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CTC No. 54 (09.2019)

This edition No. 54 of “Communion and Communication” is devoted to high-lighting the opportunities given to our Communities, thanks to our belonging to a Federation/ Association.

Many years have passed since the promulgation of the Apostolic Constitution Sponsa Christi Ecclesia which «advocated the birth of the Federations as structures of communion» (Cor Orans, Introduction). Now we have been blessed with the Apostolic Constitution Vultum Dei quærere, in which Pope Francis proposes «to present in Vultum Dei quærere the intense and fruitful path taken by the Church in the last decades, in the light of the teachings of the same Council and considering the changed socio-cultural conditions» (ibid). Most part of our Federations have already a story written for many decades.

We invited Sisters from different geographic areas to share their positive and constructive experiences, lived and organized in their Federations/Associations.

As a true response to God’s call at this time, we encourage one another to walk this fraternal path that the Church is asking of us.

Thanks to all the Sisters who shared their thoughts and living stories.

Thanks to all of you who welcome and read these pages.

 

Download PDF – CTC No. 54 (9.2019)

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East Asian Friars collaborate for 2021 General Chapter

The Ministers of the East Asia Conference (EAC) vowed to support the Philippine Province who will host the General Chapter in Manila, the first time to be held in Asia. This is one of the resolutions made during the Annual Ministers’ Meeting held from October 14-17, 2019 in Vung Tau City, Vietnam.

The Ministers promised to extend assistance to the Philippines through finance and also through friar-personnel which could serve as interpreters and translators during the General Chapter. The friars from South Asia (SAAOC) will be having their meeting this March 2020 and is set to discuss the same topic as one of their agenda.

 

Franciscan Study Centre

The EAC friars also decided during that same meeting to begin offering short courses in August 2020 to serve as building blocks of the Franciscan Study Center in Asia towards a full academic center as envisioned by FCAO.

Among the short courses to be offered by the Franciscan Study Center in Asia is a Renewal Program (3 months) for friars celebrating their jubilees focused on strengthening human, Christian and Franciscan aspects of our life. The Ministers also planned to offer a training for Guardians and Formators (3 weeks) on Leadership and Management particularly in the area of Professional Standards and Code of Conduct. The three EAC Secretaries will also offer courses in the areas of JPIC, Formation and Studies; as well as Missions and Evangelization, suited to the Asian context.

 

EAC Lay Brothers Gathering 2020

The Ministers also agreed to hold the Second Lay Brothers Gathering in Vietnam in 2020 to be organized by the EAC Secretariat for Formation and Studies and also to send friar animators and lay partners to the International JPIC Course to be held in the Philippines on May 4-9, 2020.

All the ministers are grateful to the Province of Vietnam for graciously hosting this year’s meeting. The Province of Vietnam also celebrates its 90th foundation anniversary this year.

Text and image: ofm-eac.org

Jubilee of Damietta in France: For the growth of fraternity

The Franciscan Family celebrated the 800th anniversary of Damietta with the Church of France from 25 to 27 October. The Franciscan School of Paris organized a historical symposium. Speakers from the PISAI, the Catholic Institute of Paris, the University of Nantes, of Nanterre and the École Pratiques des Hautes Études followed one another indiscussing: the origins of the meeting, its impact on Francis’ writings, the development of the Franciscan mission in Muslim countries and some Franciscan figures. The highlight of this conference was Saturday afternoon, when Bishop Paul Hinder of Abu Dhabi, Brother Marwan Di’des OFM of the Custody of the Holy Land and Sr. Brygida Maniurka, Franciscan Missionary of Mary in Syria, took the floor. Saturday evening gave way to a time of Islamic-Christian prayer in the diocese of Paris (Parish of the Holy Spirit) where several local and national associations engaged in dialogue were present. Bishop Denis Jachiet, Auxiliary Bishop of Paris, then invited Bishop Paul Hinder and Imam Boubacar Conte to discuss the Document for Human Fraternity signed in Abu Dhabi. On the Sunday, it was Bishop Michel Santier of Créteil who welcomed the Franciscan Family to his cathedral. More than 500 people gathered for the mass broadcast live on the national channel France 2. Most Reverend Jean-Marc Aveline Archbishop of Marseille and president of the Council for Interreligious Relations within the Bishops’ Conference delivered the homily. The day continued with times of workshops where brothers, sisters, lay Franciscans, faithful of the diocese and Muslims shared their experiences of dialogue and encounter. At the end of this anniversary, a declaration “For the growth of fraternity” was made by the representatives of the major religions in France.

Photos ©Guillaume POLIC/CIRIC6OFM France

Communique from the General Definitory – Tempo Forte of September 2019

The General Definitory began its meetings on Friday, September 13th, 2019. The Vicar General, Br. Julio César BUNADER presided because of the absence of the Minister General who has been engaged in a course of physiotherapy in Chicago (U.S.A.) since his accident on August 15th last.

