A rendi központ hírei - olasz nyelven

International Council for Formation and Studies meet in Rome

The International Council for Formation and Studies (CIFS) held its second meeting of the sexennium (2015-2021) at the OFM General Curia, from March 11th to 16th. Fourteen Secretaries for Formation and Studies were present, with all the Conferences of Provincial Ministers of the Order being represented.

The agenda included periods of listening as well as discussion and planning sessions. The first part focused on listening to the members of the CIFS — each Secretary was asked to give a presentation on Formation in his Conference, with special emphasis on Ongoing Formation, the training of Guardians, and the Pastoral Care of Vocations.

The following days the group did some more listening, during meetings with the Minister General and Definitory, with the Secretariat for Missions and Evangelization, the Justice and Peace Office, and the Director of the “Collegium Sancti Bonaventurae – International Center for Franciscan Studies. and Research” based at St. Isidore’s College, Rome.

In addition to listening, the CIFS also devoted time to the discussion and planning of major Formation activities for the second part of the sexennium (2015-2021). The Council evaluated the six continental Congresses on Formation that have been taking place since 2017 and which will continue until 2019 (in accordance with decision 3 of the last General Chapter). These Congresses deal with the theme of accompaniment in the context of Ongoing Formation, with particular attention being given to the training of Guardians and the link between Ongoing Formation and Vocations Promotion.

Draft Statutes for the Secretariat for Formation and Studies were examined, corrected and approved. The previous Statutes dated back to 1985 and required revision.

A discussion of Decision 4 of the last General Chapter also took place and the planning of a Conference of Study Centers to be held in 2020 was begun. Decision 4 includes the wording: “to convoke a Congress for the OFM Study Centers on current themes for the life and mission of the Order in the Church, starting from a global cultural and theological perspective.”

Participants of the International Council for Formation and Studies


Information on several ongoing initiatives was shared, with some reflections on them:

  • the progress being made regarding the Franciscan University project;
  • the Chapter of Mats for friars “Under 10” being held in Taizè in 2019;
  • a course for Formators from the African Conference (“The Franciscan School of Formation for Formators in Africa”), to be held in Lusaka (Zambia) over three years, for two weeks each year.

The budget of the Secretariat of Formation and Studies was presented, and in a meeting with the General Treasurer the relationship between finances and Formation was explored.

Finally, an Executive Committee was elected, made up of three CIFS members to whom the General Secretariat for Formation and Studies can turn for advice on a regular basis.




An interreligious conference in Jerusalem on the Laudato Si’ encyclical

Presenting the encyclical Laudato Si’ to Israeli and Palestinian societies and discussing “integral ecology:” this was the aim of the conference that took place on March 12 at the Notre Dame Center in Jerusalem. Almost three years after the publication of Laudato Si’, the Pope’s call that was found within the encyclical to “every person who lives on this planet” was the starting point for the speakers, who came from the three different monotheistic religions, and who gave their viewpoints on the common theme of ecology. The event, which was organized by the Custody’s Commission for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation, was attended by Christians, Jews and Muslims, who attentively listened asked questions.

Also present [at the event] was Cardinal Peter Turkson, prefect of the Department for Integral Human Development. “Serving integral human development has many challenges, many of which are linked to ‘integral ecology,’” the cardinal said. “It is about exclusion, indifference, inequity, lack of solidarity and then the conflicts that are afflicting many countries and populations.” In the wake of what Pope Francis affirmed in Laudato Si’, Mons. Turkson stressed that we must work for an “ecological conversion” that calls not only individuals but the community to action.

Respect for creation is a concept also that is also highlighted in the Qur’an, as Prof. Mohammed S. Dajani Daoudi, director and founder of the Wasatia Academic Graduate Institute, explained in his speech: “The Holy Qur’an, which is considered by all Muslims as the the main source of Islamic doctrine and beliefs, affirms that God created man on earth and that the earth itself is God’s creation, bestowed by the grace of its creator to humanity for us to appreciate it. It is [our] right and a responsibility to use the nature that God has bestowed upon us, and he wants us to protect it and preserve it.”

“The ecological task assigned to humanity is expressed in the Midrash in the book of Ecclesiastes (Kohelet Rabbah 7 Section 28),” said Rabbi David Rosen, international director of interreligious affairs (AJC). From that Midrash, three fundamental lessons can be derived: creation belongs to God who created it; humanity is in reality God’s partner in creation; and man has the responsibility of preserving creation. For this reason, in order to restore the relationship with the divine and the environment, Jews observe the precepts of the Sabbath rest and respect for the ‘sabbatical year,’ during which they cyclically leave land uncultivated land for a time.

