Comoro, Dili, East- Timor, 18 January 2023 -- The Salesians in the Vice-Province of St. Callistus Caravario have just celebrated their second Provincial Chapter (PC) from 09-14 January, 2023 that was held in the Audio Visual Room (AVR) of Don Bosco Training Center, Comoro- Dili. There were 30 Salesian priests and brothers with the status of “right to vote'' and “active voice.” There were also 8 observers composed by 2 Salesians, one FMA sister, one representative from the Association of the Salesian Cooperators (ASC), one representative from the Association of Mary Help of Christians (ADMA), and one representative from the youth movement (MJS) with “active voice” and without “right to vote.” The delegate of Pastoral Ministry, Fr. Nelson Gonçalves, SDB was not present in the PC due to health reasons and the representative of the Don Bosco Past Pupils Association was not present in the chapter. The PC was done under the theme “what kind of Salesians for the youth of today?”
In the mood of prayer and recollection, Fr. Manuel Fraile, SDB (a Salesian missionary from Spain) preached under the theme “the post-chapter reflection of the Rector Major on the General Chapter 28.” Fr. Manuel deepened his reflection by using the Sacred Scriptures, the Salesian Constitutions and traditions, he added also some of his personal reflections to lead the participants for a fruitful chapter for the glory of God and the salvation of souls.
Fr. Jose San Juan, SDB served as the moderator of the PC then distributed the instrumentum laboris to the capitulares and the observers. The instrumentum laboris contains the framework and topics to be discussed during the PC.
There were 3 main topics discussed in the PC: The 8 guidelines of the Rector Major, matters on the Salesian Aspirantate (Fatumaca and Comoro), Policy on Child Protection (PCP) and other matters or urgent issues surrounding the Vice-Province.
The PC in the Vice-Province is realized as required by the Constitution of the Salesians of Don Bosco (art. 170), as it sounds “the provincial chapter is the fraternal gathering in which the local communities strengthen their sense of belonging to the provincial community, through their common concern for its general problems.”
Each day starts with Lauds and Mass presided over by the assigned Salesian. On the second day of the PC, His Eminence Virgílio Cardinal do Carmo da Silva, SDB presided over the Mass. The reflections and homilies delivered based on the daily readings and the contemporary urgent issues happening in the country. There were also Good Night Talks in each night during the PC. The Mass on the second day was presided over by the provincial in celebrating the Solemnity of the Baptism of the Lord, where Fr. Manuel Pinto red the “Credo” in renewing his second term as the Vice-Provincial.
The PC was conducted into sessions of general assembly, group sharing and discussion and also personal reflection.
At the end of the day of the PC, Fr. Provincial presided over the Mass. In the homily, Fr. Anacleto reflected upon the readings of the day. He said “God’s word is a word that is alive and This Word continued and became the Highest Priest that experienced so much suffering but He overcame with Glory and seated at the right hand of the Father.” These two words are the words that is alive and invited us to reflect upon our charismatical identity. We consecrated ourselves not to a dead thing but we consecrated ourselves to a God that is alive, Jesus that is alive. As Jesus invited the Levi, he stood up promptly and followed Jesus with his totality. It’s implication to each one of us is that as the Salesian family either Religious or lay, Jesus tells us with the eyes of love and tells us “come and follow me” as he tells Levi in the gospel. Furthermore, he said as we are concluding our Provincial Chapter, I’d like to reflect with each one of you as Jesus is telling to his disciples to go to Galilee and meet Him, we as Salesians, I invited each one of you to go back to Valdocco, each one of our community is our Valdocco. There, we will meet our young people walking together with a single objective, for the glory of God and the Salvation of Souls.”
Then at the end of the Mass, Fr. Anacleto Pires thanked and congratulated all the participants, the Salesians and the lay missions partners who have been contributing in the provincial chapter in sharing and discussing for the glory of God and the Salvation of Souls. Then, he wished all the best to each participant for a fruitful mission ahead.