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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.