Prof. Stefano Zamagni, Professor of Economics at the University of Bologna and member of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, then focused on the very mission of mercy in the field of economics: “that of giving ‘shape’ to the market, humanizing it. A society cannot make progress on the path of integral human development by keeping the code of efficiency and the code of fraternity disjointed from one another,” said the professor.

The conclusions of the day were made by Cardinal Peter Turkson. To better understand the message of Laudato Si’, the Cardinal suggested putting the accent on ‘the seven Cs’: Continuity, Collegiality, Conversation, Care, Conversion, Citizenship and Contemplation. Man’s objective is an “ecological conversion” that leads to an “ecological citizenship,” respectful of the environment, for a contemplation of the wonders of creation.


Beatrice Guarrera | custodia.org

photos: Nadim Asfour

Through grace of believing, life is once again renewed | The General Minister’s Homily for the International Congress of Formation and Studies

On March 12, 2018, the General Minister, Br. Michael Anthony Perry, shared the following words during the Opening Mass of the International Congress of Formation and Studies at the General Curia in Rome.


My dear brother participants in this International Congress of Formation and Studies, the Lord give you peace!

In the Gospel of St. John, we are taken to the region of Galilea where Jesus was recognized and celebrated as a great wonder-worker who could transform the bad and the ugly into goodness and beauty, mastering even the malevolent forces of nature. Yet, despite all of his miraculous powers, Jesus could not force the people who came to hear his words and see his actions to embrace the new vision of God he was proposing; it simply was too radical and demanded too much of a change within their hearts and their lives. They were not prepared to undertake the hard work involved of unlearning what they had learned in their families, neighborhoods, and synagogues, and allow God to carry out within them a process of ‘restructuring’, of ‘revitalization’. No matter how miserable the state of their lives was, to change, to become something new and different was not in the cards for many if not most of those who followed Jesus from a distance.

It is wonderful that you who are engaged in all stages of formation – Ongoing and initial – are here at this gathering where ‘change’ IS the order of business. Unless I have misunderstood the Ratio formationis franciscanae; unless I have failed to see what the document Called to Freedom dealing with the challenges related to ongoing formation proposes; and unless I have failed to perceive within the document Pilgrims and Strangers the call to undergo a Copernican-like revolution in the way we understand the vital and inseparable link that exists between our lives and the lives of our brothers and sisters who are kept in the chains of poverty, marginalization, and exploitation, the same chains that bind and strip our Mother Earth of her vitality, dignity, and capacity to sustain our misbegotten way of life; then perhaps I have understood something of what the Franciscan formative experience is all about.

In the Gospel of St. John, we encounter a father who faces the existential limits of his existence, the possibility of losing his beloved son. He comes to Jesus in order to obtain a favor, a response that will transform the conditions of his child’s illness and open to him a new possibility for life. In the process, the official who is part of the repressive political structure erected and controlled by Herod the Tetrarch, a detail that does not go unnoticed by the evangelist John, comes face to face with Jesus. It is clear that the official does not come to request that Jesus demonstrate his miraculous powers in order to ‘wow’ the crowd. This encounter is absolutely personal: he comes on behalf of his dying son. He had no where else and no one else to who he could turn. But this also is true in the lives of those who come to the Order in search of a response to something that burns within them: a sense of loss; a feeling that God is offering them a new opportunity and a new life; or simply the fact that they feel a desire to respond to some vague and unclear call to embrace a new form of life that will make it possible for them to experience in a new way that they are alive, that life has meaning, and that they have a role to play in shaping the world in a way that is positive, holy, sacred.

What is amazing in the Gospel story is the simple acceptance on the part of the court official of the words, the promise of Jesus that, in fact, his son was already healed. The evangelist wants us to enter in to the experience of what it means to ‘believe’, and to understand that through this grace of believing, of trusting, life is once again renewed!

My brothers, the Franciscan formative experience, which lasts from the day we begin our ‘vocational journey’ to the day we return to the Father through sister death, is about creating the conditions necessary for placing all of our trust in God, and for enabling all brothers of the Order, all novices, all postulants, and all aspirants to come face to face with Jesus; to experience his love and compassion; to feel his embrace and acceptance; to abandon our lives, placing them entirely into the hands of God. The Franciscan formative experience is about coming face to face with the choice between death and life. It is about providing the necessary tools so that at all moments of our life we might continue to choose to seek life: life in God; life with one another; and life for our brothers and sisters and for our Mother Earth.

God is here! Love is near! Let us begin!

