A rendi központ hírei - olasz nyelven

Statement of the Order of Friars Minor on the Passing of Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran

Together with countless people throughout the world, we Brothers of the Order of Friars Minor were deeply saddened to learn of the sudden passing into eternal life of Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, and we offer his family and his many friends and colleagues our sincerest condolences and prayers.

Cardinal Tauran’s forty-nine years of dedicated service as a priest, a diplomat, and a voice for peace between nations and mutual understanding and respect among people of faith were an example to us of what it means to preach God’s Word of compassion and love in season and out of season (cf. 2 Tim 4:2), keeping ever before our eyes “the prize of God’s heavenly calling” that is ours in Christ Jesus (cf. Phil 3:14).

To Cardinal Tauran’s example of service, we wish to add the faithful testimony he gave to the inestimable grace of patience in suffering. In him we saw clearly a truth no less a figure than St. Paul knew so well, that for the sake of the Gospel “I can endure all these things through the power of Him who gives me strength (Phil 4:13).”

“The souls of the just are in the hand of God (Wis 3:1).” So we pray: Requiem æternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei: Requiescat in pace. Amen. And we pray, as well, that we have the grace to continue this good work so faithfully done by Cardinal Tauran until the day that God, in His mercy, brings it to completion in Christ Jesus our Lord (cf. Phil 1:6).

Photo: Vatican Press

The Third Continental Congress for Formators of the English Speaking Conference

The Third Continental Congress for Formators of the English Speaking Conference (ESC) concluded on Friday, July 7, 2018. The Congress was held in Mount Alvernia Retreat Center in Wappingers Falls (New York).

After a week of intense work, the group produced a short final document entitled “May the Lord Teach You Yours.”This document is meant, first of all, to give practical indications for future work at the level of the Conference (ESC).  It also includes some indications for the General Chapter.

The talks, which guided the discussions during the days of work, animated the efforts of the group so in order to deepen their understanding of the meaning of accompaniment for our life in the context of Ongoing formation, for the role and formation of guardians and in the context of vocations animation.

You will recognize them by their fruits – Homily of the Minister General for the Closing of the PCO

CLOSING EUCHARIST PLENARY COUNCIL OF THE ORDER Nairobi 2018 You will recognize them by their fruits Br. Michael A. Perry OFM

 

The richness of the word that has just been given to us shines a providential light on the final stage of our Plenary Council. I repeat again what I said two days ago, namely, that this Eucharistic celebration, this sacramental moment, must impel each one of us to go and tell everything that the Spirit of the Lord has communicated to us, starting from the significant experiences of meeting one another and the conversations that we have shared.

Of the Word just heard I would like to focus on two expressions that I consider essential: to remember and to bear fruit, and then to present an appeal.

 

Remembering

The first message places us at a decisive and significant moment in the history of the people of Israel. King Josiah symbolizes the one who managed to achieve what so many other kings had overlooked: our ancestors did not obey what this book says by practising everything written in it. The rediscovery of the “book of the Covenant” is an event that marks an era of recovery and represents the fundamental element of the religious reform that Josiah undertakes and brings to completion. The temple, in which the whole nation recognizes itself as belonging to one Lord, requires urgent restoration work. But what draws most attention is the wonder and amazement that the people experience in the discovery of the book: it contains all the norms that had not been observed for some time due to carelessness, especially by the kings,.

The episode recounts the restoration enterprise, not only of the walls of the sacred building, but above all of the temple of the heart. This requires a passionate faithfulness to the Word of God, which brings life and should be welcomed with great emotion and joy. This “stiff-necked” people (cf. Ex 32.9) needs to remember the moment when the Lord lovingly took the initiative in leading Abraham to the land of milk and honey, where God establishes the first Covenant. This Covenant is subsequently reconfirmed once and for all through Moses on Mount Sinai. Disenchantment, weariness and lack of interest easily lead to forgetting the foundational moment in which God solemnly declared: “You will be my people and I will be your God” (cf Lev 26:12). Therefore, the Lord stirs up in Josiah the ability to remember and this makes him an authoritative guide for the people’s life of faith.

 

The good fruits

The passage taken from the Gospel according to Matthew, short but incisive, offers us a useful key to discern: “A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor a bad tree produce good fruit”. Using this example, Jesus wants to warn his disciples against false prophets. The Sermon on the Mount, which has been accompanying us for a few weeks now, is nearing its conclusion, and Jesus offers some specific warnings to help the disciples fight hypocrisy and falsehood, widespread attitudes not only outside but also within the community of believers. The word fruit, directly linked to the concept of truth, represents the good or just deeds that the disciple does when he hears the voice of him who is the Truth. Jesus warns against false prophets because they do not tell the truth and put the integrity of the community at risk. Then, he encourages the community, based on criteria founded on the Word of God, to discern what is true and what is not.

We can ask ourselves: what are the fruits by which the disciple of Jesus is recognized? We already have the answer in our pockets: living the Beatitudes, that is, forgiving and loving everyone, including enemies, giving without demanding anything in return, praying, not judging. The true disciple of Jesus, who, living the Beatitudes, becomes a prophet of truth, will never cease producing good fruit, because he will always speak and act like Jesus.

 

The Appeal

Dear Brothers, the Plenary Council has been a place of grace in which the Spirit spoke to our hearts. Just as to Josiah and to all the people of Israel, the Lord today addresses to us a heartfelt appeal, inviting us to seek without ever tiring that “book” that has perhaps been lost or forgotten in some dusty warehouse: our Life and Rule, that is, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the very person of Jesus Christ, who inspired Francis and today continues to inspire us too.

During the PCO we have frequently repeated the verse of the book of Revelationthat invites us to return to our first love(Rev 2:4). Today the Lord makes this message real for us. After realizing the preciousness of the book’s content, Josiah makes a series of penitential gestures that demonstrate how much he had been struck by that discovery. We too can do the same: having listened to what the Spirit of the Lord says to us Friars Minor in today’s world, we can adopt a penitential attitude in order to overcome any amnesia that, as an Order and as religious, might have made us forget our first love. As the text of the Book of Kings states, let us set out to follow the Lord and keep his commands, instructions and laws with all our heart and soul. Let us open our hearts to the voice of the Spirit: only in this way will we be able to truly produce good fruits, not because of any merit of our own, but only thanks to the goodness of the Lord.

During these days we have had the opportunity to rediscover the fruitfulness with which the Lord gifts us: our charismatic Franciscan identity, through which He continues to work wonders in the Church and in the world, with our cooperation.

