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ANNOUNCEMENT OF OFFICIAL APPOINTMENTS

GENERAL CURIA, Sept 15

General Minister Brother Massimo FUSARELLI together with General Vicar Brother Isauro COVILI LINFATI, and the eight General Definitors gathered from September 6 to 15, 2021 at the OFM General House in Rome, to deliberate on matters related to the governance, administration, and animation of the Order.

At this Tempo Forte meeting, the General leadership met with the General Secretariates and various Offices, attended to international matters of immediate necessity, and discussed the direction of the Order for the 2021-2027 sexennium, including practical ways to implement the decisions and guidelines of the General Chapter of July 2021.

After confirming Brother Giovanni RINALDI as Secretary General ad interim until 31 August 2022, the General Definotry elected for this coming sexennium:

  • Br Francisco GÓMEZ VARGAS, of the Province of Saint Paul the Apostle, in Colombia, as Secretary General for Missions and Evangelization;
  • Br Darko TEPERT, of the Province of the Saints Cyrill and Methodius, in Croatia, as Secretary General for Formation and Studies; and
  • Br Claudio DURIGHETTO, of the Seraphic Province of Saint Francis of Assisi, in Italy, as Procurator General of the Order.

 

Along with these six-year elections, a new Guardian of the Fraternity of the General Curia-Santa Maria Mediatrice was elected for this triennium in the person of Brother Maciej (Krzysztof) OLSZEWSKI, of the Province of Saint Francis of Assisi, in Poland.

In addition, the following official appointments were made:

  1. Br Dennis TAYO, of the Custody of Saint Anthony of Padua, in the Philippines, as General Animator for Missions;
  2. Br Hieronimus Yosep DEI RUPA, as General Vice-Secretary for Formation and Studies;
  3. Br Chryzostom (Jarosław) FRYC, as Secretary of the Office of the General Procurator;
  4. Br Evodio JOÃO, of the Custody of Saint Claire, in Mozambique, as Director of the Communication Office;
  5. Br Fabio César GOMES, of the Province of the Immaculate Conception BVM, in Brazil, as General Delegat Pro Monialibus;
  6. Br Israel PORRAS ALVARADO, of the Province of the Saints Peter and Paul, in Mexico, a Vice-Director of the Office of the General Protocol;
  7. Br Baptist D’SOUZA, of the Province of Saint Thomas the Apostle, in India, as Vice-Director of the Development Office;
  8. Br Angel Edwin MONTOYA MONTOYA, of the Province of Saint Francis, in Ecuador, as Rector of the Students of the Fraternity “Blessed Gabriele M. Allegra”, at CISA;
  9. To be confirmed: Personal Secretary of the Minister General; and
  10. To be confirmed: Director of the Development Office.

The Professions of novices

On Saturday 4 September 2021, the Minister General Br. Massimo Fusarelli, presided the Profession of novices at the Sanctuary of La Verna.

4 novices of the Province of Toscana, 2 novices of the Province of Lazio-Abruzzo and 8 novices of the Custody of Holy Land , have professed.

Attached, you will find some photos and the homily of the Minister General.

 

Photos

 

Homily for the Profession of Temporary Vows at La Verna

4 September 2021

Colossians 1:21-23 and Luke 6:1-5

In all our lives, there is always a “before” and “after”: before an event, a choice, a transition and after, with more or less distance. This often leads to anxiety due to anticipation or disappointment, a great expenditure of energy and sometimes to tiredness. An example for all: the before and after of Covid, with everything that we know that has changed and will change.

For you too, my novice brothers, there is what comes before this day and what begins today. Each of you knows the “before” that has brought you here today, and I hope that in this year, you have been able to look with new eyes at your “before” to be able to welcome this “after” in a new way. I hope and pray that this moment will be marked by the encounter with the Lord Jesus, who generates a beautiful and contagious newness, a joy to be shared: let us allow ourselves this contagion!

St Paul presents us with a time – “a before” – and an after, which is the “now”: “before” the Christians of Colossae were distracted from God, they did not know him, their minds were taken by other things; this means that they were all taken up with filling that emptiness that we carry within us, with thoughts, words, images. The more we fill it, the more that emptiness hungers to be filled. “Now” instead, there is a new situation that touches them. Thanks to the death of Christ’s body of flesh and through him, they have been made what God desires: holy because he is holy, without blemish and able to walk in truth before him. It is thanks to God’s gracious initiative that they are reconciled.