Visit to The Province of the Holy Name of Jesus in Brazil

From the 3rd to the 7th of March 2018, the general Minister, Br. Michael Anthony Perry, visited the province of the Holy Name of Jesus in Brazil accompanied by Br. Valmir Ramos, the area Definitor. This year this province celebrates 75 years of presence in the central area of Brazil.

The visit was begun in Brasilia in the friary that cares for a school and a parish in that capital of Brazil. The next day Br. Michael went to Anápolis, where the province has its curia. There he met the temporary professed friars and the postulants of the province, with whom he spoke about Franciscan identity and the formative process necessary to live the charism today. He visited social works supported by the province: hospital where the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany work, Bethany House that cares for AIDS patients, and two radios stations. He had a meeting with the Poor Clare Sisters assisted by the Friars. On the 6th he met all the friars of the province and shared the situation of the Order in the world today as well as the urgent need to authentically live our charism in light of the 5 priorities, despite all the activities and pastoral work in the service of the Church.

Alla conclusione della visita, Fr. Michael è andato a Catalão, dove si trova il noviziato interprovinciale della Provincia Santissimo Nome di Gesù, Custodia delle Sette Allegrezze della Madonna e Custodia del Sacro Cuore di Gesù. Al noviziato lui ha realizzato un incontro con i formatori e i Ministri di queste Entità.

At the end of the visit, Br. Michael went to Catalão, where there is the interprovincial novitiate of the Holy Name of Jesus Province, the custody of the Seven Joys of the Madonna and custody of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. At the novitiate he met with the formation directors and the Ministers of these entities.


A Week of Dialogue and Discovery

Br. John Wong, Custos of Singapore-Malaysia-Brunei and a member of the OFM Commission for Dialogue, spent a week in February with the Order of Interbeing, a Buddhist monastic family founded in 1966 by the renowned Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh.

From 9-11 February, Br. John visited Sangha Salento (Lecce, Italy) for “Three Days Together,” a program he co-led with the Italian monk Br. Phap Banh. The weekend united Buddhist mindfulness exercises with Gospel passages for meditation on Christ’s invitation in Matthew 11:29-30:  Rest in me. The publicity artwork, which depicted Christ inviting a disciple to find rest in him, was an original piece by Br. Phap Banh.

On the significance of the weekend, Br. Phap Banh told Br. John, “There is something very nice in an Italian Buddhist Monk and a Christian Malaysian Monk meeting together to offer peace. Many Italian people, hurt by Catholicism, are looking for something true, something alive in other religions. The teaching of [Thich Nhat Hanh], so simple and so deep, is bringing me to my true home: to Jesus alive in us. This is the best gift we can offer to ourselves and to the others.”

From 12-17 February, Br. John visited Plum Village, the monastic home of the Order of Interbeing in New Aquitaine, France. Br. John joined the monks and nuns of Plum Village in their mindfulness exercises, fraternal life, and preparations and celebrations of the Lunar New Year.

Br. John is working presently with the Order of Interbeing to develop a workshop for Franciscans working in Buddhist-majority countries and/or desiring dialogue with Buddhists. Please see “ofm.org” for future announcements.

It was in this of spirit of encounter and discovery that Br. John left Plumb Village and joined the Commission for Dialogue for its meeting in Mostar.


“3rd Franciscan Missionary Congress of Latin America and the Caribbean” webpage now online

Dear brothers and sisters of the Franciscan family, we communicate with great joy to you that the page for the “3rd Franciscan Missionary Congress of Latin America and the Caribbean” is now online. Via this page, you can follow the preparations for this great event. Please visit it and spread the news.


 We are inviting our brothers and sisters of the American Continent to attend the “3rd Franciscan Missionary Congress of Latin America and the Caribbean”, in Guatemala, from 22 to 27 January 2018, in the context of the celebration of 50 years of UCLAF. The topics to be covered are: “New scenarios-new challenges: Caring for the creation- Human mobility – The culture of peace”.

Chapter of Union Dates and Updates from the Canadian Provinces

Forging a new bilingual Pan-Canadian OFM Province, Franciscan friars from the two existing Canadian Provinces, are planning a Chapter of Union on October 21-25, 2018 at Star of the North Retreat Centre in St. Albert, Alberta.  The launch of the new Province, which will include a public celebration on the evening of October 22 in St. Albert Parish Church, will be assisted by the presence of the Minister General.  A recent update went out to all friars who will belong to the new Province.  The update summarizes progress confirmed at a February 22-23, 2018, meeting of the two Provincial Definitories in Montreal, Quebec.

