Sunday, 30 August 2009
Added to that his profound love for Christ and his Priesthood, his passion for Don Bosco and everything Salesian (often bordering fanaticism!), his filial attachment to Mary Help of Christians, his trust in St Joseph, his daring leadership abilities, his eloquence and sharp knowledge of facts and above all, his knack at striking a personal rapport with all who meet him have made of him a man who long ago crossed the borders of mortality.
Though departed from this world you will continue to live in our hearts! Do keep aflame in us that passion which guided your life, which inspired so many and challenged us all to greater things than just the here and now. Thank you!! You mean a lot to us!!
Friday, 28 August 2009
The day just passed by in trying to convince people/confreres that Benji really passed away and in the sudden manner that he left us, made this all more difficult. Anyhow, after all the hustle and bustle, I took up today's newspaper and my eyes fell on a beautiful quote about Nelson Mandela: "Every time Nelson Mandela walks into a room we all feel a little bigger, we all want to stand up, we all want to cheer, because we'd like to be him on our best day."
Thank you dear Fr Benji, not so much for what you were, but for making us what we are!
Thursday, 27 August 2009
The community reflection on the theme of return to the young took a very interesting twist this evening when it came to the situation and Salesian involvement at the Province level. We are really proud to say that all - literally, all - our institutions cater directly to the poor. There is no institution about which we can say that it caters to the elite, "and also to the poor"... none!! However most of us felt that though we have the infrastructure and the setup to cater to the young in need, our focus is not the poor, not the young. Most often we end up doing the administration work (putting up new buildings, purchasing land, hunting for property, collecting rent, erecting compound walls, repairing structures which are not even 5 years old!!). Young people are not the centre of our mission. Secondly, we pamper ourselves! It is sometimes shocking to see that the running expenses of three or four confreres equals that of maintaining 80 to 100 of our boarding boys!!
In this context 'Return to the young' would primarily mean shifting the focus from ourselves, from our buildings and structures to others. Only when we can think of others before ourselves can we prioritize the lives and dreams of young people.
Wednesday, 26 August 2009
I've always admired Fr John Lens. He has always been someone whom I really looked up to, right since my school days. In fact, when I joined the Salesians and began my study of Don Bosco, I had no difficulty in understanding who and what 'Don Bosco' was because I knew Fr Lens! Today I feel elated for at last I have found one small way of showing my respect and admiration for someone I adore... together with my helper, Ms Sheeba, we published online (through Lulu) the major works of Fr Lens (most of these are abridged versions of the originals found in Italian or French).
Not one to know what 'free time' is, he has been busy (and is so today too!) translating texts from foreign languages into English, with the sole purpose of making known Don Bosco and his love for God and young people, to as many people as possible, especially those aspiring to be his sons! His body is 87 now but his heart, mind and eyes are still that of a teenager, passionately in love with Don Bosco and Christ. (Of course, his ears are a bit shut now!! But never mind, his walking stick is handy for those who take too much advantage of his hearing!)
May the lives of such living role models inspire and encourage us all to a greater commitment to Christ and Don Bosco!
A compilation of amusing anecdotes and jokes - just three of them for a day!! (But the whole book too can be devoured in a day - after all who follows the doctor's prescription, these days?!!)
A handy alphabetical compilation of anecdotes, stories, values and themes which can be used for animation, sermons, talks, reflections and sharing.
A drop of honey
The Spirituality of St Francis de Sales encapsulated through stories from the life and works of the Saintly patron of the Salesians of Don Bosco. Ideal for sermons, animations, retreat talks especially for young people. (Abridged from the voluminous study of Msgr Francis Trochu. Lyon: Librairie Catholique Emmanuel Vitte, 1946)
Don Bosco: The Founder
In the 150th year of the Congregation, this new, small and compact book (just 60 pages) presents a bird's eye-view of the challenges, support and inspiration that guided Don Bosco in forming the religious group, today famously referred to as 'the Salesians', with a clear vision of reaching out to the numerous young people in need, with the heart of Jesus Christ.
