A rendi központ hírei - olasz nyelven

2018 Meeting of the Minister General with new Ministers Provincials and Custodes

The Annual Meeting of the Minister General and his Definitory with the newly elected Ministers and Custodes for 2018 was officially opened with the celebration of the Eucharist presided over by the Vicar General, Br. Julio Bunader, OFM (Homily: English – Español – Italiano). The meeting is taking place at the General Curia in Rome and will run from Jan. 17 to 25, 2018.

The new Ministers Provincials and Custodes:

Br. Rogerio Viterbo de Sousa  – N.D. Septem Gaudiorum Cust. Aut., Brasilia
Br. René Bustamante  – S. Antonii Prov. Missionaria, Bolivia
Br. Alejandro Adolfo Wiesse León  – S. Francisci Solano Prov., Peruvia
Br. Yusuf Bagh – S. Joannis Baptistae Cust. Aut., Pakistania
Br. Gabriel Ngga – S. Francis Herald of Peace Prov., West Papua
Br. Mikael Peruhe – S. Michaëlis Archangeli Prov., Indonesia
Br. Isauro Covili – SS. Trinitatis Prov., Chilia
Br. Juan Manuel Muñoz Curiel – SS. Francisci et Jacobi Prov., Mexico
Br. Flavio Chávez García – SS. Petri et Pauli Prov., Mexico
Br. Pierre Charland – S. Joseph Sponsi B.M.V. Prov., Canada
Br. Aidan McGrath – Hiberniae Prov., Hibernia (Ireland)
Br. Thomas Nairn – SS. Cordis Jesu Prov., USA
Br. Mark Soehner – S. Joannis Baptistae Prov., USA
Br. Teofil Czarniak – Immaculat. Concept. B.V.M. Prov., Polonia
Br. Jacek Koman – S. Mariae Angelorum Prov., Polonia
Br. Jakub František Sadílek – Bohemiae et Moraviae S. Venceslai Prov., Ceca Republica
Br. Juan Carlos Moya Ovejero – Immac. Conc. Prov., Hispania
Br. Amaral Bernardo Amaral – S. Clarae Cust. Aut., Mozambicum

The Commission on the Order’s Ministry in Education meets for the first time

The Commission on the Order’s Ministry in Education had its first meeting at the General Curia from January 7th to 10th, 2018. The meeting was convened by Br. Russel Murray General Animator for Evangelization. The members of the Commission are: Br. Rashid Mistrih, Custody of the Holy Land; Br. Walter Verdezoto, Province of St. Francis in Quito, Ecuador; and Br. Neil Badillo, Custody of St. Anthony of Padua, the Philippines. We send our best wishes to the brothers, hoping that their work will produce abundant fruit, and we assure them the support of our prayers as they carry out the work entrusted to them by the Order.

2018 JPIC Course: “Migration: Causes, walls, and Franciscan perspectives”

 

Dear brothers,

Hearty greetings of peace!

I’m glad to inform you about the international JPIC course 2018. We hold this year’s course in Guadalajara, Mexico on the theme, “Migration: Causes, walls, and Franciscan perspectives.” We hope this could be a good opportunity for the formation of the JPIC animators and building network of communication. It’s also open to the Franciscan family and others except for the first day which is meant only for the new animators.

Please download  the convocation letter of the Minister General, the program, and the practical information:  English – Español – Italiano

The participants should register until March 31.

May the Lord bless all of you!

 

Fraternally,

Br. Jaime Campos OFM

JPIC Newsletter: CONTACT (10-12.2017)

Dear brothers and sisters,

We send you the recent edition of “CONTACT” in 2017 with warm wishes for Christmas and the new year. 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 March 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.

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

 

English – CONTACT

Español – CONTACTO

Italiano – CONTATTO

 

Fraternally yours,

Jaime Campos F. & Rufino Lim

Sister Marie of the Trinity: her weakness and the Lord’s mercy

Sister Marie of the Trinity 

 Luisa Jaques

(Pretoria, South Africa 1901 – Jerusalem 1942)

“There is no God – everything people say about Him is a joke. Life isn’t worth living.” A long series of useless sacrifice and struggle brought me to the point of thinking that there is no God! […] I knew despair! To die, to die…”

With these words Sister Marie of the Trinity begins “the story of her conversion: her weakness and the Lord’s mercy,” as she called it, that on the night between the 13th and the 14th of February 1926 led her to the light of faith within the Catholic Church and later to become a Poor Clare in Jerusalem.

Sr. Mary of the Trinity—Luisa Jaques, as she was known in her early life, was born on 26 April 1901 in South Africa, where her father was a Protestant pastor and founder of missions in Pretoria and Johannesburg. Her mother died in childbirth, and Louise was raised in Switzerland, her family’s country of origin, by an aunt. A strong will and strong principles combined with a very fragile state of health, repeated disappointments at work, a failed relationship with a married man, and great loneliness due to her beloved family being so far away brought her, at the age of twenty-five to not understanding the meaning of life and to make the bitter pronouncement: “There is not God”. But it was during this night that “despair entered the light”: a presence came to her, “a religious sister wearing a deep brown garment, belted with a cord”. From this moment on she was reborn in an “irresistible attraction” to the cloister, and an ardent desire to receive the Eucharist. Thus began the journey that would lead her to become a child of the Catholic Church.

Her health increasingly weakened by tuberculosis and the too-recent conversion constantly thwarted Luisa’s attempts to enter a religious institute, but this long trial lived in faith while seeking the will of God proved to be a slow and patient work of grace.

In 1938, in the Poor Clare monastery in Jerusalem, Sr. Marie of the Trinity finally found refuge where God was awaiting her and an interior voice, the Lord Jesus. She found direction in the day-to-day of a life offered up in in fraternal charity, silence, service. In His own time, the Lord Himself revealed its meaning: “You must forget yourself and discover My Voice” (cf. n. 1) In obedience to her spiritual father, Sr. Marie wrote these “Notes”.

This notebook, with the story of her conversion and vocation, has been published and translated in over seven languages (The Spiritual Legacy of Sister Mary of the Holy Trinity Poor Clare of Jerusalem (1901-1942), ed. Rev. Silvère van den Broek ofm in cooperation with the Poor Clares Corpus Christi Monastery, Tan Books and Publishers, Rockford, Illinois, 1981). In his preface to the French edition (Qu’un même amour nous rassemble, Apostolat des éditions, Paris 1977), Hans Urs Von Balthasar emphasizes the main lines of her spirituality : listening to the interior voice of the Lord, profound awareness of the free will God allows his created beings in choosing to respond to him, and the Vow of Victimhood considered as “a high degree of availability and non-resistance to all God’s decisions” within a profound Eucharistic orientation.