The Chapter of Union will be the second of two important gatherings this year.  On April 23-26, Canadian friars will assemble at Centre de Spiritualité des Ursulines in Loretteville, Quebec, for a Chapter of Mats to break open the theme Revitalisation and Evangelisation: Go Repair My House.  Capuchin friar David Couturier and diocesan priest Jean-Philippe Auger will animate reflections on the renewal of Franciscan life within the Canadian context.  This event aims to draw the friars closer together in their common mission to evangelise as they seek to revitalise their presence in Canada.

As preparations proceed, several committees, including a Mission and Evangelisation Committee, a Formation and Studies Committee, a Finance Committee, a Statues Committee, a Communications Committee and a Liturgy Committee are working in tandem with the existing Definitories, a Transition Committee (tasked to organise both chapters) and a Delegate General.  All friars have been invited into a discernment process around the name of the new Province, as an always longed for renewal of Franciscan life and mission takes shape.


Blessed Vincent Romano, diocesan priest and pastor

The Holy Father had an audience with Card. Angelo Amato, S.D.B., Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints on 6 March 2018. During this audience, Pope Francis authorized the Congregation to promulgate a decree regarding the miracle attributed to Blessed Vincent Romano, diocesan priest and pastor in Santa Croce, Torre del Greco (Naples). Bl. Vincent was born in Torre del Greco on June 3rd, 1751 and died there on December 20th, 1831.

Bl. Vincent Romano spent all of his life as a priest in Torre del Greco. He was pastor at Santa Croce, whose church he had rebuilt after it was destroyed in the disastrous eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 1794. After the example of the Good Shepherd, he guided the community under his care, confirming it in the faith and giving it life through his love. He cared for the poor and sick and was engaged in the social realities of his time, especially in matters associated with seafarers. When he died in 1831, his reputation for holiness was very well-known and he was beatified in 1963. In 1998 the cause for his canonization was entrusted to Br. Luca De Rosa, OFM Postulator General.




Medieval Franciscan Friary rediscovered in Oxford

For the first time for many centuries, archaeologists were able to see substantial parts of one of the university’s greatest medieval teaching institutions – a friary established by Franciscan friars in 1224.

It was of pivotal importance in the history of Oxford University.

Along with their rivals the Dominicans, the Franciscans were a major force in helping to transform the institution – by focusing on intellectually much more rigorous and challenging subject matter in the curriculum.

Although the university had already existed for a few decades, it had specialised in teaching practical vocationally oriented courses like letter writing, Latin grammar, classical speech making, basic maths and practical law.

However, the Franciscans and their Dominican colleagues and rivals introduced a new emphasis on theology in the curriculum which in turn led to the teaching of advanced philosophy, physics, natural history, geology and even optics. At that stage, theology was viewed as the most ultra-modern cutting-edge intellectual discipline – and was even dubbed “the Queen of the sciences”. The friars used theology and the contents of the Bible as a way into all those other disciplines.

Largely courtesy of those mediaeval friars, Oxford quickly evolved into the international centre of scholarship it still is today. The archaeological investigation is therefore revealing what Oxford life was like during that historically crucial transition.


The archaeological investigation is also important because the Franciscan Friary (known as Greyfriars) was home to some of the most important scholars in Oxford University’s history and indeed the wider history of European academic life.

Among the eminent medieval scholars who taught at Greyfriars were Robert Grosseteste (one of mediaeval Europe’s first great mathematicians and physicists), Roger Bacon (a philosopher, linguist and pioneer of empirical science), Haymo of Faversham (a top international diplomat who taught at Paris, Tours, Bologna and Padua as well as Oxford), John of Peckham (who became Archbishop of Canterbury), Peter Phillarges (an Italian Franciscan widely recognised as Pope in the early 14th century) and William of Ockham (an important philosopher and radical political theorist).

These “super friars” with great international reputations had the ear of kings and popes and put Oxford more prominently on the map, internationally. They, and their Oxford student ‘hall’ and friary (Greyfriars), were politically very influential and that in turn helped to give the university greater status, thus attracting ever more top teachers and students.

Text:  David Keys | Photos: Oxford Archaeology | independent.co.uk

For the complete text in English: Alchemy, flushing toilets and blood-letting: The secrets of medieval Oxford revealed

Commission for Dialogue –  Report from its Annual Meeting

The Commission for Dialogue held its annual meeting from 19-25 February. At the invitation of its member Br. Iko Skoko, it convened in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina. In attendance were,

  • Russel Murray (General Curia, Rome), President.
  • Michael Calabria (Province of New York, “Holy Name,” USA), Vice President.
  • Apollinaire Bahinde (International Fraternity for Dialogue, Istanbul/Izmir).
  • James Puglisi, SA (Centro Pro Unione, Rome).
  • John Wong (Custody of Singapore-Malaysia-Brunei).
  • Iko Skoko (Province of Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina).
  • Lia Giovanazzi Beltrami (Aurora Vision, Trent).
  • Pradeep Kalliath (Province of India).
  • Riccardo Burigana (Istituto dei Studi Ecumenici, Venice).