The Annals of the Salesian Society (Vol. 1)
A chronicle of the beginnings of the Salesian society (founded by Don Bosco) since 1841. Vol. I spans the history of the society from 1841 to 1888 (the death of Don Bosco)
The Annals of the Salesian Society (Vol. 2)
A chronicle of the Salesian society (founded by Don Bosco). Vol. II spans covers the history from 1888 to 1898... the first part of the Rectorate of Don Rua.
The Annals of the Salesian Society (Vol. 3)
A chronicle of the Salesian society (founded by Don Bosco). Vol. III spans covers the history from 1889 to 1910... the second part of the Rectorate of Don Rua.
The Annals of the Salesian Society (Vol. 4)
A chronicle of the Salesian society (founded by Don Bosco). Vol. IV spans covers the history from 1910 to 1921... the Rectorate of Don Paul Albera.
Here is a list of other books ... thanks to Fr Julian Fox for making known these:
Digital Virtues (Fr Julian Fox)
Hacking the way to heaven (Fr Julian Fox)
Autobiografia dalle lettere di Don Cimatti (G. Compri) [first of three volumes - in Italian]
Salesian, Communicator (SC Department) SC Handbook - English
Le Salésien, un comunicateur - French
O Salesiano, un comunicador - Portuguese
El Salesiano, un comunicador - Spanish
SC Documents (SC Dept) - English
Documenti CS (Sc Dept) Italian
Project of Apostolic Life (Sal Coops)
However, what makes all the difference is experience, learning and faith. Perhaps this is the reason there are some appointed Rectors in their early 40s while some in their 70s have never ever been Rectors! Must remember that even the three councillors in 1859 were chosen only after some hesitation! (Don Bosco in his times by Francis Desramaut and translated by Fr John Lens, p. 103)
Tuesday, 25 August 2009
My reading of the history of the Congregation surprised me with two small instances today:
It is said that when Don Bosco died, Vatican thought of fusing the Congregation with another one!! Now given the fact that we were already 768 perpetually professed members in the Congregation, this idea of merger sounds a bit ridiculous. Maybe Rome was unsure if the Salesian society would continue without Don Bosco. Well, this fear cannot be ruled out as irrational. Given the charismatic towering personality that Don Bosco was, it would surely have taken a great amount of faith to see someone else (anyone, for that matter) take his place!
The second discovery was that the Holy See's decree of appointment (I think, of Don Rua as Rector Major) could not be traced! I thought that was my problem (I really wouldn't be able to tell you where the decree of appointment of Fr Provincial is, in my archives!!).
Anyway, I suppose God knows how to write straight on crooked lines!
Monday, 24 August 2009
Anyway, with most of our discussions and debates centred around money/currency, we reduce our vow of poverty to having or not having money. In the bargain we lose out on the very essence of it: a sense of inner freedom in order to be available for works of the Kingdom. Say for example, the prudent and fruitful use of time, talents, human resources, our own potencies suffering from inertia... most of which cannot be immediately calculated in terms of money!
Sunday, 23 August 2009
It reminds me of what parents are willing to undergo and put up with just give their children a decent life. The movie 'Pursuit of Happyness' is another such story. Makes me really thank God for my parents! I know what they have been through. What pains and struggles they have undergone to ensure that both of us (my brother and me) have a secure future. That's the reason, I will always be proud to say that I am a 'Castilino'. In fact, several people ask me why am I not know by my baptismal name. It is true that 'Castilino' is something that brothers started calling me while in Yercaud to avoid confusion (there were already two Vincent's there!). But I still like when people call me by my surname... a small way of showing my gratitude to my Parents. Thanks Papa and Mummy!