Issues regarding personnel in the houses in Rome dependent on the Minister General were dealt with — the General Curia, St. Anthony’s International College, and the Lateran Penitentiary. Some Final Reports submitted by General Visitators at the end of their Canonical Visitations were presented and studied.

The following General Visitators were elected:

  • Br. Walter SCHREIBER, for the Custody of Our Lady of the Seven Joys, Brazil;
  • Br. Sebastião Agostinho KREMER, for the Custody of Saint Clare, Mozambique;
  • Br. Sergiusz BAŁDYGA, for the Pontifical University Antonianum;
  • Br. Cesare VAIANI, for the Pontifical International Marian Academy, Rome;
  • Br. Ignacio CEJA JIMENEZ, as Assistant to the Visitation of the Custody of the Caribbean, dependent on the Province of Arantzazu, Spain.

 

A number of files from the Office of the General Procurator were discussed, including the following requests for:

  • information regarding accusations of graviora delicta (3);
  • dismissals from the Order (2);
  • dispensation from the obligations of the clerical state and from Solemn Vows (1);
  • secularisation ad experimentum (2);
  • indults of exclaustration for one, two, or three years (9);
  • dispensation from Temporary Vows (1).

 

Candidates for the office of Minister Provincial were approved for three Entities that will shortly celebrate their Provincial Chapters.

 

The Acts of Elections were ratified for the following:

  • The Chapter of the Province of the Assumption (Rio de la Plata), Argentina;
  • The “intermediate” Chapter (the election of Definitors) of the Province of Santa Barbara, USA;
  • The Capitular Congresses of 4 Provinces;
  • Extra-Capitular elections of 7 Guardians and a Provincial Treasurer.

 

The General Definitory met with Br. John PUODZIUNAS, General Treasurer, to work out some details with a view to the drawing up of the 2020 budget for the houses and entities under the General Curia.

The Definitory participated in the annual Ongoing Formation programme of the General Curia fraternity from September 25th to 27th.

The next Tempo Forte will take place from November 8th to 22nd. From November 18th to 22nd, the General Definitory will meet with the General Visitators who will be engaged in carrying out Canonical Visitation in many Entities of the Order in the coming months. The Visitators will receive training during their time at the Curia.

To the praise of Christ and the Poverello of Assisi. Amen!

 

Rome, 29th October, 2018

 

Br. Giovanni Rinaldi, OFM
Secretary General

Fraternal Meeting of Franciscans at the Amazonian Synod

The brothers and sisters of the Franciscan Family who participated in the Synod for the Amazon region gathered in the Generalate of the Friars Minor in Rome for a time of fraternity. On 24th October the group went to the Church of Santa Maria Mediatrice where they prayed Vespers together with the fraternity and shared dinner in an atmosphere of brotherhood and joy.

There were 30 members of the Franciscan Family present at the Synod, including 3 cardinals, 17 bishops, 4 sisters, 4 friars and 2 sisters of the Secular Franciscan Order. Coming from different countries, they were “synod fathers”, auditors and experts. The Synod, which had as its central theme the defence of the life of peoples, biodiversity and our “common home”, reached an extensive diagnosis and produced a final document with specific proposals for “new paths for the church and for an integral ecology”.

From the Minister General: October 2019 Update of Progress to Recovery

My dear Brothers of the Order,

May the Lord give you peace!

I am pleased once again to have the opportunity to write to you to provide an update regarding the rehabilitation process in which I am involved. On October 15, I visited the orthopedic surgeon who performed the initial operation to reconstruct part of my pelvis, the acetabulum. According to the X-rays, the bone is slowly knitting itself back together, thanks to your prayers and support, to a program of rest and non-weight bearing for the left leg, and, of course, to the thirty-one screws and two plates that help hold everything together. I must continue to avoid putting weight on my left leg at least until the end of the month of November. If all goes well, I should be able to slowly increase weight on the left leg through the month of December. I continue to go to physical therapy three times a week to work on muscle strength, flexibility, and overall strength.

One concern remains: whether there is sufficient cartilage in the joint of the left hip to allow for free movement of the head of the femur in the pelvic joint. There are no tests to determine this. It will be revealed as I put increasing weight on the left leg and slowly recover the ability to walk without the assistance of a walker or crutches. There is a possibility that at some point I might require a second surgery to do what is called a total hip replacement should the cartilage have been severely compromised. Please keep this special intention in your prayers.

During this time of convalescence, I have received so many messages of support and care from you my dear Brothers, from Brothers of the other First Order, from our dear Poor Ladies of the Second Order, and from members of the Order of Secular Franciscans. I am so grateful to each of you, and to others who have expressed concern and offered spiritual support to accompany my rehabilitation.

