A rendi központ hírei - olasz nyelven

Meeting of the General Definitory with the Bolivarian and Our Lady of Guadalupe Conferences  

The meeting of the Minister General and his Definitory with the Bolivarian and Guadalupe Conferences took place at the port of Veracruz in Mexico from 3rd to 8th February. Attending, in addition to the ten friars of the General Definitory, were ten Provincial Ministers, a Custos and two Provincial Vicars coming from the fourteen entities which make up the two Conferences.  The event took place in the context of the 494th Anniversary of the arrival of the so-called “Twelve Franciscan Apostles” in the then “New Spain” in 1524 which marked the beginning of a systematic and orderly evangelization in continental America.

In parallel, whilst sharing moments of prayer, food and fraternity, the meeting of the Under Ten brothers from the twelve Provinces that make up the Conferences was taking place. Thirty-four friars in total took part and as well as sharing their dynamism, dreams and worries, they studied several documents and discussed their vocation, mission and  the challenges which they have to confront.

The gathering was enriched by fraternal meetings, analysis of the Entities, reflection and dialogue with the fundamental question of what God is asking of the Friars Minor today in the Church, in the Order and, more specifically, in the Bolivarian, Caribbean, Central American and Mexican regions being always at the forefront of our minds.  Having listened to the reports of the Provincial Ministers and Custodians and discussed the matters arising, the Minister General, Fr. Michael Anthony Perry outlined several indications for the renewal of the Entities and made concrete recommendations to them.

To celebrate the arrival in Mexico of the first Franciscan missionaries the Minister General on Saturday 3rd February, blessed a statue of Fr. Martin de Valencia (the leader of the group of twelve) sited in a square of the town of Veracruz, and proceeded then in procession to the Cathedral where he presided at a solemn holy mass and thanked God for the gift of salvation offered by Christ to all peoples. He said, “Today we remember the generosity and dedication of Fray Martin de Valencia and his companions who through their words and actions, and with great sacrifice, rendered the salvation of Christ actual in their time, and recognize the necessity for us to renew ourselves in Jesus Christ so that we may incarnate the impulse that inspired these great missionaries to share the joy of the Gospel”.

In order to raise awareness in those present of various experiences and service that the friars offer in the region some moments were dedicated to that. Fr. Tomás González reported on the situation of the migrants travelling from Central America to the United States through the territory of Mexico and the work that is done in “The 72. The Home of the Migrant”.  We visited “Las Patronas”, a group of ordinary women who give something to eat to the Central American migrants, who travel on the goods train called “The Beast” from the south to the north of Mexico. We prayed for peace along the tracks of the same train. There was also a visit to the Franciscan Library of Cholula, Puebla, which has a valuable collection of books and historical documents. There, the Minister General presented a written recognition to Fr. Francisco Morales, doctor in history and Director of the Library, for his contribution to research and publicizing of the history of the Franciscans in the Americas.

The programme concluded with the celebration of the Eucharist in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the city of Mexico, where Fr. Michael, starting from the Gospel passage of the visit of Mary to her cousin, Elizabeth, thanked God for the joy of the meeting and concluded  by saying, “however the dialogue between Mary and Elizabeth developed, each one of them discovered something new, a new sense of their identity in God and an inexhaustible blessing  which has begun to invade their lives”.  In conclusion he invited those present to share with urgency the joy they received from God so that his power could act within each person and in the whole world.

A deep note of thanks to the Conference of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which hosted this meeting, for their fraternal hospitality, and in particular to the friars of the Province of the Holy Gospel of Mexico, led by their Provincial Minister, Fr Juan Medina. The meeting was not only organized in an excellent manner, but it was also an occasion for the brothers to hear, feel, contemplate and savour in many ways the Mexican culture and warmth.

2018 Celebration of the Week of Christian Unity in Istanbul

From January 20 to 27, 2018, prayer sessions for the unity of Christians were held in Istanbul (Turkey).  Br. Eleuthère, Guardian of the Franciscan friary, the Church of Santa Maria Draperis, reported that their place was chosen for the opening of this event, important for both the Church in general and for the fraternity in particular.  This choice was motivated by the cultural plurality of the community at Santa Maria, as well as that of their parishioners.  The theme of the week, “Your right hand, O Lord, glorious in power” (Ex 15,6), prepared by Caribbean Christians, was widely felt by members of the parish communities, largely composed of immigrants from different countries with backgrounds more similar to that of the Caribbean.

“During this week,” said Br. Eleuthère, “despite our being a minority in Istanbul, we experienced the beauty and richness of the churches. All the traditional churches that were represented together with churches of the reformation could easily feel what St. Irenaeus affirmed years ago: ‘Here is the Church.’”