Having fallen ill with typhoid fever, Sr. Marie of the Trinity died peacefully at the age of 41 on the 25th of June 1942, leaving behind a silent but glowing testimony of Christian life.

Source: Poor Clares in Jerusalem | Custody of the Holy Land

 

RIP: Br. Francesco Bravi, OFM, former Vicar General

On the morning of December 28th 2017, in the friary of Sabbioncello of Merate, Br. FRANCESCO BRAVI, former Vicar General and former Minister Provincial died at 61 years of age.

The funeral will be celebrated on Saturday, December 30th at 11:00 am in the Church of San Angelo in Milan (Piazza S. Angelo, 2, Milan).  The wake will be held on Friday, December 29th at 8.30pm at Sabbioncello of Merate.

Obituary (in italian)

Animation Guidelines of the General Definitory for 2018 and 2019

Moving to the Peripheries as Brothers and ‘Lesser Ones’ Animation Guidelines of the General Definitory for 2018 and 2019

Download PDF: English – Español – Italiano – Français – Polski – Português – Hrvatski

PREFACE

Dear brothers, may the Lord give you peace!

As we did for 2016-2017, we would like to present you with the guidelines for the next two years (2018-2019). These can be used as a tool for reflection, comparison and discernment in community, to help us deepen the realities in which we live and give new impetus to Inter-religious dialogue.

It is our hope that the whole order may in some way join journey of preparation and eventual celebration of the Order’s Plenary Council which will be in June 2018, inviting every local community to devote some time to examine the realities of the world, of the Church and of the Order. The fruit of reflection and brotherly discernment can change our life and the way we live our charism today in the different places where we live and work.

Secondly, we want to look to St. Francis who with his life and evangelical witness became a brother to the whole universe. In his universality, he today is the person who can most open the doors to dialogue. In this rapidly changing world, in which more and more conflicts arise, dialogue becomes a bridge of interaction that contributes to the construction of true peace. That is why the 8th centennial of the meeting of St. Francis with the Sultan in 2019, will be an opportunity and a further stimulus for all of us to deepen inter-religious dialogue.

Finally, with the hope that these pages can help every community discern what the spirit says to the Friars Minor today, I urge you brothers to devote yourselves completely seeking for what God desires from each of us, authentically living the Gospel, charism and mission of our Order.

May the Lord bless you and always accompany you on the journey.

 

Rome, 08 December 2017
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of B.V.M.

Br. Michael Perry, OFM
General Minister

Prot. 107938 

 

INTRODUCTION

Dear brothers,

We want to present in this booklet what will be the horizon of inspiration for our service of animation and governance of our Order for the next two years, 2018 and 2019.

As we did immediately after the General Chapter, with the 2016-2017 Guidelines, Moving to the Peripheries as Brothers and “Lesser Ones”, we (want to) follow a general theme, thinking of a sexennial plan of two years at a time, in view of a journey of communion with the whole Church, according to our charism.

In the year 2018 we will celebrate our CPO in which we want to “listen, discern and go forth.” It will be a time to take a closer look at the realities in which we are present in different parts of the world, be it in different societies, the church and the Order. (It will be) a time to discern together and therefore to live and implement concretely, in docility, what the Spirit is telling us today.

Moreover, the Episcopal Synod for Youth will be celebrated in 2018 and we want to be (especially) attentive to the reality of the young people wherever we are present. (We desire to reach out) to them with a more sensitive and welcoming action.

Finally, in 2019 we will celebrate the eighth centenary of the meeting of St. Francis with the Sultan al-Malik al-Kamil that took place in Damietta in 1219. We also want to embody a life of dialogue: not only by remembering not just the witness of St Francis, but also by seeking together concrete ways for the possibility of a peaceful relationship between Christians and Muslims. In many parts of the world the presence of other religions grows and we Franciscans are called to live and testify to dialogue and peace with different religions and cultures.

 


2018 Brothers and lesser ones moving towards…  CPO: “Listen, Discern, Go Forth …” 2018 Youth Synod

 

 

“Whoever has ears ought to hear what the Spirit says…” (Rev 2:29) to the Friars Minor

 

First of all, we want to emphasize Jesus’s mandate: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.” (Mk 16:15). This implies a profound knowledge of the realities of where we are, or where we go to carry out our mission.

It is the same Jesus who urges us to look beyond the appearance of the events to grasp its profound meaning: “You know how to judge the appearance of the sky, but you cannot judge the signs of the times.” (Mt 16.3). He guarantees that we are not alone in this necessary and challenging discernment: “The Advocate, the holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name – he will teach you everything.” (Jn 14.26). With this evangelical perspective we move towards the CPO to listen, discern and go forth.

“The Plenary Council of the Order (CPO) is a “synodal” experience of consultation, in order to sharpen our gaze on reality at the level of conferences and continents, to better grasp the presence of the “signs of the times” (GS 4; EG 51), their positive aspects, in keeping with the Gospel, and those aspects that conflict with or weaken the church’s mission. In both cases, we are dealing with provocations to change, in documented and participatory ways, so as to support a common reflection that is as creative as possible, with orientations and choices that will be owned the Order for the coming years. “Listening, discerning, going forth” is the triad of verbs that expresses well the process we are about to embark on” (Introduction to the methodology of CPO 2018).

The proposed itinerary wants to think of this event as an important step of the way of the Order in the ongoing Sexennium (2015-2021), a pause to listen and discern at several levels our witness and evangelization in today’s world, and therefore a revitalization for the animation of the next three years (2018-2021), in view of the next General Chapter.

Every community can do its own reflection on the themes of the CPO with an attitude of analysis and listening:

  • epochal changes in society and culture, in the church and in the OFM, to discover the signs of the times that guide renewal and change in keeping with our mission;
  • a glimpse at the general elements of Culture, Church and Order today:
    • general elements of culture (vision of the human person and the world, religion and spirituality, communication, that is, how dpes social media affect culture and the perception of the world, the world of relationships with the other, interpersonal relationships, affection and family, young people, their choices, their vision of life, the theme of work-fiesta-free time, education and school);
    • listening to youth;
    • listening to the Church (data, options, pastoral strategies, charity, lines of evangelization).

Regarding youth culture, “the Church has decided to examine herself on how she can lead young people to recognize and accept the call to the fullness of life and love, and to ask young people to help her in identifying the most effective ways to announce the Good News today”(preparatory document of the XV Ordinary General Assembly: Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment, 13 January 2017).