As we follow the Special Synod of Bishops on the Amazon, let us remember to keep the people of the greater Amazon basin region in our prayers. While the Church discusses issues vital to the future survival of indigenous peoples, of the environment in the region and the global implications of not taking care to protect it, and the future of evangelization and the Church’s mission, detractors continue to challenge the orthodoxy of Pope Francis, the local Church in the nine countries, and that of the people of God who have, despite all of the obstacles they face, remain faithful to the teachings of Jesus Christ handed on to us through the Apostles. Let us pray that God who is all merciful and gracious might help all who profess faith in Jesus Christ, who are members of the Church, and other Christians to move from a mere verbal profession of our faith to actually putting it into practice in our lives. Pope Francis’ encyclical on integral ecology, grounded in a biblical and theological vision consistent with the teaching of the Church, continues to inspire even as it challenges. This is especially true for those of us who profess faith in Jesus Christ and who follow the example of St. Francis of Assisi who recognized the inter-connectedness of all things that begins and is sustained by God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a relation of Trinity expressed, according to our own St. Bonaventure, in and through the created universe.

Let us also pray for our Franciscan members, for the Church and for the people of God in countries where civil unrest and conflict are dividing people, resulting in the destruction of life and property. Let us remember in a special way Haiti, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, South Sudan, Egypt, Sudan, Benin, the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong, Syria, and other parts of the world in need of our prayer and our solidarity.

May God continue to bless each of you my dear Brothers of the Order, and all members of the Franciscan family. Let us pray for one another as together we strive to put into practice our faith. I wish to once again express my deepest gratitude to Bro. Julio Bunader, Vicar General who is acting in my place, to the members of the General Definitorium, to the secretary general and to all Ministers (Provincials, Custos, Presidents) who daily lay down their lives for their Brothers.

Wishing you all of God’s spiritual blessings!

 

Chicago, October 18, 2019

 

Fraternally yours in Christ and St. Francis,

Br. Michael A. Perry, OFM
Minister General and Servant

 

Prot. MG 150/19

 

Voices from the Amazon: its land, peoples, and religions

The Amazon Awareness Seminar, which took place on October 5th, 2019, at the Antonianum Auditorium, Rome, attracted a large gathering with a cross-section of people from different walks of life.

The Pan-Amazon region was chosen as the focus of the Special Synod of Bishops convened by Pope Francis, taking place in Rome this October. The Church wants to hear the voices of the Amazon through its people and its pastors. The listening process began several months ago with a preparatory document that led to the Instrumentus Laboris (IL). The nearly 200 members of the Synod — including 10 Franciscan friars — will work on the IL during these days of “walking together.”

The Order (through its JPIC Office), together with the Pontifical University Antonianum, The World Catholic Movement for Climate (WCMC), and the Ecclesial Network “Red Eclesial Panamazonica” (REAPAM), put together a seminar of reflection and listening. The intention is to contribute to the synodal process, by raising the various issues that affect the entire Amazon region.

Opening the event, the OFM Vicar General, Br. Julio Bunader, welcomed the participants and, in line with the Special Synod on the Amazon, highlighted two concepts: Integral Ecology, because “it is based on the recognition of being-in-relationships as a fundamental human category. This means that we develop as human beings on the basis of our relationships with ourselves, with others, with society in general, with nature/environment, and with God.” (IL47). The second concept is that of Integral Conversion, because it is “an ‘integral personal conversion’ that comes from the heart and opens up to a ‘communal conversion’ recognizing its social and environmental links, that is, an ‘ecological conversion’.” (IL101)

The seminar developed in three sections. “Voices of Governments” had presentations from María Elvira Velásquez Rivas-Plata, Ambassador from Peru to the Holy See and Jorge Mario Eastman, Ambassador from Colombia to the Holy See. Then, “The Peoples Voices”, which included presentations from José Luiz Cassuppà, an indigenous leader invited to the Synod, Sr. Laura Vicuña, a member of the Congregation of Franciscan Catechists, and Br. Joao Messias Sousa, OFM. The president of CELAM, Mons. Héctor Miguel Cabrejos, OFM and theologians Tania Ávila and Alirio Cáceres spoke during the third part of the seminar, entitled “Voice of the Church”.

Voices from the Amazon: its land, peoples, and religions

The Amazon Awareness Seminar, which took place on October 5th, 2019, at the Antonianum Auditorium, Rome, attracted a large gathering with a cross-section of people from different walks of life.

The Pan-Amazon region was chosen as the focus of the Special Synod of Bishops convened by Pope Francis, taking place in Rome this October. The Church wants to hear the voices of the Amazon through its people and its pastors. The listening process began several months ago with a preparatory document that led to the Instrumentus Laboris (IL). The nearly 200 members of the Synod — including 10 Franciscan friars — will work on the IL during these days of “walking together.”