Saturday, 22 August 2009
This leads me to postulate that Ruth did have a good family upbringing. She sensed the pain and the loneliness of Naomi and therefore was willing to give up her comfort (and right?) to stand by her mother-in-law in her need. It is good to take note of this, lest we have a narrow idea that only the 'chosen people' were the most virtuous. Graces are bestowed upon all, irrespective of any distinction. It is up to us to appropriately respond to them. This response is what makes us sinners or saints.
Most important lesson from the life of Ruth: humanity precedes/channels divinity.
Friday, 21 August 2009
I also donated all my savings to the Amy Bruce account. A sick girl that was about to die in the hospital about 7,000 times.. (Poor girl! she's been 7 since 1993...)The best was the tag line:
Forwarded hundreds of mails but still waiting for FREE DESKTOP, LAPTOP, CAMERA, CELLPHONE etc.
If you do not send this e-mail to at least 11,246 people in the next 10 seconds, a bird will P on your head today at 6:30pm.
Thursday, 20 August 2009
I was just wondering if this principle can also be applied to some other aspects of our apostolate, perhaps the formation sector?
Wednesday, 19 August 2009
There could also be another possibility: youngsters join us for very good reasons with a high level of motivation, but down the line (may be due to the lacklustre community life or a couple of disoriented minds) all of it evaporates! Just like Andy saying to Red in the movie 'The Shawshank Redemption': "Outside I was an honest man. Straight as an arrow. I had to come to prison to become a crook." However, this is the case of only a few. The congregation thrives on the sweat and blood of the majority who slog it out.
All said and done, vocation still continues to be His gift and our response to His generosity in my context. If it were not for this truth, someone would have put the congregation for sale long ago!
Tuesday, 18 August 2009
- When we invite youngsters to our way of life, on the basis of what do we invite them? What is our USP (Unique Selling Point!)? Do we propose to them to join our institution, our mission, our community, our way of life... I personally feel, our invitation to them is to know and love God and the young, like Don Bosco did! The rest is secondary.
- Our lament most often is that young Salesians leave the congregation, mostly during the period of practical training (PT). While it is good to ask why, it is also important to reflect upon this important question that someone raised during the meeting: Young people join us, not to study philosophy or theology, but to work as we do, amidst young people. Why is it then, that they leave during PT? That's what they eagerly look forward to, but what is it that makes them quit when they really enter their desired field of work?
- Most often our PTs are restricted to the institutional boys within. They are not given an opening to have a share in the mission of the whole community, say the pastoral activity of the Parish, the youth centre, Sunday oratory, group dynamics in the school and neighbourhood... He is totally lost in the boarding. Then we lament that young Salesians, after their ordination do not want to work in a mission station or take up some 'adventurous new frontiers'. Reason: if they have not tasted anything but an institutional (read it safe, disciplined and arranged life) life, for them to opt for something different is to go against the grain!
- Teach others what you've learnt.
- Dream and dare to follow your dreams.
- Perfection does not come easy.
- Asking questions and exploring answers for the same is one way of being human.
- Search for meaning enlightens and sloves quite a few problems in life.
- Higher the level of being, the greater is the importance of inner experience.
- Great risks precede great victories.
- While the globe is expanding, our vision seems to be shrinking.
- To change the system, you've got to be in the system.
Thanks to Fr Julian for accepting my suggestion to name it A drop of Honey. When asked for a name, this the first thought that came to my mind. The reasons are evident and I've not hesitated to commence by blogging with that. Check it out...
What gives me immense joy is also the fact that now I have another reason, why should get myself to reading more of Salesian literature!
Monday, 17 August 2009
There was Fr Joshtrom today with us till lunch, Mr Amalnathan's youngest son's nuptial, death news of the Bp of Eluru, the heaviest shower of this year, washed my hands of one more passport (in the process of procuring the visa), finalised the Council agenda, called up a couple of friends I'd been postponing since long, cleared all bills and dues of the SPCSA, cleant my room and office (spic and span), started reviewing the assignments of the first year students (introduction to Philosophy)... and to top it all off, was the conversation with Fr Julian Fox (more of this later).
