By SOCCOM FIN
Batulao, Batangas, the Philippines, 3 May 2019 -- The Philippines North Province of the Salesians of Don Bosco held its Provincial Chapter last April 29 to May 3, 2019, with 54 confreres as capitulars. Fr. Joel Camaya, SDB, Rector of Don Bosco College – Canlubang and a member of the Provincial Council, was the Chapter Moderator.
The first day, April 29, was dedicated to the OPENING TO THE SPIRIT.
The whole morning of the first day was spent in a silent recollection with Fr. Danilo Torres, SDB, Rector of the Tuloy sa Don Bosco, as the preacher.
Fr. Vaclav Klement, SDB, the EAO Regional Councilor, took time to be with the capitulars for three days before proceeding to Australia. He presided the 11:30am celebration of the Holy Eucharist.
After lunch, Fr. Vester Casaclang, SDB, the Head of the Secretariat, made an official roll call of all the members of the chapter before its official opening. He would do this routine for the next days of the chapter.
After the roll call, Fr. Ditto Gueco, SDB, the FIN acting Provincial Superior, officially opened the chapter. He then presented the State of the Province to the Plenary Assembly that was followed by an open forum that lasted until the early evening of the day.
The second day, April 30, was spent in LISTENING TO THE YOUNG.
Fr. Renato De Guzman, SDB presented to the capitulars the result of SYNODO 1, the Province official launching of the Year of the Youth that was held last February 25, 2019 that was participated by almost all the confreres of the Province together with some 3,000 young people. Fr. De Guzman presented the synthesis of all the efforts done in knowing what the young people are trying to tell the Salesians (focused group discussions before and during the SYNODO 1, and surveys). He likewise presented the result of all the commitment statements done by all the Salesians who participated in the SYNODO 1.
After Fr. De Guzman’s presentation, the capitulars proceeded to their respective small groups to reflect on and discuss what the young people are telling them. Each group then came up with three important characteristics of the youth of today; three significant changes that the youth of today expect them to undergo to be more effective youth ministers; and three essential values or attitudes that they need to develop to be more effective Salesians to the youth of today. The plenary session in the afternoon was spent to listening to the reports of each group. The output of this day’s session will be used for the Commission on Youth Ministry’s efforts in renewing the Salesian Youth Ministry in the Province.
The third and the fourth days, May 1 and 2, were spent in discussing the three main topics of the 28th General Chapter (GC28) , namely: The Priority of Mission with the Youth, Profile of the Salesian Today, and the Shared Mission: Salesians and Laity.
Fr. Camaya explained to the capitulars the procedures of the group discussions on the main themes that the capitulars need to accomplish and submit to the General Chapter as the Province’s contribution.
All the five groups took seriously the tasks given to them. Every after a topic has been discussed in small groups, the capitulars gathered in a plenary session to listen, evaluate, and vote on what each group have presented. The topics reported underwent rounds of clarifications and interventions before submitting them into vote.
By 6:30pm of May 2, the plenary was able to approve all the GC28 topics assigned to all the five small groups. The latter part of the evening, just before dinner, the plenary attempted to begin discussing on the GC28 Nine Juridical Topics. And for lack of time, the plenary only tackled the first topic.
The fifth day, May 3, began with the plenary approving through secret balloting the whole PC2019 Document that the FIN Province will submit to Rome as its contribution to the GC28. The document received a unanimous approval from the capitulars.
Immediately after, the discussion on the GC28 Nine Juridical Topics occupied the rest of the morning. All the nine juridical topics underwent a thorough discussion, clarifications, and interventions, at the plenary session. The discussions and deliberations ended with the plenary voting on each of the nine juridical topics.
The afternoon began with Fr. Arnold Sanico, SDB, Rector of the Sandor House Community, proposing a revision in the present Constitutions and Regulations of the Salesian Congregation. After rounds of clarifications and interventions, Fr. Arnold was able to get an overwhelming support from the plenary to forward his proposal to Rome.
The rest of the afternoon and early evening was spent in discussing some pressing local province matters that lasted until 6:30pm. After all the discussions were over, the election of the FIN Province delegate to the 28th General Chapter and his substitute was done through secret balloting. Fr. Gerardo Martin, SDB, the Rector of the Prenovitiate Community and Provincial Councilor, was elected as the FIN delegate; while Fr. Joel Camaya, SDB, the Rector of Don Bosco College in Canlubang and Provincial Councilor, was elected as substitute delegate.
As agreed by all the Rectors in their last Rectors assembly, there will be the second part of the PC2019 in July 24-26 to discuss some other pressing issues that the province need to deal with in the presence of the new FIN Provincial Superior whose appointment will still be sometime in June. Because of this, Fr. Ditto Gueco just temporarily adjourned the FIN PC2019.
The capitulars formally ended these five full days with a common prayer ritual that was very solemn and intimate. During this prayer moment, all the capitulars signed the document to be submitted to Rome and likewise signed the FIN Province commitment statement.
Some other highlights that made this last day of the chapter something extraordinary were the installation of Fr. Mark Cerada, SDB as the the new Rector of Mary Help of Christians Parish - Mayapa and the official announcement by Fr. Ditto Gueco about Fr. Oliver Baustista’s going to the missions.
Right after dinner, the capitulars left Don Bosco Batulao for their respective communities.