The Order (through its JPIC Office), together with the Pontifical University Antonianum, The World Catholic Movement for Climate (WCMC), and the Ecclesial Network “Red Eclesial Panamazonica” (REAPAM), put together a seminar of reflection and listening. The intention is to contribute to the synodal process, by raising the various issues that affect the entire Amazon region.

Opening the event, the OFM Vicar General, Br. Julio Bunader, welcomed the participants and, in line with the Special Synod on the Amazon, highlighted two concepts: Integral Ecology, because “it is based on the recognition of being-in-relationships as a fundamental human category. This means that we develop as human beings on the basis of our relationships with ourselves, with others, with society in general, with nature/environment, and with God.” (IL47). The second concept is that of Integral Conversion, because it is “an ‘integral personal conversion’ that comes from the heart and opens up to a ‘communal conversion’ recognizing its social and environmental links, that is, an ‘ecological conversion’.” (IL101)

The seminar developed in three sections. “Voices of Governments” had presentations from María Elvira Velásquez Rivas-Plata, Ambassador from Peru to the Holy See and Jorge Mario Eastman, Ambassador from Colombia to the Holy See. Then, “The Peoples Voices”, which included presentations from José Luiz Cassuppà, an indigenous leader invited to the Synod, Sr. Laura Vicuña, a member of the Congregation of Franciscan Catechists, and Br. Joao Messias Sousa, OFM. The president of CELAM, Mons. Héctor Miguel Cabrejos, OFM and theologians Tania Ávila and Alirio Cáceres spoke during the third part of the seminar, entitled “Voice of the Church”.

Slovenia – Academic Conference on the 8th centenary of the meeting between St. Francis and the Sultan

A three-day international academic conference on dialogue between Christians and Muslims was held in the OFM friary in Ljubljana, Slovenia from October 1st to 3rd, 2019, as part of the celebration of the 8th centenary of the meeting of St. Francis of Assisi and Sultan Al-Kamil. The symposium was entitled: “800 years of cohabitation” and was organized by Br. Mari Osredkar, professor at the Ljubljana Faculty of Theology.

Among the distinguished presenters were:

  • Br. Marjan Čuden OFM, Minister Provincial
  • Prof. Dr. Robert Petkovšek, Dean of the Ljubljana Faculty of Theology
  • Dr. Mohammad Mehdi Taskhiri, Director of the Centre for Interreligious Dialogue, Tehran, Iran
  • Prof. Dr. Nedžad Grabus, Mufti of Ljubljana
  • Bishop Stanislav Lipovšek, president of the commission for Ecumenism at the Slovenian Bishops’ Conference
  • Msgr. Stane Zore OFM, archbishop of Ljubljana
  • Msgr. Jean-Marie Speich, apostolic nuncio to Slovenia

 

The speakers at the symposium came from the following countries: Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Turkey, Iran, Israel, Italy, France and the USA. In all, 24 speakers spoke about dialogue between Christians and Muslims both today and in the past, focussing especially on cooperation between Franciscans and Muslims.

May the words spoken at the symposium encourage us to get to know one other better. May we be able to deeply respect each other, thus building peace and coexistence in today’s world.

A photo gallery and links to the presentations can be found here: vaticannews.va & www.marija.si`

 

Slovenia – Academic Conference on the 8th centenary of the meeting between St. Francis and the Sultan

A three-day international academic conference on dialogue between Christians and Muslims was held in the OFM friary in Ljubljana, Slovenia from October 1st to 3rd, 2019, as part of the celebration of the 8th centenary of the meeting of St. Francis of Assisi and Sultan Al-Kamil. The symposium was entitled: “800 years of cohabitation” and was organized by Br. Mari Osredkar, professor at the Ljubljana Faculty of Theology.

Among the distinguished presenters were:

  • Br. Marjan Čuden OFM, Minister Provincial
  • Prof. Dr. Robert Petkovšek, Dean of the Ljubljana Faculty of Theology
  • Dr. Mohammad Mehdi Taskhiri, Director of the Centre for Interreligious Dialogue, Tehran, Iran
  • Prof. Dr. Nedžad Grabus, Mufti of Ljubljana
  • Bishop Stanislav Lipovšek, president of the commission for Ecumenism at the Slovenian Bishops’ Conference
  • Msgr. Stane Zore OFM, archbishop of Ljubljana
  • Msgr. Jean-Marie Speich, apostolic nuncio to Slovenia

 

The speakers at the symposium came from the following countries: Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Turkey, Iran, Israel, Italy, France and the USA. In all, 24 speakers spoke about dialogue between Christians and Muslims both today and in the past, focussing especially on cooperation between Franciscans and Muslims.

May the words spoken at the symposium encourage us to get to know one other better. May we be able to deeply respect each other, thus building peace and coexistence in today’s world.