The only thing that didn't really take off as planned was my attempt to draft the editorial policy for Kaburlu (the Province magazine). But fine, I shall start that tomorrow for sure! Look forward to another insight-filled day tommorrow: Youth Pastoral team with the Formation Commission.
Again, the tag line: no point having Brothers in strategic places, if the quality of life is pathetic. For that matter, Brother or Priest, let quality of religious life be the best wherever one is. The rest will follow!
However, I'm now convinced that 80 % of formation takes place outside the formation house. That large share of formation responsibility rests with the confreres of the province as a whole, not just the formation staff alone. The latter contribute just 20% to this process.
The basic thing of formation however, remains the same: it is the responsibility of the individual, ultimately!
My first thoughts when I concluded the first reading (from the book of Judges, Yahweh reprimanding and 'persecuting' the Jews for infidelity, in spite of repeated help and support): I wonder if God, if given a chance to write another Bible, would be writing differently. I think the basic attitude and spirit of going about our life is basically the same. But the difference I believe is that there are still some good people who neutralise the negative impact of most of us. That's why, God is still patient.
I understand that this sort of reaction is justified when it was the former President, Mr Abdul Kalam, but is all this hype justified when it is about an artist.? I'm not saying this is not news, but headlines and main news??
Saturday, 15 August 2009
Tomorrow is again a 'holiday' for me, literally!
Of course, the whole dialogue with the other Christian groups is another large factor to be kept in mind. I do not mean that we stop proclaiming what we believe in but I suppose my belief is in persons and not mere truths, and certainly not for antagonizing someone.
Thursday, 13 August 2009
- Concerning Formation: The formees in our formation houses truly feel that they are not meant for the formation house but for the Province. So far so good. But when they see the Province is much below the standard of the formation setting, they'd gladly fall or lower their standard to meet that level!
- The community itself is a mission, besides being a means for the mission. Therefore the need to build the community while tackling the mission. Furthermore, while taking up new offers from various places, we need to keep in mind that there is enough work for a community, not too little that will need one or two persons who could be left to do the work there. That is not the Salesian style of life and functioning.
- The fact that young clerics and those in initial formation leave us is a blot not on the formation staff, but on the confreres of the whole Province, especially with whom they live and work. I liked what Fr Maria Arokiam said in this regard: Young people join us to work for the youth, not to study philosophy and go through the aspirantate and all that stuff. Why then do they leave us when they begin to work? It is either because too much is demanded of them or they see a real discrepancy between what they so far were told to believe in and what they practically see now or they are led astray.
This one is for the 'mission': Going by Fr PE Abraham's comments and remarks, only Jesus Christ can be elected as the Provincial!!
The SPCSA is over and for lunch today we were only 8 of us!! Wow what a sudden change. All of us could sit and eat together peacefully, without running round making sure that the dal is sufficient, that so-and-so got his garlic, whether hot water flask is full, making sure the 'foreigners' have their diet on table.... what not!! Then at last when you have your plate in hand, the phone starts ringing or there is somebody wanting-but-not-wanting to disturb you with a paper/pen drive in hand for some printing/photocopying.
This is a peaceful afternoon.
Calm before the storm:
There is already Fr Julian Fox mailing and reminding me about the upcoming Social Communications meeting in the last week of October. To add to the zing, two confreres have already informed me about their arrival!!
Whatever it be, there is always the storm!!
Wednesday, 12 August 2009
That also means, I'm committing myself to more time at the computer - something I must really curb, before I become an addict!
There is a certain love which comes from doing a job well. When you can step back at the end of a long, hard day and watch the sun set over a straight and strong fence that you built yourself, you get the feeling that everything is right with the world.Today I certainly feel this feeling, not merely understand it. The SPCSA meeting is over. It was really taxing. Good work. I should say, Fr Tom did a real good and great job with the food and kitchen. The FMA barging in was rather hard but he handled it all well. What surprised me was that he was quite cool about the whole thing. Merely arranging the travel and journey particulars, I lost my head not just with our staff but with some confreres as well. But he was calm... Nice!!
