Fr. Anthony Pun
Filled with the joy of the Risen Lord, while celebrating the Easter Octave with the song of alleluia, the Salesian Province of China is celebrating at the same time their Provincial Chapter from 18th to 23rd April, 2022.
There are 27 confreres, among which 6 of them are first time participants. The quarantine requirement has prevented the representatives from coming together in one place. They gather in three different places in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, and thanks to the advancement of technology, they are connected online. E-voting system is employed. It has indeed taken up much time and effort for preparation and adaptation. A number of observers is invited to participate partially in the Chapter: 1 financial expert, 4 mission partners and Salesian confreres in initial formation. Their professional knowledge, working experience and opinions have inspired the discussion.
The Provincial, Fr. Joseph Ng, reminds that the Chapter is a moment of renewal and fraternal unity through discussion and discernment. He continues in his homily in the opening Mass, “The Easter season calls us to return to the foundation of our faith – the resurrection of Jesus Christ. And in this Provincial Chapter, we are called to return to the basics and spirit of our religious life. Let us be renewed in our commitment to follow the poor Christ, serve our dear young people and accompany our mission partners.”
Three agendas are set:
- Review of the Province according to the guideline of GC28;
- Salesian Educative Pastoral Project (SEPP) 2022-2025;
- Revision of Chapter 4 of Provincial Directory, on the life of poverty and financial management.
The theme of GC28, “What kind of Salesians for the young of today?”, is an open question addressed to the identity and formation of Salesians. The discussion in the Chapter has touched on the strengthening of the spirit of evangelization, the promotion of Salesian vocation and formation, the option and presence among young people, especially the poor and vulnerable ones, and mission partners, and, last but not least, ecological conversion. Evaluating the situation of our mission, family ministry and digital ministry are mentioned frequently. The two issues have become one of the main concerns of the provincial and local educative-pastoral communities in the years to come. As for the witness of a poor life and good management of resources, Salesians are called to live with a spirit of responsibility and transparency.
All three documents are passed with almost 100% of yes-vote. The closing of the Chapter entails the beginning of the editorial and translation work. After the final approval of the Rector Major, it would enter into the phase of implementation. May the Spirit of the Risen Lord continue to enlighten and guide the Salesians in China Province, so that they may live out the Salesian identity and charism in the accompaniment of youth and mission partners in the journey towards our Heavenly Father.