Holy, spotless and blameless in Scripture refers to the sacrificial victims offered to God, who were to be the best, not the cast-off: the Colossians in the “after” of their life in the footsteps of Christ, live the offering of themselves every day as vital worship, until the final fulfilment.

This gift is given to you today: to offer your life as a pleasing and joyful gift so that every thought, feeling, action, affective energy and will be directed to Him, oriented to His will, progressively transformed by His love. This is the meaning of the promise to live without anything of our own, that is, free from attachment to our overbearing ego, which takes possession of everything, even God’s gifts. If throughout this year you have been able to touch and get to know this part of you that is clinging to itself, I hope you have been able to encounter and taste the humble and beautiful reality of Christ’s love, which does not disappoint and surpasses all knowledge.

You have spent a year here on La Verna, in contact with St Francis, who knew the “before” of his condition of sin and the “after” of the encounter with the leper… he says it clearly in the Testament when he came to the end of his life, he knows how to draw that boundary in his life: first I adored myself, then I was able to meet the gaze, the rotten flesh and the embrace of the lepers, and in that “we” I found my true “I”, the fraternal one, marked by mercy.

He knew the “before” of his fatigue with the fraternity of the Order that followed other paths and the “after” of the encounter that made him similar to the Beloved here on La Verna … if it was as if he was closed in on himself, almost bent over in the anguish of the growth of his creature, the fraternity, after, on this mountain, welcomes it back as a gift of the One who loves us as one who is truly humble, dispossessed of everything, free to give himself to the Beloved to the point of leaving a wound of love in his body. The glorious Cross of the Lord imprinted in the flesh of Francis’ heart and life the trace of a humble love: the Seraphim presents himself to Francis in a peaceful, loving way. Christ does not imprint his victorious mark on a servant: it is the friend, the bridegroom, the brother who marks his friend with the fire and the kiss of love.

Francis remained firm in the faith, as St Paul said to the Colossians, attached to the solid rock that is Christ. As he approached his Transitus, the Poor Man showed the brothers that Christ was everything to him, everything…; he taught him his way, which he now leaves to his brothers, to us, today to you, so that we may allow Christ to show us the way. That body lying on the bare earth precisely means this freedom, this gift of self… Oh, how we need it! May Jesus make us see with the eyes of the spirit the way to say a new, freer and happier yes to his call!

Today you too are told to place your foundation in Christ (1 Cor 3:10-12 and Eph 3:17) because faith is the radical and heartfelt adherence to Christ and gives rise to the hope generated by the Gospel.

Today you recognise that the after, the hour of your life, is that of friendship with Jesus, of the gift of your whole life to Him, in the Spirit. On this basis, you can say the ‘yes’ that is being asked of you today. St Francis expressed it thus:

 Now that we have left the world, however, we have nothing else to do but to follow the will of the Lord and to please Him. (Rnb 22,9)

Brothers! Do you really want to please Jesus alone? It is a nuptial verb. I wish you this passion, this heart impulse in the ‘yes’ that you say today: you will have reservations and worries, doubts and fears; it is normal. Trust today in the faithful word of the Lord and cast all your concerns on Him. For your whole life. How is it possible to persevere in this way?

You can experience this trust in two ways as you listen to today’s Gospel of Luke:

  • To be poor pilgrim preachers, that is, pilgrims and strangers in this world. It is necessary to stay on the journey, without fixing on places, roles, places, as you sometimes see us older brothers do… stay free.
  • In the freedom of the Gospel: this is indicated to us by today’s Gospel and recalled by the words of the Rule which you will shortly be professing and which I wish to hear again with you, not without a pang in my heart:

Let the brothers not make anything their own, neither house, nor place, nor anything at all. As pilgrims and strangers in this world, serving the Lord in poverty and humility, let them go seeking alms with confidence. (...)  Giving yourselves totally to this, beloved brothers, never seek anything else under heaven for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Rb 6,1-6)

This poverty, our royal livery as St Paul VI called it, can only be truly and lovingly lived in evangelical freedom. How is it possible to choose to live without anything of one’s own, from the treasure of ourselves to possessions, without this movement of love? Without a great trust in his fatherhood? Without the audacity of those who, out of love, throw everything away and call God alone Father? Without a great love for the world and human beings?

