(ANS – Roma) – As is customary, at the end of the plenary session of the General Council, the Rector Major gave a Good Night to the Salesians of the Generalate about the work undertaken during the previous weeks: a Good Night, in fact addressed to the whole Congregation.
“It has been a period marked by the precarious state of health of the Rector Major,” Fr Chávez said. “I offer my thanks for the closeness, the affection, the understanding, the patience and the prayers which have accompanied me. With the help of the Lord, we have managed to complete the agenda and the work planned.”
The work of the plenary session began with the presentation of the subject and the spiritual and pastoral programme of the Strenna for 2013: “Looking at Don Bosco the educator,” corresponding to the second year of preparation for the bicentenary of his birth.
Rather than the usual course for recently appointed Provincials this time the Rector Major had other engagements: the Team Visit to the Vice Province of the Salesian Pontifical University and taking part in the celebration of the centenary of the death of Blessed Bronisław Markiewicz, founder of the two Religious Institutes, men and women, of St Michael the Archangel. “I was represented by my Vicar, Fr Adriano Bregolin, who was very struck by the great love for Don Bosco and for his successor and the very strong sense of belonging to the Salesian Family.”
7 new Provincials and 1 Superior of a Circumscription and of a Delegation had been appointed: Fr Néstor Alejandro Ledesma (Paraguay), Fr Lanfranco Fedrigotti (China), Fr John Jairo Gómez (Colombia Medellín), Fr Nestor Guria (India Dimapur), Fr Francisco Lima (Brazil Manaus), Fr Americo Chaquisse (Mozambique), Fr Camiel Swertwagher (Africa Great Lakes), Fr Onorino Pistellato (Circumscription with a special statute of Greek Catholic Ukraine), Fr Ferrington Poobalarayen (Delegation of Sudan).
Reports from 11 Extraordinary Visitations by the Councillors which had taken place in the previous months were presented and studied: Poland-Krakow (Fr Klement), Indonesia Timor East (Fr Wong), North Argentina (Fr Vitali), Slovakia (Fr Chrzan), Africa Great Lakes (Fr Basañes), East United States and Canada (Fr Ortiz), Spain Madrid (Fr Miguel Núñez), India Hyderabad (Fr Arokiam), Circumscription of Piedmont Val d’Aosta (Fr Frisoli), UPS Vice Province (Fr Cereda) and the Community of the Generalate (Fr González).
The distribution of funds from the Mission Offices was agreed and carried out, “which enabled us to see at first hand even more critically the difficult financial and economic situation in the word which is reflected in both the reduction in the amount collected and the increase in the needs of the Provinces,” Fr Chávez observed.
Reflection had continued on the issues of the structure of government of the Congregation, on the Economic situation of the Direzione Generale, which had already been discussed on previous occasions in the Council, on the statistics in the light of the vocational situation that highlighted the fact that “there is need for a higher quality of youth ministry and of the care and accompaniment of the confreres, and the creation of a genuine Salesian culture in the Provinces.”
During the two months of the plenary session some of the Councillors had other planned engagements such as the VI Assembly of the Institutions for Higher Education (IUS) and the seventh meeting of the Commission of the Project for Europe.