Dear brothers, let us thank the Lord who will continue to be present in us and among us, helping us to remember what we are and to bear good fruit. Even if perplexity or fear knock at the door of our heart, do not be afraid, brothers: the Lord will lead us back to the place where everything began and will allow us to rediscover the wonders of our first love and the grace of our origins. With this certainty, I wish you a safe return to your entities, with the firm conviction that now the Spirit of God will speak through you.

‘First Love’ has the last word! – Final Message of the Minister General

The closing session of the Plenary Council of the Franciscan Order, held this month of June, in Nairobi, Kenya, heard Br. Michael Perry, Minister General, urging the friars to return to their first love.

He based his concluding reflections on the theme of the gathering, which comes from the Book of Revelation (Rev. 2:2-5)

We are called to return to our original passion, and to listen to the Spirit with that passion,” Br. Michael said. “I believe that the desire to become passionate listeners has been demonstrated by you, the members of the Plenary Council, throughout our deliberations and discernment,” he added.

The 17-day meeting began with an active listening of reports from each of the different OFM Conferences. The delegates then brought this experience to prayer, discernment, and dialogue. From this process emerged some proposals for the General Definitory to consider for inclusion in a final document to be written in the coming months.

The Minister General explained that a return to our first love does not mean indulging in nostalgia. He went on to say that this love must bring “passion to our engagement with our brothers, the Church, and the world.”

Br. Michael challenged the friars, saying that the biblical invitation to return to our ‘first love’ must also be expressed in our manner of thinking and acting with regard to the human and financial resources of which we are only stewards.

The full text of his message follows:

 

 

Return to your First Love” The Call of the Plenary Council to Renew and Revitalize our Lives In the Midst of a Constantly Changing World

 

My dear brothers, we are fast approaching the end of the 2018 Plenary Council. I hope that each of you have experienced a deepening sense of belonging to the one universal fraternity of the Order. Through the Conference reports, our small and large group liturgical celebrations, our recreation times, our meals, and most especially through the ‘World Café’ methodology/process at small tables, we have had a unique opportunity to get to know more about each other, more about the life of friars in distinct regions or Conferences of the Order, more about the challenges facing the world, the church, the natural environment, and the Order. What has become clear is that despite some very particular or contextual differences, there is a great deal that actually unites us both in terms of fundamental identity but also in terms of specific restrictions and challenges that we face to a greater or lesser extent in all of our entities.

 

World Café and the Opening of the Franciscan mind and heart

You will recall that before engaging in the “World Café” process, some Council Members expressed their reservations. Many of us have been trained in systems that are fundamentally ‘deductive’ in terms of analysis of reality and problem-solving. The World Café model, on the contrary, is a primarily ‘inductive’ methodology. It begins with human reality, with ‘what is’, and then slowly, through a process of brainstorming, begins to draw out trends and/or common elements that can help give shape to both identity and action.  A deductive process begins with some hard and fast hypotheses about God, church, religious life, human action, the way the world works, in short, ‘identity’ that is somehow ‘known’ and ‘shared’, and then moves to an analysis so as to confirm and/or correct and reshape our hypothesis. In the end, what is produced through deductive reasoning is a clear, neat, vision of who we are, where we are going, and how we are going to get there. While some of these elements might appear in the work we have undertaken these days, there remains a certain amount of ‘messiness’ and incompleteness expressed in the formulations of each of the seven themes we have discussed at this Plenary Chapter. This is to be expected of the inductive process that we chose to engage in and, in fact, we foresaw that the PCO would not produce a final document but would generate the substance of a document that would be written afterwards, in the fashion of a Post-Synodal document.

 

Incarnation is a messy affair

One of the strongest metaphors presented in Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation on the identity and role of the Church in the world today is found in paragraph 49 of Evangelii gaudium:

“Here I repeat for the entire Church what I have often said to the priests and laity of Buenos Aires: I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security. I do not want a Church concerned with being at the center and which then ends by being caught up in a web of obsessions and procedures (EG, 49).

Since the time of the Second Vatican Council, the Order of Friars Minor has dedicated resources, General Chapters and Plenary Councils to the pursuit of ‘nailing down’ and claiming possession of a clear, fixed, and useful definition of identity, of what it means to be a Friar Minor in the midst of a world and a cosmos that are changing at an ever-increasing rate. These accelerating changes sometimes leave in their wake a growing sense of loss, spiritual and psychological dislocation, and powerlessness. This fundamental challenge to human, Christian, and Franciscan identity has been reported to this Plenary body by several World Café groups. But a world of change also needs the challenge that comes from our human, Christian, and Franciscan identity. It should come as no surprise that we Friars Minor, like most of humanity, are searching for what several missiologists once described as a process of identifying and reclaiming “constants in contexts.” I believe that we can say that these “constants” are those elements we hold to be true, unchanging, permanent, not subject to the pressures of changes taking place in the scientific, social or natural environments:

(1) deep and abiding relationship with God;

(2) commitment to Gospel fraternity/brotherhood;

(3) commitment to living among and working with brothers and sisters who are poor, excluded, marginalized;

(4) the pursuit of a spirituality of itineracy in service to the evangelizing mission of the Church; and

(5) a desire to be open to ongoing formation and conversion of mind and heart.

(the Five Priorities of the Order).

At the same time, it has become ever clearer in the course of study of the reports from the thirteen Conferences and from the Holy Land Custody that the contexts in which the living out of these core values take place require a re-thinking of how best to live these central values in a manner that reawakens within us our ‘first love’ but that also requires that we re-invent the specific forms by which we are to live and share these values. We cannot simply keep doing what we are doing as if “old wineskins” will be able to welcome and support the “new wine”. We have only to look that the question of human migration, which is a common phenomenon/problem in all of the Conferences and in the Holy Land. The challenges emerging from new forms of human migration challenge us to invent new responses, flowing from our core commitment as Friars Minor, in order to demonstrate our willingness to welcome and accompany our brothers and sisters in a way that reflects the best of who we are as human beings, disciples of the risen Lord Jesus, followers of St. Francis, and members of the body of Christ, the Church. The same applies to the challenges of responding to youth, to human-induced global climate change, to violence, to the consequences of social media, and to a wide range of other interrelated issues raised in the reports from the Conferences, by the two outside specialists (Dr. Maryann Cusimano Love, Cardinal John Onaiyekan), and through the World Café process.