So here I am at the end of the day - but not of the work - happy, with that sense of feeling of having done well. I hope it all facilitated the participants to focus on issues which matter to all concerned. If all our community efforts succeeded in achieving that, then any effort is no pain!
Monday, 10 August 2009
Today I will just do my best
to live this day itself
without trying to solve
all the problems of my life.
Today I will try to go
Where I would rather stay away’
Today I will avoid two things:
Excessive haste, and indecision
In spite of appearances to the contrary
Today I will put my faith
in God’s presence at my side.
I will not let me get discouraged
By the idea that I have to keep it up
All the rest of my life.
Sunday, 9 August 2009
Looks like Fr Joshtrom through his passionate "secular" goodnight about ecology and the ecological crisis has rubbed something onto me. This pic was sent to me by Fr Koshy and there was a nice statement in the same mail:
All things beautiful do not have to be full of colour to be noticed; in life that which is unnoticed has the most power.
Am happy that I still am able to put down something or the other (mostly my state of mind, or some thoughts that tickle my mind) almost everyday. At times I wonder if I am reflecting at all or only 'blog-flecting'! Whatever be the case, I'm happy that put down things. May be years later when I wish to look back upon my own life, I will have something to smile and laugh about! Most importantly, they will bring back to my mind, memories of people associated with what I now write.
Saturday, 8 August 2009
But here's a very provocative prayer that I found in the afterword (written by Theodore M. Hesburgh) of the book Globalisation, Spirituality and Justice: Navigating the Path to Peace by Daniel G. Groody:
Give bread to those who hunger, and to those who have bread, give them a hunger for justice.I think this is a very genuine and realistic prayer. Most often we expect those oppressed to fight and reclaim their lives, but we fail to see that much before dignity, respect, honour, glory, fame, pride, the people need food to survive. Without addressing the basic need of hunger, it is difficult to 'empower' them to fight for dignity. This is where we need to stand by them. Even to the crowds that followed Jesus, He fed them. He did not preach to them long on empty stomachs! He knew the close link between the stomach and the heart/head.
Thanks to Fr Julian Fox and austraLasia...
First volume of Cimatti's 'Autobiografia' now available
TOKYO: 8th August 2009 -- The first volume of the Autobiografia dalle lettere di Don Cimatti (Autobiography of Don Cimatti, from his letters), edited by Fr Gaetano Compri, vice postulator for the Cimatti Cause, curator of the Cimatti Museum at Chofu, Tokyo, is now available. The tome (there is no other way to describe it!) is 421 pages, a case-wrap hardcover edition with full colour cover, replete with photos, all originals from the Cimatti era. The book costs €18 plus postage. It is in Italian.
The publication of this book, via Lulu.com (the link will take you directly to the book but it is publicly available through search and browse on Lulu.com's website) is something of a first, and raises a number of important questions - possibly also providing some important answers! Pardon me if from here on I speak in first person, because I believe it is important to raise these questions. I have waited, very much with heart in mouth, until Fr Compri purchased and perused a copy of the 'Autobiografia' to determine whether this experiment was indeed successful. It would appear that it is. His comments in an email read, in translated version: "It is an excellent work. Everyone here is in admiration of it. I did not believe it could come out so well. The photos, too, are beautiful".
Why publish a book this way - and how? As always, these things start with personal experience. I am in a position where I daily receive books published, often for academic purposes, by Salesian Publishing Houses around the world. I also, from time to time, visit the Salesian Central Library and the 'Posta' at the Pisana. I see literally hundreds of these books, in multiple copies, come in and languish in these places, so I ask - where does the money come from for all these? Is there another way of doing this? Could Salesian Publishing in fact be moving ahead with the 'digital continent' it lives within, doing what some others are doing? So I set about the task of trying to discover if there are other ways. Some readers will know that I have already published two of my own works, Digital Virtues, and Hacking the Way to Heaven, via Lulu. They were experimental efforts meant to seek answers to the above questions. I won't dwell on the results and discoveries except to say they have been most pleasantly surprising!