The Commission reviewed the previous year’s commitments and established new commitments for the year ahead. Particular note may be made of the following items,

  • To make available resources for the formation of friars, as well as other religious and laity, in the fields of ecumenical and interreligious dialogue, particularly resources readily and easily available through the internet.
  • To develop “Schools of Dialogue” in different regions of the world where friars, in together with other religious and laity, may learn how to engage effectively in dialogue with the faithful of other Christian Churches and of other Faith Traditions.
  • To cultivate collaborative relationships that promote ecumenical and interreligious dialogue for the sake of a more just and peaceful world for all people.


The Commission also endorsed fully the program prepared by the Special Sub-Commission for Dialogue with Islam to mark the 800th anniversary of St. Francis’ encounter with Sultan al-Malik al-Kamil in Damietta. The program was presented by Br. Michael, President of the Special Commission; it included,

  • An online resource kit for friars and their partners-in-ministry to prepare to commemorate the anniversary of the Damietta Encounter.
  • A special commemoration of the Damietta Encounter to be led by the General Minister in the name of the Order.


In keeping with its mission to promote local ecumenical and interreligious initiatives by members of the Order of Friars Minor, the Commission met Br. Iko’s ecumenical and interreligious partners, as well as with civil authorities who support his work.

  • Archbishop of Sarajevo, H. E. Vinko Cardinal Puljić.
  • Mufti of Mostar, Salem Ef. Dedović.
  • Abbot of the Serbian Orthodox Monastery of the Annunciation in Mostar, Hegumen Daniel Pavlović.
  • Mayor of Mostar, Hon. Ljubo Bešlić.
  • Deputy Co-Mayors of Srebrinica, Hon. Senad Subašić.
  • Rector University of Mostar, Prof. Dr. Zoran Tomić.


The Commission personally thanked, in both its name and the name of the Order, the Provincial Minsters, as well as the local Guardians and Fraternities, who so warmly and generously welcomed it,

  • Provincial Minister of Mostar, Br. Miljenko Šteko.
  • Provincial Minister of Sarajevo, Br. Jozo Marinčić.
  • Provincial Minister of Split, Br. Joško Kodžoman.
  • Guardian in Sarajevo, Br. Mile Babić.
  • Guardian in Konjic, Br. Ferdo Boban.
  • Guardian in Široki Brijeg, Br. Tomislav Puljić.
  • Parish-Priest in Srebrenica/Zvornik, Br. Joso Orošilić.


The Commission was extremely moved during its visits. As its hosts recounted, Bosnia-Herzegovina is a land scared by three wars and seventy years of Communist rule, where memories of historical pain are as fresh as they are deep. If peace is to be its future, dialogue must be its present work. The Commission, therefore, commends the work of Br. Iko, his brothers and his partners. May it bear the fruit of that peace which surpasses all understanding.

The Commission will next meet in March 2019, at Santa Maria Draperis Friary in Istanbul, home of the Order’s International Fraternity for Dialogue.


V Chapter Under Ten: “Friars in Dialogue”

The Minister General together with his Definitory have convened the V Chapter Under Ten which will take place in Taizè (France) from July 7-14, 2019.

The previous chapters celebrated were: Santiago de Compostela (Spain, 1995); Canindé (Brazil, 2001); Holy Land (2007); Zapopan / Guadalajara (Mexico, 2012).

To facilitate the participation of all the Under Ten friars of the Order in this time of grace, the chapter work will be divided into three phases: Pre-Chapter, Chapter, Post-Chapter, structured according to the model: “See,” “Judge,” “Act,” respectively.

While the Chapter, which will take place in Taizé, will be attended by some representatives of each Entity of the Order, the Pre-Chapter and the Post-Chapter events will be held in the Entities themselves with the involvement of all the Under Ten friars.

The Chapter phase will be accessible to everyone as it progresses via the web address:



May the Blessed Virgin, icon and model of the consecrated life, give fruitfulness to the work of the Chapter.


