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The 3rd Provincial Chapter of the Salesian Province of Shillong begins

By Father Michael Makri
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Shillong, May. 7. Shillong: The third Provincial Chapter of St. John Paul II, Shillong Province 2019 began at 3.30pm at Pastoral Centre, Shillong. Father Paul Olphindro Lyngkot SDB, Provincial of the Salesian Province of Shillong welcomed the Salesians and the members of the Provincial Chapter.
The first day of the chapter began with personal meditation followed by the Holy Eucharist presided by Archbishop Emeritus Thomas Menamparampil SDB DD. In his homily he enumerated that as Salesian we are called to be holy and here sanctity means being happy and to belong to each other. He cautioned the Salesians that with success there is every possibility that one can lose sight and focus on Christ.

The Inaugural session of the Provincial Chapter began at 08.45am followed by the lighting of the lamp. Father John Zosiama, the Moderator of the Provincial Chapter welcomed everyone present and felicitated: Most Rev. Thomas Menamparampil SDB, Sister Biolinda Jyrwa, Sister Mary Concepta Dkhar, Sister Rosa Pyngrope and Mr. Valerian Pakma.
The Messages of the Rector Major and Regional Councillor were read by Father  Paul Panachickal and Brother Regy Joseph respectively.

In his Keynote Address, Most Rev. Thomas Menamparampil SDB, Archbishop Emeritus of Guwahati mentioned that Shillong is the oldest Salesian presence in India. He cited the famous quote of Rabindranath Tagore who said ''What Bengal thinks today is what the rest of the India thinks tomorrow'' this, he said, can be said of the early Salesians in Shillong too. He summed up his message by throwing to the assembly the same question that Rector Major placed before the Salesians - What kind of Salesians for the youth of today? He said the answer would be ''BE YOUNG''.  To be young means to be creative, dynamic, determined, useful and forward looking. The Chapter must be a faith driven and spirit filled Provincial Chapter.
Sister Biolinda Jyrwa, Mother General of the VSDBs promised the members of the Provincial Chapter the prayers of the sisters of her Congregation. She added that the Provincial Chapter is a grace-filled opportunity for evaluating the Province. The youth of today need more Don Boscos to guide them, to understand them, to listen to them and to help them out.

Sister Mary Concepta Dkhar, Provincial of the MSMHC Province of Shillong stated that the Chapter is a moment to renew the holiness of the members of the Province. She said that the theme of the Provincial Chapter is very relevant since it makes the Salesian reflect on his role as a prophet of change in the lives of the young people. The Salesian needs to imitate the pastoral heart of Don Bosco, rediscover the relevance of the Salesian mission today and cater to the deprived youth of this generation.

Sister Rosa Pyngrope FMA spoke on behalf of Sister Elizabeth George, the FMA Provincial of Shillong who was unable to attend the Inaugural session of the Provincial Chapter. She wished that the Chapter may help the Salesians of the Province to give concrete answers to the youth of today. The Salesian needs a prophetic reawakening, a renewed passion to launch forward and to unfold new avenues. There is a need for new strategies for being in the midst of the young, through creative and innovative fidelity to the Salesian educative mission and there should be an attempt to live the dream of Don Bosco in the best possible manner, in our century.

Mr. Valerian Pakma, Secretary of the Provincial Federation of Don Bosco Past Pupils wished the Provincial chapter a great success, on behalf of the Past pupils' Association. He requested the Provincial Chapter members to assist the various units of the Past pupils to revive them and to get them attached to the Province Federation. After the message by Mr. Valerian, the Moderator introduced Mrs. Benita Marbaniang, Provincial Coordinator of the Salesian Cooperators, she was felicitated by Father Provincial. In her message she wished the Provincial Chapter best of luck and invoked God's blessing on it.

Father Paul Olphindro Lyngkot, the Provincial declared the 03rd Provincial Chapter open in the words, ''I hereby declare the 03rd Provincial Chapter, Shillong Province 06th -11th May Open''. This is followed by a video presentation on the theme of the chapter by Father Michael Makri SDB. The Inaugural session concluded with a hymn to Don Bosco.
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