Dear brother novices and soon to be professed: I wish with all my heart and with all my strength that you will truly fall in love with the gaze with which the Lord looks at you today and draws you to himself. To desire nothing else under heaven, to have no fear of losing something, but to know that with Christ, everything is given to us. To trust: you can take the step of following in Jesus’ footsteps in and through your poverty. God is not afraid of our infidelities because he knows and loves us. Rather, he stops at our self-sufficiency, at the pride of life that makes us obstinate in seeking happiness on our own. He knows how to sit and wait for us, and He knows when the time has come to return to Him, to meet His gaze again.

I can testify to you that that gaze can get lost along the way and look for something else elsewhere. However, I can also tell you that the hour is coming when that gaze will once again seek ours, and with us that of many, and overcome resistance and fear, self-sufficiency and sin. We believe it, we trust it, we hand ourselves over once again with you to this obstinate and invincible Love. And in that look, our gaze changes towards the world, towards people. Creation, reality. Creatures become brothers and sisters, not enemies, to be loved and served with humility.

I wish you a happy journey of following in the joy of love that does not disappoint. Amen.

BEATIFICATION OF VENERABLE MAMERTO ESQUIÚ.

BEATIFICATION

OF VENERABLE MAMERTO ESQUIÚ,

Bishop of Córdoba in Argentina, of the Order of Friars Minor

Saturday 4 September 2021, Catamarca- Argentina

 

The Venerable Servant of God Mamerto Esquiú was born on 11 May 1826 in San José de Piedra Blanca (Argentina). In 1841 he entered the novitiate of the Friars Minor of the Asunción Province and made his religious profession on 14 July 1842. On 18 October 1848, he was ordained a priest. From then on, he devoted himself to teaching, the direction of souls and preaching. In the latter ministry, he was greatly appreciated, not only by Catholics but also in liberal circles: two of his important speeches on the theme of peace and brotherhood, delivered in 1852, were printed and circulated on the initiative of the Federal Government. In a spirit of service to the common good, Brother Mamerto also accepted an active political role as a deputy and member of the Council of Government of Catamarca. In 1862, wishing to resume a more regular Franciscan life, he moved as an apostolic missionary to Bolivia, where he taught theology at the Sucre seminary. In 1870 the Argentine Senate proposed him as a candidate for the episcopate for the archepiscopal see of Buenos Aires. Feeling unworthy, the Venerable Servant of God preferred to leave his homeland, to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and to Assisi and Rome. Here he received from the Minister General of the Order, Father Bernardino da Portogruaro, the task of promoting common life among the Friars Minor of Argentina. In 1879 the Senate again proposed his candidature as Bishop of Cordoba. Therefore, in obedience to the Pope, Brother Mamerto accepted and was consecrated Bishop on 12 December 1880. He distinguished himself for his doctrine and authority in his ministry and proposed holiness as the heart of Christian and priestly life. He worked for the spiritual and material help of the poor, the formation of seminarians, the foundation of confraternities and associations of the faithful, the preaching of courses of spiritual exercises and missions to the people. He died on 10 January 1883 in Posta del Suncho (Argentina).

The decree on his heroic virtue was promulgated on 16 December 2006.

 

 

 

Letter of the Minister General for the Solemnity of Saint Clare 2021

Let us live according to the Perfection of the Holy Gospel

 

 

 

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In 2021 we remember the 800th anniversary of the Regula non bullata. This precious text still speaks to us in a formidable way of the evangelical inspiration of St Francis and, at the same time, makes us look towards St Clare.

 

In the prologue, we read (Rnb Prologue 2):

This is the life of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that Brother Francis petitioned the Lord Pope to grant and confirm for him; and he did grant and confirm it for him and his brothers present and to come.

And in the conclusion, we hear:

I ask all my brothers to learn and frequently call to mind the tenor and sense of what has been written in this life for the salvation of our souls.

 

St Francis speaks of a life that he hands over to his brothers and that finds its source and inspiration in following the teaching and footprints of our Lord Jesus Christ (RnB I,1).

