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Album by PANACKEL Charles, Chennai BIS Editor
Provincial Community Day
































On January 14, 2005, the SIGA-Citadel campus was filled with a sea of faces, mostly of SDBs and of representatives from the Salesian Family. Through a brief report, the writer seeks to present the various items of the Chennai Province Community Day.

The fact of Fr. Bellarmine Fernando, the present Provincial of the Chennai Province, having soon to lay down office triggered a more than usual attendance at the Provincial Community Day held on January 14, 2005 at the SIGA/Rinaldi campus. A large number of confreres, along with representatives of the Salesian Family, gathered in the SIGA Hall at 5.00 PM to together thank the Lord for the six years of Fr. Bella’s term in office during which the Province experienced right orientation, consolidation and expansion of works.

The solemn Eucharist was presided over by the Provincial, with Fr. Deva Joe and his choir animating it with melodious and well-chosen hymns. Fr. Sundaraj SDB gave an eloquent and inspiring homily on “Let us communicate, Let us build relationships”, the motto of the Provincial Community Day.

The Holy Mass was followed by the Cultural Programme. Felicitation Dance by SIGA, Felicitations of the Silver Jubilarians by Fr.Sagayaraj, of the Newly Ordained by Fr. Jeromedhas Varuvel, of the Finally Professed Lay Brothers by Bro. Meril, and of the Provincial by Fr. Joy were highlights of the programme. The skit by DBICA was much appreciated. Arumbu Publications had four of its booklets released. Of   course all were eagerly waiting to hear Fr. Bellarmine’s response to the love and appreciation heaped on him at the fag end of his tenure as Provincial.

Taking cue from the ‘Sound of Music’, referring to the 7 notes of the music scale, he exhorted the audience in his own inimitable style: DO reminds of ‘door’, of the need to be open; RE reminds of the ‘ray’, of the need for all of us to shine in life; MI is a reminder of ‘my’ contribution to those around; FA stands for ‘far’ and tells us to strike a good balance between being ‘far’ and ‘near’; SOL reminds us of ‘soul’, of the primacy of the spirit in our life; LA stands for ‘Laugh’, inviting us to lead life in joy and humour; and finally SI, that reminds us of the need to ‘see’ the reality around, to live life fully awake. He exhorted the confreres to nurture even more unity and commitment in their Salesian vocation.

After the Vote of Thanks by Fr. Patrick Joji, the Provincial announced that the Rector Major had nominated Fr. Stanislaus Swamikannu as the next Provincial of the Chennai Province. The entire hall exploded in thunderous claps, as Fr. Stan received a standing ovation and Fr. Bellarmine honoured him with a ponnadai.

The buffet supper on the lawns of the Citadel campus brought the joyous and family celebration to a fitting finale.
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