On Monday, July 1, members of the Salesian Family Provincial Council met virtually to propose some specific ways they could collaborate in the animation of the Salesian provinces in Canada and the eastern USA. Present at the meeting were Fr. Iguintz Calixte, Joe Conroy, Rosa D’Addario, Fr. Tom Dunne, Mike Hahn, Sr. Joanne Holloman, Pierre Laroque, Nick Magrogan, Sr. Denise Sickinger, and Fr. Tim Zak. The agenda included a brief sharing about the recent Forming the Formators workshop, a reading of Article 46 of the Salesian Family Charter, a review of the SWOT included in the extraordinary visitation report of Fr. Tim Ploch, regional councilor for the Interamerica region, some proposals for shared lines of action for 2019-2020, and a review of events for a common calendar.
Flowing from the very positive experience of the Forming the Formators workshop (June 28-30), and after some reflection on the SWOT in Fr. Ploch’s report, the Salesian Family Provincial Council decided on the following lines of action:
1.) The province leaders will support the committee that organized the Forming the Formators workshop as they design the follow-up to this workshop.
2.) The province leaders will encourage the local or regional Salesian Family Councils to organize and celebrate the feast of Mary Help of Christians together as a Salesian Family. (Here, “regional” doesn’t mean the Interamerica region, but a smaller region of the province, for example, eastern Canada, Greater Toronto Area, West Bank, southern Florida, Tampa Bay area, Midwest, northeast USA, western Canada.)
3.) The province leaders will invite the leaders of other groups of the Salesian Family (ADMA, past pupils, Damas Salesianas, DBVs, CDBs, etc.) to participate in the Salesian Family Provincial Council.
Fr. Tim Zak will help arrange for the next meeting of the Salesian Family Provincial Council after the groups have finalized their calendars for 2019-2020. The next meeting preferably would be in person in about six months.
The members of the Salesian Family Provincial Council are the leaders of each group of the Salesian Family: the FMA and SDB provincials and their Salesian Family delegates, the Cooperator coordinators and other members of the Cooperator provincial councils invited by the coordinators, and the leaders of the other groups of the Salesian Family. Likewise, the members of the Salesian Family Councils at the local or regional level are the local leaders. At the local level, the members of the Salesian Family Council are the SDB directors, the FMA animators, the Cooperator coordinators, the FMA/SDB delegates to the groups of the Salesian Family, and other leaders of the groups of the Salesian Family.
Don Bosco wrote to the Salesian Cooperators in the introduction to their rule in 1876, “Feeble forces that unite become strong. A single strand may be easily broken, but a three-ply cord is hard to break.” The collaboration among the groups of the Salesian Family led by the Salesian Family Councils at the local and provincial levels proves this insight to be true today.
Fr. Tim Zak, SDB