A photo gallery and links to the presentations can be found here: vaticannews.va & www.marija.si`

 

Calm the Soul:  Poor Clare Sisters in Ireland release new song to help others

Five years ago, the Poor Clares in Galway (Ireland) published a book of prayers and meditations called “Calm the Soul”. One of the most popular prayers in the book also gave the book its title. That simple poem ‘Calm the Soul’ touched people so deeply that the Sisters thought that a musical setting could make it more widely accessible. They began to experiment with various tunes and came up with a melody that draws on the musical motifs of a traditional Irish love song, and it seems to really capture the mood of the poem. Now the Poor Clares, along with their collaborators — including Franciscan friars — have a hit on their hands.

Sr. Colette, Abbess of the Poor Clare Monastery in Galway said “it’s God’s business what happens with the song and if it makes the charts it would be great. If it goes viral that would be great too. Our hope is that the message of the song will reach those who need a soul-lift or maybe who are just struggling to keep afloat in the ordinary everyday grind.”

For more information: www.poorclares.ie/calm-the-soul

Calm the Soul

When my boat, Lord, is storm tossed and sinking; when fears in my heart take control, say ‘Be not afraid’ to my spirit and Your answer will calm the soul. When I flounder around in deep waters; when the stresses of life take their toll, a sudden deep hush steals upon me. Your gentleness calms the soul.

When my life seems too full of confusion and I have lost sight of the goal, as I stumble about in the darkness may Your gentle light calm the soul.
I often live life on the surface; sometimes I’m playing a role. Help me cherish my own inner beauty. May Your tender love calm the soul.

When sinfulness tugs like an anchor; when guilt has me caught in a hole, I turn to You Lord for forgiveness, and Your mercy calms the soul.
When I struggle with sickness and sorrow and eagerly long to be whole, I call on Your name to bring healing and the touch of Your hand calms the soul.

“Calm the Soul” is also available on Apple Music, Amazon, Google Playfacebook.com/poorclaresgalway

 

 

 

 

Calm the Soul:  Poor Clare Sisters in Ireland release new song to help others

Five years ago, the Poor Clares in Galway (Ireland) published a book of prayers and meditations called “Calm the Soul”. One of the most popular prayers in the book also gave the book its title. That simple poem ‘Calm the Soul’ touched people so deeply that the Sisters thought that a musical setting could make it more widely accessible. They began to experiment with various tunes and came up with a melody that draws on the musical motifs of a traditional Irish love song, and it seems to really capture the mood of the poem. Now the Poor Clares, along with their collaborators — including Franciscan friars — have a hit on their hands.

Sr. Colette, Abbess of the Poor Clare Monastery in Galway said “it’s God’s business what happens with the song and if it makes the charts it would be great. If it goes viral that would be great too. Our hope is that the message of the song will reach those who need a soul-lift or maybe who are just struggling to keep afloat in the ordinary everyday grind.”

For more information: www.poorclares.ie/calm-the-soul

Calm the Soul

When my boat, Lord, is storm tossed and sinking; when fears in my heart take control, say ‘Be not afraid’ to my spirit and Your answer will calm the soul. When I flounder around in deep waters; when the stresses of life take their toll, a sudden deep hush steals upon me. Your gentleness calms the soul.

When my life seems too full of confusion and I have lost sight of the goal, as I stumble about in the darkness may Your gentle light calm the soul.
I often live life on the surface; sometimes I’m playing a role. Help me cherish my own inner beauty. May Your tender love calm the soul.

When sinfulness tugs like an anchor; when guilt has me caught in a hole, I turn to You Lord for forgiveness, and Your mercy calms the soul.
When I struggle with sickness and sorrow and eagerly long to be whole, I call on Your name to bring healing and the touch of Your hand calms the soul.

“Calm the Soul” is also available on Apple Music, Amazon, Google Playfacebook.com/poorclaresgalway

 

 

 

 

Holy Land Custody: Conclusion of the Celebrations of the 8th centenary of the pilgrimage of peace by St Francis in the Holy Land

At the end of the days celebrating the 8th centenary of the pilgrimage of peace by St Francis in the Holy Land, there were two events concluding the commemoration: the Solemn Entrance to the Holy Sepulchre by Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, and the visit to the Mosque of Al-Aqsa which was followed by a meeting with the representatives of the Grand Mufti and of the Waqf.

On Wednesday 2nd October, following the protocol, the solemn entrance of Cardinal Sandri started from the Jaffa Gate where he was welcomed by the Armenian and Greek orthodox delegations. The cardinal was followed by the Custos of the Holy Land, Fr. Francesco Patton and a large group of Franciscans headed by the Kawas. The delegation then set off in a procession for the Sepulchre, the door of which, symbolically closed, was reopened for the event. In the square in front of the Basilica, the Cardinal was welcomed by the authorities representing the different Christian communities present in the Basilica. On entering, Cardinal Sandri kissed the Stone of Unction and aspersed the crowd present there.Immediately afterwards, he went to the Anastasis, the place of the Resurrection, where the Te Deum was sung and the Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate Mons. Pierbattista Pizzaballa and the Cardinal  spoke to the friars and the faithful present. In his address, Mons. Pizzaballaemphasized the close bond between Rome and Jerusalem. “The Mother Church of Jerusalem is not complete,” the Apostolic Administrator said, “without unity with the authority of Peter. At the same time, we like to think that the authority of Peter’s successor cannot be complete without the Mother Church of Jerusalem, custodian of the incarnation of Our Lord Jesus Christ. […] Welcome, welcome to this Land which God chose as His Homeland.”