The ‘constants’ or core values of Franciscan life articulated in the Five Priorities or Seven Plus One Values (Ite, Nuntiate, with inclusion of the dimension of Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation) make clear that we cannot run or hide from the challenges that are rushing at us – indeed, that are churning about within us, within our fraternities and Order. Rather, we are called by the Lord Jesus, by St. Francis of Assisi, and by Pope Francis and the Church to embrace these challenges and to recognize within them opportunities for reaffirming our charismatic identity and expressing the fullness of our faith and trust in God, and our belief in God’s presence and image in each and every living creature (“Laudato si’). It is because of this profound belief and trust in God’s presence in the world that we once again express our profound willingness to risk all for the sake of God’s Kingdom, a kingdom of truth, justice, love, freedom, and forgiveness, the “five pillars” of peace

(Pope Paul VI, St. John Paul II).

 

I think it is safe to say that two quite different styles of thinking could be seen in how the Council Members approached the material for reflection. Some felt more comfortable taking as their starting point the “constants” of our identity described above and, using explicitly religious language, making their motivation clear. In this way, actions that otherwise could be interpreted simply as humanitarian interventions not requiring commitment to a specifically Christian vision of the world can be seen as arising from a commitment to these “constants”.  Other Council members felt comfortable using more ‘secular’ terms, approaching the question of identity through analysis of the central themes, all the while implicitly understanding that the reason for our engagement is faith-centered and faithful to these same “constants”. It is a question of whether our faith motivation is implicit or explicit. Neither approach is inherently better than the other so long as the transcendent/trans-historical and the imminent/historical are not separated one from the other. A Franciscan understanding of the event of the incarnation leads to a simultaneous embrace of both Christ and the human person, to the crucified and glorified Christ at San Damiano and the colony of lepers just beyond the human boundaries of Assisi. Love of God and love of all who and what God has created is the fullest response to the invitation of Christ to take up his cross and come and follow him (cf. Mk. 8: 34; Mt. 16: 24; Lk. 14:27). It is here where constants and contexts find their fullest expression, and which, if lived in faith and love, gives rise to what St. Paul describes as the conditions for welcoming the ‘new creation’ that Jesus inaugurates in and through his cross and resurrection (cf. 2 Cor. 5: 17ff: “So for anyone who is in Christ, there is a new creation; the old order is gone and a new being is there to see”, Jerusalem Bible translation).

 

From the Plenary Council of the Order to the 2021 General Chapter: Next Steps

The purpose of the Plenary Council, as expressed in the General Constitutions and General Statues, Art. 194, is to provide assistance to the Minister General and his Definitory in governing and inspiring the Order, to encourage deeper relations and communications between the General Curia and the Conferences, and between the Conferences themselves, and to help prepare the next General Chapter. I wish to express the gratitude of the members of the General Definitory, and my own deep gratitude, for the commitment each of you have made to be part of this Plenary Council and to engage fully in the methodology, offering fresh insights and raising important questions about who we are as Friars Minor in the world today, and how we might more fully respond to the double call to love God and to love all who and what God has created in a manner that reflects our deepest values and convictions. You have responded to the requirements of Article 194 of the GGCC in a manner that both inspiring and also challenging. You have raised serious questions about identity and action in the pursuit of generating a sense of clarity of identity and also a sense of evangelical urgency in the face of a world desperately in need of a message of love, mercy, joy, and hope.

The General Definitory will begin work immediately upon our return to Rome, re-examining all of the reports from your respective Conferences and the Holy Land Custody. We will review all – and I wish to stress all – of the comments and proposals submitted by each of the World Café tables at each of the different stages of iteration in order to ensure that we do not leave out any new or helpful ideas or insights that might enable the General Definitory to improve our manner of governing and inspiring all of the friars of the Order to aspire to a higher and deeper sense of Gospel life. Following this revision and analysis of the material that we have generated together, it is the intention of the General Definitory to prepare a post-Plenary Council document that will communicate to the friars of the Order the results of our discussions and discernment. It also is quite likely that the General Definitory, drawing on the proposals of the Plenary Council, will propose several Order-wide actions (i.e. response to the reality of migration, to the challenges presented by Laudato Si’ to evangelization and mission, etc.) that will help create a deeper sense of belonging to a worldwide brotherhood capable of engaging the world in a manner that promotes integral human development, the fullness of humanity and the environment fully alive. What those specific actions might be have not yet been determined. This will require further analysis and discernment on our part, based upon the work of this Plenary Council.

 

Responsibility of each Plenary Council Member

The Plenary Council Process does not end with the closing Eucharist and celebrative meal. Just as with the Eucharistic celebration, the call is to take what we have experienced in the sacramental moment – in the Eucharist, and also in the Plenary Council – and to share it with the leadership in all of the Conferences and in the Custody of the Holy Land. Thus, the first level of sharing is with the President of your respective Conference (those not present at the PCO), and with the Provincials, Custodians, and Presidents of Foundations. If there is no immediate plan for a meeting of your Conference following this Plenary Council, I would ask that you prepare a written statement in which you would present something about your experience of the Plenary Council, the process or methodology employed, the ‘results’ of the work of the World Café process, and the final proposed document that will be sent to the General Definitory for the work it must do following the Plenary Council.

One of the greatest weaknesses of the Order is the failure to communicate. If it is helpful, I would suggest that you work with friars from other Conferences in drawing up what you will share with your Conference. It will be essential that you explain the themes that we have discussed, placing them within the context of our charismatic identity as disciples of the risen Lord Jesus, members of the Order and the Church, and responsible members of the human community. Should the General Definitory, following a re-reading of all of the materials of the Plenary Council, propose several concrete Order-wide actions, it will be essential that you become advocates, explaining the reasoning behind any of these actions and promoting the actions as a means for renewing our charismatic identity as members of a Contemplative Fraternity-in-Mission in search of renewed means for the proclaiming of the Gospel within changing contexts, and standing before a world facing many challenges, a world seeking a new reason to hope.

On a more practical level, it will be vital that you work with us in ensuring that the text that will be forwarded by the General Definitory to the Conferences is translated into the languages of the friars of each respective entity. In addition, it might be helpful if you were to work with the Conferences in developing tools for the study of the Plenary Council document and also to develop web and other tools for helping all of the friars to engage in a process that will continue until 2021 and beyond.

Part of the process of the Post-Plenary Council reflections might include not only practical actions (1 or 2) but also practical suggestion on how to engage all of the friars in your Conferences in this ongoing process. We must remind the friars that we are on a journey; itinerancy is not only a means for renewing our lives; it contains the seeds for this very renewal. Without movement –internal/spiritual and external/structural – there will be no conversion. It is that simple.

