Interamerica Provincials Meeting in Haverstraw
Since Sunday the 18th the provincials of our SDB region, called Interamerica, have been meeting at Don Bosco Retreat Center in Haverstraw, N.Y. These regional meetings happen more or less annually with the location shifting among the 13 provinces: U.S. East-Canada, U.S. West, Antilles, Haiti, Mexico (2), Central America, Colombia (2), Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia. The regional councilor (a general councilor), Fr. Tim Ploch, presides. It was our turn to be host, and our vice provincial, Fr. Tim Zak, did most of the coordination work--no simple task, even making all the airport pick-ups.
Our provincial, Fr. Steve Shafran, describes the purpose and nature of these meetings thus: "It
is a wonderful opportunity for the provincials to get together, share their
experiences, and reflect on some common themes. We are experiencing a real
sense of community while we are together. No matter what country we are from,
our common Salesian heritage and love for Don Bosco is the thread that binds
Later in the week some of the other general councilors, including my "chief," Fr. Filiberto Gonzalez of the Communications Dept., will show up. Finally, the Rector Major will appear on the weekend, just before the meeting concludes on Saturday evening.
Today (Tuesday), they had an afternoon outing to New Rochelle to see the provincial house and get a tour of Salesian Missions, followed by supper at the mission office (to which our community also was invited). Before evening prayers they posed on our front lawn for a group photo.
Besides the provincials, Bro. Bruno Busatto from the mission office is at the far left, Fr. Mark Hyde, director of the mission office, is at the far right, and Fr. Zak is in the back row (2d from right). Fr. Shafran is to the right of Fr. Zak. Fr. Tim Ploch is in the center in the blue sweater.
As you can tell from the foliage, autumn hasn't really hit us yet--just touched us a little.