The Franciscan Fraternity of Santa Maria Draperis is part of the International Fraternity for Dialogue, which promotes ecumenical and interreligious dialogue in the name of the Order. The International Fraternity for Dialogue is part of the Blessed Giles Foundation, and is directly dependent upon the Minister General.


“Alegria, the Joy offered by God” | The Minister General’s Concluding Homily for the Visit in Mexico

On February 7, 2018, at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Minister General, Br. Michael Anthony Perry, shared the following words during the final celebration of the gathering in Mexico.



My dear Brothers of the Gospel life: May the Lord give you his peace!

Alegria! This word describes something of what we have experienced during these past number of days as guests and brothers in the Province of Santo Evangelio, Mexico, sharing life together, telling stories about hopes and dreams but also about disappointments and moments of sadness. We have laughed, shared food, sang and danced. We have visited places where suffering humanity passes, where believers and disciples of Christ offer to brothers and sisters who have fled from their homes and counties taking the rail highway in order to find some place where they might live in peace and with dignity and opportunity. Perhaps what has been most important during these days has been the mutual recognition that God is alive in our world. God is working in each one of us, in our fraternities, in the Foundation, the Custodies, the Provinces, and the worldwide Order. Despite the fact that we  do not always respond generously and freely to God’s invitation, still, God comes in search of us, sending messengers when necessary, to pull us back into the circle of His great love and mercy.

“Each time we witness a return to the original spirit of the Gospel, to pure, unadulterated, courageous following of Jesus in poverty, humility, simplicity and trust, happiness and the joy of the children of God are seen to come to life again.”

These words from Mother Teresa reveal something about what is taking place in the Gospel from St. Luke we have heard proclaimed in this sacred Basilica of Tepeyac, dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe. In the course of their visit and sharing, we witness an eruption of joy: the ‘baby leapt’ in Elizabeth’s womb. This eruption of joy is not the result simply of two human beings who love and care for each another coming together to laugh, cry, and support one another. Nor is it because they were perfect in every sense of the world. One could not conceive and bear a son; the other was pregnant but had no husband. But it is precisely in such situations of human weakness, shame, of ‘impossibility’ that God makes great things happen, miracles! Whatever else took place in the dialogue between Mary and Elizabeth, each of them discovered something new, a new sense of their identity in God, and a type of blessing and offer of holiness that was taking deeper root in their lives. Their bodies and their spirits were being transformed, opening new directions and possibilities for them and for all of humanity to discover the author of life, God; to be embraced by this same loving God; and to be invited into authentic discipleship, becoming co-disciples and co-missionaries with Mary and Elizabeth, with all of the Apostles, and with all of humanity.

The joy spoken of in the Bible texts flows from the heart of God, from the Trinity of beings who share perfect communion and who seek to draw us into their ‘dance’. In all instances where the Biblical writers speak about joy, they indicate four distinct but interrelated themes or ‘actions’.

First, the joy offered by God to humanity cannot be manufactured or cloned no matter how great our technology. It is pure gift from God.

Second, authentic joy can be recognized only by those who have hearts open to search, to perceive, and to receive it. When this happens; when the hearts and minds of human beings are open to the working of God’s grace and love, a new space opens up within us, as happened in the lives of Mary and Elizabeth, in the life of San Juan Diego.

Third, the joy promised and given by God is given within the context of friendship and fraternity/community. It flows from the deep and abiding relationship shared by God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in the Trinity, and is destined to be experienced between human beings and with God.

And fourth, evangelical joy is meant to be shared with others. It contains within itself the seeds for a ‘new evangelization’, leading those who receive this gift to ‘go out to the peripheries of the world with the joy of the Gospel’ (2015 Final Document of General Chapter). Authentic joy received from God needs to be shared in order for its saving power to be fully released within us and within our world.

Brothers, we are here in this sanctuary of our Lady of Guadalupe. But none of this would have been possible had San Juan Diego (1531) not opened his heart to the will of God speaking through the Virgin Mary, promising to bring peace and joy to all who would come to this sacred spiritual center. Those who come here to pray recognize in Mary a perfect model of what it means to trust unconditionally and freely in God’s promise of life and life to the full (John 10:10).  Mary is honored for her unparalleled status as the mother of the Lord. But she also is honored at the ‘first disciple’, as someone who placed her entire will, her life, her entire being into God’s hands, allowing God to work His miracle in her life.

Faith; identity; fraternity; missionary zeal – these four areas that we have been discussing these past days are intimately connected with the experience of evangelical joy in the life and witness of Mary and Elizabeth, San Juan Diego, St. Francis of Assisi, and St. Clare. God seeks to pour out his spirit of grace, peace, and joy into our lives, so that this joy might take root in our local Franciscan fraternities, our Order, our Church, and our world. We must be willing to go deep within ourselves and open our hearts to God (Prayer) the source of our hope, our joy. We must also be willing to go out from ourselves, opening our lives to one another in fraternity, a privileged place for receiving the revelation of Jesus Christ. It is from this same fraternity that we are called to go out two by two announcing the joy and peace with which we have been blessed and for which we are now called to go and share with all of humanity and the natural environment (Mission).

