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Chennai Provincial Chapter Commences

By Antony Christy SDB
Chennai, Jan. 13. The Provincial Chapter 2016 of the Salesian Province of Chennai was formally declared open by Father Jayapalan Raphael, the Provincial and President of the Chapter, during the inaugural ceremony held at 9 a.m. on 11 January, 2016. Invoking fraternal fellowship and prophetic participation on the part of the members of the Chapter, the Provincial expressed his hope that the Chapter, true to its theme, will revitalise life and mission in the province.
Earlier in the morning the Archbishop of Madras-Mylapore,  Dr. George Anthonisamy, blessed and inaugurated the Don Bosco Bicentenary Hall, where the Chapter is being held. The first event held in the newly renovated hall was the Chapter Inaugural Eucharist presided over by the Archbishop at 6.30 a.m. that day. Speaking during the homily the Archbishop insisted on the need to make the Chapter an experience of Pentecost, an experience that brings in abundance of inspiration and intense solidarity at the same time.

The Inaugural Ceremony which began at 9 am in the new Don Bosco Bicentenary Hall was graced with the presence of the Archbishop, and heads of the various groups of the Salesian Family in Chennai, namely,  Sr. Jayarani, the Mother General of SMA; Ms. Kulandai Teresa, the Province Coordinator of VDB; Mr. Aseervatham, the Provincial Coordinator of Salesian Cooperators; and Mr. Stafford Mantel, the Provincial Secretary of Past Pupils Association. They also delivered their messages and wished the assembly an inspiring experience at the Chapter.

The rest of the morning was spent on a preliminary study of the preparatory document and approval of the same as the working document of the Chapter. The heads of the four preparatory sub-commissions presented their preparatory document and the assembly approved them one by one. The afternoon was spent on dividing the chapter members into working commissions and initiating the process of working further on the documents and bringing it to a form that would give a clear direction to the confreres and the province in general for the way forward.

In the evening Father. Jayapalan, the Provincial, presented the State of the Province, a neat 102-page document, with facts and figures, tables and graphs, all prepared with meticulous care. For the Chapter members, it was a great moment of getting to know the province in depth. The day thus came to an end with a sense of gratitude to God for the great amount of work done in the province, reaching out to the young, especially the poorest among them. The Moderator, Father John Alexander expressed his appreciation of the enthusiasm the confreres manifested the whole day, extending their utmost cooperation!
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