 

Re-awaking our First Love of God, of the Brothers, and of God’s People and the Created Universe

In conclusion, I would like to return to the biblical text that has served as the leitmotif in the preparation and execution of this 2018 Plenary Council of the Order. I am referring to the Book of Revelation, chapter 2, verses 3-5a. 7:

“You are patient and endure hardship for my cause. Moreover, you do not become discouraged, But, I hold this against you: you have turned aside from your early love. Keep firmly in mind the heights from which you have fallen. Repent, and return to your former deeds…Let him who has ears heed the Spirit’s word to the churches.” (Rev. 2: 3-5a. 7).

I would like to highlight five aspects or elements from this biblical text that I feel are important for our considerations as we prepare to close the second phase of our Plenary Council process.

  1. This text calls us to passionate listening to the voice of God in our lives, in the Church, the Order, and the world. These are not two words that we usually put together, but this is in fact the call of this Scripture. We are called to return to our original passion, and to listen to the Spirit with that passion. I believe that the desire to become passionate listeners has been demonstrated by you, the members of the Plenary Council, throughout our deliberations and discernment.
  2. This text was not selected to criticize the members of the Council, but rather, as a framework for understanding the challenge we collectively face in animating our global fraternity. As Friars Minor, we anchor ourselves deeply in the Gospel and the example of Jesus. We know, however, that there are brothers who are discouraged, who have questions and doubts about the future of our Order, and perhaps feeling despondent that they – or we — have fallen from “the heights.” Here, this Scripture from Revelation calls us to repent from having turned aside from our early love. This does not mean we should take the course of promoting some nostalgic return to the past. We are not being called to a new type of infatuation, one that promotes an infantile response that will do little to help each of us deepen our faith, our hope, and our capacity to love and to dream. Rather, it invites us to tap into the passion that God has for each one of us, and to bring that passion to our engagement with our brothers, the Church, and the world.
  3. For this type of engagement to be authentic, to be faithful to our call to be Friars Minor, we must also learn anew how to listen to our brothers, listen to one another, listen to the dreams and also the disappointments that each of us bear. Not only must we allow God to lead us to a renewed love of the Trinity, of God in our lives; we also allow God to lead us to a renewed love of our brothers in the Order. We must learn new ways to support them as they travel through dark nights. And we must celebrate the goodness of our life in fraternity, and the gift of each one’s vocation.
  4. Our listening, however, cannot stop with our listening to God and to our brothers in the Order. We must continue to develop new tools and promote within the Order (Order wide, Provinces, Custodies, Foundations, local fraternities) a new spirit of listening to the voice of God speaking in the world, God’s cry rising up from within God’s people and from within God’s created universe. These ‘cries’ may take an explicitly religious form, or they may take the form that some would not recognize as explicitly religious. Because of our faith in God, we believe that the Spirit of God renews the face of the Earth (Psalm 104:30), and that God loves everyone everywhere, and calls all people, all creation to himself. You have brought to this council reports how you have listened to the world, the church, and the Friars. We have shared these, and listened together, in a contemplative way, to what the Spirit is saying in dramatically diverse contexts. Let us continue this practice of passionate listening, listening for the Spirit with passionate hearts. Let us be ambassadors not only of a message but also of a method that promotes mutual listening, discernment, and collective (collaborative) action.
  5. The biblical invitation to return to our ‘first love’, to God and the centrality of the Trinity in our lives, must also enter into our manner of thinking and acting with regards to the human and financial resources that God has provided to us. As the presentation of the General Treasurer indicated, our identity and our values are meant to provide us with a vision of the world that is transparent, just, ethical, guided by principles of solidarity, all the while making use of the instruments that guide proper and intelligent collection, management, and reporting of the resources with which we have been blessed. Thus, the economic and resource aspects of our lives require serious spiritual and practical reflection if we are to demonstrate that we are truly followers of Jesus and St. Francis of Assisi. This most probably will require that we look afresh that the question of the restructuring of our entities and of the Order, letting go of those things – attitudes, practices, and physical structures – that do little to promote a prophetic type of itineracy that is required of us Friars Minor at this particular moment in the history of the world, the Church, and the Order. Will we have the courage to allow our faith vision, and the fruits of our discernment, to lead us to where the Spirit of God is calling us? This must be front and center in our questioning and in our search for more authentic expressions of our charismatic identity. What is holding us back?

 

In conclusion, I wish once again to thank each and every member of the Plenary Council for your active engagement in the preparation and execution of this program of listening and discerning where the Spirit of God is speaking to the Order today. I also wish to thank you for the work you will continue to do to communicate to the leadership and to all of the friars in your respective Conferences and in the CTS the process and contents of our deliberations. Even more important, I wish to thank you for the work you will do to promote an ongoing process of discussion and discernment in order that we might engage every brother of the Order in living more fully the evangelical life to which we have been, and continue to be, called.

A special thanks to all of the support staff that has worked overtime to ensure that our Plenary Council might conduct its affairs in a peaceful and effective manner. I will leave it to the Moderators to list the brothers to whom we owe a great debt of thanks but I wish to thank in a special way the work of our General Secretary of the PCO, Bro. Manuel Curullon, to his Assistant Bro. Tiburce and all of their assistants and to the Translators and Interpreters; to the two Moderators, Bro. Isauro and Bro. Keith; the General Treasurer and Vice-Treasurer of the PCO, Bro. John and Bro. Miro; to the friars responsible for maintaining a smooth and invaluable flow of information from the PCO to the Order, to Bro. Alvin, Bro. Silvio, and Bro. Dexter; and a truly special thanks to the hosting Province of St. Francis, and its Provincial, Bro. Carmelo. We should also recognize and thank the Franciscan Sisters who are responsible for the running of this retreat center. They have loved and cared for us beyond our expectations. Thanks also to Bro. Antonio, General Definitory and Bro. Matteo Giuliani who have worked in the background, analyzing the reports from the Conferences, and structuring the methodology of the PCO.

Finally, I wish to draw upon a reflection of our Holy Father Pope Francis in his Apostolic letter Gaudete et Exsultate, Rejoice and Be Glad, no. 61:

“Jesus clears a way to seeing two faces, that of the Father and that of our brother. He does not give us two more formulas or two more commands. He gives us two faces, or better yet, one alone: the face of God reflected in so many other faces. For in every one of our brothers and sisters, especially the least, the most vulnerable, the defenseless and those in need, God’s very image is found. Indeed, with the scraps of this frail humanity, the Lord will shape his final work of art. For “what endures, what has value in life, what riches do not disappear? Surely these two: the Lord and our neighbor. These two riches do not disappear.”

