The Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA) gathered in Rome to participate in the FMA’s 25th General Chapter have elected Sr. Chiara Cazzuola, currently Vicar General, as Mother General of the Institute. Mother Cazzuola succeeds Mother Yvonne Reungoat, who led the Institute since 2008. Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, Rector Major of the Salesians, present for the occasion, immediately congratulated the new Mother General.
Sister Chiara was born in Campiglia Marittima, Province of Livorno, Italy, in 1955. She joined the FMA into the then “Santo Spirito” Province in Tuscany. She lived the first years of her formation in Castelgandolfo, not far from Rome, and there, on August 5, 1975, she made her First Profession.
She graduated in Literature and was a teacher for several years and, subsequently, Principal of secondary schools. For several years, she was the Local and Provincial Delegate for the Salesian Youth Sports Clubs (PGS) and was seasoned pastoral Provincial Coordinator of Youth Ministry. She has been a community animator/leader and then a provincial councilor as well. With the unification of the three Provinces of Emilia, Liguria and Tuscany, she entered the Provincial Council as Councilor for Formation and offered an effective contribution, favoring paths of communion and spirituality, in simplicity, respect for people, and with depth.
In 2007 she was appointed Provincial of her native Emilia-Ligurian-Tuscany Province “Madonna del Cenacolo”, based in La Spezia (ILS). GC 22 (2008) elected her as Visiting Councilor and Sister Cazzuola gave her availability by stating: “In a spirit of abandonment to the will of God and trusting in the help of the Lord, I say ‘yes’.”
Over the next six years she visited several provinces in America and Europe and gained a rich experience of Salesianity and interculturality. To each of her sisters, she gave attention and dedication, optimism with a smile, demonstrating the ability to grasp the seeds of life and hope in each person and in daily events. She reamins a transparent and enthusiastic person about her vocation as an FMA, and has in her heart a great passion for young people. She is known to always express the capacity for frank, serene and collaborative relationships.
Mother General, Mother Yvonne Reungoat, chose her as Moderator for the 23rd General Chapter (2014) and in the same Chapter she was elected Vicar General, thus sharing, up close, the responsibility of its animation and governance with the Superior General. To Mother’s question after the vote: “Do you accept?”, Sister Chiara replied with great emotion: “I trust the Lord and I entrust myself to Mary Help of Christians. This is why I say YES!”
She also serves as moderator in the current General Chapter 24. A warm applause welcomed her official proclamation as Mother General and the 10th Successor of St. Maria Domenica Mazzarello.