Download PDF of the Letter of the Minister General to Under Ten 2019:


Visit to the Province of the Assumption of the BVM, Brazil

Br. Michael A. Perry visited the Province of the Assumption of the BVM (Brazil) from February 25th to March 2nd. He was accompanied by Br. Valmir Ramos, General Definitor for the region. At the beginning of the visit, the Province welcomed the Minister General in Teresina, where the local Archbishop Jacinto Furtado de Brito presided at a celebration attended by the friars of the Province, Capuchin friars, the Franciscan family, and many faithful. Br. Michael gave an address encouraging fidelity to Christ, the Gospel, and the Franciscan charism.

While in Teresina, Br. Michael met with the Provincial Definitory, listened to their hopes and fears, and shared something of the state of the Order. He also had an encounter with the friars in Initial Formation, listening to them and reflecting with them on a rapidly changing world with which we need to be engaged in order to better live out our charism. On March 1st, he met all the friars of the Province in a dialogue session. Taking a passage from Mark 1:9-18 as his starting point, he highlighted Jesus’ experience as the Beloved, an experience that can also be ours. He also spoke of our personal encounter with the Lord; of being able to see our brother as a Sacrament of God’s presence; and of the need to have a Franciscan ecclesiology in accordance with the documents Evangelii Gaudium and Laudato si’.

Br. Michael also visited a project founded in 1995 that cares for women and girls who are victims of sexual exploitation and abuse. Another highlight was a celebration of the Province’s 65th anniversary during which Br. Carlos Magno de Souza Santos, OFM was ordained to the priesthood.

Statement on the re-opening of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

After three days of closure, the doors of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher were reopened on February 28th at 4:00 in the morning.

Following is the official declaration on the reopening:

Statement on the re-opening of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

We, the heads of Churches in charge of the Holy Sepulcher and the Status Quo governing the various Christian Holy Sites in Jerusalem – the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, the Custody of the Holy Land and the Armenian Patriarchate – give thanks to God for the statement released earlier today by Prime Minister Netanyahu and offer our gratitude to all those who have worked tirelessly to uphold the Christian presence in Jerusalem and to defend the Status Quo.

After the constructive intervention of the Prime Minister, The Churches look forward to engagewith Minister Hanegbi, and with all those who love Jerusalem to ensure that Our Holy City, where our Christian presence continues to face challenges, remains a place where the three Monotheistic faiths may live and thrive together.

Following these recent developments we hereby announce that the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, that is the site of the crucifixion of Our Lord andalso of His Resurrection, will be reopened to the pilgrims tomorrow, February 28th, 2018 at 4.00 AM.


Patriarch of Jerusalem

Custos of the Holy Land

Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem

The Visit of the General Minister to the Custody of San Benedetto of Amazonia in Brazil

From 18 to 26 February 2018, the General Minister, Br. Michael Anthony Perry, visited the Custody of Amazonia in Brazil accompanied by Br. Valmir Ramos, the area’s General Definitor. Arriving on the 18th in Manaus, he was received by the brothers of St. Bonaventure Friary, which houses the Friar students of philosophy who attend the Salesian University in Manaus.

From Manaus Br. Michael went to Boa Vista, where the Brazilian conference maintains an interprovincial missionary fraternity from 1992. There he celebrated with the brothers by thanking God for his 25 years of mission in the extreme north of Brazil. There, general Minister could see the situation of the Church in the state of Roraima, which is quite difficult because of the distances, the lack of diocesan clergy, the unbridled growth of the city of Boa Vista, and the arrival of the Venezuelan migrants who, in 2017, were circa 70,000.

In Santarém, where the seat of the custody is located, Br. Michael met the majority of the Friars and the Council of the custody. He also celebrated the Eucharist with the Franciscan Family of that great area of Amazonia. The program of the visit to the Mission St. Francis in the River Cururu, the oldest continuous mission of the friars, was suspended due to incessant torrential rain.

The visit to the custody ended in Belém, with the community that cares for a very lively and socially active parish.

Churches in Jerusalem close the Holy Sepulcher in protest

In an extraordinary step, for the first time in its long history, the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher has closed its doors in protest at unprecedented attacks on the rights and property of the Christian community. This dramatic event took place in Jerusalem on the morning of Sunday February 25th and is part of a protest that will go on indefinitely. The entrance to the shrine most visited by Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land is closed, with a sign saying: “Enough is enough; stop the persecution of the Churches”. The poster also features a picture of the mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, who in recent weeks unilaterally abolished historically recognized Church exemptions to municipal taxes and mandated that the Churches’ current accounts could be seized to cover arrears.

A declaration regarding the protest has been signed by the Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theophilos III, the Custos of the Holy Land Br. Francesco Patton, and the Armenian Patriarch Nourhan Manougian, leaders of the three communities that, on behalf of the entire Christian tradition, administer the Basilica and other major holy sites in Jerusalem.