Brothers, may we like Mary allow the Holy Spirit to take possession of our lives and our fraternities so that we might become what we receive in and through the Eucharist: food for humanity, sign of the sacramental presence of God in the world, a world beloved and redeemed by God.

Brothers, let us join in prayer, using words written by Pope Francis (Evangelii Gaudium 288):


Mary, Virgin and Mother,

you who, moved by the Holy Spirit,

welcomed the world of life in the depths of your humble faith:

as you gave yourself completely to the Eternal One,

help us to say our own ‘yes’

to the urgent call, as pressing as ever,

to proclaim the good news of Jesus…

Star of the new evangelization,

help us to bear radiant witness to communion,

service, ardent and generous faith,

justice and love of the poor,

that the joy of the Gospel may reach to the ends of the earth,

illuminating even the fringes of our world.

Alleluia! Amen! Alleluia!

Br. Juan Manuel Muñoz Curiel appointed auxiliary bishop of Guadalajara, Mexico

The Holy Father has appointed Br. Juan Manuel Muñoz Curiel, OFM, Provincial Minister of the Province of Santos Francisco y Santiago en México, as an auxiliary bishop of Guadalajara, Mexico assigning him the titular seat of Tucci.

Br. Juan Manuel was born in Guadalajara on 12 March 1958. He is an agricultural engineer and holds a degree in spiritual theology from the “Antonianum” University of Rome. He was ordained a priest on 3 July 1993, incardinated in the Order of Friars Minor.

He has held the following positions: teacher, animator of vocational ministry, secretary of the province, deputy master master of Juniores, counsellor for public associations of the archdiocese of Guadalajara, episcopal secretary for Consecrated Life of the archdiocese of Guadalajara, member of the presbyteral council of the same archdiocese, and rector of the Church of San Diego in the city of Aguascalientes.

He is currently provincial of the Province of Santos Francisco y Santiago en México.

Communique from the General Definitory – Tempo Forte of January 2018

The January 2018 Tempo Forte was held at the General Curia, Rome, from the 8th to the 26th of the month. On the 16th, the Minister, Vicar, and Definitors General took part in the celebrations marking the Feast of the Pontifical University, Antonianum. The annual meeting with newly elected Ministers and Custodes took place from January 17th to 25th, and the following took part:

  • Rogério Viterbo DE SOUZA, OFM, Custody of the Seven Joys of Our Lady, Brazil;
  • René BUSTAMANTE, OFM, Missionary Province of St. Anthony, Bolivia;
  • Alejandro Adolfo WIESSE LÉON, OFM, Province di St. Francis Solanus, Peru;
  • Yusuf BAGH, OFM, Custody of St. John the Baptist, Pakistan;
  • Gabriel NGGA, OFM, Province of St. Francis, Herald of Peace, West Papua;
  • Mikael PERUHE, OFM, Province of St. Michael the Archangel, Indonesia;
  • Isauro Ulises LINFATI COVILI, OFM, Province of the Blessed Trinity, Chile;
  • Juan Manuel MUÑOZ CURIEL, OFM, Province of Sts. Francis and James, Messico;
  • Flavio CHÁVEZ GARCÍA, OFM, Province of Sts. Peter and Paul, Mexico;
  • Pierre CHARLAND, OFM, Province of St. Joseph, Canada;
  • Aidan MCGRATH, OFM, Province of Ireland;
  • Thomas NAIRN, OFM, Sacred Heart Province, USA;
  • Mark SOEHNER, OFM, St. John the Baptist Province, USA;
  • Teofil CZARNIAK, OFM, Province of the Immaculate Conception, Poland;
  • Jacek KOMAN, OFM, Province di St.ta Mara degli Angeli, in Polonia;
  • Jakub František SADÍLEK, OFM, Province of St. Wenceslaus, Czech Republic;
  • Juan Carlos MOYA OVEJERO, OFM, Province of the Immaculate Conception, Spain;
  • Amaral Bernardo AMARAL, OFM, Custody of St. Clare, Mozambique;


After a short session, during which each of the friars of the Definitory spoke about the activities and experiences in which they had been involved during the period since the last Tempo Forte, held just before Christmas, a presentation was made of the final Visitation Reports from:

  • The Province of the Immaculate Conception, Spain;
  • The Custody of the Seven Joys of Our Lady, Brazil.