 

The link that binds the Gospel to life and life to the Gospel in the Regula non bullata is constant in Francis, who also proposes it to Clare and her sisters in two short and intense writings:

Because by divine inspiration… choosing to live according to the perfection of the holy Gospel, I resolve and promise for myself and for my brothers always to have the same loving care and special solicitude for you as for them(Form of Life 1-2)

I, little brother Francis, wish to follow the life and poverty of our most high Lord Jesus Christ and of His most holy Mother and to persevere in this until the end; and I ask you, my ladies, and I give you my advice that you live always in this most holy life and poverty. (Last wishes 1-2)

 

It is a counsel that Francis addresses to those he calls my ladies, and at the same time, it is the charismatic nucleus that unites brothers and sisters in the same form of life – lived in different ways and conditions. The Poverello promises to take diligent care and special solicitude of the sisters precisely within this communion in charism, which unites brothers and sisters in the most genuine sense.

 

The early years of the friars’ experience of the Gospel came together in the Regula non bullata, a text that took root through a continuous dialogue between life, which is movement by definition, and the rule, which lays down its cornerstones. Francis knows that Clare senses and lives this circularity between life and the Gospel and proposes it fearlessly.

 

What unites us, then, is precisely this link between life and the Gospel, where the one enlightens the other and receives continuous inspiration from it. If it is true that the Gospel directs life towards conversion, it is also true that life helps us to listen to the word of the Gospel in the ever-new journey of existence, immersed in the changes of history.

The word of the Gospel enlightens and transforms lives and is in turn enlightened by the word of the lives of the men and women we meet, of the little ones and the poor of our time, of creation and also of all those who are on a quest for meaning and truth.

 

We need more of a life that is truly welcomed, lived, loved, given, shared to welcome the Gospel word, without which the book of our existence remains sealed.

We cannot wrap ourselves up in the search for our Franciscan Clarian identity without continuous comparison and dialogue with the journey through life, ours and that of many in this unique time.

 

The Gospel calls us to conversion and ignites in us the call to the radicality of faith, made up of the search for the Lord’s face in following Jesus. The gift of life calls us to the radicality of self-giving as the decisive factor for a full existence.

The radical following of the poor and crucified Christ united Francis and Clare in the space of a fraternity lived in minority and poverty, typical of those who renounce support and guarantees.

Clare’s cloister lived with her sisters at San Damiano, and Francis’ cloister lived with his brothers on the roads of the world, ask us to seek together what truly unites us and to be, with our lives, prophetic words for our time.

 

I deeply feel that this is our common call in today’s Church for the world, which God loves: to listen and welcome the word of the Gospel, so that life may be transformed by it and allow the power of the Spirit to express itself, who dwells in it and wants to lead it towards its fullness, which is eternal life, the love of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, an eternal dance open to all creatures. And this fullness has the name of liberated and redeemed lives, capable of becoming truly fraternal and a leaven of fraternity for many and many today.

 

Dear Poor Sisters!

In this first message that I address to you with simplicity, I ask you to make this journey together between life and the Gospel and to watch over us friars minor, your brothers, confident that it is still possible to live our vocation, so beautiful and full of hope for this time.

I commit myself to have for you, in the name of St Francis, that care and solicitude which is grounded in life according to the Gospel, our shared and extraordinary vocation.

Let us be a memory for each other of this fire.

 

I entrust the Order’s journey to your faithful intercession, which found significant inspiration and a new beginning in our recent General Chapter. I promise to remember you every day before the Lord so that our lives may be evangelized and transformed by the power of the Lord’s Spirit and become, for many, a reflection of His Mercy.

May the Virgin made Church accompany us on this journey.

 

A fraternal greeting and embrace to you all, with the blessing of St Francis and the care of St Clare.

 

Rome, 11 August 2021
Solemnity of St. Clare

Br. Massimo Fusarelli, OFM
Minister General and Servant

 

Cover: St. Clare, Fonte Colombo, Italy.

Prot. 110602

CTC No. 57 (07.2021)

 

Peace to everyone!

While writing, our brothers are living their first few days of meeting and work at the General Chapter. We keep them all in our prayers and daily offering.

When you read this no. 57 of Communion and Communication, however, the new Minister General will have already been elected! As of now we welcome him to his “new place of service” and let him know of our fraternal affection and profound desire to walk together with him on the evangelical journey of the Franciscan/Clarian form of life.

