The Rectors and the Priests-in-Charge together with the Provincial Councillors of the province of Mary Help of Christians [Australia & Pacific] gathered at the Salesian Province Centre in Ascot Vale on 22-23 September for the second leaders’ meeting of the year. The Regional Councillor Fr Vaclav Klement also participated in this gathering.
On Tuesday 22nd September, the day began with a prayer followed by a presentation on servant leadership by Fr Chris Gleeson SJ. It is then followed by the report from the provincial, and the feedback and recommendations from the Regional Councillor. The afternoon session was dedicated to group discussions on community commitments in response to the resolutions from the Bicentennial Conference held in Geelong earlier in the year. The day concluded with a Mass led by Fr Klement and a festive meal in the province dining room. During dinner, and on behalf of the province, Fr Greg Chambers thanked Fr Klement for his Extraordinary Visitation to the province in the last two months.
In response to Pope Francis and the Rector Major, the Rectors and Priests-in-Charge have unanimously agreed to support and provide practical measures to the refugees coming to Australian shores.
On Wednesday 23rd, the day began with a morning prayer in the chapel. The morning sessions included the presentations from the Mercy Healthcare with regard to the care of the elderly and the sick in the province, the Vocations Reports, updates on Social Communications sector, Initial Formation in the province and general report from Youth Ministry department. The Moderator of the Provincial Chapter 20, Fr Jim Acreman SDB, also presented the preparations on the upcoming chapter that is going to be held in Easter week 2016. Unlike the previous Chapters, the Salesians will be able to submit contributions and participate in discussions via an online discussion forum.
Fr Greg Chambers presided the Eucharist at midday on this second day. The afternoon sessions focused on the protocols governing the schools within the province. A general sum-up was led by the chair of the committee, Fr John Papworth before concluding with a prayer later in the afternoon. At the conclusion, Fr Greg Chambers thanked those involved in preparation and running of the event including the staff at the Province Centre.
Due to the Provincial Chapter early next year, the next meeting for the Rectors and the Priests-in-Charge will be in September 2016.