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

  • During the Provincial Chapter of the Province of the Twelve Apostles, Peru;
  • During the Provincial Chapter of the Province of the Immaculate Conception, Spain;
  • During the Provincial Chapter of the Province of St. Anthony, Brazil;
  • During the Capitular Congressus of the Province of Our Lady of Hungary;
  • during Extra-Capitular elections of a Definitor and some Guardians in various Entities of the Order.


In addition, changes to the Particular Statutes of the following Province were ratified:

  • Province of the Immaculate Conception, Poland.


The following requests were examined:

  • dispensation from the obligations of the clerical state (3);
  • secularisation pure et simpliciter (3);
  • dispensation from Solemn Vows (1);
  • exclaustration (1);
  • dispensation from Simple Vows (1).



Two friars from the Province of the Incarnate Word (Togo), and three from the Province of St. Francis (East Africa) were given obediences to participate in the French-language inter-obediential formation course for missionaries that will be held in the OFM house, Notre Dame des Missions, Brussels, from March 2018 onwards.

A number of friars were released from their service to the Missionary Projects of the Order, while others received their obedience to begin service in these projects. Soon, the new Fraternity in Cuba, a Missionary Project that has been promoted by the Minister General, will be formed.

As well as meeting the various Secretariats and Offices of the General Curia, the General Definitory also met with Br. Andrew BROPHY, OFM, recently nominated Executive Director of the General Secretariat for Franciscan Missions, in Waterford (WI), U.S.

The General Animator for Evangelization presented the program of celebrations that the Commission on Service for Dialogue is organising in conjunction with the Province of the Holy Family (Egypt). These celebrations, commemorating the meeting of St. Francis with the Sultan Melek-El-Kamel, will take place in Damietta, Egypt, in 2019.

As well as being updated on the progress being made as regards preparations for the Plenary Council of the Order (Nairobi, June 12th -28th, 2018) and for the Chapter of Mats for Under Ten (Taizé, 2019), the General Definitory elected:

  • Josip PERCAN, OFM, as President of the Scotist Commission, Rome;
  • Witold SALAMON, OFM, as Vice-President of the Scotist Commission, Rome;
  • Juri LEONI, OFM, as Legal Representative of the Fondazione Collegio St. Bonaventura Frati editori di Quaracchi, at St. Isidore’s College, Rome;
  • Eduardo ARMENTA, OFM, of the Province of St. Peter Baptist, the Philippines, as Visitator General of the Custody of St. Anthony of Padua, the Philippines;
  • The Custodial Council of the Custody of the Immaculate Conception, Albania, dependent on the Minister General (Br. Aurel GJERKAJ, OFM, Custos; Br. Mirash MARINAJ, OFM, Br. Valentin RROKU, OFM, Br. Vitor DEMAJ, OFM, and Br. Sergio GAZZEA, OFM, Council Members).


The next Tempo Forte will be held at the General Curia from March 12th to 23rd, 2018.


Rome, 30th January, 2018

Br. Giovanni Rinaldi, OFM
Secretary General

Venerable Ambrogio Grittani, Founder of the Oblates of St. Benedict Joseph Labre

Promulgation of Decrees of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints

On 26 January 2018, the Holy Father Francis received in audience His Eminence Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. During the audience, the Supreme Pontiff authorized the same Congregation to promulgate the Decrees regarding the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Ambrosio Grittani, diocesan priest and founder of the Oblates of Saint Benedict Joseph Labre; born in Ceglie del Campo, Italy on 11 October 1907 and died on 30 April 1951 in Molfetta, Italy.

 Servant of God Ambrosio Grittani Diocesan priest and founder of the Oblates of Saint Benedict Joseph Labre 1907-1951

Ambrosio Grittani was a priest of the Bari diocese who, after first teaching in the Regional seminary of Molfetta, turned to pastoral care of the least in society in whom he learned to recognize the face of Christ. He founded the Pious Work of St. Benedetto Giuseppe Labre in October 1941 the aim of which was to help the poor of the region both materially and spiritually on a daily basis. Whilst carrying out this charitable Work the servant of God founded the Oblate Sisters of St. Benedetto Giuseppe Labre and in 1949 the “House of the Poor” at Molfetta (Bari). He lived an austere life characterized by his profound humility. His heroic charity impelled him to go begging for the people he helped and to look after sick and dying people personally. His simplicity and his affable nature enabled him to speak to everyone, the poor and the rich, the powerful and the homeless. His spirituality was based  on love of the Eucharist and of the Mother of God. He died on 30th April 1951 with a widespread reputation for holiness. His cause for beatification was commenced in 1990.

Once again discover the overwhelming love and mercy of God – Conclusion of the Meeting with Provincial Ministers and Custodes 2018

The meeting with Provincial Ministers and Custodes concluded on Jan. 25 2018; it was both formative and informative.  During the meeting, different topics were tackled, such as the service of authority, formation for the missions, accompanying brothers going through difficult times, defections from the Order, the Minister Provincial and Definitory, the document and mandates of the General Chapter of 2015, and Finance.  All the participants were able to meet with the Minister General personally and were able to visit the offices of the Curia.