During this year 2021, we are celebrating the VIII centenary of the Early Rule (1221-2021), an extraordinary document where the first ‘experiments’ of an evangelical life, made by a fraternity in growth, are gathered. Clare and her Sisters had their own part in this process. Therefore, cTc 57, that we are presenting, is partially dedicated to the bond of fraternal reciprocity between the Friars Minor and the Poor Clares, as lived in two Italian Federations. We appreciated that mutual relationships have been growing for the last few decades, thanks to a deepening understanding of our common charism, and we would like to let know what is happening around the world in this regard. So, we heartily encourage the Sisters (and the Friars too!) to share their experiences, dreams, reflections about this topic, and send them to us to be included in the next numbers of cTc.

Browsing these pages, you will hear the voices of the Sisters from Brazil introducing one of the Brazilian Federations; you will join in giving thanks to the Lord for the Poor Clares’ VIII centenary of presence in France; and, going back to our origins, you’ll be surprised to read an interview with our Mother St. Clare! Clare is alive today and has much to say to our world with all its problems. From her experience and writings, we are led to realize that contemplation is not only the vocation of the person, but is also the only hope for our sociological, human, and ecological reality. A great ‘thank you’ to sr. Rita Valente osc (Vilobí d’Onyar) for sharing with all of us the IV chapter of her final paper of the Licentiate Thesis in Interreligious Dialogue, Ecología en Clara de Asís, relación – comunión con toda la Creación.

Before all this, however, you will read the letter that our Delegate General, Br. Ignacio Ceja, addresses to each and every Sisters, written just before entering the Chapter.

Even if we cannot know what the future holds for you – and for us with you – we thank you so much, Br. Ignacio, for this year together. We want to treasure the invitation you address to us: to continue to support, with our prayer and our example of life, the most fragile members of the Body of Christ.

Enjoy the reading!

Poor Clare Sisters of the Editorial Team

 

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Koinonia 2021 – 2 (N.110): Saint Joseph, “Shadow of the Father”

Saint Joseph, “Shadow of the Father”

 

We link almost immediately Saint Joseph to the virtues of silence and work, but probably not so immediately to our ideas of husband and father. Yet, he is the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the father of Jesus. This year, the Church commemorates 150 years of the declaration of Saint Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church by Pope Pius IX on December 8, 1870. To mark this recurrence, Pope Francis issued an Apostolic Letter, Patris corde “to increase our love for this great saint, to encourage us to implore his intercession and to imitate his virtues and his zeal”.  This is also our prayer as we offer this short article to the OFS, the Franciscan Youths (YouFra) and their spiritual assistants. We shall articulate this article around the following three themes: Being the shadow of the Father, the vocation of a father and, Saint Joseph and formation.

 

  • Koinonia 2021-2Saint Joseph, “Shadow of the Father”

N. 110

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Message of the Holy Father to the participants of the General Chapter of the Order of Friars Minor

Dear Brothers!

I greet all of you who are participating in the General Chapter of the Order of Friars Minor with affection. My grateful thoughts go to Fr Michael A. Perry, who has concluded his service as Minister General, and I offer my best wishes to Fr Massimo Giovanni Fusarelli, who has been called to succeed him. I extend my greetings to all your communities throughout the world.

Because of the pandemic, we have found ourselves living in emergency situations of isolation and suffering for many months now. On the one hand, this critical experience encourages all of us to recognise how much our earthly life is a journey to be made as pilgrims and strangers, itinerant men and women, ready to lighten our load of personal goods and demands. On the other hand, it is a favourable opportunity to intensify our relationship with Christ and with our brothers and sisters: I am thinking of your communities, called to be a humble prophetic presence in the midst of God’s people and a witness to fraternity and a simple and joyful life for all.

In these difficult and complex times, when there is a risk of being “paralysed”, you are nevertheless experiencing the grace of celebrating your Ordinary General Chapter, which is already a reason to praise and thank God. In this Chapter, you propose to “renew your vision” and “embrace your future”. You are guided by the words of St Paul: “Arise… and Christ will give you light” (Eph 5:14). It is a word of resurrection, which roots you in the Paschal dynamic because there is no renewal, and there is no future except in the risen Christ. With gratitude, therefore, you open yourselves to welcome the signs of God’s presence and action and to rediscover the gift of your charism and your fraternal and minor identity.

Renewing one’s vision: this is what happened to the young Francis of Assisi. He himself attests to it, recounting the experience that he places at the beginning of his conversion in his Testament: the encounter with the lepers, when “what was bitter was changed into sweetness of soul and body” (Test 1-4). At the roots of your spirituality is this encounter with the least and the suffering, in the sign of “doing mercy”. God touched the heart of Francis through the mercy offered to his brother, and he continues to touch our hearts through the encounter with others, especially those most in need. The renewal of your vision can only start from this new gaze with which to contemplate the poor and marginalised brother or sister, a sign, almost a sacrament of the presence of God.

