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Arrival of Mother Chiara Cazzuola in Shillong Province, India

The Superior General of the FMA, Sr. Chiara Cazzuola, along with Sr. Runita Galve Borja, Councillor for Youth Ministry, and Sr. Nilza Fatima de Moraes, Councillor for Formation, arrived at Lokapriya Gopinath International Airport in Guwahati en route to Shillong on 8 September 2023. They received a warm welcome from Sr. Elizabeth George, FMA Shillong Provincial, and some representatives of the province. She is being accorded a state guest welcome by the Government of Meghalaya on her visit to Shillong for the conclusion of the Centenary Celebration of the FMA presence in India.

Enroute to Shillong, the revered guest, Mother Chiara Cazzuola, is being solemnly welcomed by the Sisters of the two communities of Auxilium Saiden and Auxilium Mawtnum at the formation house, Auxilium Training Centre, Saiden. The aspirants, dressed in the attire of Mother Mazzarello and the six pioneers, expressed their joy to have the 10th successor of Mother Mazzarello in their midst. They were presented with a shawl and a bouquet of flowers, along with a rendition of a welcome song in two languages, English and Italian.

On arriving at Auxilium Campus Shillong, Mother Chiara Cazzuola and the General Councillors—Sr. Runita Galve Borja, Sr. Nilza Fátima de Moraes, and Sr. Celine Jacob, Visiting Councillor—received a traditional and family welcome. Escorted by the NCC Cadets, the dancers, and the Auxilium School band, they were led to the provincial house in the presence of many Sisters, young people, and past pupils. The young people adorned with the traditional attire waved their Salesian colour flags of blue and pink as a mark of joyful welcome. At the entrance of the Auxilium community, a short felicitation was conducted by Ms. Elena Kharkongor, a teacher and past pupil, and all were presented with a bouquet of flowers, symbols of love and appreciation, and a sign of welcome. To the tune of the song, There shall be showers of blessings, the school band led the welcome procession to the new provincial house. Mother Chiara was donned in a khasi traditional dress, and the felicitations of the councillors, the provincials of FMA India, and the two provincials of CIAO, Sr. Alma Castagna, provincial of Timor and CIAO Président, and Sr. Gertrude Ched, provincial of Myanmar and Cambodia, followed. An official word of welcome was conveyed by Sr. Elizabeth George, the provincial, to Mother Chiara. She in turn reciprocated the gestures of love and filial expression of the Sisters by saying thank you in the language of the place, Khasi, Khublei Shibun. Mother told the assembly that she loves everyone and was glad to witness the Salesian joy and cheer. After the grand welcome, the Sisters proceeded to the chapel for a short prayer of thanksgiving. Recalling the Salesian charism that was planted 100 years ago and that has taken deep root and is flourishing in the region, in a prayer led by Sr. Rosina Susngi, Mother Chiara offered a green plant as a symbolic gesture, offering the future of the congregation in this part of the world to the hands of the Lord. At the goodnight thought, Mother Chiara invited all present to implore God for the gift of fidelity and creativity in the next hundred years, which not only belong to the provinces in the nation but to the congregation at large.