In his concluding homily, the Minister General shared these words:

HOMILY Conversion of St. Paul, Apostle and Missionary


Less than one year ago, I visited the Franciscans in Damascus, a war zone, the consequences of internal and international divisions and thirst for power and the imposition of religious ideology. Together with the Custos of the Holy Land, and other friars, we visited the house of Ananias where St. Paul spent considerable time. As explosions rang through the neighborhoods of Damascus, we could not help but fall on our knees and pray – for peace, for truth, for conversion. It was a bit ironic that we were praying for conversion – personal and social – precisely in the house where St. Paul experienced kindness, welcome but also moments of intense self-questioning, the effort to respond to an inner voice whose echo progressively grew stronger, inviting Paul into an entirely new way of thinking and acting.

Most of us know St. Paul for his writings, the powerful theological images he employed to catch the attention of his audience, his rhetorical style, demonstrating the tremendous impact that his Jewish master, Gamaliel, had upon him. We also know St. Paul for his missionary journeys that took him into the heart of Judaism, and from this deep experience of faith, projected him outwards towards the Gentiles and leading him to the ends of the Roman empire. Paul was a man on a mission, before and after his personal encounter with Jesus ‘on the road’ to and beyond Damascus. And while the catalogue of missionary journeys reveals a man who never tired of inviting others into the same experience of forgiveness, healing, and renewal that continued to take place in his life, it also reveals a man who had to deal with his own weaknesses and inner struggles. For St. Paul, it was precisely because he was weak that he discovered, in the cross and resurrection of Jesus that God was even stronger in him. It is this insight, perhaps more than any other, that finds echo in the experience of St. Francis of Assisi: that in our human weakness God comes to unite Self with us, never abandoning us, never leaving us alone. God plunges into the darkness of our humanity in order to bring us to the fullness of life. There is no moment in history that can ‘hide’ from God’s will to transform and save.

As we reflect on the life and conversion of St. Paul, a lifelong process, let us draw courage for our own journeys of faith. Let us recall that one of the major responsibilities of those who have been appointed and anointed as ‘ministers’ is to invite the brothers to reach deep within themselves where they might once again discover and experience the unlimited and overwhelming love and mercy of God. As we allow Christ to draw us closer to the heart of the Trinitarian God, may we also allow our minds and hearts to expand, as happened in the lives of St. Paul, St. Francis, and so many other saints of God, enabling us to perceive in all things the presence of God who comes to meet humanity in all circumstances of life. Let us extend our arms to embrace other Christians who are on the road with us. Let us never allow ourselves to be defeated by evil and by those who propagate hatred and all forms of exclusion, using violence in the name of God. May we, like Paul, allow ourselves to come an understanding of the faith that is inclusive, that embraces difference, seeking the way of personal and social conversion, justice, and peace. May we together with Paul, Francis and the brothers of our respective entities and of the Order allow Jesus to lead us along the path of ongoing conversion, which begins and ends in personal encounter with the living and loving Lord Jesus, an encounter that blinds even as it illuminates.

My brothers, let us draw strength from the words of St. Paul to the Christians in Ephesus:

Out of his infinite glory, may he give you the power through his Spirit for your inner self to grow strong, so that Christ may live in your hearts through faith, and then, planted in love and built on love, you will with all the saints have strength to grasp the breadth and the length, the height and the depth until, knowing the love of Christ which is beyond all knowledge, you are filled with the utter fullness of God. Glory be to him whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine (Ephesians 3: 16-19).



RIP Bishop Sylvester Carmel Magro

On 20 January 2018, at Mater Dei Hospital, Msida, Malta, Msgr. Sylvester Carmel Magro, Apostolic Vicar Emeritus of Benghazi and Titular Bishop of Salde, went to meet the Risen Lord. Sylvester Carmel Magro was born in Rabat, Malta, on 14 February 1941. He studied at Stella Maris College in Gzira. He entered the Franciscan OFM Province of St. Paul the Apostle in Malta on 12 October 1957. After the Novitiate he made his Temporary Profession on 13 October 1958, and on 18 March 1962 he made his Solemn Profession. He studied philosophy and theology in the Studium of the Province in the friary of Saint Mary of Jesus of Rabat. On 26 March 1966 he was ordained priest by Archbishop Michael Gonzi.

After his ordination he was sent for higher studies at the Pontificium Athenaeum Antonianum (PUA) in Rome, where he studied dogmatic and pastoral theology. Back in the Maltese Province he was assigned to the friary of Rabat as Master of Students, Lecturer and Prefect of Studies. Between 1982 and 1988 he was parish priest of the Franciscan Parish of the Virgin Mary of the Sacred Heart (Sacro Cuor) in Sliema, Malta.

