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20th Provincial Chapter - Guwahati Province(ING) - Day 3
By Fr. Thomas John
Guwahati, Feb. 23. The last but the most important day of PC20, 2019. Everything will begin to take shape nay will and should take shape at the end of the day. At 6 am the assembly met for Morning Prayers cum Meditation animated by the Provincial Secretary, Fr. Maria Anthuvan. The video clipping on the Strenna for the year 2019 helped to draw attention to the aspect of 'Holiness for you too'.
The chapter members during the voting of the chapter document.
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Unlike other days, since the mass was put off for the evening hours, to serve as a conclusion to the Provincial Chapter, the first session of the day and the 9th session of the Chapter began at 6.45 am, during which the Chapter Members were briefed by the Moderator, Fr. Francis Fernandez, about the important and serious task of electing the Delegates and their substitutes to the General Chapter. This time since the number of confreres in the province is more than 200, we can send two Delegates to the General Chapter. Election by secret ballot was completed in an orderly manner, resulting in the election of Fr. Francis Fernandez and Fr. Biju Michael Pulianmackal as Delegates and Bro. Joby Mani and Fr. Joseph Teron as first and second substitutes respectively, following all legal aspects of the election process.
At 8 am the assembly dispersed for breakfast and reassembled at 9 am, beginning the session with a hymn, prayer and lighting of the candle in front of the statue of Don Bosco by Bro. Paul Makri. The discussion was on the 'Juridical aspects' continuing from where it was left unfinished the previous evening.
After coffee break, at 11 am, the 10th session of the Chapter took up for discussion the second draft of the GC theme, with all it's three modules, for re-wording, reformatting, fine tuning etc. to take a final voting on them later in the day. This continued even into the 11th session in the afternoon, starting at 1.45 pm, completing the redrafting of all the three modules in another 45 minutes.
From 2.30 pm Fr. Benny Alex Plathottathil, the Provincial Economer, presented the financial situation of the province, with details of the income and expenditures, from April 2018 to roughly end of February 2019. He also gave details of the sources of income and heads of expenditure, yearly contribution from houses to the province, money received from individual houses and sent to Bangalore Province for flood relief works in Kerala etc. etc. He also touched upon few other aspects of provincial level administration and left for the individual houses a set of guidelines for good financial management. Though discussion was called for on some new guidelines and directives to be followed in our different administrative set ups, due to lack of time it was put off to a later date. He requested all the communities to be ready with the budget for 2019-20 for presentation to the Provincial team from the 8th of April.
From 3.40 pm the report of Commission 5 was presented on the 'Concerns of the Province and the Report of the Provincial on the state of the Province'. The report on the concerns of the Province was based on the Report of the Provincial. Due to lack of time it was decided to discuss the OPP of the Province in relation to the Report of the Provincial. Though late, some time was given to make some quick comments on it and state which all areas of the various sectors of activity of the Province needed attention in the OPP of the Province. Chapter members in quick succession mentioned some areas,  such as, Vocation Recruitment Policy, SYM in the province, SOP for lay management, Training in administration, Qualification for the Don Bosco University, Review of the role and function of Commissions, YaR in Bongaigaon, stress on Direct evangelization, Setting up of Past Pupils' Organisation in every centre, Reach out to Rajbongshis, College in Haflong etc. etc. Some names were suggested too for a committee to be formed to help the Provincial in this discernment, names such as of Frs. MC George, KJ Thomas, Lukose, Damian, Charles Sangma, Francis Basumatary, Francis Hembrom, Bro. Joby Mani, etc. and also to give freedom to the Provincial to co-opt other members of his choice into the committee.
At 5.45 pm the final session started with a hymn, prayer and Roll Call by Bro. Paul Makri. Final voting was taken by show of hands, after very very few and minor modifications only, on all the points of the Working Document dealing with the theme of the General Chapter. When this was completed one could say the Provincial Chapter came to a close.
At 6.45 pm, the Moderator, Fr. Francis Fernandez gave the Vote of thanks, thanking the Provincial and everyone involved in the Provincial Chapter, right from its convocation up to this last hour of the Provincial Chapter.
The concluding words were expressed by the Provincial. He expressed satisfaction at the wonderful outcome. He profusely thanked the Moderator, Fr. Francis Fernandez, who  despite his heavy responsibilities in the Don Bosco University, accepted, moderated and brought the Chapter to a brilliant close, as well as all others who in any way contributed towards the successful conclusion of the Chapter. He expressed the hope that the outcome should not remain just a document but must come alive in our province and lives. He congratulated the Moderator and all the Chapter Members for the resounding success of the Chapter.
All said and done, to complete the formalities, the Moderator, Fr. Francis Fernandez handed over the finalized document of the Chapter to the Provincial.
Lastly,  Fr. Provincial, with great satisfaction and joy solemnly declared the Chapter 'Closed' at 6.50 pm.
Fr. Denis Sangma, gave the Goodnight talk and by 7 pm the assembly dispersed for the concluding thanksgiving Eucharist in the amphitheatre of DBI, together with all the staff and students. Everything well concluded, at 8.15 pm everyone relaxedly enjoyed the sumptuous dinner with great fun and cheer.
Grazie a Dio, to our Blessed Mother, to Don Bosco. A big THANK YOU to Fr. Provincial, to the Moderator, to all the Chapter Members, to the observers, to the various committees and commissions, to all who were assigned special responsibilities during the Chapter, to the DBI family. God bless us all.


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