The official document can be read below:

Statement on Municipal threats and the discriminatory “Church Lands Bill”

We, the heads of Churches in charge of the Holy Sepulcher and the Status Quo governing the various Christian Holy Sites in Jerusalem – the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, the Custody of the Holy Land and the Armenian Patriarchate – are following with great concern the systematic campaign against the Churches and the Christian community in the Holy Land, in flagrant violation of the existing Status Quo.

Recently, this systematic and offensive campaign has reached an unprecedented level as the Jerusalem municipality issued scandalous collection notices and orders of seizure of Church assets, properties and bank accounts for alleged debts of punitive municipal taxes. A step that is contrary to the historic position of the Churches within the Holy City of Jerusalem and their relationship with the civil authorities. These actions breach existing agreements and international obligations which guarantee the rights and the privileges of the Churches, in what seems as an attempt to weaken the Christian presence in Jerusalem. The greatest victims in this are those impoverished families who will go without food and housing, as well as the children who will be unable to attend school.

The systematic campaign of abuse against Churches and Christians reaches now its peak as a discriminatory and racist bill that targets solely the properties of the Christian community in the Holy Land is being promoted. This abhorrent bill is set to advance today in a meeting of a ministerial committee which if approved would make the expropriation of the lands of churches possible. This reminds us all of laws of a similar nature which were enacted against the Jews during dark periods in Europe.

This systematic and unprecedented attack against Christians in the Holy Land severely violates the most basic, ab antiquo and sovereign rights, trampling on the delicate fabric of relations between the Christian community and the authorities for decades.

THEREFORE, and recalling the Statement of the Patriarchs and Heads of Local Churches in Jerusalem, dated 14 February, 2018 and their previous statement of September 2017, as a measure of protest, we decided to take this unprecedented step of closure of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Together with all Heads of Churches in the Holy Land we stand united, firm and resolute in protecting our rights and our properties.

May the Holy Spirit answer our prayers and bring a resolution to this historic Crisis in our Holy City.

Patriarch of Jerusalem

Custos of the Holy Land

Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem

“Laudato Si’- The integral ecology by Pope Francis for the safeguarding of the common home:” a conference in Jerusalem

“Laudato Si’”- The integral ecology by Pope Francis for the safeguarding of the common home” is the title of the conference that will take place on March 12 at 9 a.m. at the Notre Dame Center in Jerusalem. It has been organized by the Custody of the Holy Land’s Commission for Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation with the intention of presenting Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ and of discussing the topic of protecting the “common home” with the Israeli and Palestinian communities. In addition to the Custos of the Holy Land, Fr. Francesco Patton, Card. Peter Turkson, Prefect of the Department for Integral Human Development, and Prof. Mohammed S. Dajani Daoudi, the director and founder of the Wasatia Academic Graduate Institute, will also be present. Also participating in the event will be Rabbi David Rosen, the International Director of Interreligious Affairs (AJC) and Prof. Stefano Zamagni, a professor of economics at the University of Bologna and a member of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. The conference is under the patronage of the Department for Integral Human Development, the Apostolic Delegation of the Holy See in Jerusalem and Palestine, and the Assembly of Catholic Priests of the Holy Land. The lectures will take place in the morning and the afternoon on March 12, with simultaneous translation in English and Italian. Admission is free.

For more information: www.custodia.org

Serata Laudato Si’ in Rome – An Event Promoting the Message of the Encyclical Laudato Si’

Laudato Si’ Cultural Evening in Rome 

An Event Promoting the Message of the Encyclical Laudato Si’


This Cultural Evening expresses our appreciation and gratitude to Pope Francis for his Encyclical Laudato Si’ on the care of the common home and is a sign of restitution to the “Lord God Most High” because we “acknowledge that all good belongs to Him.” For this reason, we Friars Minor wish to share this Event with the Church and civil society so that we may proclaim with one voice: Laudato si’, mi’ Signore.

This Cultural Evening will sensitize everyone to the care of the environment, our common home, as Pope Francis often says, and invite us to commitment ourselves to the values ​​promoted in Laudato si’. Love for Creation belongs to the essence of our Franciscan charism. As Franciscans we are always called to express this love, in the spirit of St. Francis.


Principal Artists

Eugenio Maria Fagiani

The Piccolo Coro “Mariele Ventre” dell’Antoniano di Bologna

Fr. Alessandro Brustenghi, OFM


March 23, 2018 – 7:00 p.m.