In 1988 Fr. Magro offered his services to the Franciscan mission of Libya, at the time under the care of the Franciscan Province of Milan, under the direction of the Apostolic Administrator Msgr. Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli OFM. In 1991 the mission was entrusted to the care of the Maltese Franciscan Province. Fr. Magro became Vicar General of Msgr. Martinelli and chaplain to the English-speaking community in Libya, among which were many Maltese workers.

In 1997, after agreements between the Vatican and the Libyan Arab Republic, Pope St. John Paul II nominated Fr. Sylvester Carmel Magro Apostolic Vicar of Benghazi and Titular Bishop of Salde. The region of Cyrenaica in Libya, with the city of Benghazi, had formerly been under the direction of an Apostolic Vicar and under the care of the Franciscan Province of Liguria. The last Apostolic Vicar was Msgr. Giustino Pastorino (1965-1997), who had to leave Benghazi in 1970 after the September Revolution.  Sylvester Magro was consecrated Bishop on 11 May 1997 at St. John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta, Malta, by the Apostolic Nuncio to Malta, Msgr. José Sebastián Laboa Gallego, assisted by Msgr. Ġużeppi Mercieca, Archbishop of Malta, and Bishop Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli, Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli.

Bishop Magro continued his pastoral activity in Libya from 1997 till 2016, in close collaboration with Bishop Giovanni Martinelli. He engaged in the care of the immigrant workers present in Libya at the time, particularly those of the numerous communities of Filippinos, Polish, Maltese and other countries from Africa and the Middle East. He also worked hard to restore the Franciscan church of the Immaculate Conception of Benghazi, given that the former cathedral had been taken over by the regime and was closed. At the Franciscan friary and church of the Immaculate Conception he also built a small house to serve as residence for the Apostolic Administrator. Unfortunately the whole complex had to be abandoned when Islamic extremists took over Benghazi and the Franciscan friary became an arms depot. From the latest reports and photos the whole complex appears in a sad state of total destruction.

In 2002 Msgr. Magro was decorated with ‘The Cross of the Equestrian Order of Merit’ by the Polish President, as an act of gratitude for his work in favour of the Polish workers residing in Libya.

Msgr. Magro was also fond of his island home of Malta, and especially of the Franciscan church of Saint Mary of Jesus in Rabat, where he grew up as a child. He was punctual in his annual participation to the feast of Saint Joseph, celebrated in the same church by the Archconfraternity of St. Joseph and the Franciscan community every year on 19 March. The nephew of Msgr. Magro, Fr. Joseph Magro OFM, also became a Franciscan, and for a number of years (2011-2016) was director of the Communications Office at the General Curia in Rome.

As a result of the turbulent political situation in Libya after the overthrow of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi (20 October 2011), the Christian communities of workers in Libya soon had to abandon the country, especially in the area of Benghazi, which was taken over by extremist rebels belonging to ISIS. Bishop Magro and the few Franciscan friars resident in Benghazi had to leave the friary. For a brief period they were able to remain in Benghazi with the help of the communities of female religious still present in the city in hospitals, but when these also had to flee the country the Franciscan presence in Benghazi had to be abandoned, and the Bishop and friars transferred to Tripoli. In the meantime Bishop Magro was suffering from a progressive deterioration of his physical health, and when the condition worsened he retired to Malta in 2016 in the Franciscan friary of Rabat. He handed his resignation from Apostolic Vicar of Benghazi to Pope Francis on his 75th birthday, 14 February 2016, according to can. 401 § 1 of the Code of Canon Law.

Due to his frail health Bishop Magro was transferred to the “Domus Pacis Franciscan Retirement Friary” at Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq, Malta, in 2017. During the last days of his life he was receiving treatment at the Mater Dei Hospital in Msida, Malta, where sister death called him.

On Sunday 21 January the body of Msgr. Magro was taken to the Franciscan church of Rabat, where he was welcomed by the Franciscan community, the local Christian community, the Archconfraternity of St. Joseph and the local “L’Isle Adam” Band and the Sliema Band. The funeral Mass of Msgr. Sylvester Carmel Magro was celebrated on Monday 22 January at 9.30 a.m. at the Cathedral of St. Paul in Mdina, Malta, by the Archbishop of Malta, Msgr. Charles Jude Scicluna, together with the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Alessandro D’Errico, the Bishop of Gozo, Msgr. Mario Grech, Archbishop Emeritus, Msgr. Paul Cremona OP, the Minister Provincial Fr. Richard Stanley Grech OFM, and other bishops and priests, both Franciscans and other religious and diocesan priests of Malta.

Bishop Sylvester Carmel Magro was 76 years old. He was a Franciscan for 59 years, a priest for 51 years and Bishop for 20 years.