Brothers, let us begin…

 

 

PCO Chronicles: Monday 25 June & Tuesday 26 June

Monday 25 June

We began our day with a short prayer session followed by a sense of gratitude to God for allowing experience Him in the last two days with the poor in Gipsy slum and in nature with the visit to Nairobi National Part.

Br. John Puodziunas, the General Economo of the Order took the podium to present to the CPO assembly the economic situation of the Order. His presentation was structured in three parts namely: The Context of the financial situation 2014; the current situation and looking forward to debt management. He ended his talk by posing questions on what the assembly thinks on: How can a value based economic system be implemented in our provinces and custodies? What are the challenges? Which forms of revenue for the General Curia do you MOST support?

  • Only the voluntary solidarity contribution?
  • New Projects, like hotel il cantico? Any suggestions;
  • Increase emphasis on FUND Raising?
  • Development of an investment program?
  • Other ideas?

Br. John’s talk was followed by open forum of questions and responses on the report.

The afternoon session was characterized by focusing of the document CPO reflections in which the assembly dialogued with the minister general and his definitory on the way forward in which brothers expressed different opinions on how to proceed with CPO booklets and reflections. The minister general with this definitory will give the way forward in post CPO deliberations.

 

Tuesday 26 June

Starting at the same time each day and putting at the center – the celebration of Mass and prayers of Lauds, one who can never cease to be, after breakfast a new session of work begun. Today the members of the Plenary Council of the Order have worked on the research and proposal of places, themes and methodologies in view of the celebration of the next General Chapter in 2021.

After a time dedicated to reflection and dialogue from linguistic groups, the various proposals were shared in common. Regarding the themes, it was evident not so much the uniformity but even the convergence of the proposals of the different groups, which indicate a very precious harmony among the friars of the whole world regarding what is considered most important for the Order today.

The proposal on the places was a little more diversified, extending the different options to three continents, but affirming that the themes dealt with in this Plenary Council – especially regarding migrants, young people and the care of creation – touched all profoundly.

Having completed the most important work of the day, we moved on to take care of some changes and information related to the two-day program that remain before the Council’s conclusion.

In the afternoon, after lunch, many chose to go out to visit some significant place in the neighborhood, to meet again at six thirty in the evening, to participate in a Franciscan celebration, prepared by the brothers of the Cono Sur Conference, in which we have been called to remember our vocation. Dinner and a moment of recreation, accompanied the day until the time of going to bed.

Beyond the PCO —What Next?

It’s hard to imagine that only two days remain before the Plenary Council comes to an end! So the big question as we leave Nairobi is, what comes next?

The purpose of the Plenary Council, as expressed in article 194 of the General Constitutions, is to provide assistance to the Minister General and his Definitory in governing and inspiring the Order, to encourage deeper relationships and communication between the General Curia and the Conferences (and between the Conferences themselves) and to help prepare the next General Chapter.

The Minister General, on behalf of the General Definitory, assured the Council Members that the work of re-examining all of the reports from the Conferences, as well as the plentiful and valuable material that emerged during the PCO, would begin immediately following their return to Rome. Having studied all of the documentation, the General Definitory will then prepare a Plenary Council document for the entire Order.

It is quite likely that the General Definitory, drawing on the deliberations of the Plenary Council, will propose several initiatives for Order-wide implementation (e.g. responses to the reality of migration, to the challenges presented by Laudato Si, to evangelization and mission, etc.). These will help create a deeper sense of belonging to a worldwide brotherhood that is called to live and act as sharers of our Common Homeand missioned to promote integral human and spiritual development in a manner consonant with the Catholic Franciscan tradition and charism. Each of the delegates is also expected to be an ambassador of the PCO experience and to share the fruits of the gathering in their respective Conferences and entities.

“We must remind the friars that we are on a journey; itinerancy is not only a means for renewing our lives; it contains the seeds for this very renewal” said Minister General Michael Perry. “Without movement, whether internal (spiritual) or external (structural), there will be no conversion. It is that simple!”

CPO 2018

Join us for this year’s celebration of the Order’s Plenary Council.

From June 12th – 28th, we will reflect on contemporary realities in the world, the Church, and the Order, spending time in prayer, study, discussion, and decision-making.

For more information, visit the event homepage here.

COMPI and the General Definitory meet in Loreto

The President of COMPI, br. Claudio Durighetto, described the week of meetings between the Conference of Ministers Provincial of Italy & Albania and the Minister General Michael A. Perry with his Definitory as “an experience of communion”.  The meeting took place at a Franciscan retreat house, “La terra dei fioretti”, Loreto, from April 9th – 14th, 2018.

The gathering was an important opportunity for the friars to engage in mutual listening and dialogue. The program was wide-ranging, with some topics of particular interest, such as the current reality of the Provinces and Custodies that make up the Conference, as well as presentations of various projects that the Order’s General Government is pursuing.

The conversations took place in a fraternal atmosphere, with some topics attracting more attention and arousing in the participating friars a desire to know more about the current state of the Order. Space was also devoted to listening to reports about important initiatives in the Conference such as: “Abraham’s Tent“, a community in Favara di Agrigento, Sicily, that offers hospitality to refugees; the new hermitage fraternity in Casacalenda di Campobasso, Molise; and the dining room for the poor in Milan. In addition, the Ministers Provincial and General Definitors visited Treia friary in the Marches, a formation fraternity badly hit by the recent (2016) earthquake.

The number of brothers present increased considerably on Friday, when friars of the Conference in Temporary Profession and in the first seven years of Solemn Profession came to meet the Minister General and Definitory. Br. Michael’s presentation emphasized the beauty of discipleship, highlighting the close link between vocation as a personal response to God’s call and life in fraternity. There cannot be an authentic relationship with the Lord without a genuine relationship with the brothers.

In the afternoon the young friars were divided into small groups to share, reflect, and answer the questions that the Minister General put to them: What motivated you to begin living the Franciscan way of life? What robs us of the joy of following the Lord, and what disappointments have you experienced in your personal journey? What, on the other hand, restores peace, enthusiasm, and authenticity? What do you see as the future for your Province and the Order?

