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Silchar Province begins Second Provincial Chapter

By Joseph Pulinthanath
Brother MA Abraham giving the orientation talk at the beginning of the Provincial Chapter Silchar Province
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Shillong, Feb. 17. The Second Provincial Chapter of the Salesian Province of Silchar got underway in Shillong on 16th February 2016.  58 Salesians, comprising 33 ex-officio members and 25 elected delegates from all parts of the Province gathered at Pastoral Centre, for the four-day event ending 19th February. Father Jose Anikuzhikkatil is the Moderator of the Chapter.
Provincial Chapters have been convoked in all the Provinces of the congregation in order to review the implementation of the recommendations of the 27th General Chapter (GC27) held in 2014 on the theme, 'Witnesses to the radical approach of the Gospel'. The exercise, carried out at world level of the Congregation, exhorted all its members to adopt a radical approach to the Gospel, the basis of religious life. The discussions revolved round three aspects of the theme - 'mystics in the spirit', 'prophets of fraternity', and 'servants of the young'.
In addition to reviewing the implementation of GC27, the Provincial Chapters are required to finalize the text of the Province Directory and take up discussions on the restructuring of the Province.

The Chapter underway in Shillong focuses on a review of the extent to which its recommendations have been implemented in the Province of Silchar.  In his presidential address to the Chapter members, Father George Maliekal, the Provincial Superior referred to the Chapter as an opportunity ''not merely to see if some new presences can be started or some closed down, but for renewal as a Province and as confreres.''

The preparations for the Chapter consisted of studies of the Chapter themes in local communities and in regions, and prayer for a fruitful Chapter. The list of delegates was drawn up after elections held by various communities divided into clusters where needed.

Father Jose Anikuzhikkattil, the Moderator, in his welcome address said they had gathered ''to script history'' and exhorted everyone to engage wholeheartedly in the celebration of the Chapter. He referred to the uniqueness of the Province which is 'new yet old'. ''Although ours is a province that is barely four years old, it includes some of the earliest Salesian presences in the region,'' he said.

The Salesians came to the Northeast in 1922 and set up base at Shillong, the city where the INS provincial house is located
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