“From Krakow to Panama. But, along the way there let’s have a synod, a synod from which no young person must feel excluded. ““Let’s hold the Synod for young Catholics, … No! The Synod is meant to be the Synod for and of all young people. Young people are its protagonists. ‘But even young people who consider themselves agnostics?’ – Yes! – “Even young people whose faith is lukewarm?” – Yes! – ‘Even young people who no longer go to Church?’ – Yes! – ‘Even young people who – I don’t know if there are any here, maybe one or two – consider themselves atheists?’ – Yes! – This is the Synod of young people and we want to listen to one another. Every young person has something to say to others. He or she has something to say to adults, something to say to priests, sisters, bishops and even the Pope. All of us need to listen to you!” (Pope Francis, Prayer Vigil in preparation for World Youth Day, Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, 8 April 2017).

Friar Michael Anthony Perry, general Minister, has already invited young people to participate in the Synod:

“As Friars Minor called by the Lord ‘to listen to others with sincere charity and respect, and to learn from the men and women among whom they live,’ (GGCC 93 § 1), the invitation of Pope Francis should resonate deeply in our hearts and minds, and find us ready to respond humbly and with reverence listen to the young people whom we are privileged to serve, and also creating spaces for their voices to be heard so that together we can prepare for the Synod of 2018” (Rome, February 1, 2017).

For animation

We invite every community and every entity of the Order, after listening, discerning, going forth, to incorporate in its project of life and mission the ways identified for living Franciscan identity in the different contexts of our changing world.

 

Some questions for reflection in Community

  1. What are the most significant changes we can identify in our days about our different contexts: Society, Church and Order on a global and local level? What does the spirit tell us, through the different voices that come through these contexts?
  2. What can we do to live a simpler Franciscan lifestyle, so that today we can be a prophetic and meaningful sign for the context in which we live?
  3. What are the steps needed to go towards young people and what language should we use to draw them to the Gospel?

 

2019 Brothers and Lesser Ones Moving Towards… Dialogue Francis goes to the Sultan – Damietta

 

 

“An attitude of openness in truth and love must characterize dialogue” (EG 250)

 

Jesus enters into dialogue with everyone: pharisees, public sinner, Samaritans. We see it in the Gospel in different places. For example, in Lk 19:5-7 we read: “When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house.’ And he came down quickly and received him with joy. When they all saw this, they began to grumble, saying, ‘He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner.’…” And again in Jn 4:7.9 we have the following text:: “A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, ‘Give me a drink.’ The Samaritan woman said to him, ‘How can you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?’ …”

In celebrating the 800 years of the meeting of St. Francis with the Sultan al-Malik al-Kamil, we also celebrate eight centuries of the Franciscan presence in Egypt, in the Holy Land and in Morocco. The presence of St. Francis and his companions in these places was a novelty in that period, characterized by the Crusades. The way he and another friar arrived and gained the trust of the Saracens opens a way for dialogue for our day.

The story tells that Francis left in 1219 from Ancona to acres in Syria, finally arriving at Damietta, where the army of the Crusades was camped. The saint saw the immorality and looting by the Crusaders, experiencing once again that the war is not right and does not like God. Francis warned that an attack on the Muslim army would not succeed. In September of 1219, he left with his companion, Fr. Enlightened, up to the Sultan’s encampment to proclaim the gospel. A variety of Latin sources document the historicity of the encounter between Francis and the Sultan.

The story tells that Francis left in 1219 from Ancona to Acres in Syria,  finally arriving at Damietta, where the army of the Crusades was camped. The saint saw the immorality and looting by the Crusaders, experiencing once again that the war is not right and God does not approve of warfare. Francis warned that an attack on the Muslim army would not succeed. In September of 1219, he and his companion, Friar Illuminato went to the Sultan’s encampment to proclaim the gospel. A variety of Latin sources document the historicity of the encounter between Francis and the Sultan.

The primary source on the visit of Francis to the Sultan in Damietta in February or March of 1220 is the Bishop of Acres, Jacques da Vitry. He did not understand St. Francis’s intuition or even the spirit that compelled him to go forth to his Muslim sisters and brothers. In a letter he described the carnage of the Crusades against the Muslims and the occupation of Damietta that had been almost completely decimated by a plague. Afterwards he writes:

“The leader of these friars, namely the founder of this Order [is called Friar Francis: a kind man that is venerated by everyone], came to our army, lit by the zeal of the faith, did not fear to have himself taken to the army of our enemies and for many days he preached God’s Word to the Saracens, but without much fruit. The Sultan, King of Egypt, however begged him, in secret, to plead for him the Lord so that he might, guided by divine inspiration, adhere to that religion that most pleased God “ (Letter to Pope Honorius III on the taking of Damietta).

Jacques da Vitry himself wrote in the 1221 in his Historia occidentalis: “for some days (the Sultan) listened very attentively to Francis as he preached Christ to him and his. But ultimately, fearing that some of his soldiers would be converted to the Lord by the efficacy of his words and pass over to the Christian army, he ordered that Francis with all reverence and security be returned to our camp. As he took his leave of Francis, (the Sultan) asked “Pray for me, that God may deign to reveal to me the law and the faith which is most pleasing to Him.” (Historia Occidentalis, chapter 32)

Going to a person of another religion is to undertake a mission of peace in the humility of service. Steadfast in faith and love for all the brothers and sisters, St Francis opens the way to all the good that God can accomplish. Humility, the testimony of faith and truth, put together with the desire for encounter, allowed Francis and his friars to approach their Muslim brothers and sisters.

Dialogue is a two way street, nonetheless, nonetheless Francis teaches us that the initiative of going forth to encounter the other as a sister or brother is indispensable. Friendship is the bridge of dialogue and the starting point is listening.

In a rapidly changing world, societies call us as religious to cooperate as best we can in the construction of a future of peace and respectful and serene coexistence.

As Franciscans we are driven by the Gospel to take the initiative and to go out towards our sisters and brothers to build dialogue. The “church which goes forth” that Pope Francisco speaks is the one that takes initiative and moves towards encounter (cf. EG 24). The “Spirit of Assisi” has opened the road for us when St John Paul II used it with great wisdom, giving the Church a new impetus to encounter the other, Christian or not.

Pope Francis always wants to remember that “Non-Christians, by God’s gracious initiative, when they are faithful to their own consciences, can live ‘justified by the grace of God,’ and thus be ‘associated to the paschal mystery of Jesus Christ’.” (EG 254). It is therefore advisable to reflect and take concrete steps to respond to such a great need for dialogue in today’s world.

