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Provincial Chapter XIV of the Salesian Province of Bangalore begins

By Bobby SDB
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Bangalore, Apr. 29. The XIV Provincial Chapter of the Sacred Heart Province of Bangalore was off to a glittering start at the Kristu Jyoti College Auditorium in Bangalore on Sunday 28th May, 2019. In the presence of 95 delegates, 14 observers and the moderator Father Sivy Koroth, Father Joyce Thonikuzhiyil, Salesian Provincial of Bangalore declared the Provincial Chapter open. Sister Celine Jacob the provincial of the FMAs Bangalore, Sister Reji Chacko, the provincial of the Missionary Sisters of Mary Help of Christians (MSMHC), Sister Carol Kuttiyanikal the provincial of the sisters of Mary Immaculate (SMI), the province level delegates of the different members of the Salesian family such as co-operators, past pupils, VDB and ADMA, were present on the occasion and felicitated the gathering.
The youth group from Don Bosco Church, Lingarajapuram under the guidance of Father Anil D'sa made a meaningful presentation of the theme of the Chapter, 'What kind of Salesians for the youth of Today' through a prayer service. A visual presentation of the Chapter theme was then presented by Brother Dickson.

In his inaugural address, Fr.Joyce emphasized the need to revamp the Salesian zeal for the poor youth which forms the basic identity of our congregation.  He called on the Chapter members to operate with a realization that we are all connected.

Father Joyce, Father Jose Koyickal, the Vice-Provincial, Father George PS, the Economer, Father Sivy Koroth, the moderator and three youngsters lighted the lamp.
''Stretch beyond to find a shared response to the youth situations'' said Father Sivy Koroth as he explained the dynamics of the Chapter. ''We are all coming from different backgrounds and experiences. May none of it limit you from thinking beyond your horizons'', he continued. The moderator explained in detail every aspect of the Chapter such as the details and dynamics of the working documents, the division of delegates into commissions for group discussion, daily timetable, procedure for making different types of interventions etc.
'' As long as there are young people to be cared for, we will have no issue of relevance. The need of the hour is creative fidelity'' reminded Sister Celine Jacob, the provincial of the FMA as she conveyed the best wishes of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians for the Chapter. Speaking on the occasion, Sister Reji Chacko MSMHC called on the delegates to stay rooted to the original charism of Don Bosco with creative fidelity. ''Don Bosco converted every chance meetings to heart warming friendships. That is what we too are called to do in our relationship with the young,'' she reminded.
Speaking on the occasion, Sister Carol Kuttiyanikal SMI termed the Chapter ''a great opportunity'' to rediscover the relevance of our call. Representing Don Bosco Alumni, Mr. Babu also addressed the gathering.
After the inaugural session and coffee break, Father Joyce gave a detailed presentation on the state of the province. ''We have 44 communities of which 41 are canonically erected while 3 are approved presences. The number of confreres is 360 at the moment with 246 priests, 6 brothers, 108 clerics and 11 novices.'' presenting the statistical highlights of the province, he said. During the presentation, Father Joyce  thanked the provincial team especially the vice provincial and the economer in a special way. ''A very supportive provincial council that represent the different sectors of the province, confreres who live a deeply spiritual life, seniors who are great role models, varied apostolate, financial and religious discipline are all certainly some of the strengths of our province he said.

During the post lunch session, the delegates got into their respective commissions for detailed discussion and drafting of the Chapter document. Day 2 of the Chapter will witness the presentations of the redrafted version of the working document assigned to the commissions.
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