On Thursday 3rd October, the most significant central meeting took place in the area of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The Franciscan delegation that accompanied Cardinal Sandri, the Apostolic Nuncio Mons. Leopoldo Girelli and the Custos of the Holy Land Fr. Patton, visited the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, some of the most sacred places for Islam. This was followed by a meeting in the Library in the complex of the mosques. The first to speak was Azzam Al-Ahmad, in charge of the Waqf (the organization which looks after Muslim buildings in Jerusalem), who underlined the historic nature of the meeting taking place, framing it in the context of the visit by Pope Francis  in May 2014 when he spoke of the “continuous support of the Church and the Holy See to the Status Quo of the Muslim and Christian shrines.”

For the complete text and other articles about the celebration, visit custodia.org

Text: Giovanni Malaspina | Photos: Nadim Asfour / CTS

Holy Land Custody: Conclusion of the Celebrations of the 8th centenary of the pilgrimage of peace by St Francis in the Holy Land

At the end of the days celebrating the 8th centenary of the pilgrimage of peace by St Francis in the Holy Land, there were two events concluding the commemoration: the Solemn Entrance to the Holy Sepulchre by Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, and the visit to the Mosque of Al-Aqsa which was followed by a meeting with the representatives of the Grand Mufti and of the Waqf.

On Wednesday 2nd October, following the protocol, the solemn entrance of Cardinal Sandri started from the Jaffa Gate where he was welcomed by the Armenian and Greek orthodox delegations. The cardinal was followed by the Custos of the Holy Land, Fr. Francesco Patton and a large group of Franciscans headed by the Kawas. The delegation then set off in a procession for the Sepulchre, the door of which, symbolically closed, was reopened for the event. In the square in front of the Basilica, the Cardinal was welcomed by the authorities representing the different Christian communities present in the Basilica. On entering, Cardinal Sandri kissed the Stone of Unction and aspersed the crowd present there.Immediately afterwards, he went to the Anastasis, the place of the Resurrection, where the Te Deum was sung and the Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate Mons. Pierbattista Pizzaballa and the Cardinal  spoke to the friars and the faithful present. In his address, Mons. Pizzaballaemphasized the close bond between Rome and Jerusalem. “The Mother Church of Jerusalem is not complete,” the Apostolic Administrator said, “without unity with the authority of Peter. At the same time, we like to think that the authority of Peter’s successor cannot be complete without the Mother Church of Jerusalem, custodian of the incarnation of Our Lord Jesus Christ. […] Welcome, welcome to this Land which God chose as His Homeland.”

On Thursday 3rd October, the most significant central meeting took place in the area of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The Franciscan delegation that accompanied Cardinal Sandri, the Apostolic Nuncio Mons. Leopoldo Girelli and the Custos of the Holy Land Fr. Patton, visited the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, some of the most sacred places for Islam. This was followed by a meeting in the Library in the complex of the mosques. The first to speak was Azzam Al-Ahmad, in charge of the Waqf (the organization which looks after Muslim buildings in Jerusalem), who underlined the historic nature of the meeting taking place, framing it in the context of the visit by Pope Francis  in May 2014 when he spoke of the “continuous support of the Church and the Holy See to the Status Quo of the Muslim and Christian shrines.”

For the complete text and other articles about the celebration, visit custodia.org

Text: Giovanni Malaspina | Photos: Nadim Asfour / CTS

JPIC Newsletter: CONTACT (07-09.2019)

Peace and all Good!

We present you the recent edition of JPIC Newsletter “CONTACT” (July – September 2019)

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

English – CONTACT

Español – CONTACTO

Italiano – CONTATTO

Hrvatski – KONTAKT

 

The next issue of “CONTACT” will be published in December 2019.

We pray for you that our Lord may give you peace and courage.

 

Fraternally yours,

Br. Jaime Campos, OFM | Br.  Rufino Lim, OFM

JPIC Newsletter: CONTACT (07-09.2019)

Peace and all Good!

We present you the recent edition of JPIC Newsletter “CONTACT” (July – September 2019)

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

English – CONTACT

Español – CONTACTO

Italiano – CONTATTO

Hrvatski – KONTAKT

 

The next issue of “CONTACT” will be published in December 2019.

We pray for you that our Lord may give you peace and courage.