For animation

We invite every community and every entity of the Order, to move or to continue to go forth to other religions, to initiate dialogue as friends and missionaries of the Gospel, of Truth and peace, for the good of humanity. Another important aspect of collaboration and dialogue can be to work together for peace and the safeguarding of creation.

Among the documents of the Order, we recommend the series of texts that the “ Service of dialogue” prepared in the recent past as instruments to reflect, discern and design a more open and ready life for dialogue. These books will soon be published online in various languages. Their titles are: Life as Dialogue (Venice-Rome, 2002), The Ecumenical Vocation of the Franciscans (Venice-Rome, 2003), Dialogue of Believers (Venice-Rome, 2006), and One Faith in Many Cultures (Venice-Rome, 2009).

As support for the brothers doing the work of dialogue, especially with our Muslim brothers and sisters, the Subcommittee of the Order for dialogue with Islam will prepare two sets of proposals. These proposals spring from the proximity of the anniversary of the encounter in Damietta.

The first proposal is to provide the brothers resources and texts of prayer and formation for ongoing formation, concerning the Catholic-Muslim dialogue, as well as the preparation for the commemoration of St. Francis’s encounter with the Sultan al-Malik Al-Kamil.

The second includes an academic conference to research the contemporary significance of the meeting that took place in Damietta. This will be carried out in collaboration with the study centers of the Order and a meeting of the brothers working in Muslim majority countries. In this way, the friars thus involved in this dialogue will be able to share the fruits of their work and experience, deepening their actual commitment: “to go humbly and devoutly among the nations of Islam, for whom also no one is all-powerful except God.” (GGCC 95.3).

 

Some questions for reflection in Community

  1. Aware that dialogue is a necessary attitude to authentically live Franciscan life, what tools can we use to improve dialogue internally in our brotherhood and in the environment in which we are present and in which we are working?
  2. If we do not yet have an attitude of inter-religious dialogue, what can we do to go out to people of other religions and initiate such dialogue?
  3. What can we do to celebrate the anniversary of Francis’s encounter with the Sultan in Damietta? How can we promote it in Christian and non-Christian communities of our planet?

 

The Servants of God Tullio Maruzzo, OFM and Luis Obdulio Arroyo Navarro

Promulgation of Decrees of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints

 

On October 9, 2017, Pope Francis received in audience his Eminence Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. He authorized the Dicasterate to promulgate a Decree on the martyrdom of the servants of God Tullio Maruzzo, a priest of the order of Friars Minor and Luis Obdulio Arroyo Navarro, a layman of the third order of Saint Francis of Assisi, killed on July 1, 1981 in odium fidei in Los Amates, in the Apostolic Vicariate, Izabal in Guatemala.

 

Friar Tullio (Marcello) Maruzzo

Friar Tullio (Marcello) Maruzzo was born in Lapio of Arcugnano (Vicenza) on July 23, 1929. Educated at a deeply Christian family in 1939, he joined the seraphic College of the Friars Minor of Veneto in Chiampo. He made his solemn profession in 1951. He was ordained on June 21, 1953. In December 1960 he went as a missionary to Guatemala. His pastoral activity was done in the parishes of the Vicariate of Izabal, where with dedication and courage he exerted himself for the good of the faithful. Sensitive to cries of the poor peasants who because of the greed of a few landowners were dispossessed from the land that they were improving with hard work. His work as pastor was to address rampant poverty, to console the disheartened and especially to illuminate consciences to clearly promote the rights of Justice according to the dictates of the Gospel. His pastoral activity took on the character of a prophetic and courageous denunciation of the abuses of local despots who then decreed his suppression.

 

Luis Obdulio Arroyo Navarro

Luis Obdulio Arroyo Navarro was the faithful companion that the Lord placed next to Br. Tullio in the moment of ultimate sacrifice. He was born in Quiriguá (Guatemala) on 21 June 1950. He worked as a driver for the municipality of Los Amates. At the age of 26 years he joined the Franciscan third order, and become a Catechist in the parish. On the evening of 1 July 1981, on the way back from a meeting of Cursillos of Christianity, de Los Amates, Br. Tullio and Luis Obdulio fell victim to an ambush by those who wanted to silence their work of evangelization. Their cause of beatification, promoted by the Veneto province of Friars Minor, began in the year 2005.

Online Seminar on Franciscanism in Spanish language

The Theological Institute of Murcia is offering an online Seminar in Spanish beginning this year on Franciscanism entitled “The Franciscan Heritage: Experience, Reflection, Current.” The course consists of three parts: the first is dedicated to the study of the biography and the writings of Francis and Clare; the second part deepens the theme of the Franciscan movement in the first centuries; the third part studies Franciscan thought and the “Franciscan school” (Bonaventure, Duns Scotus, etc.). The program is open to anyone interested in expanding his/her intellectual knowledge of Franciscanism. No minimum educational level is required, although it should be noted that the lessons are designed for university students. The professors will be from the Theological Institute.

The seminar is offered in e-learning mode. Content is accessed through the virtual classroom of the OFM Theological Institute of Murcia. Online learning is tailored to the needs and schedules of each participant: the virtual classroom is accessible 24 hours a day. This year’s course is presented as a preparatory course and other courses are scheduled for the coming years.

For information, email legadofranciscano@itmfranciscano.org or visit www.itmfranciscano.org

 

Communique from the General Definitory – Tempo Forte of September 2017

The September 2017 Tempo Forte was held from September 11th to 22nd; during the first week (11th to 15th), the meetings were held at the General Curia in Rome, while the second week (18th – 22nd) saw all the members of the General Definitory go to Turkey for a pilgrimage to the Churches of the Apocalypse and to participate in the blessing of the newly-renovated Friary and Church at Bornova, Izmir (Smyrna).

During the first week, on September 11th, the new Definitor General was elected — Br. Jürgen Neitzert OFM, from the Province of St. Elizabeth, Germany.

The following General Visitators were elected:

  • Ivo Müller, OFM, from the Province of the Immaculate Conception of the BVM, Brazil, for the Custody of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Brazil;
  • Michael Kleinhans, OFM, of the Province of the Assumption of the BVM, Brazil, for the Province of the Immaculate Conception of the BVM, Brazil;
  • Wim Pot, OFM, of the Province of the Holy Martyrs of Gorcum, the Netherlands, for the Province of St. Elizabeth, Germany.

 

Four work sessions were dedicated to the preparation of the Plenary Council of the Order (PCO), which will be held in Nairobi, Kenya, from June 12th to 28th, 2018. Br. Manuel Corullón Fernández, the Secretary of the PCO, attended these sessions, as did Br. Matteo Giuliani, OFM.

