The Moderator's Summary of the Recent Provincial Chapter

Second Provincial Chapter Article

By Fr. Louis Konopelski, SDB

(Ramsey, NJ – April 18) – Thirty-six Salesians from across the SUE Province met at Mary Help of Christians Center in Tampa, FL, from Tuesday, April 2, through Friday, April 5 for the 2024 Provincial Chapter. This was an input chapter; it was oriented towards collecting contributions for General Chapter ’29, to be held in early March 2025 on the topic “Passionate about Jesus Christ, Dedicated to Young People.”

SDBs during Mass on Province Day
SDBs during Mass on Province Day
Photo by Ms. Chioma Okoye

The chapter began with Morning Prayer and a reflection by Bishop Robert Lynch, the now-retired ordinary of St. Petersburg, who is a great friend of the Salesians. It continued with an hour of Eucharistic adoration followed by Mass, at which the bishop encouraged the Salesians to follow the pastoral lead of Pope Francis in reaching out to the marginalized.

After lunch, the provincial, Fr. Dominic Tran, officially opened the chapter and reported on the State of the Province. A letter expressing the greetings of the Rector Major and the moderator of the general chapter was also read.

From Tuesday, April 2, through Thursday, April 4, the chapter completed three documents, approximately one per day, that provided contributions on three topics that the Congregation had selected. The provincial chapter members completed the documents based upon input that had been collected in a series of local meetings held at each Salesian work around the province. The first document dealt with the “Animation and care of the true life of each Salesian.” The third dealt with “A courageous review and replanning of the governance of the Congregation at all levels.” And the second dealt with “Salesians, Salesian Family, and lay people together with and for young people.” During the discussions of this second document, the membership of the chapter was augmented by many members of the local Salesian Family, including the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians.

The final days of the provincial chapter included the election of Br. Travis Gunther as the province delegate to General Chapter 29, as well as a report by Fr. Richard Alejunas on the finances of the province and a presentation by Fr. Louis Molinelli on draft standards and benchmarks for Salesian secondary schools in the province.

On Friday, April 5, discussions were held on province topics, many of which were based upon input local communities had sent in at the request of Fr. Dominic. At the end of the chapter, the provincial thanked the vice-provincial, Fr. Franco Pinto, the hosting director; Fr. Lou Konopelski, the moderator; Br. Paul Hotovy and Br. Francis Nguyen, the secretaries; and Fr. Leonard Carlino, Fr. Paul Chu, Fr. Michael Mendl, Fr. David Moreno, Fr. Adaikala John Raja, and Br. Rafael Vargas, the members of the preparatory commission.

Most members of the chapter were able to stay for the Province Day celebration that was held on the same Mary Help of Christians property on Saturday, April 6.

April 18, 2024 - 8:00am
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