From this renewed gaze, from this concrete experience of encounter with our neighbour and with his wounds, can come a renewed energy to look to the future as brothers and as minors, as you are, according to the beautiful name of “friars minor”, which St Francis chose for himself and for you.

The renewing strength you need comes from the Spirit of God, from that “holy operation” (Regula Bullata 10, 8) which is the unmistakable sign of his action. That Spirit, who transformed the bitterness of Francis’ encounter with the lepers into sweetness of soul and body, is still at work today to give new freshness and energy to each one of you if you allow yourselves to be stirred by the least of our time. I encourage you to go out to meet the men and women who suffer in soul and body, to offer your humble and fraternal presence, without grand speeches, but making your closeness as lesser brothers felt. To go towards a wounded creation, our common home, which suffers from a distorted exploitation of the earth’s goods for the enrichment of a few while creating conditions of misery for many. To go as men of dialogue, seeking to build bridges instead of walls, offering the gift of fraternity and social friendship in a world that is struggling to find the path of a common vision. To go forth as men of peace and reconciliation, inviting those who sow hatred, division and violence to conversion of heart, and offering the victims the hope that comes from truth, justice and forgiveness. From these encounters, you will receive an impetus to live the Gospel ever more fully, according to that word which is your way: “The Rule and Life of the Lesser Brothers is this: to observe the Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ” (Regula Bullata 1,1).

As much of the Order faces the challenges of declining numbers and ageing, do not let anxiety and fear prevent you from opening your hearts and minds to the renewal and revitalisation that the Spirit of God brings about in you and among you. You have a spiritual heritage of inestimable riches, rooted in the Gospel life and marked by prayer, fraternity, poverty, minority and itinerancy. Do not forget that we receive a renewed gaze, which can open us to God’s future, from our closeness to the poor, the victims of modern slavery, the refugees and the excluded of this world. They are your teachers. Embrace them as St Francis did!

Dear brothers, may the Most High, Almighty, Good Lord make you ever more credible and joyful witnesses of the Gospel; may he grant you to lead a simple and fraternal life; and may he lead you on the paths of the world to sow the seed of the Good News with faith and hope. For this, I pray and accompany you with my Blessing. And please do not forget to pray for me too.

Rome, Saint John Lateran, 15 July 2021

 

FRANCIS

Responding to the Invitation of the Holy Spirit as Lesser Brothers in the Church and World | Final Message of The General Chapter 2021

 

 

‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord… ‘to give you a future with hope.’ (Jeremiah 29:11)

 

  1. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we, your brothers, more than one-hundred friars from around the world, gathered at the Capuchin Franciscan Collegio Internazionale San Lorenzo da Brindisi in Rome for the 2021 General Chapter of the Order of Friars Minor. While every gathering of the brothers is an opportunity for rejoicing, this General Chapter was a particularly joyful occasion and a sign of hope.
  2. Despite the manifold challenges that face the church and world today, we friars minor recognize that there are also opportunities amid the difficulties. Over the course of the fifteen days of this condensed General Chapter, many of the themes and good work that began at the 2018 Plenary Council of the Order (PCO) in Nairobi were carried forward and developed. The major theme of the PCO was ‘listening’ to what the Holy Spirit was saying to the Order today. In response to that attentive listening, we friars recognized a number of invitations that God was extending to us in the church and world.
  3. We wish to communicate to our brothers throughout the Order some of these invitations and encourage one another in a spirit of fraternal solidarity to take up the invitations that the Holy Spirit presents to us with eagerness, humility, and passion.

 

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Br. Massimo Fusarelli, new OFM Minister General

On Tuesday, 13 July 2021, at Collegio Internationale San Lorenzo da Brindisi (Rome), His Eminence, Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, who was appointed by His Holiness Pope Francis, to serve as Cardinal Delegate at the OFM General Chapter 2021, announced with joy that

BR. MASSIMO FUSARELLI

is elected as the new OFM Minister General for 2021- 2027

 

 

Born in Rome on March 30, 1963, he received the Franciscan habit on July 28, 1982 and professed first vows on July 30, 1983.  He professed solemn vows on January 8, 1989 and was ordained a priest on September 30, 1989.