A committee was appointed for the preparation of the Chapter of Mats for ‘Under Tens’, which will be held in Taizé, France, from July 7th to 14th, 2019.

During the morning session on Thursday, September 14th, representatives from Price Waterhouse Coopers made a presentation to the General Definitory on the outcome of an audit of the accounting and finances of the General Curia. The Minister General will soon communicate further detail on this audit to the Order. Also that morning, Br. John Puodziunas, OFM, the General Treasurer, gave a report on the state of the accounting and finances of the General Curia.

The General Definitory took note of the availability of some Friars (from various Entities of the Order) to participate in projects dependent on the Minister General. They also accepted the request of some other friars to end their missionary experience in these projects.

The following requests were examined:

  • dispensation from the clerical state (3);
  • secularisation ad experimentum (3);
  • secularisation pure et simpliciter (2);
  • dismissal from the Order (1);
  • dismissal Ipso facto (3);
  • exclaustration for three years (1);
  • dispensation from Temporary Vows (1).

 

In addition, the acts of the Custodial Chapter of the Custody of St. Clare in Mozambique were ratified, as were the Capitular Congresses of the Provinces of Our Lady of Guadalupe (USA), and St. Bonaventure (Italy). Finally, there were presentations of the final Visitation reports of the Provinces of Ireland, St. James of the Marches (Italy), St. Bonaventure (Italy), Immaculate Conception (Poland), St. Mary of the Angels (Poland), and Our Lady of Arantzazu (Spain)

The next Tempo Forte takes place at the General Curia from November 6th to 17th, 2017.

 

Rome, October 11th, 2017

Br. Giovanni Rinaldi, OFM
Secretary General

Letter from the Second National Meeting of the Franciscan Lay Brothers

We, seventy brothers of four Franciscan branches (OFM, OFM Cap, OFM Conv and TOR), met from September 7 to 10, 2017, in the municipality of Vila Velha – ES.  The objective of this Second National Meeting of Franciscan Lay Brothers was to promote a fraternal spirit among the brothers of Brazil and to reflect on the Consecrated Religious Life in its process of transformation, from the perspective of the Franciscan lay brother.

Taking up once again the reflections and propositions of the previous national meeting, held in 2015, we feel the need to know ourselves more fully as brothers of a larger family, one that is beyond our own obedience or branch.  It is a family in which brothers of different names rediscover and help one another, draw up common plans, divide up work and take joint action.  This helps us promote the process bringing together the four branches of the Family, realizing that being a brother and a minor has a profound meaning for the Consecrated Life and for the Church, as well as a prophetic force in the world today.

In this context, in line with the Final Letter of the CFFB 2017 Chapter of Mats of Aparecida and taking into account the disruption of the political and institutional fabric of our country (which is based on lies created and disseminated by the media), we, brothers and minors of our time, want to proclaim along with all the poor and social movements: “no to the loss of rights.”  Water is a creature of God and must belong to all sons and daughters of God, not to be given to the “god” money. Life is sacred and, especially in the indigenous struggles, it has been threatened and massacred.

Friar Luiz Carlos Susin, OFMCap, provided us with an historical summary of aspects of Consecrated Religious Life, including that of clericalism in our midst.  He encouraged us to return to the “mysticism” of being Friar Minor, and reflected with us deeply on four verbs: GO BACK TO THE SOURCES, REGENERATE, SET OUT ANEW and REQUALIFY.

As a result of our time together we encourage all to:

  • EMPHASIZE in vocational promotion and initial formation the essential and prophetic dimension of being a brother as the foundational identity of the Franciscan charism, using this insight to prepare common materials for all branches;
  • AVOID use of hierarchical pyramidal models and encourage the participation of lay brothers in decision-making. Meetings of the brothers should be encouraged;
  • HIGHLIGHT ministries that go beyond traditional spaces, creating new perspectives and broadening horizons so that we can be promotors of peace and integrity of creation, encourage itinerancy and be in solidarity with the cause of the poor and excluded;
  • CREATE an executive team composed of brothers of the four obediences with the following functions: send our proposals to the administrations of the various obediences and prepare the next national meeting; create and maintain social media; promote the production of materials.

In conclusion, we reaffirm our belief in this inter-obediential meeting as a unique space of mutual help, unity and protagonism of the Franciscan lay brother.

We ask the blessings of Our Lady of Penha so that we may continue to be faithful to our vocation, following in the footsteps of Jesus as his younger brothers.

Vila Velha (ES), September 10, 2017.

Ongoing formation on “Interculturality” at the General Curia

The friars of the General Curia gathered from September 25 to 28, 2017 for a series of ongoing formation conferences.

Friars who live and work in the General Curia come from different entities of the Order from different countries, thus the sessions focused on various intercultural themes. Intercultural issues and how to work together in an intercultural context were addressed not only in theory but also through group discussions and other practical activities.  A major theme was on the knowledge of self and others as the basis of relationships and as a necessity for improvements in community life and efficiency of services in intercultural contexts such as that of the General Curia.

Four speakers presented the following themes:

Rev. Arturo Sosa Abascal, SJ, Jesuit superior general: “Interculturality”
Dr. Mario Becciu: Assessment and Verification of Living and Working Together in Brotherhood”
Rev. Tim Norton and Rev. Robert Kisala, Missionaries of the Society of the Divine Word: “Living and Growing with Diversity”.

The event ended with a solemn Eucharistic Celebration presided by the General Minister, Br. Michael Perry.  For his homily click here.

Chapter of Union Dates for the OFM Presences in Canada Announced

A three-day meeting, September 26-27, 2017, at Mount St. Francis Retreat Centre in Cochrane, Alberta, Canada, of the Definitories of the Province of Christ the King (Western Canada) and the Saint Joseph Province (Eastern Canada) has led to some important announcements toward the restructuring and revitalisation of the OFM presences in Canada.  Two fraternal gatherings, a Chapter of Mats, April 23-26, 2018, and a Chapter of Union, October 21-25, 2018, have been announced.  It is anticipated that the Minister General and English Speaking General Definitor will be present for the Chapter of Union.  Under the guidance of a General Delegate, Friar Peter Williams, OFM, a Transition Committee is working to organize both events, while liaising with several subcommittees who are addressing various aspects of the restructuring and revitalisation process.  Work in progress includes, but is not limited to, discernment and consultation around mission and evangelisation, formation, communication, provincial statutes, liturgy, the administration of goods, and a name and logo for the new Province.

Transitus and Feast of St. Francis at the General Curia 2017

The feast of our Seraphic Father Saint Francis of Assisi was celebrated at the General Curia on October 3 and 4.