The friars’ answers revealed a great sense of belonging to the Order, and a desire to give of themselves in the cause of the renewal of our Franciscan charism.

At the conclusion of the meetings on Saturday, deep gratitude to God was expressed, asking the Lord for the strength to nourish communion so as to continue to walk together as brothers and witnesses to the truth of the Gospel.

 

Living Holy Week with the International Fraternity for Dialogue in Istanbul

Holy Week is a special time of the year. It is the moment when Brothers, together with the people they serve, recommit themselves to living the joy of the Gospel. This is particularly true for the Brothers of the International Fraternity for Dialogue.

The International Fraternity for Dialogue was established by then-Minister General Jose Carballo as an expression of the Order’s commitment to ecumenical and interreligious dialogue (CCGG art. 93-95). Its founding home is the parish of St. Maria Draperis in Istanbul, Turkey, where the Brothers also serve the parish of St. Louis on the grounds of the French Consulate. Three years ago, they opened a second house in Izmir, where they serve the parishes of Holy Spirit and St. Mary.

As only 0.05% of the population of Turkey is Catholic, everything the Brothers do entails dialogue – from the dialogues of life and work to the dialogues of spiritual and theological exchange. While Islam is Turkey’s predominant faith (98% of the population), making Muslims their major dialogue partners – from Sunnis and Alawites to Sufi masters and curious searchers – the Brothers also have excellent relationships with the Orthodox Churches, as well as with Protestant communities.

This diversity marked every aspect of Holy Week, from Monday’s ecumenical prison ministry to Easter Vigils that brought together the parishes’ Italian-, English-, French- and Spanish-speaking communities. In between were multi-lingual penance services, blessings from church leaders, and visits from the cities’ Muslim mayors. Since Catholic parishes are so intimate, many liturgies were held in common to enhance that felt sense of unity which lies at the heart of the Paschal Mystery.

One quickly feels the Church’s catholicity in Turkey, where Christians are daily called to give common witness to the Gospel, especially in the face of the daunting challenges confronting them. Given Turkey’s historical place at the crossroads of Christianity, from St. Paul’s journeys to today’s migration of Middle Eastern and African refugees, is this surprising? It is such catholicity that enables the Brothers to live the joy of Holy Week throughout the year.

The best way to come to know the Fraternity is to visit the Brothers. Their doors are always open, especially in October for their annual Course on Dialogue. People can also visit their website (www.istanbulofm.org) and watch their documentary Together on the Way, available on YouTube.

The International Fraternity for Dialogue is directly under obedience to the Minister General. It welcomes Brothers from throughout the world desiring to serve in it on either a temporary or permanent basis. Interested Brothers should contact the Guardian, Br. Eleuthere Makuta, for more information (makutaba@yahoo.fr).

Venerable Florenzia Profilio, Foundress of the Institute of the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception of Lipari

Promulgation of Decrees of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints

On 14 April 2018, the Holy Father Francis received in audience His Eminence Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. During the audience, the Supreme Pontiff authorized the same Congregation to promulgate the Decrees regarding the heroic virtues of the Servant of God, Florenzia Giovanna Profilio, Founder of the Institute of the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception of Lipari; born in Pirrera Lipari (Italy) on December 30, 1873 and died in Rome on February 21, 1956.

Venerable Florenzia Profilio

The venerable Florenzia Profilio was born on the island of Lipari (Italy) in 1873. She emigrated to New York (USA) with her family and embraced the religious vocation with the Tertiary Franciscan Sisters of Allegany. In 1905, at the invitation of Archbishop Francesco Raiti, Bishop of Lipari, she returned to Italy to start a new community in the service of the diocese on her native island. The development of the Institute of the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate of Lipari gradually spread over time in several cities in Italy, as well as in Brazil and Peru. Mother Florenzia governed with the strength of her example more than with exhortation and words. Her evangelical lifestyle conquered the love and esteem of those who had the joy of spending time with her. She died in Rome on February 21, 1956. Her cause of canonization began in 1982.

International JPIC Course 2018 in Guadalajara, Mexico

The annual International JPIC Course was held in Guadalajara, Mexico from 9th to 16th April by the JPIC General Office with the collaboration of the Province of St. Francis and Santiago. This year’s theme is “Migration: Causes, Walls, and Franciscan Perspectives.” Thirteen experts on the issue, including Br. Martín Carbajo, OFM, Br. Juan Rendón, OFM and Br. Tomás González, OFM, were invited to share their expertise and experiences with 57 participants (41 friars and 12 secular Franciscans). The Course covered the issue of migration in depth with the multi-dimensional (historical, socio-political, cultural, and economic) analysis as well as the exposure to refugee shelter homes. To name some of the expositions, “The Unfair Distribution of Wealth: Social Inequality,” and “Physical and Symbolic Walls: Prejudice, Xenophobia, Fear, and Discrimination.”

There was a fraternal joy among the participating brothers and sisters, and they encouraged each other by exchanging their experiences and ideas.

The Plenary Council of the Order according to the General Constitutions and Statutes

GENERAL CONSTITUTIONS

 

Chapter VII

Title V

The Plenary Council of the Order

 

Article 193

The Minister General with his Definitory, the Secretary General and the Councillors elected and designated in accordance with the General Statutes, together make up the Plenary Council of the Order.

 

Article 194

The duty of the Plenary Council, assembled collegially, is the following:

  1. to offer assistance to the Minister General and his Definitory in governing and inspiring the Order;
  2. to encourage relations and communications between the General Curia and the Conferences, and between the Conferences themselves;
  3. to implement the decisions and decrees of the previous Chapter; to enact decisions and decrees proposed by the General Definitory even if they are contrary to the articles of the General Statutes; these are to have force until the next Chapter;
  4. to interpret the General Constitutions or General Statutes in accordance with article 15 par. 2-3 of the General Constitutions;
  5. to help prepare the next General Chapter and to offer advice regarding its location;
  6. to discuss the finances of the Order.

 

Article 195

  • 1 Unless it has otherwise been expressly determined, the Plenary Council of the Order has a consultative vote.
  • 2 The procedure of a Plenary Council is set down in its rules of procedure.

 

GENERAL STATUTES

Chapter VII

Title V

The Plenary Council of the Order

 

Article 144

The Plenary Council of the Order is to be convoked by the Minister General at the time and place established by the General Chapter or when it seems opportune to the Minister himself, with the consent of his Definitory, and, in addition, any time the majority of the Conferences requests it.