In the footsteps of St. Francis – Provincial Ministers in Greccio and Fonte Colombo

The new Provincial Ministers who are currently meeting in Rome went on a pilgrimage to Greccio and Fonte Colombo on Saturday, 20 January 2018. The day began with Mass at the General Curia presided by Br. Cesare Vaiani, General Secretary for Formation and Studies. In his homily, Br. Cesare shared that

“In Greccio, Francis did something new and original, that some might judge a bit ‘crazy.’ In it we find a creative madness, which leads to daring to try new things and perhaps to defy the judgement of people. Greccio invites us to rediscover the creative ability to remember the life of Jesus in today’s world, in a new and concrete way … Greccio invites us to fall in love a bit more with the poverty of the child of Bethlehem and to manifest it in our lives.”

The day concluded at Fonte Colombo, the place where St. Francis wrote the Rule.


Here is the complete text of the homily:




Fr. Cesare Vaiani, ofm, 20.01.2018

Gospel: Mark 3:20-21


Today’s gospel gives us a singular image of Jesus, who is judged to be “out of his mind” by his own family. It is the fate of the prophets, already before Jesus, and it is also often the fate of the Saints, who are judged insane for their radical choices.

Today, ministers you will go on pilgrimage in the footsteps of Francis of Assisi, who was often judged to be “out of his mind” by his contemporaries. He also explicitly attributed the title of “Madman” to himself.

We find an episode in the Compilatio Assisiensis in which Francis addresses the ministers and Cardinal Ugolino, who invited him to be a little more reasonable, to “follow the advice of the learned friars and to allow himself to be guided by them sometimes.” Francis declares: “Friars, my brothers, God has called me to walk the path of simplicity and has revealed it to me. I, therefore do not want you to speak to me of any other rules, neither that of Saint Augustine, nor that of Saint Bernard or of St. Benedict. The Lord has revealed to me his wish that I be a madman in the world: this is the science to which God wants us to dedicate ourselves!”

This evangelical folly should be a characteristic of our form of life, of that “life and rule of the Friars minor which is to observe the Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ by living in obedience, without anything of one’s own and in chastity.” If we take these words seriously, then even we will be declared “insane.” And we will be proud to be seen as such.

Today your pilgrimage in the footsteps of that madman named Francesco will begin in Greccio, the shrine of the Nativity scene (creche). We have recently concluded the liturgical season of Christmas and carry in our hearts a meditation of the mystery of the Incarnation. According to Thomas of Celano, Francis in Greccio wanted to “remember the child born in Bethlehem and somehow see with the eyes of the body the hardships in which he found himself because of the lack of things necessary to a newborn, as he lay in a crib and how he lay on the hay between the ox and the ass.” In Greccio, Francis did something new and original, that some might judge a bit “crazy.” In it we find a creative madness, which leads to daring to try new things and perhaps to defy the judgement of people. Greccio invites us to rediscover the creative ability to remember the life of Jesus in today’s world, in a new and concrete way. Greccio invites us to be capable of gestures that make the Gospel visible. Greccio invites us to use all the means available to us to reveal to all the mystery of Jesus’s poverty, both in the signs and in the reality of our lives. Greccio invites us to fall in love a bit more with the poverty of the child of Bethlehem and to manifest it in our lives.

As an example of evangelical folly, I have mentioned the opening words of our Rule earlier. Today you will conclude your pilgrimage by going to Fonte Colombo where, according to tradition, Francis has written our Rule, and where you will have the opportunity to read it again personally. It is important for us to return every now and again to the text of the Rule, which is the code of our covenant with the Lord and brings us back to the foundation of our choice. It is the Rule that we professed at the beginning of our Franciscan life and that we still want to observe today, as then. It will be for everyone a return to the wellsprings of your adventure as crazy Franciscans. It will be a refreshing the youthfulness and vitality of your commitment. And it will be important to find the words that once made us quiver, so many years ago, and ask ourselves what we have done about them.

May the Lord accompany your pilgrimage, so that your life can also be, like that of Jesus and like that of Francis, animated by passion for the Gospel and may your life manifest that “holy operation of the Spirit of the Lord” that in the Rule, Francis invites us to desire above all things.

Communique from the General Definitory – Tempo Forte of December 2017

The December 2017 Tempo Forte was held from the 18th to 22th of the month. On the first day, each of the friars of the Definitory spoke about the activities and experiences in which they had been involved during the period since the November Tempo Forte.


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

  • during the Provincial Chapter and Capitular Congressus of the Province of the Holy Martyrs, Korea;
  • during the Provincial Chapter and Capitular Congressus of the Custody of the Seven Joys of Our Lady, Brazil;
  • during Extra-Capitular elections of a Definitor and some Guardians in various Entities of the Order.


