Council Resources

Convening the Provincial Chapters: ACG 420


Salesian General House

Via della Pisana 1111 - 00163 Rome
The Vicar of the Rector Major


Rome, 12 December 2014
Prot. N. 14/0393

To the attention of
Reverend Provincials
and Provincial Councils
Their headquarters

Object: Convocation of the Provincial Chapters

Dear Inspectors,

                              according to the three-year deadline required by the Constitutions to article 172, the Provinces and Vice Provinces are invited to convene the Provincial Chapter in 2015-2016. The Constitutions in articles 170-174 and the Regulations in articles 161-169 offer the necessary indications to carry out a fruitful experience of communion, discernment and operational convergence within the Provincial Community.

Local communities are also involved in the chapter process, based on the guidelines that will be offered by the Provincial and the Regulator of the Provincial Chapter. In the last Provincial Chapters the opportunity was given to participate in some members of the Salesian Family and some lay people involved in the responsibility of our works; this seems to be an acquired practice that deserves to be continued.

The Rector Major with the General Council points out two tasks to be carried out by all the Provincial Chapters, of which the first is an ordinary task, while the second is a specific task: " Implementation of the GC27 " and " Redesign of the Salesian presences of the Province ”. These are the titles of the two documents to be sent for approval.

1. "Implementation of the GC27"

For the first task I remind you that according to the Constitutions, once the General Chapter is over, the Provincial Chapters must establish the modalities for their implementation (Cfr. Const. 171). The province will continue the journey begun in the Provincial Chapter of Preparation for the GC27, verifying and increasing the practice already begun. It is a matter of taking up again the contribution of the Provincial Chapter of the GC27 and of seeing it again in the light of the GC27 itself.

2. "Redesign of the Salesian presences of the province"

For the second task the province is called to plan its presences. It is a question of indicating criteria and guidelines concerning communities and works: their strengthening and re-signification; their downsizing and closure; the prospects for development and the opening of new works. In this operation it is necessary to ensure the quantitative and qualitative consistency of the communities, the availability of confreres, the balance between the various types of presences in the province, the balance between expansion and qualification of the confreres, the different ways of managing the works, co-responsibility. of the laity, the involvement and co-responsibility of the Salesian family in the territory, the care of vocations to Salesian consecrated life, financial sustainability ...

This is a government action that is the responsibility of the Provincial Chapter; in fact the Regulations say: "It is up to the Provincial Chapter to suggest lines and criteria for the planning and reorganization of the works of the province" (Reg. 167). This is a commitment that must be taken on by all the provinces; in the case of the reconfiguration of the provinces this commitment is urgent and must be carried out before the reconfiguration. With the approval and indications of the Rector Major and the General Council, the Province will continue its journey of implementation, establishing certain times for its implementation.

In this regard, in addition to the General Chapters GC24, GC25, GC26, GC27 offers some specific operational indications:

  • "Ensuring the qualitative and quantitative consistency of communities through a wise and courageous redesign of presences" (CG27 69.6).
  • "Promote in the Provinces a profound verification of the significance and presence among the poorest of our works, according to the criteria offered by the General Chapters and by the Major Rectors, in view of a" structural pastoral conversion "and of a greater finalization towards new poverty" (CG27 73.1).
  • "To encourage international communities also through the global redistribution of confreres and the promotion of missionary projects of the Congregation" (CG27, 75.5).
  • "Creating synergies with other groups of the Salesian Family who work for and with young people and promote their rights" (CG27 71.2)
3. Implementation methods

The Provincial Chapters will be celebrated starting from September 2015 . The two capitular documents reported, and any changes in the Provincial Directory, must be approved by the Rector Major and the General Council. They must be sent only in digital form to the General Secretariat with a letter of presentation from the Inspector by 15 May 2016 .

I note that the provincial organic project is drawn up by the Provincial with his Council; it is opportune that it lasts six years, from a General Chapter to the following General Chapter, so that it can take on the needs of the CG itself. The Provincial Chapter can offer the Provincial and his Council criteria, guidelines and priorities for the integration or elaboration of the provincial organic project, which will therefore last from 2015 to 2021. The provincial organic project does not need to be approved by the Rector Major and General Council; is sent to the Regional Councilor for information and any comments.

The provincial pastoral educative project and the provincial formation project are also the responsibility of the inspector with the provincial council and do not need the approval of the Rector Major and the General Council; they can be studied in the Provincial Chapter; they should be sent respectively to the Councilor for Youth Ministry and to the Councilor for Formation for Knowledge and Possible Observations.

To foster a true experience of discernment, comparison and sharing, the first concern must not be the drafting of a document. The documents are treated and well done, but at the same time we avoid long delays and repetitions.

Thank you for your attention and best regards.
In Don Bosco


Don Francesco Cereda