 

Fraternally yours,

Br. Jaime Campos, OFM | Br.  Rufino Lim, OFM

Jubilee Celebrations for the 800 Years from the Pilgrimage of Peace of Saint Francis in the Holy Land

The year 2019 is particularly significant for us, because precisely 800 years ago Saint Francis came as a pilgrim and a witness of peace in the Holy Land, and stayed here until 1220, before returning back to Italy.

While the Fifth Crusade was in a furious stage, and it seemed that the only language possible was the language of arms, Francis of Assisi crossed over the firing lines of war and won over the logic of the clash of civilisations that was taking place. In all simplicity he followed the divine inspiration which led him to believe in the possiblity of a fraternal encounter with every creature.

It was thanks to his meeting with the Sultan Malek el Kamel and his lengthy stay in the Holy Land that he could elaborate that method of evangelisation, consisting of the witness of life and the announcing of the Word, which for these last eight centuries has inspired and which guides even today our Franciscan presence in the Middle East, through the work of the Custody of the Holy Land.

Fr. Francesco Patton, ofm
Custos of the Holy Land

Read the Program of the Jubilee Celebrations (PDF) | custodia.org

 

Image: Saint Francis preaches to the Moslems in the presence of the Sultan, Florence, Basilica of Santa Croce, Cappella Bardi, Attributed to Coppo di Marcovaldo, XIII Century. With the kind concession of the Fondo Edifici di Culto-Ministry of the Interior. Photo by Antonio Quattrone

Letter for the Feast of Saint Francis 2019:  Listen to the Cry of the Amazon

Listen to the Cry of the Amazon

Dear brothers and sisters, may the Lord give you peace!

After converting to the Gospel, St. Francis’s only desire was to live and witness to the Gospel in the world. In the chapters XIV to XVII of the Earlier Rule we can see quotations he makes from the Gospel, in which Jesus sends out his disciples (see Mt 10:1-42; Lk 9:1-6; 10:1- 20, Mk 6:7-13). Living, witnessing and preaching the Gospel for Francis should always be done in minority, poverty, humility and submission to the Church, keeping nothing for himself, giving everything back to the Lord (see VAIANI. C. History and Theology of the Spiritual Experience of Francis of Assisi, p.131). Moreover, when the brothers that God himself had given him arrived (cf. Test 14), Francis began a life of fraternity which to this day is the highest expression of the Franciscan charism.

 

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Recently, the PCO 2018 took up the concept of contemplative fraternity (cf. Those Who Have Ears, Let Them Listen to What the Spirit is Saying… to the Friars Minor Today, 92-105) and made specific proposals on living and implementing our form of life where we are, open to international fraternities (cf. Idem, 140-148).

Together with this appeal of the Order, we all feel challenged by the Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium with the statement that “All of them have a right to receive the Gospel” and “Christians have the duty to proclaim the Gospel without excluding anyone” (EG 15) and with the quotation of Jesus’s missionary mandate the foundation of evangelization: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you”(EG 19).

It is good to remember that St. Francis himself sent his friars out “two by two” recommending that they announce peace and penance (cf. 1Cel 29). This confirms the missionary dimension of our charism that urges us to go forth towards our brothers and sisters of the whole world, coming to them in a unique way, preaching with our form of life and action in favour of reconciliation, peace, justice and respect for creation (cf. GGCC 1:2). This challenges us today more than ever in the context of the climate crisis and the migratory crisis in which we live, and the Church invites us not to be indifferent.

Pope Francis recently looked at the Church in the international Amazon and convened the Amazon Synod with the theme: “The Amazon: New Paths for the Church and for Integral Ecology”. In the preparatory document of the Synod we read that “The Amazon is a region with rich biodiversity; it is multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, and multi-religious; it is a mirror of all humanity which, in defence of life, requires structural and personal changes by all human beings, by nations, and by the Church.” We must also remember here that there are about 32 million inhabitants in the Pan-Amazonian region (in the 9 countries that have Amazonian forests) and among them, there are approximately 3 million indigenous people who form about 390 different peoples and nationalities. These indigenous people were born and raised in harmony with the forest and have maintained this balance for thousands of years. “But life in the Amazon is threatened by environmental destruction and exploitation and by the systematic violation of the basic human rights of the Amazon population” (Instrumentum Laboris, 14).

We Franciscans are called to accompany this Synod with great attention which asks us to hear the cry that goes forth from the Amazon (see Instrumentum Laboris, 45-46). We want to recall here the data obtained from the Synod Preparatory Document: “The Amazon Basin encompasses one of our planet’s largest reserves of biodiversity (30 to 50% of the world’s flora and fauna) and freshwater (20% of the world’s freshwater). It constitutes more than a third of the planet’s primary forests and – although the oceans are the largest carbon sinks – the Amazon’s work of carbon sequestration is quite significant. It covers more than seven and a half million square kilometres, and 9 countries share this great Biome (Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela, including French Guyana as an overseas territory)”. We are called together with the Church to enter into a process of personal and community ecological conversion, requested by Pope Francis in the Encyclical Laudato Si’ (LS 216-221), “allowing the power and the light of the grace we have received also be evident in our relationship to other creatures and to the world around us. In this way, we will help nurture that sublime fraternity with all creation which Saint Francis of Assisi so radiantly embodied.” (LS 221).

