by Father Christopher George
LONAVLA, FEB 8, 2016: The Salesians of Mumbai Province initiated the Provincial Chapter 2016 on February 7 at 5.30 pm at Don Bosco Lonavla with the theme "Reshaping our Consecration and Mission." Sixty-four Salesians are participating in this six-day meeting; a few lay observers will join the proceedings later.
The Chapter proceedings commenced with a prayer animated by the Chapter moderator, Father Ajoy Fernandes. Thereafter Father Godfrey D'Souza, Provincial of the Salesian Province of Mumbai, welcomed the members, thanked Father Fernandes and the pre-capitular commission, and the leaders and secretaries of the various commissions.
He said: "It is important for us to strategise and plan ahead as GC27 invites, but it is more important that we reshape our attitudes our behaviours and patterns of living as individuals."
Father Savio Silveira, Vice Provincial, then read out the messages of the Vicar General, Father Francesco Cereda and the Regional Councillor for South Asia, Father Maria Arokiam Kanaga. Both the messages emphasised that "the way forward needs evaluation and reflection with consistent effort and new meaning going beyond entrenched works with out-of-the-box thinking."
Father Tony J D'Souza, former Jesuit Provincial of Mumbai and the current director of St Xavier's Mumbai, then led the participants into a recollection focussing on the relevance, conviction and future of religious life. Integrating psychological spiritual perspectives, he invited the participants to realise their God-given call to union with God, a call which God gives to every human being.
The Chapter ends on Friday, 12 February 2016.