On the evening of the 3rd, Br. Rufino Lim, OFM, of the Justice and Peace Office, presided at the Transitus. The church of Santa Maria Mediatrice was completely packed with religious sisters from various Congregations, nearby Franciscan communities and friends. A social in the cloister of the Curia followed the liturgical celebration.

On the 4th of October, as is tradition, Fr. Viliam Dóci OP, Vicar of the Master of the Dominican Order for the Convento of Santa Sabina, presided at the solemn Eucharist.  He was accompanied by four other Dominican friars who joined the Curia community’s festivities.

Transitus

Feast Day of St. Francis

Banner photo courtesy of Fr. Dominik Jurczak OP

JPIC Newsletter: CONTACT (07-09.2017)

Dear brothers and sisters, fraternal greetings of peace!

As we celebrate the feast of St. Francis with joy, we greet you from our JPIC Office of the General Curia. We present the third issue of this year’s JPIC newsletter, «CONTACT». As we have already shared in the previous issues, we decided to opt for one of the three themes proposed by the International JPIC Council, held in Verona last year. In this issue, we’d like to bring attention on the changes in the lifestyle. We invite you to read this issue that shows the work of JPIC in some entities.

 

English – CONTACT

Español – CONTACTO

Italiano – CONTATTO

You are invited to read and share our «CONTACT» Newsletter, which allows us to be connected and to know the various initiatives around JPIC values within the Order’s entities.

Peace and all Good.

 

Jaime Campos F. & Rufino Lim

Saint Francis’ fresh look on a new world | Homily of the Minister General

“The whole point of (St. Francis’) point of view was that it looked out freshly upon a fresh world, that might have been made that morning. Save for the great primal things, the Creation and the Story of Eden, the first Christmas and the first Easter, the world had no history.” (G. K. Chesterton)

 

“A fresh look on a new world.” But how did our dear Brother Francis come to this deep awareness of the eternal and inextinguishable presence of the love and mercy of God in the world, in the hearts of each and every one of us, in his own life, and in the created universe? What was it that took place within his life that allowed him to look into the face of violence and hatred, war and destruction, the exploitative abuse of human beings and of the natural environment without giving up to hopelessness and losing all sense of the presence of goodness in all things that exist?

There are two sources behind and underneath the many different moments of personal conversion in Francis’ life. And let us not forget that Francis did not change his life once and for all when he divested himself of his father’s rich legacy and wrapped himself in the cloth of the poor. Like all human beings, Francis continually was brought to a moment of decision where he had to make a choice for the good or the bad, for God and humanity or for his own egotistical pursuits. These two sources stand side by side and cannot be de-linked one from another.

In the first instance, Francis came face to face with the presence of evil that took many forms – violence and war between competing city states in Italy; avarice and systematic exploitation of the poor and weak; the competition for God and power waged between the Church, the Potesta, the landed aristocracy, and the emerging merchant class. Francis came increasingly in contact with those who suffered most in the society of Assisi. He also witnessed firsthand the consequences of violence, the slow process of dehumanization that occurred in his own heart, and in the hearts of all involved in the prosecution of war. What we are able to reconstruct from the initial stages of Francis’ conversion brings us face to face with the image, the face of the crucified and resurrected Lord Jesus hanging on the cross in the dilapidated church of San Damiano. It was the crucified Jesus who reached out from the cross and gently touched the pain and confusion within Francis’ life, not judging him, not scolding him. Francis experienced a God who is compassionate, merciful, all merciful, and who loves all without distinction. It was this experience of the compassion of Christ that opened Francis’ heart and mind to the possibility of recovering hope, peace, and joy.

The second aspect of Francis’ conversion process is linked with his direct contact with a humanity that was suffering, alienated, disfigured, and overwhelmed by a sense of hopelessness. We witness everywhere in the world today these destructive forces that deepen a sense of a culture of death: the move to end life through euthanasia in different countries in northern Europe; the random and senseless shooting rampages in Paris, London, Las Vegas, and also in Somalia, Yemen, Siria, and elsewhere in the world today; the mistreatment of refugees; the end of civil discourse among politicians and the abandonment of a sense of the common good. In all of these situations we recognize the level to which human beings have lost all sense of the dignity and beauty of life and have closed themselves within a vision of life that is not open to hope, to the presence of Someone standing behind, beneath, in front of and in the heart of human history, God. Francis also stood face to face with many different threats to dignity, hope, and the future of humanity and of God’s presence in our midst. Francis did not run or hide from the disfigured face of humanity. Rather than close himself off and protect himself, Francis chose to jump into the heart of the world, embracing and accompanying humanity, offering love, mercy, compassion, hope to all he encountered, just as Jesus did in his life and mission.

Dear brothers and sisters, our faith tells us that the birth of the new creation is a gift from God transmitted in and through the incarnation, suffering and death, and through the gift of the Resurrection. Our faith also tells us that the only way for this to become a reality in our lives is for us to make the daily choice to act as messengers of love, mercy, and hope. By choosing to embrace the way of compassion and love, we become members of the Body of Christ, co-creators with God in the act of new creation that is taking place in all events of history, an unstoppable act of gratuitous love brought to fulfillment in the life, death, and Resurrection of Jesus. May God’s Spirit set our hearts on fire and enable us to choose each day to embrace the way of the new creation in Christ Jesus!

Happy Feast of St. Francis!!

 

Br. Michael Anthony Perry, OFM
Feast of St. Francis of Assisi – 4 October 2017
Basilica di S. Francesco, Assisi

Honoring the Archangel Michael and Celebrating the Minister General’s Feast Day 2017

On September 29th, the Feast of the Archangels, the friars celebrated the Feast Day of the Minister General, Br. Michael A. Perry, OFM. The celebration began at 6:00pm in the General Curia with the Eucharist presided by the Minister General himself.

The friars of the General Curia participated with the other friars from the houses that are dependent on the Minister General in Rome. Among those in attendance were Fr. Gregory Polan OSB, Abbot Primate of the Benedictines, Fr. Marco Tasca, Minister General of the Conventual Franciscans, Fr. Mauro Jöhri, Minister General of the Capuchin Franciscans, Fr. Eligio Gelmini OFM, of Mondo X, and other Religious who are close to the Curia as well as friends of the Fraternity.

The homily was given by Definitor General, Br. Antonio Scabio, who reminded the congregation how important St. Michael was for St. Francis who in the Earlier Rule said that “every minister was to meet with his brothers every year on the feast of St. Michael the Archangel, to deal with things that concern God” and that “Blessed Michael must be more solemnly honored, because he has the task of presenting souls to God”.