So when Fr Compri, such an ardent and determined man when it comes to the Cimatti Cause, approached me with a view to putting Cimatti's letters on SDL, some years back now (SDL came about largely because of this, you need to know), I also put it to him that as well as asking Elledici (LDC) to publish a Teresio Bosco style 'popular' life of Cimatti - which was just recently published - he might take another approach to his proposed 'Autobiography', which would be a running compilation drawn from the 6,000 plus letters in the SDL collection. I argued that the readership of such a biography, at least initially, would be limited, and that no publishing house would tackle the project unless it could guarantee a substantial print-run. I put it to him that I could publish it for him - for nothing! Now who would not accept such an offer?
Nothing does not mean no effort - on his or my part. But given that he had put in the several year's of effort to produce this 'autobiography' (the only non-autobiographical parts are from Compri's own extensive explanatory footnotes) I felt I could at least offer a month's effort to prepare the text for publishing. Let me tell you that the task was not difficult, merely time-consuming. I use a relatively simple program called Lyx, which is not WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) but WYSIWYM (what you see is what you mean). In other words I tell it I want a heading or a title or a list or whatever, and it gives it to me - already formatted as if it were a professional printing agency at work, then it gives the whole box and dice to me in a print-ready professional quality PDF. Why waste time formatting when professionals can do it for you? Then let me tell you it took just one half hour to publish the book!
From several year's experience now I see no disadvantages to this form of publishing for an instance like this. It is print-on-demand. I have paid not one cent (unless you regard half an hour online as costly!) because there is no print run. In fact the base cost of production of this book is €18. 'We' (the spine tells us 'SDB' are the publishers) have chosen to add no royalty - this time. WYSIWYG costwise, that is! If 5 people are interested in it, they produce their credit card and pay up and get the book in the mail a week later. If 500,000 people do similarly they get the same result. If we thought 500,000 would buy the book we would put a royalty on it!! Incidentally, if I buy the book in Europe, it will be printed in Europe. If someone buys it in Japan it will almost certainly be printed in Asia - that's using globalisation to advantage. Could not Salesian Publishers do similarly?
And the postage cost? It won't be cheap - let's say it might be almost as much as the book. But go to any store and buy a 421 page hardcover book and tell me you paid less than the equivalent of €36. I realise that this argument may not apply in places like India, but then I would have another question for our Salesian Publishers there......
I remember Fr Blany taking a session on dreams and study of dreams and all, while I was at Nashik. I really never got to understand what he said then. Neither do I remember anything of what he said then. But this morning it struck me that I really haven't dreamt since long!!
During my meditation this morning, I tried to widen this 'dream' and see if at all I have a 'vision' at all for myself, my work and my future. It was difficult to 'see' one. Perhaps an indicator that things are just running 'one day at a time' without a goal or aim. And then today I read this quote, which now is troubling me all the more: 'Never laugh at anyone's dreams. People who don't have dreams don't have much!'
Wednesday, 5 August 2009
So I came up with equal, balance, exploitation, rights, corruption, peace, fair, sharing, responsibility, right, to each one according to his/her deeds, lobbying, freedom, campaign, community, court, law...
But the word that is most associated with justice in the Bible is none of these!! The one that occurs most often along with 'justice' is 'love'. Now that's strange!! Maybe because love gives the other more than just his/her due.
Tuesday, 4 August 2009
When Mr Channa Reddy was the Chief Minister, he was determined to get 7 lakhs from us (1 lakh for each acre of land), only to grant permission to purchase the land from the cousin of the Nizam. Fortunately, he was ousted due to some scandal and in came, Mr Anjaiah. That was when Fr MT Sebastian accompanied by one lay person (Fr Sebastian forgets his name) went and met him. Having heard of the intention of the Salesians to start a school, he straight away called for his secretary and ordered him to see that 'Father' gets all that he wants! Work was done in no time!!