 

Article 145

  • 1 The Council Members of the Plenary Council of the Order are to be elected by the Conferences of Ministers Provincial so that two Council Members are present from each Conference.
  • 2 The Minister General, with the consent of his Definitory, can designate other Council Members for the Plenary Council, provided that the designated Councillors do not exceed half the number of the Conferences of Ministers Provincial.
  • 3 Friars, who may or may not be Ministers, can be elected as Council Members. The election of Council Members is made by the Conferences as they see fit, so that the Council Members will have been elected at least three months before the celebration of the Plenary Council. The names of the elected Council Members and of their substitutes are to be sent to the Minister General in good time.

 

Article 146

  • 1 The Minister General, with the consent of his Definitory, compiles the list of questions to be dealt with in the Plenary Council and is to ensure that this is sent to the members of the Conferences of Ministers Provincial six months beforehand so that they may exchange ideas on the matters proposed.
  • 2 It is the right of each Friar to propose to the Minister General, in good time, topics to be dealt with during the Plenary Council; likewise, each Member is able to present questions to be discussed during the assembly itself, if one third of the Council has approved them.

 

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13th Ongoing Formation Course on Ecumenical and Interreligious Dialogue, Istanbul

The International Fraternities in Istanbul and Smyrna (Turkey), working with the General Secretariat for the Missions and Evangelization, will present a Course of Ongoing Formation on Ecumenical and Interreligious Dialogue from October 14th to 28th, 2018 in Istanbul. The course is open to Friars Minor and to members of the Franciscan Family, and will be conducted in French, English, Italian, and Spanish.

The course will deal with Formation in dialogue according to the Franciscan charism, and with Ecumenical and Interreligious dialogue — Islamic-Christian and Jewish-Christian. During the course there will also be a 3-day visit to historical sites in Cappadocia.

The cost of the course is €600. Anyone interested may apply no later than August 31st, 2018 to the course managers:

Br. Giancarlo Guastella: frategiancarlo@gmail.com

Br Pascal Robert: pascalrobert764@gmail.com

or by fax + 90-212-2432791

The first 20 people to be registered will receive confirmation and a detailed course program.

Communique from the General Definitory – Tempo Forte of March 2018

The March 2018 Tempo Forte was held at the General Curia, Rome, from the 12th to the 23th of the month. From the 16th-18th, the Minister General travelled to Egypt for events marking the beginning of the 8th centenary celebrations of the encounter of St. Francis of Assisi with the Sultan.

The first day of Tempo Forte included sessions during which each of the friars of the Definitory spoke about the activities and experiences in which they had been involved during the period since the last Tempo Forte, particularly their meetings with four Latin-American Conferences of Minister Provincials and Custodes in Mexico and Brazil.

On March 19th and 20th, Br. Manuel CORULLÓN FERNÀNDEZ, Secretary of the Plenary Council of the Order, and Br. Matteo GIULIANI attended the work sessions devoted to the Plenary Council (June 12th to 28th in Nairobi). The work schedule for the Council was decided upon, and workshops were held so as to have experience of the world café method that will be used during the PCO.

The final reports of the Canonical Visitation of two Provinces were presented:

  • The Province of the Twelve Apostles, Peru;
  • The Province of the Blessed Trinity, Chile.

 

Changes to Particular Statutes were ratified for the following entities:

  • The Province of the Blessed Trinity, Chile;
  • The Province Magnae Dominae Hungarorum, Hungary;
  • The Province of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Italy (Naples);
  • The Province of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Spain;
  • The Province of Sts Peter and Paul, Mexico (Celaya, Michoacán);
  • The Custody of St. Clare, Mozambique;
  • The Custody of St. John the Baptist, Pakistan;

 

In addition, the Particular Statutes of the General Secretariat for Formation and Studies were approved, as was the text: Statute on the Procedures to be observed in dealing with cases of recourse to the Minister General.

 

Various acts of elections were ratified during the Tempo Forte sessions. These included elections that had taken place:

  • During the Provincial Chapter of the Province of “Our Lady, Queen of Peace”, South Africa;
  • During the Capitular Congressus of the Province the Twelve Apostles, Peru;
  • During the Capitular Congressus of the Custody of the Annunciation of the BVM, Albania, dependent on the Minister General.
  • During the Capitular Congressus of the Foundation “Our Lady of Africa”, Congo-Brazzaville, dependent on the Minister General.

 

Extra-Capitular elections of some Guardians in various Entities of the Order were ratified, as were the elections of a new Minister, Vicar, and Provincial Definitor in the Province of Sts Francis and James (Zapopan, Mexico), arising from the appointment of the previous Minister Provincial, Br. Juan Manuel MUÑOZ CURIEL, as auxiliary bishop of Guadalajara.

 

The General Definitory elected the following General Visitators:

  • Ivan SESAR, Definitor General, for the Province of St. Jerome, Croatia (Zara);
  • Cesław GNIECKI for the Province of the Assumption of the BVM (Katowice, Poland);
  • Dymitr ŻEGLIN for the Province of St Hedwig (Wroclaw, Poland);
  • Hugh McKENNA for the General Curia fraternity “S. Maria Mediatrice”, Rome;
  • Jónás BÁN for the Province of St Stephen the King, Transylvania-Romania.

 

Sadly, the following substantial number of requests were examined:

  • dismissal from the Order (3);
  • dispensation from the obligations of the clerical state (4);
  • secularisation pure et simpliciter (6);
  • secularisation ad experimentum (4);
  • dispensation from Solemn Vows (7);
  • exclaustration for three years (4).

 

A list of the personnel needed for various important services in the Houses and Entities directly dependent on the Minister General was drawn up. These brothers will have to be located, and so the members of the Definitory undertook to search for friars who would be available for this service.

The General Definitory also heard updates on the activities and future plans of the General Secretariat for Missions and Evangelization, the General Secretariat for Formation and Studies, and the JPIC General Office. In addition, Br. Priamo ETZI, Vice Postulator General and Director of the OFM General Historical Archive (AGOFM), gave a report on the activities carried out in those two offices during 2017. The General Treasurer, Br. John PUODZIUNAS, presented the 2017 year-end accounts of the General Curia and of all the Houses dependent on the Minister General. After a worthwhile dialogue, during which various matters were clarified and studied, the accounts were approved by the General Definitory.

Since no Provincial or Custodial Chapters are to be held in 2018, the Meeting of the Minister General and Definitory with newly elected Provincial Ministers and Custodes will not take place in January 2019. Because of this, the January 2019 Tempo Forte will take place from January 7th to 18th; this schedule will also allow the Minister General to participate in the World Youth Day in Panama from January 22nd to 27th, 2019.

