach out to many poor and abandoned young girls.
He was inspired to do so, through his contact with various female institutes, his deep Marian devotion, the encouragement received from Pope Pius IX and the many inspirations he had in this regard, through dreams and significant happenings.
It so happened that in the township of Mornese, situated in the hills of Monferrato, a young woman by the name of Mary Domenica Mazzarello was accompanying a group of young women who together with her, were dedicated to help young girls to learn a trade and while doing so, these girls were also guided in their Christian development.
There were two significant signs that conveyed the same message: that an educative environment similar to the one for boys at Valdocco, Turin, should be set up for children and young girls. It was Mary Domenica Mazzarello who, as co-founder of this Institute gave life and form to this newly founded Institute.
On August 5th 1872, the first group of young women, following the example of Mary, in declaring their Yes to God’s call, committed themselves to be helpers of young people.
Source: www.cgfmanet.org

BRIEF HISTORY OF ST. MARY MAZZARELLO PROVINCE (Philippines-PNG)

Arrival of the Salesian Sisters in the Philippines
In 1955, when China closed its doors to the presence of Catholic missionaries due to communist takeover, the Salesian Sisters were driven to Hong Kong and some came to the Philippines. In the same year, three FMA Sisters, Sr. Erminia Borzini (Italian), Sr. Josephine Gallo (Italian) and Sr. Ligia Borges (Portuguese), accompanied by Sr. Catherine Moore, delegate of Mother Provincial Elena Bottini , sowed in Victorias City, particularly in Victorias Milling Company, the Salesian Spirit of Mornese, a “Mazzarellian” style of piety, relationship and action dynamically oriented to the apostolate for young people.

Casa Sacro Cuore, first FMA community in the Philippines 
The first FMA Sisters armed only with good intentions and the vision to actuate and perpetuate the Salesian charism and mission accepted the invitation of the late Don Miguel J. Ossorio, one of the founders of Victorias Milling Company, Inc. to open a school bearing the name of Rosary Kindergarten.
Victorias, which cradled the first house, Casa Sacro Cuore or the Sacred Heart Convent, gifted FMA Philippines with the most number of religious vocations to the Philippine Province.
From 1955 to 1984, FMA Philippines was part of the Province of Mary Help of Christians Hong Kong and had six Provincial Superiors.
FMA Philippines recognized as a Delegation and canonically established as a Province
Finally, on March 25, 1984, FMA Philippines was recognized as Delegation of St. Mary Mazzarello - Philippines with Sr. Anna Maria Mattiussi  as Delegate. Subsequently, on October 8, 1984, the Province of St. Mary Mazzarello - Philippines was canonically established having Sr. Anna Maria Mattiussi as the first Provincial Superior of FMA Philippine Province.
From the Philippines to East Timor and Indonesia
FMA East Timor and FMA Indonesia belonged to the Philippine Province from 1988 until 2003 when East Timor and Indonesia became part of the Pre-Province of Mary Help, together with Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar. When still part of the FMA Philippine Province, FMA communities were established in Venilale, Laga, Fuiloro, Dili and Jakarta.
Mission expansion in Papua New Guinea 
In 2001, the first FMA presence in East Boroko, Papua New Guinea was established and became part of the Philippine Province. Three FMA Sisters from the Philippines, Sr. Felicidad Boado, Sr. Christina Villasanta, and Sr. Pamela Vecina, were pioneers in this new missionary presence. They started to work with the Salesians as teachers in Don Bosco Technical Institute-East Boroko. They likewise animated an oratory youth center and formed the Mothers’ Club. Later on they also accepted female students studying in the technical institute as boarders.
After one year, a house was opened in Tapini but was closed after six years due to some difficulty encountered by the Sisters.
Before the closure in Tapini, an ad experimentum presence was started in Goroka in 2006 where the Sisters took charge of the campus ministry at the University of Goroka. Unfortunately, the Sisters left the place in 2010 after of some unexpected incidents.
In 2008, the Sisters started a new ad experimentum FMA presence in Sideia Island, Alotau and subsequently, after two years, was canonically established.
Present in 19 communities in the Philippines and Papua New Guinea, we carry forward the educational mission started by our holy Founders as we strive to become signs and mediations of the love of Christ, the Good Shepherd, to the young people entrusted to our care and forming them to become good Christians and responsible citizens.

sr.erminia sr giuseppinasr ligia

FMA victorias community - small file

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East Timor - Sr Fely

 

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sr pamela vecina

sr christina villasanta

FMA sideia - small copy