Br. Antonio ended the homily by imploring the help and protection of St. Michael for the Minister General while expressing affection, esteem, obedience and gratitude to him on behalf of everyone.

The complete (Italian) text of the homily can be found here.

 

Taking Care of the Poor and the Earth: The First National JPIC Camp in Italy for Friars and Youths

On August 22-26, 2017, a group of young people and friars from all over Italy participated at the first national JPIC Camp in in Palermo, Italy.  Br. Francesco Zecca, OFM, JPIC Animator from Salento, recounts the event below:

 

As Friars Minor of Italy, we have been looking for better communication with the youth on the values of JPIC. So we were thinking to propose to youths aged 18 to 35 a chance of formation on the JPIC values, encounter with witnesses and service of the poorest.

All this happened in Palermo, August 22-26. 20 young people and 9 friars from different parts of Italy have participated. The title we chose was “To Take Care”,  a journey that starts with God who takes care of His children, arrives to human beings who are called to the image of the Father to take care of the brothers, the creation, and the society where they live.

The first experience was itineracy in the city. Every day we have set out to find stories of those who have tried to take the Gospel seriously in their daily life, from the story of Don Pino Puglisi, a “Father” for all those who tried to get out of the streets of crime, was killed by the mafia in 1993 to Br. Biagio Conte, a young man from a wealthy family who, after a human and spiritual crisis, left his “world” and began to take care of the brothers “who are left behind (by the society)”, setting up in Palermo the mission “Hope and Charity”, that welcomes about a thousand brothers and sisters every day.

Among other brothers have also been involved in this movement are the friars of the “Holy Land” friary who carry on various social activities, including the soup kitchen on the road and the ceramic workshop; to the social tailoring “Al Revés”, which promotes employment and creative commitment of those who need “an opportunity to improve themselves” for life.

In the days of the camp, both the young and the brothers, were engaged in dedicating each day to the service at the mission “Hope and Charity”, as a concrete sign of taking care for and serving the brothers and sisters, who also took care of us by giving us a kind word, a smile or sharing their stories.

At the end of the camp, we were all happy with the beautiful experience we had, which aimed to make the Gospel closer and more intimate to our daily life, not by doing superheroes but, as Pope Francis said in Laudato Si’, because “the effects of their encounter with Jesus Christ become evident in their relationship with the world around them”(No. 217).

These lines doesn’t fully express the experience of grace that the Lord has made us live, because some people would never find words to express the richness of it, but they certainly want to be a hymn of praise to the Lord for what He has accomplished in our lives these days. So what better words are to be used to conclude this little sharing other than those of our Father St. Francis: “Praise and bless my Lord and give Him thanks, and serve Him with great humility.”

Feast of St. Francis 2017 – Letter

Saint Francis: Active Listener of the Word

Dear brothers,

May the Lord give you peace!

We are about to celebrate the feast of Saint Francis, our father. When a parent is being celebrated, the entire family meets to share their joys, emotions, and experiences; an event of that kind is also an opportunity to take stock of problems and plan together for the future. At this particular moment in time, we (as sons) are invited to reflect on the significance of this feast day, because our lives are not just a repetitive series of the same events – in fact, this year the feast of St. Francis falls at a special time for our fraternity because we are preparing for the Plenary Council of the Order, which will be held in Nairobi from June 12th to 28th, 2018.

 

PDF: EnglishEspañolItaliano

 

The theme of the Plenary Council has already been decided: “Those who have ears to hear, let them listen to what the Spirit is saying …… to the Friars Minor” (Rev. 2:29). While the reference is to the past, in the Book of Revelation, our concern is the present moment and the specific message that the Spirit addresses to us in the many different circumstances in which the friars find themselves.

From September 18th to 22nd last, the General Definitory visited our brothers who live in Turkey — we thank them for their fraternal welcome, and for their commitment and witness. Bishop Rubén Tierrablanca (OFM), Vicar Apostolic of Istanbul, joined us in visiting the archeological sites of the Churches of the Apocalypse, where we spent time meditating on the letters to the seven Churches (Rev.1:17–3:22). This visit enabled us to connect to the messages addressed both to the Christian communities of the past, and to us here and now.

 

Listening in a Time and Place

While visiting those places in a spirit of listening, we soon became aware of a particular process and methodology for evangelization and mission. This process is the foundation of all renewal: John is in solidarity with the persecution and suffering of his brothers and sisters and he recognizes that the gathering of the community in prayer on the Lord’s Day is the appropriate setting for him to communicate his message to them (Cf. Rev. 1-3). The Lord’s Day is the time and place for fraternal sharing, where anxieties and sufferings find a response in listening to the Word and in being immersed in the Spirit. Encountering the Risen Lord and listening to his voice enlightens and strengthens us in facing daily problems and emerging “victorious” in our struggles with the powers of evil. The Lord’s Word is always one of hope, opening us up to the beatitude: “blessed are those who listen to the words of this prophecy” (Rev. 1:3).

 

Listening to the Spirit so as to know how to listen to the world

Listening to the Word and being immersed in the Spirit do not isolate us from the concrete world that we belong to. On the contrary, they help us to discover our mission in the world. This is the meaning of the messages addressed to the Churches that appear at the beginning of the Book of Revelation.

The concrete context in which the Church is present is the reality of the World, represented by Babylon. Although by definition the Church is the faithful spouse, nonetheless in the life she lives she experiences the presence of evil within herself, and she is afflicted by many of the problems that beset this world. Because of this, before reproving the inhabitants of the earth for their evils, the Church herself is called to rediscover the victorious power of the Resurrection of Christ, engaging in a process of conversion that, through the light of the truth that she is called to proclaim, will bring about a renewal in her.

 

The dynamism of listening

            We can see a pattern in the letters to the Churches of the Apocalypse: each one is introduced as the word of the Risen Lord to an individual Church — “To the angel of the Church at ….. these are the words of the Son of God…” — and each concludes with a word addressed to all the Churches by the Spirit — “Those who have ears to hear, let them listen to what the Spirit says to the Churches.”  While the words spoken by Christ address specific and defined situations, the message from the Spirit is universal — a message to all the Churches. This, however, is not just a generalized enunciation of principle, but is reality-based and specific to each situation.

Listening generates a process by which the received word becomes a reality in our lives. The first letter, addressed to the Church of Ephesus, delineates the stages of this process: “consider — repent — do” (Acts 2:5) Conversion is born from listening to the word of Jesus which, animated and brought into reality by the Spirit who makes a “memory” of it, produces life changes.

