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The first Provincial Chapter in the EAO started in Dili


By Fr João da Costa Boavida, SDB


Dili, Timor-Leste, 8 January 2018 -- The Salesian Vice Province of Timor-Leste (TLS) officially began its Provincial Chapter on 7 January 2019. The opening ceremony started at 2 p.m. Timor-Leste time, at the Don Bosco’s monument in front of the provincial house, in the presence of the chapter members, chapter observers comprising members of the Salesian Family and post-novitiate Salesians.


The provincial of the FMA, Sr Alma Castagna, and the vice provincial were also present at opening ceremony. It began with the invocation of the Holy Spirit, a prayer for the 2020 General Chapter, and the Hymn to Don Bosco “Do Grande Dom Bosco”. Then the provincial, Fr Apolinario Maria Ornai Neto, SDB, gave opening remarks to officially open the chapter. All present made a short but solemn procession to the Chapel of Don Bosco Centek.


Then came a Lectio Divina led by F. Anacleto Pires, SDB, the novice master. The gospel passage being contemplated was Luke 24:13-35, the road to Emmaus. It was an invitation to chapter members to journey together in search of the true direction. After Lectio Divina the opening Mass was celebrated with the provincial as main celebrant.


At 4:40 p.m. all chapter members gathered in Audio-visual hall of Don Bosco Centek for the first session. It began with the presentation of the state of the province. The provincial expressed his gratitude to all the Salesians for their tireless work in preserving the Salesian charism and mission in the province. He thanked members of the Salesian Family who directly or indirectly participated in the Salesian mission. After the state of the province was presented, the chapter moderator, Fr Ilidio Correia, SDB, presented rules and regulations governing the proceedings of chapter. The chapter members showed their appreciation by unanimously accepting the rules for procedure.


Currently the Vice Province of Timor-Leste (TLS) has 10 canonically erected houses with two other presences. There are 152 Salesians, with 56 priests, 1 permanent deacon, 8 perpetually professed Salesian brothers and the rest are still in initial formation or deacons on the way to priesthood.




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