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Provincial Chapter Deliberations Begin At Don Bosco Lonavla


By BIS CORRESPONDENT
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Mumbai, Feb. 7. After Lauds animated by Fr. Godfrey D'Sa and a meditation on Fraternal Community Life preached by Fr. Vivian D'Souza, the chapter members gathered around the altar of the Lord. Fr. Blany Pinto presided at the Eucharist, and Fr. Ajoy Fernandes gave a homily on Healthy Relationships in Community for more fruitful Apostolate.
At 9 am, the confreres gathered in the Chapter Hall where the Moderator Fr. Barnabe D'Souza led us in prayer, invoking the blessings of the Lord and his Blessed Mother.  After an orientation by the Provincial Fr. Michael Fernandes, the Capitular Secretary Fr. Vinod Mascarenhas read out the message of the regional Fr. Maria Arockiam Kanaga, took the chapter roll call and read out the minutes of the first session of the chapter held on December 4, 2012.

Fr. Barnabe then introduced the theme of the chapter based on the Rector Major's invitation for all Salesians to become ''Mystics of the Spirit, Prophets of Fraternity and Servants of the Young''. He declared the Chapter open. The Provincial delivered his Report on the State of the Province; he declared himself satisfied with the rate of achievement (around 90%) of the lines of action of the previous provincial chapter.

The heads of various provincial commissions too came forward to present their reports, evaluation of activities and suggestions for the way ahead. The confreres were given the opportunity to ask questions and clarify issues pertaining to the Provincial's report and those of the commissions. The morning session concluded with Fr. Michael thanking all the confreres for their collaboration in achieving the goals set for the province.

The afternoon session began at 3 pm, with Fr. Ian Doulton leading the confreres in a meditation on becoming ''Mystics of the Spirit''. Fr. Ashley Miranda presented the commission report on ''Mystics of the Spirit'', which mentioned the present reality, suggestions for improvement and ways to achieve it. A spirited discussion followed on the need to inculcate attitudes and bring about transformation, without being legalistic since change cannot be enforced.

At 6 pm, Fr. Edison Fernandes presented the commission report on ''Prophets of Fraternity'', which evaluated Salesian community life in the province, based on the community responses. There was a fair amount of discussion on the report, with varying proposals on how to enable the confreres to bear prophetic witness of community life.  

Fr. Elson the Provincial Economer replied to questions on land and property matters, before concluding the session at 7:40 pm.

The Adoration, conducted by Fr. Adolph Furtado, was a moment to pray and reflect on our capacity to build fraternal communities. In the goodnight, Fr. Ivan de Souza spoke about the activities of his community and the animation centre Amrut Dhara at Kapadvanj, Gujarat.
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