Italy – "Auxilium": Inauguration of the Academic Year 2021-2022

23 November 2021

(ANS - Rome) - Yesterday, Monday, 22 November 2021, the new academic year of the Pontifical Faculty of Educational Sciences "Auxilium" of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA) was inaugurated. The event was held at the Auditorium of "John Paul II", in compliance with anti-Covid-19 measures, in the presence of students, teachers, staff and numerous guests and authorities, including: Most Rev. Gianrico Ruzza, bishop of Civitavecchia-Tarquinia and Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Porto and Santa Rufina; the Vice Grand Chancellor and Mother General of the FMA, Mother Chiara Cazzuola; the Dean of the Faculty, Prof. Piera Ruffinatto and Prof. Andrea Bozzolo, Rector of the Salesian Pontifical University. The keynote address for the event was given by Prof. Susanna Sancassani of the Milan Polytechnic.

The even began with the Eucharist presided over by Most Rev. Ruzza, who in his homily reflected on research as a loving, spiritual, intellectual and relational act.

This was followed by the presentation of the report of the past academic year by the Principal Ruffinatto, who retraced the events and summarized the initiatives of a year which, although marked by the pandemic, “allowed to reflect more deeply on the experience and test the resilience of the Faculty,” while maintaining the goal of “guaranteeing a quality service without anyone being left behind.”

In the last part of the Report, she identified three lines of commitment and responsibility for the future:

  • “the Global Pact for Education, which urges to draw on the pedagogical heritage of the Preventive System”;
  • a new path which aims to achieve a true integral ecological conversion;
  • and, finally, to continue to make the academic community “a privileged place where the culture of encounter and an ambience of being welcome is developed between people of different cultural traditions.”

Thereafter, the keynote address on the theme: “Preparing the Future: New Paradigms and Educational Alliances for the University Today” was delivered by Prof. Sancassani, Head of the Service of "Innovative Teaching Methods and Technologies" of the Milan Polytechnic.

After an analysis of the current context of the world of education and of the society in general (“a changing context, which has begun to make existing paradigms creak”), the professor identified the union (the "&"), as the fundamental key to the integration of all dimensions of physical teaching and of online learning processes.” For this reason, she identified six new "continuums" to prepare for the future: I & others; Live & deferred content; Modular recognition & Lifelong learning; For the few & for all; University & Knowledge raising; I & the world.

In her address to the gathering, Mother Cazzuola recalled how the recent General Chapter had emphasized the urgency of assuming a preventive approach from a pedagogical point of view and had chosen formation as a priority, “thinking of it as a process in which we need to allow ourselves to be formed and transformed by life.”

Her final invitation was to “give greater value to the Faculty's primary and specific objective: which is, the study of the feminine dimension of education, the promotion and empowerment of women through university education, and the preventive perspective that characterizes its pedagogical approach.”

Mother Chiara Cazzuola then declared the 2021-2022 academic year “officially open”, initiating a new chapter towards its 52nd year of the Faculty's history.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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