When the clock tolled half past nine the angelic choir animated the gathering and invoked the God’s blessings. In her introductory spell, Sr. Chandra Thainese, the Provincial Councilor stressed the importance of the key element of the chapter: “Chapter is a Journey in Faith, a Paschal process and a renewing Event” and welcomed the PCDs. The postulants decked the day with a dance and enthralled the gathering. The dignitaries were invited to light the Kuthuvalaku.
Sr. Regina Mary, the incumbent President of EPC 2107 offered the scroll before the Holy family and the Founder, on which all the names of the Sisters in our Province were inscribed, including the Sisters who had trodden in the footsteps of our beloved Founder, departed from us yet passed on their spirit to enliven JMJ family.
The President in her inaugural address accentuated on creating a road map for the unknown terrain but foreseeable future. She mirrored the contemporary challenges of religious life stemming out to the call of our mission and vision, urged us to be docile to the spirit who beckons us to the new avenues and new missions to explore in the following:
She invited PCDs to remember the biblical incident in Exodus, “when Moses ascended to the mountain, he went empty handed to meet God. When he descended to the plains, he had a plan for humanity. Let us climb the mountain with the Spirit of Moses and be assured to go out with a plan given by God, at the end of the Provincial Chapter deliberations.” Rev. Sr. Regina Mary officially declared open the Extraordinary Provincial Chapter on 5th November 2017 at 10.30 A.M and unfolded the theme of the Chapter “March Together with Hope towards an Emerging Future”.
Each delegate introduced herself with a symbol reflecting the invisible principal character of the chapter theme and their unflinching commitment to the success of the chapter. While presenting the symbol in the august assembly, each one explicitly pledged allegiance to contribute their best for the development of the JMJ family and to the Church in line with the spirit and charism of our Congregation and proceeded to sign and seal in the register.
Rev. Fr. Sebasti L. Raj ignited the hearts and minds of the delegates with his inspirational essay that each of us is unique individual endowed with exceptional abilities, thoughts and actions. Our expression of free will should align to the collective free will and to the common purpose of the congregation. Therefore, while we discern the will of God, we should combine our uniqueness and think for the common good of the Universal needs through the action of JMJ. In order to create a synergy of all combined uniqueness, we should have the heart of John the Baptist, and disposition of mind to pray “He must increase and I must decrease”.
Sr. Regina, the president in line with constitutional convention proposed to the Extraordinary Chapter Body (ECB) the new name of the new congregation: “Congregation of Jesus Mary Joseph” and the location for new Generalate - “Rome” for collective consensus. The Extraordinary Chapter Body unanimously voted for the proposal and affirmed its agreement, solidarity and unity for the proposal tabled.
On 7th of November, Sr. Regina Mary the president of the chapter, lavished encomium for the enormous effort and energy expended by the Constitution Committee to give a proper shape to the draft constitution. Sr. Anacleta, the General Councilor and Sr. Tresa KVM briefed the Provincial Chapter Delegates (PCDs) on the process and uncompromising commitment that had gone into making the constitution more relevant for the contemporary world.
PCDs after validating the draft and queried for clarification, and suggested a few correction in the provision. After the correction effected, PCDs approved and affirmed the second draft of the Constitution and appreciated the Constitution Committee for its clear and concise and lucid style adopted in the draft.
8th November- was a day cut out for preparing the Congregational directions and priorities for the new Congregation. Fr. Sebasti L. Raj set up the frame work and provided guidelines for the PCDs to work on the directions and priorities while keeping the principal character of global player in mind. Like a new wine in the new skins, we need to dream about innovative mission and creative ways to express our charism in the vineyard of the Lord.
The PCDs yet again discussed and deliberated in small groups. The frame work for the discussion was on spirituality, mission, collaboration, formation, finance and Governance.