Basilica of San Antonio al Laterano, Via Merulana, 124, 00185 Rome RM, Italy

Event with free registration:



JPIC Office
General Curia


Open our hearts to the novelty that God offers | The General Minister’s Homily for the visit in Brazil and the Southern Cone

On February 12, 2018, the General Minister, Br. Michael Anthony Perry, shared the following words during the opening Mass of the meeting between the two conferences (Brazil and the Southern Cone) in Sao Paolo, Brazil.

Dear brothers and sisters, the Lord give you peace!

“Why does this generation ask for a sign?” One of the greatest difficulties that humans have is our uncontrollable desire to have an absolute confirmation of what we call truth. And the greater our lack of imagination and wonder, the more we seek clarity, even extraordinary, signs to confirm something that, in many cases, we know is true, but for one reason or another we refuse to accept.

In today’s gospel, it happens that way.


“Jesus sighs deeply,” probably out of frustration and sorrow at such a great blindness. and he concludes, “No sign will be given to this generation!” He left them and went to the other side of the lake. It’s no use showing a nice painting to those who don’t want to open their eyes. Those who close their eyes cannot see!

So what does it take for each of us to open our hearts to the novelty that God is looking to offer to the world, to the church and to us that we are friars minor in these times of tremendous change and in these regions of the order?

St. Francis of Assisi offers us a way to move forward. In his testament to the brethren he reveals how the disciples of Jesus must respond in faith to what God is asking of each one of them. It is not a matter of knowledge, although we must study the signs of the times, as the Second Vatican Council reminded us. Nor is it a matter of having control over everything, as if power were the key to a deeper faith. This is something that governments and even the Church, the Order must still learn.

Let’s now hear the words of St. Francis, who received a new vision of God and a new vision of humanity, which led him to embrace Jesus, lepers and all people and nature as brothers and sisters in a completely new and liberated way.

The Lord gave to me, Brother Francis, thus to begin to do penance; for when I was in sin it seemed to me very bitter to see lepers, and the Lord Himself led me amongst them and I showed mercy to them. And when I left them, that which had seemed to me bitter was changed for me into sweetness of body and soul. And afterwards I remained a little and I left the world.

Click here to see the full text of the homily in Spanish.

General Definitorium meets with Brazilian and Southern Cone Conferences

The meeting of the General Minister and his Council with the Conferences of Friars Minor of the Southern Cone (Argentina, Chile and Paraguay) and Brazil began on Monday, February 12, 2018, in the historic St. Francis Convent in São Paulo, Brazil.  The successor of St. Francis of Assisi, Br. Michael Perry, opened the gathering with the Eucharistic Celebration at 7:30 am, with the concelebrants, Provincial Minister Br. Fidêncio Vanboemmel and Provincial Minister Br. Inácio Dellazari, President of the Brazilian Conference.

The meeting of the General Minister and his Council with the friars of the two Conferences continued in the Hall of St. Damasus, in the cloister of the Convent. In addition to Br. Michael, also present were: Vicar General Br. Julio César Bunader and Definitors: Br. Valmir Ramos, Br. Ignacio Ceja, Br. Nicodeme Kibuzehose, Br. Ivan Sesar, Br. Lino Gregorio Redoblado, Br. Caoimhín Ó Laoide and Br. Antonio Scabio. Br. Jürgen Neitzert, the Definitor General from Germany, was not present in São Paulo due to the death of his father.

In attendance from the Conference of the Southern Cone are Br. Isauro Covili (Province of the Most Holy Trinity – Chile), Br. Emilio Andrada (Province of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin of Rio de la Plata – Argentina and Paraguay) and Br. Daniel Alejandro Fleitas Zeni (Province of San Francisco Solano, Argentina).

From the Brazilian Conference of Brazil: Br. Inácio Dellazari (Province of St. Francis of Assisi), Br. Fidêncio Vanboemmel (Province of the Immaculate Conception), Br. Hilton Farias de Souza (Province of Santa Cruz), Br. Rogério Viterbo de Souza (Custody of the Seven Joys of Our Lady); Br. Marco Aurélio Cruz (Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus), Br. Francisco de Assis da Paixão (Custody of St. Benedict), Br. Bernardo de Souza Brandão Neto (Province of Our Lady of the Assumption), Br. João Amilton dos Santos (Province of St. Anthony), and Br. Flaerdi Valvassori (Custody of the Sacred Heart of Jesus).

Br. Inácio opened the presentations with an overview of the Conference of Brazil and the challenges facing the friars in a country as big as Brazil. He then spoke of the evangelizing work and history of the Province of St. Francis, in Rio Grande do Sul, where he is Provincial Minister.

Br. Fidêncio closed the morning with the presentation of the Province of the Immaculate Conception, the second oldest in Brazil.

For more information on the meetings click here (in Portuguese).