Monday, 3 August 2009
'It's been a hard day's nightThe only difference is in the second line. Instead of 'working' it ought to be 'driving'!!
And I've been working like a ... '
When I took the wheel this morning at 8.30 I did not realise I'd end up driving all day and that too in the chaotic Hyderabad traffic. For once, I am tired of driving (but that's just for tonight)!
Here's what the sms said (I'd have to check its authenticity, though):
In 1935 american government had killed a person on 1st Saturday of August. The next day his friend died committing suicide. In this memory the American government declared the first sunday of every August as 'Friends Day'.If this is true that friendship day began because some lunatic committed suicide..., then the americal government is a bigger lunatic!! If the latter was a true friend of the one who died, he'd have resolved to live even his friend's life. Living it to the full and accomplishing all that his friend couldn't. Most importantly, even take care of his family for him. Bring up his children in an upright manner. That would have been an ideal way of living one's friendship, not committing suicide!!
Sunday, 2 August 2009
Anyway, that sheet of paper says all I need to be told (Fr Benjy himself has been telling me this for the past one week!). I quote parts of his message and content:
Whatever the reason for putting in overtime, working long hours over the long term is harmful to the person and to the organisation.I now understand why some people are cautious these days when they approach me - they are just testing my mood and spirit. Earlier they used to just walk in and feel free!!
Another problem is that people who are in the office for long hours are not pleasant company. They often complain about other people (who aren't working as hard); they are irritable, or cranky, or even angry.
Perhaps some people put in such long hours because they don't want to miss anythign when they leave the office. The trouble with this is that events will never stop happening. That is life! Things happen 24 hours a day.Now that's something I cannot do - I am totally in love with Don Bosco and my Salesian life. But I guess, I should differentiate Don Bosco and my office. I needn't fall in love with my office!!
Hence, "love your job but never fall in love with your company."
Anyway, as a sign of my determination to give this idea a serious thought, I am leaving for the airport tomorrow morning!! Of course for some work (drop and pick up) but no office. Shall read something and loiter around there till I get back.
And now, I sign off, shut down and go to bed!
Saturday, 1 August 2009
- The first one was held in two sessions right at the beginning of the Province (in 1993). The first session was held at Nambur and the next session of the same was held at Jevan Jyothi, Hyderabad. The present Provincial house did not exist then. Don Bosco School, Sanathnagar doubled up as the Provincial house. Fr Medabalimi Balaswamy was the moderator of this Chapter. "Side-effects": Frs TD John, Palli and Johnson were asked to leave the hall (turned Chapel for the inaugural Mass) because they did not have cassocks!!
- The second one was moderated by Fr Maliekal (dates I am yet to find out). It was in preparation for GC 24 - the one on Lay collaboration. "Side-effects": In Fr Maliekal's words, this is the PC when the Sisters were attacked!! Invited as observers, they were being told what to do by us Salesians. In turn they stated what they wanted us to do. Result... clash of ideas and fire and brimstone!!
- The third Chapter was moderated by Fr Noel. He was asked to moderate a Chapter without ever participating in one before!
- The fourth PC was held in February 2000 and was moderated by Fr TD John. Goes without saying, must have been one done with near perfection. It was in preparation for GC 25 on Community life. No wonder he refers to that document so liberally. Shows he was fully into it.
- The next one, PC 5, was held in February 2003 and Fr Simon was the moderator.
- The last one so far was PC 6 in two sessions (November 2005 at Chiguru and the final session in Hyderabad in Feb-March 2006). Fr Raminedi Balaraju was the moderator. This was one where the election of the Provincial delegates was jumbled up and had to be redone. I was part of the second session (Provincial delegate). My experience: it was fun!!