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12th Provincial Chapter of MSC PNG - Lay Experience

posted Jun 29, 2011, 7:38 PM by John Lavu   [ updated Jul 27, 2011, 7:18 PM ]
The 12th Provincial Chapter of the MSC PNG Province was held at the Chevalier Centre, Vunapope, from the 01st to the 11th of May 2011. For the first time in the history of the Province, a lay person was invited as an Observer to the Provincial Chapter. The Provincial Chapter is a very important meeting of members of the Congregation of consecrated and professed MSC Priests and Brothers in PNG – “MSC PNG Province”, where a new Provincial Superior is elected to oversee the missionary work, ministries and welfare of the members of the Congregation for a term of three years. I had the privilege of being invited to attend this meeting on behalf of our Lay Associates in PNG.

I would like to firstly, congratulate Rev Fr George Tami MSC, for being elected as the new Provincial Superior. Secondly, I would like to say thank you to Rev Fr John Aneo MSC, for his guidance and leadership as the outgoing Provincial Superior. Thank you also to Fr John and the previous Council for inviting me to attend the Provincial Chapter. Without their invitation, I would not be able to share this wonderful experience.   

My overall observation of the Chapter was that it was a very successful meeting. The election of the new Provincial Superior and the successful conclusion of the meeting came about as a result of the proceedings being conducted and managed professionally, despite a few minor logistical hiccups from the start.

The Chapter was facilitated by Fr Anthony Arthur, MSC from Sydney, Australia. Fr Narciso Abellana, MSC, Assistant General I/Councilor from the General Administration in Rome also attended the meeting and gave a very inspiring and encouraging talk to the Chapter members on “Obedience in Mission”. This presentation really inspired some deep thoughts for discussion on the ministerial roles of our consecrated and professed brothers.

Before the Chapter closed, the Provincial Superior of the German Province, Fr Werner came in and spoke on behalf of the German confreres, the nine (9) currently remaining and working in PNG, particularly in the Archdiocese of Rabaul. He also pronounced the Transfer of certain Assets from the German Province to the PNG Province in order to support the welfare of the members and sustain the Province in the long run.

Various Reports were presented by certain member delegates to the Chapter and discussions that followed these reports stimulated serious thoughts about the growth and future of this young province. Inspiring and intriguing comments and insights also came from both young and old members that attended the Chapter.

Having deep respect for my ‘Observer status’, I humbly accepted the invitation to present the “Guidelines for the Lay Associates” which, the Chapter received and endorsed, as the basis to now move forward with awareness and formation for the laity. 

The atmosphere during the entire period of the meeting was very warm, encouraging and enriching. Relationships between individual members of the Chapter were open, free and encouraging for the growth of the Province. I believe that to be a sign of maturity and a way to solidarity and strength within the congregation. This however, will only work if all the members commit themselves and dedicate time to making it happen from and through their different roles and ministries.

The proposals put together before the conclusion of the Chapter really emphasized the points raised in the discussion sessions and consolidated to form the guidelines for the new administration, to execute during the next term, for the work of all members of the congregation. The proposal for “Promotion of the Laity” among others directly concerning the work of the religious MSCs, reflects their deep concern to draw and guide us, the laity to work together with them to spread the compassionate love of the Scared Heart of Christ to everyone. Let us be aware and mindful of our need to respond and collaborate sincerely in this rich and wonderful apostolate. 

My sincere thank you goes to all the chapter delegates for their warm welcome, acceptance, encouragement and support throughout the meeting. I believe that through this we will go a long way in collaborating and realizing this reciprocal relationship because this is really the “Way of the Heart”

May the Sacred Heart of Jesus be Loved Everywhere, Forever!