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Guwahati Province Celebrates 21st Provincial Chapter; Salesian Brother Moderates Provincial Chapter


By John Parankimalil
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Guwahati, Feb. 13. The Salesian Province of Mary Help of Christians, Guwahati, celebrated its 21st Provincial Chapter from February 7-12, 2022 at Don Bosco Institute (DBI), Guwahati. Sixty-six members and eight invited observers attended the Provincial Chapter. The Chapter began with a recollection preached by Father Jonas Kerketta of Dimapur Province on February 7, 2022. Salesian Brother Joby Mani moderated the 21st Provincial Chapter; a historic moment for the Province as Br Joby Mani was the first Salesian Brother to be appointed moderator of a Provincial Chapter.
On February 8, 2022, Most Rev. John Moolachira, Archbishop of Guwahati, celebrated the inaugural Mass of the Chapter and encouraged the members to continue planting the Church as the Salesian pioneers to the North East had done so effectively and fruitfully. However, planting the Church is a tedious task when compared to catechizing the faithful, he said. The Archbishop appreciated the Salesians and their mission. At the official inauguration of the Chapter, Father Januarius S Sangma, Provincial, welcomed the Chapter members and declared the Chapter open. Sr Alphonsa Kurisinkal FMA, Provincial of Guwahati, VSDB Sisters and Salesian Co-operators also took part in the inauguration. After validation of the election of the capitulars and other official business, Father Provincial presented the report on the state of the Province. Later, Br Joby Mani, the moderator, and a few other confreres read out the Working Chapter Document, discussed in seven Chapter commissions. On February 9, 2022, Most Rev. Thomas Menamparampil, Archbishop Emeritus of Guwahati, presided over the Holy Eucharist. In his homily, he recalled the enthusiasm of the early Salesian missionaries that need to be imitated in the mission today. In the goodnight talk, Father Provincial spoke about the first two General Chapters of the Congregation, presided over by Don Bosco himself. On February 10, 2022, Father Kuriala Chittattukalam presided over the Holy Eucharist. He reminded all the members to be a blessing to others. During the day, the members discussed the revision of the Province Directory. On February 11, 2022, Father Joseph Teron Langne, Vice Provincial, presided over the Holy Eucharist and stressed the importance of listening. Without listening, one cannot speak appropriate words, and without listening to God, one cannot convey His message to people, he said. In the morning sessions, the Final Document of the Chapter was finalized and voted. In the afternoon, the various Province Policies were discussed. The Moderator and Father Provincial thanked the Chapter members and the Chapter officials for the successful conduct of the Chapter. On February 12, 2022, Father Provincial presided over the concluding Eucharist and asked the confreres to be good shepherds like Jesus and Don Bosco to go in search of the lost ones, the poor and defenceless youth. He said that every Chapter is a move towards greater fidelity and re-vitalization. He thanked and felicitated Br Joby Mani, the moderator, for the successful animation and meticulous planning and drafting of the working document with the aid of the pre-capitular commission. At the conclusion of the Chapter, a New Assamese Bible, published through the hard work of Father Lukose Cheruvalel, was released by Father Provincial. It was an emotional moment for Father Cheruvalel, who said that there were so many roadblocks and obstacles on this long journey of realizing the translation but, with the able help of the editorial team and the Bible Society of India, he and the translation team were able to complete the project.
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