The next Tempo Forte will be held at the General Curia from May 7th to 18th, 2018.

 

 

Rome, 10th April, 2018

Br. Giovanni Rinaldi, OFM
Secretary General

RIP: Br. Henry Howaniec OFM, Bishop of Almaty, Kazakhstan

Br. Henry Howaniec embraced Sister Death on Good Friday, March 30, 2018, in the 87th year of his life, the 66th year of his religious profession, the 62nd year of his priestly ordination and the 17th year of his episcopal ordination.

Br. Henry was born on February 14, 1931 in Chicago, Illinois and entered the Franciscans of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Province, Pulaski, Wisconsin in 1948, receiving the religious name, Theophil.

In 1967 Br. Henry made his way to our General Curia, Rome, Italy where he assumed his new responsibilities in the offices of the General Secretary, Protocal, and Translations. While in Rome he studied at the Antonianum, and at the Christian Russian Center in Bergamo, Italy.

In 1993 Br. Henry was missioned to Kazakhstan and engaged in pastoral ministry in Almaty, the ancient capital of Kazakhstan, where five friars served the church in various activities, including pastoral care, management of an orphanage, preparation for and administration of the sacraments and medical services.

Br. Henry was named head of the Apostolic Administration of Almaty on September 26, 1999 and named Bishop of Almaty with a titular see of Acolla on October 18, 2000.

Bishop Henry left Kazakhstan for the United States to renew his visa with the intention of returning to Almaty. He became ill and was never able to realize his dream. His last days were spent at the Milwaukee Catholic Home where he embraced Sister Death. The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on April 4, 2018. Burial at the ABVM Provincial Cemetery, Pulaski, Wisconsin.

May the soul of our brother, Henry, rest in the peace of Christ, Amen.

Appointment of Br. Luis Antonio Scozzina, OFM as bishop of Orán, Argentina

The Pope has appointed as bishop of the diocese of Orán, Argentina, Br. Luis Antonio Scozzina, OFM, currently coordinator of the “Santo Tomás de Aquino” Institute of the Rosario Campus of the Catholic University of Argentina.

 

Br. Luis Antonio Scozzina, OFM

Br. Luis Antonio Scozzina, OFM, was born on 6 May 1951 in the city of San Lorenzo, Province of Santa Fe. He received scholastic education at the “San Carlos” and “San Francisco Solano” colleges of the Franciscan Friars and carried out his ecclesiastical studies at the “Máximo” school of the Jesuit Fathers in San Miguel.

On 9 March 1980 he was ordained a priest and incardinated in the Order of Friars Minor.

As a priest he has served in the following roles: vice master of aspirants and master of the Temporary Professed in San Lorenzo (Santa Fe); superior of the Province “San Miguel” in Rosario; rector of the “Fray Luis Bolaños” Franciscan Theological Institute in San Antonio de Padua, Buenos Aires; dean of the “Fr. R. Bacon” Faculty of Chemistry and Engineering of the Catholic University of Argentina; head of animation of “Justicia y Paz” and “Integración de la Creación” for the Franciscans of the Southern Cone; parish priest of “San Francisco Solano” in the archdiocese of Rosario; guardian of the “San Francisco” Convent in Santa Fe.

He is currently coordinator of the “Santo Tomás de Aquino” Institute of the Rosario Campus of the Catholic University of Argentina.

JPIC Newsletter: CONTACT (01-03.2018)

Dear sisters and brothers,

Happy Easter!

We wish all of you the blessings of the Risen Christ!

Here is the latest edition of “CONTACT” in 2018 with the joy of Easter:

 

English – CONTACT

Español – CONTACTO

Italiano – CONTATTO

 

The “CONTACT” is an open space where you can share stories and information on your JPIC ministry. You can send your stories to pax@ofm.org. The next issue of “CONTACT” will be published in June 2018.

We ask you to circulate our JPIC quarterly bulletin “CONTACT” among the brothers in your entities. We believe that communication is even more important than publication.

This is the Facebook page of the JPIC General Office. Visit our page: https://www.facebook.com/ofmjpic/

We pray for you, sister and brothers, that our Lord may give you the new spirit and courage.

 

Fraternally yours,

Jaime Campos, OFM & Rufino Lim, OFM

 

CTC No. 52 (03.2018)

It is with real joy and some emotion that we present Number 52 of the review cTc which we have chosen to dedicate to the first 50 years of the Pro Monialibus Office of which cTc itself is the ‘child’. In these opening lines which, this time, we have borrowed from the Delegate General, we, the editorial team, would like to express the gratitude of all the sisters, to the Friars Minor. They, immediately after the Second Vatican Council, enabled the nuns of the Second Order to advance along the path of renewal indicated by the Church in the decree Perfectae Caritatis.

Now, when naturally the group of brothers and sisters is dwindling who could tell at first hand that significant part of the story, now we feel a need to make sure we do not lose the memories which form a vital link with a history to which we belong and which belongs to us all. For this reason we ‘knocked at the door’ of those brothers who accompanied us as Delegates Pro Monialibus. We have asked for memories, for a testimony or an echo of that fraternal ministry which they gave us. And the brothers have proved themselves caring and generous once again.

However the first three Delegates are now dead but we could not neglect to gather something from their experience which paved the way and cleared the path along which we were then able to walk! Therefore the help of Sr. Chiara Agnese Acquadro, Abbess of the Protomonastery of Santa Chiara, has been most precious because she patiently sifted through the text of a number of editions of Pro Monialibus and copied them out for us. From this, we have been able to insert what was missing in our own mosaic of the fruitful care and solicitude shown us by the OFM Curia.

The newly established Pro Monialibus Office collaborated with the work of an ad hoc commission composed of sisters from different parts of the world. This was formed in order to count and catalogue the responses sent by the monasteries in preparation for the new General Constitutions. The President of the English Federation told us that two sisters of that Commission are still alive and this pushed us to contact them in the hope of receiving their memories of that unique experience, which was also certainly a pioneering experience, of ‘inter-clarian’ collaboration. The writings of Sister Mary Francis and Sister Marie-Claire close this edition. They are a precious gift which makes us feel that we too are part of a fruitful tradition which in our own time is able to give shape to the ‘holy working’ of the Spirit of the Lord.

The Sisters of the Editorial Team

 

 

Download PDF – CTC No. 52 (03.2018)

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