In addition, changes to the Particular Statutes of the following Provinces were ratified:

  • The Province of St Bonaventure, Lazio and Abruzzo (Italy)
  • The Province of the Holy Martyrs of Korea
  • The Province of the Holy Martyrs of Japan
  • The Province of the Holy Faith, Colombia


Two friars who had declared their availability to go on a mission experience received an obedience to go to the Custody of the Holy Land and to the missionary fraternity that will shortly be established in Cuba.

On December 19th, the General Definitory met with Br. Witosław Styk, OFM, Rector of the “Fraternità Beato Gabriele M. Allegra OFM”, based at St. Anthony’s (Antonianum), Rome. Br. Witosław is Chair of the committee that is organizing the Under-Ten Chapter of Mats that will take place in Taizé in July 2019. While only delegates from each of the Entities of the Order will attend the Chapter, nonetheless all the young friars will be engaged by means of a preparatory phase and a phase that will follow the Taizé gathering. Shortly, a bespoke website will go online and Ministers Provincial, Custodes, Presidents of Foundations, those responsible for Formation and Studies, and the young friars themselves, will be given the relevant information.

During a session on the same day, Br. John Puodziunas, General Treasurer, also joined the Definitory to examine the 2018 budget for houses dependent on the Minister General.

On December 20th, the General Definitory approved the revised Statutes of the “Fondazione Collegio San Bonaventura Frati Editori di Quaracchi”, which now includes the “Collegium Sancti Boanventurae – International Center for Franciscan Studies and Research”. The new structures of the Foundation envisage that:

  • Its Board of Trustees is the General Definitory
  • That its directors should be John McCafferty, University of Dublin (current Chair), Prof. Jacques Dalarun, Prof. Gerard Pieter Freeman, Prof. Marianne Schlosser, Br. Giuseppe Buffon, OFM, Br. Johannes B. Freyer, OFM, Br. Cesare Vaiani, OFM, and Br. John Puodziunas, OFM, General Treasurer;
  • That there should be a Director, a role currently filled by Br. Bill Short.


As usual during Tempo Forte there were sad cases of friars who wish to leave the Order. The following requests were examined:

  • dispensation from the obligations of the clerical state (1);
  • secularisation ad experimentum (2);
  • dispensation from Solemn Vows (2);
  • exclaustration (3);


The other sessions of the Tempo Forte dealt with matters such as the preparation of the Plenary Council of the Order, which takes place in Nairobi, Kenya, from June 12th to 28th, 2018. Two moderators were elected from among the Council Members — Br. Isauro Ulises COVILI LINFATI, Minister Provincial of the Province of the Holy Trinity, Chile, and Br. Keith WARNER, of the Santa Barbara Province, California (USA).

The next Tempo Forte takes place at the General Curia from January 8th to 26th, 2018. It will include a meeting of the Minister General and Definitory with the Ministers Provincial and Custodes elected during 2017.


Rome, January 15th, 2018

Br. Giovanni Rinaldi, OFM
Secretary General

2018 Celebration of the University and the Grand Chancellor

The Pontifical University Antonianum (PUA) celebrated its Feast Day, and that of the PUA Grand Chancellor, Br. Michael A. Perry, OFM Minister General, on January 15th and 16th, 2018.

The celebrations began on the afternoon of January 15th when the Vice-Rector, Br. Agustín Hernández, greeted those present in the PUA’s Aula Magna. Three speakers then made contributions in a session chaired by Br. Giuseppe Buffon, Dean of the Faculty of Theology. Firstly, Barbara Faes, of the National Research Council spoke on “Nineteenth century translations of Bonaventure into Italian — a history”. Massimo Lenzi, Sapienza University, Rome, followed with his presentation, “Translating Bonaventure: linguistic structures and perceptions of the world”. The afternoon concluded with a presentation from Andrea Di Maio, Pontifical Gregorian University, who spoke of the need to “Understand Bonaventure: Concordances, Dictionaries, Contributions to a Lexicon”.

The rhythm of second day was different, and was chaired by Br. Marco Guida, Dean of the Scola Superiore di Studi Medievali e Francescani. The Assembly was addressed and welcomed by the PUA Rector, Sr. Mary Melone, and then a panel discussion on prospects for research was held. The contributors were: Paul Vian, Apostolic Vatican Library, who focused on the “Bonaventure’s legacy in Peter of John Olivi”; Br. Fortunato Iozzelli, PUA, who spoke on “Reminders of Bonaventure in some 14th century texts”; and finally, Alessandro Ghisalberti, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, who made a presentation on “The future of research into Bonaventure’s thought: problems and perspectives”.

Following some time for discussion and a break, the winners of the “St. Francis Award” were honoured, and then Br. Michael A. Perry, Minister General and Grand Chancellor, concluded the Feast with words appropriate to the occasion.

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!



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)