The ecclesiological dimension of missionary evangelization, which is proper to our identity as followers of the Risen Jesus Christ and of St. Francis of Assisi, requires us to expand our vision on the participation of the laity in all aspects of the life of the Church. As Pope Francis reminds us, the laity are not only assistants of those considered to be the “first” or “privileged” class of evangelisers. All members of the Church share the same responsibilities in living and proclaiming the Gospel. Therefore, a radical rethinking of how we organize all aspects of evangelization is necessary, and how we work in information and formation for a spirituality of integral ecology. Evangelization and human and environmental promotion represent two sides of the same coin: “love of God and love of neighbour”. Doing this we must combine our efforts with those of the Amazon area and with all others who live in similar conditions, as a way of embodying the message of St. Francis of Assisi in our life and the life of the Church and today’s world.

In truth, St. Francis lived an integral ecology, even though this terminology was not used in the Middle Ages. Pope Francis speaks of integral ecology incorporating the human and social dimensions: “environmental, economic and social ecology” (LS 138-142), “cultural ecology” (LS 143-146) and “ecology of daily life” (LS 147- 155). And then he relates integral ecology to the “common good” (LS 156-158) which requires a responsible ethic to respect the elementary and inalienable rights of all people with “a summons to solidarity and a preferential option for the poorest of our brothers and sisters” (LS 158-162). St. Francis’s way of life, becoming a brother to the lepers, the poor, to creatures, to the men and women of his time, enabled him to live in an integrated manner in fraternity and in the world.

The call of the Amazonian peoples directly affects actions related to ecology. However, we must all remember that “in order to promote integral ecology in the daily life of the Amazon, it is also necessary to understand the notion of intergenerational communication and justice, which includes the transmission of ancestral experience, cosmologies, spiritualities and theologies of the indigenous peoples in terms of care for our common home.”(Instrumentum Laboris, 50). The responsibility for our “common home” must be based on love for future generations and should “be a distinctive way of looking at things, a way of thinking, policies, an educational programme” (LS 111).

Those of us who live far away from the Amazon receive a vital call regarding what comes from that area. The search and extraction of gold from rivers and other places, continuously produce destruction and pollution of the environment. It is good to remember that this precious metal is also the cause of violence, slavery, smuggling, robbery and theft in indigenous territories. The same happens with wood, illegally removed from the forest, which passes through corrupt means and then reaches the “legalised” international market. In silence, there is also the “bio-piracy” that steals various products and plant and animal species from nature, together with the millennial knowledge of the Amazon peoples. Many other products are exported as commodities, whose production requires the complete eradication of the forest (see Preparatory document).

We know that the Catholic Church has been present in some parts of the Amazon, since the arrival of the European colonizers. The Church is still a prophetic voice in the Amazon. We want to send a special thanks to the brothers of our Order who currently live and work in the Amazon region of Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela. At the same time, we ask all the brothers of the Order to be sensitive to the cry of the Amazon, defending the life, dignity and rights of the Amazon peoples. We also ask them to be an ever more present Church, and with the Amazonian missionary face, a Prophetic Church that faces the challenges of today (see Instrumentum Laboris, Part III).

For more information, see: www.sinodoamazonico.va

Happy Feast of Saint Francis!

Peace and all good!

 

Rome, 29 September 2019
Feast of the Archangels, Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael

 

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 (Sec. Gen.)

 

Prot. 109277

Cover: Saint Francis in the desert by Giovanni Bellini. Background: Caballococha, Peruvian Amazon

Franciscanist’s Workshop

With the initiative Bottega del francescanista (Franciscanist’s Workshop), the School of Medieval and Franciscan Studies of the Pontifical Antonianum University offers students and researchers a precious opportunity to get to know and familiarise themselves with essential tools and working methods in the study of the sources, through a series of practical seminar lessons.

During the meetings, the “masters of the workshop” will illustrate, among other things, codices, critical editions, collections of documents and papal letters, bibliographic repertoires, magazines, etc., kept in the library of the Pontifical Antonianum University.

The initiative is open to students enrolled in the courses of licentiate in theology or master’s in historical-literary disciplines as well as to those who have already obtained these degrees. The cost of participation is € 270.00.

Students who take part in all the scheduled activities and complete a final paper of at least five pages will be awarded 3 ECTS credits. This will be confirmed by the issue of a final certificate.

See the programme of meetings and further information.

Oldalak