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SPCSA Networks Meeting and General Assembly held at Yercaud


By BIS correspondent
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Kolkata, May. 30. .      Yercaud:  The Salesian Provincial Conference of South Asia (SPCSA) held its Networks Meeting and Annual General Assembly at Yercaud, Salem, from 26th to 28th May. The Networks meeting was held on the first day, and the General Assembly Meeting followed on the next two days. These meetings were then followed by the SPCSA Council Meeting on 29th May.
The meeting was held in the cool ambient of ''The Retreat'', on the top of the Yercaud hills - a memorable location for a vast number of Indian Salesians. The Tiruchi Province which hosted the triple meetings gave a fabulous welcome to the participants, and its hospitality was impeccable with the well coordinated help of the Salesian Community of The Retreat.

There were 17 participants for the SPCSA Networks meeting, consisting of the Delegates of the various Regional Commissions, as well as the heads of the regional Networks. This was a follow-up of the meeting held in Delhi on 10th and 11th May. The group was able to conclude its exercise of planning synergy and collaboration among all the commissions and networks.

The participants prepared also a general framework for the Statutes of SPCSA and its Networks, in view of fine tuning the existing statutes. The meeting was coordinated by Fr. Noel Maddhichetty, Secretary of SPCSA.

The SPCSA assembly which took place on 26th and 27th May had 42 participants consisting of the Regional Councillor for South Asia Fr. Maria Arokiam Kanaga, 11 Provincials and one Vice provincial of the Region (including Sri Lanka), 12 Delegates of the Provinces, Regional Commision Delegates and Regional Networks Heads. Fr. Ian Figueiredo, the Provincial of Panjim, who was convalescing after a cardiac surgery was represented by the Vice Provincial of the Province, Fr. Paul D'Souza. Fr. Nirmol Gomes, the Provincial designate of Kolkata also participated as an observer.

Apart from the routine sharing of reports, the provincials and other members shared the fruit of discussions held in their own provinces by way of contribution to the six year plan of the Rector Major from the South Asian Region.

Information was also shared regarding the plans afoot for the conclusion of the Bi-centenary celebration of Don Bosco's birth.

In response to the invitation to the DB Bicentenary Youth Day Celebrations in Valdocco, Turin, it was made known that a contingent of about 200 youth from the various provinces of the Region would be led for participation in it. The Youth Day in Valdocco will take place around the Birthday of Don Bosco, 16th August, 2015.

A three day Congress in Kolkata organized by the Salesian Cooperators, and a Youth Expo in Delhi organized by the Salesians, are two other mega events being planned. The Rector Major of the Salesians is expected to arrive for participating in these programmes. There will take place also Boscoree 2015, the ''Salesian Jamboree'' of the Scouts and Guides of Salesian Family Institutions, from 30 December, 2014 to 3 January, 2015.

The Meeting was also an occasion to thank and bid farewell to Fr. Thomas Ellicherail, the out-going Provincial of Kolkata Province, and to welcome to the SPCSA Fr. Nirmol Gomes who succeeds Fr. Ellicherail. Similarly Fr. Mathew Thomas, the out-going Secretary of Yar Commission was felicitated, and Fr. Koshy George, the new Secretary of YaR was welcomed.

Prior to the conclusion of the meeting, the Pascual Chavez Award giving ceremony was also held. Pascual Chavez award is given annually to innovative ministries in the South Asia Region.The nominees for the year 2013 were: Rain Water Harvesting Tanks Project in Kattappana and Kanakakunnu of Idukki Dt. of the Salesian Sisters of Bangalore Province; Don Bosco Nava Nirman Project of Hyderabad Province in Muniguda, Odisha; Solar Powered Mobile Computer Awareness Programme  of  Chithra Don Bosco, Chitradurga, Bangalore Province;  and BOSCO Refugee Assistance Program of New Delhi Province.

The recipient of this year's award was ''BOSCO Refugee Assistance Program'' of New Delhi Province, directed by Fr. Jose Mathew, SDB. Fr. Maria Arokiam Kanga handed over to Fr. Jose Mathew the Award Citation and a cash award of Rupees one lakh. Bosco Refugee Assistance Programme serves about 22000 refugees and asylum seekers in its 14 centres spread across the city of New Delhi.
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