 

What is the Spirit saying to the Friars dispersed in the seven Churches?

The word that the Risen Lord speaks to the Churches of Asia Minor is once again addressed to us, sons of St.Francis, in the multiplicity of situations where the Order has a presence, on several continents.

  • The Word spoken to the Church of Ephesus recognises and points out the significant gifts of that Church; hard work and orthodoxy. We can count these among our gifts too, but we also hear the Lord remind us that without love all of this is vain.
  • What is said to Smyrna deepens our hope and enlightens our discernment, teaching us to live our poverty as something enriching.
  • The letter addressed to Pergamon calls us to open ourselves to the purifying power of the Word, which can give us the capacity to overcome difficult situations — both in our relationship with the outside world as well as within our fraternal lives.
  • What is written to the Church of Thyatira helps us to recognise the path we are trying to follow and, at the same time, invites us to a process of discernment which will rid us of misguided elements or mistaken principles.
  • What is said to Sardis indicates that the worst thing for a community is when the interior life of its members is neglected, even if many good works are still being done. But this criticism is followed up with encouragement; change is always possible, and it can spring from the vitality and dynamism present in the Church of long ago, as well as in today’s Order.
  • The letter to Philadelphia offers us a way of seeing our weaknesses as well as encouraging us to persevere. It reminds us that if we are faithful to the Word, then our witness will be recognised and will be successful.
  • The message addressed to Laodicea reminds us that the most negative attitude is that of feeling self-sufficient. This smothers any desire for change and progress, because the gravity of certain stagnant situations is not acknowledged — and so, neither reason, nor threats, nor the force of authority can bring about a positive resolution. Indeed, it is only the warmth brought by love that can engender cordial relationships of friendship and conviviality. The Lord does not force any door open; he knocks and waits until the door is opened in response to his voice. Love’s strategy is to wait and ask to be freely received, and in this way attain its goal.

 

The words addressed to the Churches of the Apocalypse, therefore, resonate in a living and concrete way with us and our fraternities.

 

Listening in obedience to the voice of the Spirit

Dear brothers, like John, we too need to consciously live the ‘Lord’s Day’, listening to the Word of the Risen Lord and being immersed in the Spirit. Just like the communities of the Apocalypse, we need to find ourselves anew, recognising our human and spiritual identity so as to then go out to the world, inserting ourselves into that reality and witnessing to the newness of life brought about by the Lord’s Resurrection. But such a mission can only take place as part of a process of conversion. Our lives, and that of our fraternities, need to be purified from the negative worldly influences that have leached into our way of life.

The voice of the Spirit reminds both us and the seven Churches that the Lord who has died and is risen knows our weaknesses as well as our strengths. The Lord calls us to always remember how much he continues to do in us today, and how much he has done throughout our history. The voice of the Spirit teaches us that we must never allow ourselves to be held prisoner by an unthinking attachment to the past, however glorious it may have been. Instead, we need to be nourished by the constant and effective renewal brought about by that Spirit, through whom the Word of the Risen Lord is ever new, vital, and relevant to any situation in which we may find ourselves.

So let us never tire of eagerly learning, and gratefully accepting the ever new dynamism that flows from an intense and passionate listening to the Word of God. Let’s not be afraid of becoming more expert and mature in our listening. If we cultivate an ongoing approach of listening in a living and dynamic way, then we will be freed from the many written and spoken words that are useless and vain. The one true Word will become part of us, revealing the mind and will of God, which has become incarnate in Jesus Christ.

Our life needs to reclaim space and time dedicated exclusively to this living and dynamic listening, which will move from our senses to our minds. Then it will reach our hearts and become an active love. Before we engage in any planning, we must recover a process that comes between listening and taking action. This involves discernment occurring within the person whose inner being has been strengthened by the Spirit (Cf. Eph 3:16; 2Cor 4:16ff).

 

Francis — Active Listener of the Word

Francis was an attentive and active listener of the Word of God. He and his first companions discerned their vocations by the light of the Gospel, which became “life” for him. “His highest aim……. was to pay heed to the holy Gospel in all things and through all things,  to follow the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ and to retrace His footsteps.” (1C 84)

For Francis, it is the Spirit who guides our reading of the Word: just as in Mary and in the Church, the work of the incarnation is continued in the faithful by means of that same Spirit. (Cf. Adm 7; LtF 48-56) As a united fraternity, we seek new ways and means of renewal — always remembering that true conversion is born from the action of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. Therefore, together with our brother and father, Francis, we make this prayer:

Almighty, eternal,
just and merciful God,
give us miserable ones
the grace to do for You alone
what we know you want us to do
and always to desire what pleases You.
Inwardly cleansed,
interiorly enlightened
and inflamed by the fire of the Holy Spirit,
may we be able to follow
in the footprints of Your beloved Son,
our Lord Jesus Christ,
and, by Your grace alone,
may we make our way to You,
Most High,
Who live and rule
in perfect Trinity and simple Unity,
and are glorified
God almighty,
forever and ever. Amen.
(Lt Ord 7:50-52).

As we prepare for the Plenary Council of the Order, may the Feast of Our Holy Father Francis be an occasion for us to be open to listening in a living and active way to what the Spirit is saying to each one of us and to all our fraternities.

While wishing you all the best for the Feast of our Seraphic Father, we also ask you to unite with us in a community of prayer, that our preparation for and celebration of the Plenary Council may have the best possible outcome.

Our preparation will also be enriched by the life-giving remembrance and joyful celebration of the 8th centenary of the Franciscan presence in the Holy Land. Truly, the Lord Jesus is with us every day, until the end of time!

 

Rome, 2 October 2017
Memorial of the Guardian Angels

 

Your brothers,
Br. Michael Anthony Perry, ofm (Min. Gen.)
Br. Julio César Bunader, ofm (Vic. Gen.)
Br. Jürgen Neitzert, ofm (Def. Gen.)
Br. Caoimhín Ó Laoide, ofm (Def. Gen.)
Br. Ignacio Ceja Jiménez, ofm (Def. Gen.)
Br. Nicodème Kibuzehose, ofm (Def. Gen.)
Br. Lino Gregorio Redoblado, ofm (Def. Gen.)
Br. Ivan Sesar, ofm (Def. Gen.)
Br. Valmir Ramos, ofm (Def. Gen.)
Br. Antonio Scabio, ofm (Def. Gen.)
Br. Giovanni Rinaldi, ofm (Seg. Gen.)

 

Prot. 107839

Cover Art:  “Laudato Si’ – the path chosen by Francis and Clare” (Detail)  |  Artist: Br. Juan Rendón Herrera, OFM

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