After theology studies at the Antonianum in Rome, he obtained a Licentiate in Patristic Studies at the Augustinianum in Rome.

He was Provincial Definitor, Animator of the pastoral care of vocations and then of ongoing formation; General Secretary of Formation and Studies from 2003 to 2009; General Visitor for the Province of Naples and then for the unification process of the Provinces of Northern Italy; He was elected Provincial Minister of the Province St. Bonaventure (Lazio and Abruzzo) on July 2, 2020.

Br, Massimo was elected as the 121st successor of St Francis.

May the Holy Spirit guard and guide Br. Massimo in the service of the brothers of the Order and of the whole Church.

 

JPIC Newsletter: CONTACT (04-06.2021)

Brothers and Sisters,

Fraternal greetings from the brothers of the JPIC Office of the General Curia. We present to you the recent edition of the “Contact” Newsletter that allows us to be in communion and informed of the initiatives to promote and experience the values of JPIC.

In the following pages of “Contact”, we share with you the news that has reached us in recent months: actions, declarations, formative material and projects that are being born following discernment and, above all, from listening to the daily events that constantly invite us to transform our own lives.

Br. Angelito Cortez, OFM
Br. Jaime Campos, OFM
JPIC Office

 

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Celebration of the Eighth Centenary of the Regula non bullata at Fonte Colombo

On 21 June 2021, the website Frontiera Rieti reported that the Franciscan friars gathered at Fonte Colombo to celebrate the eighth centenary of the Regula non bullata:

A return to the source for the Franciscan world. And the source is the forma vitæ that St Francis wrote here in the Rieti valley. The year 2023 will be a significant milestone when Franciscans will celebrate the eighth centenary of the Regula Bullata and the crib. A series of other Franciscan events marking eight centuries will also take place (in 2024, the stigmata at La Verna, in 2025, the Canticle of the Creatures, in 2026, the death of the saint). This pilgrimage organised by the Friars Minor of central Italy was created to commemorate the eight hundred years of the earlier Rule composed by St Francis: the one that was not bullata, in the sense that it was not submitted for papal approval. Yet the Poverello of Assisi spoke with Honorius III, as he did with his predecessor Innocent III who had already approved his spiritual experience in oral form. And Pope Honorius was often in Rieti at that time.

On Tuesday, the Friars Minor of four Italian provinces (Lazio-Abruzzo, Umbria, Tuscany and Marche) made a pilgrimage to Rieti, which the saint passed through in 1221, and then to Fonte Colombo where, two years later, he would write the definitive “constitution” of the order. The invitation was also extended to the other Franciscans (Capuchins and Conventuals) present in the diocese (at Leonessa and San Rufo) and the Friars Minor from Puglia working in Accumoli. The Minister General of the Order, Brother Michael Perry, also arrived from the General Curia in Rome.

For the full text (in Italian): www.frontierarieti.com

The Holy Father has appointed Cardinal João Braz de Aviz his Delegate to preside over the election of the Minister General

Rome, June 8, 2021

The Minister General communicates that the Holy Father has appointed

 

His Eminence Cardinal

João Braz de Aviz

 

as his Delegate to preside over the election of the Minister General on 13 July 2021.

We in the whole Order regard His Eminence as our “Protector” from this moment on and pray for him and for the Chapter.

 

 

Cardinal João Braz de Aviz

Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, was born on 24 April 1947 in Mafra, Brazil.

He was ordained a priest on 26 November 1972 for the Diocese of Apucurana. He holds a licence in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University and doctorate in dogmatic theology from the Pontifical Lateran University.

On 6 April 1994, he was appointed titular bishop of Flenucleta and Auxiliary of the Archdiocese of Vitória. He received episcopal ordination on 31 May 1994.

On 12 August 1998, he transferred to Ponta Grossa and on 17 July 2002 he was elevated Archbishop of Maringá.

On 28 January 2004, he was appointed Archbishop of Brasília, where in 2010 he organized the XVI Eucharistic National Congress.

He was appointed Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life on 4 January 2011.

He participated in the conclave of March 2013, which elected Pope Francis.

Created and proclaimed Cardinal by Benedict XVI in the consistory of 18 February 2012, of the Deaconry of S. Elena fuori Porta Prenestina (St. Helena outside Prenestina Gate).

General Chapter 2021

 

From 3 to 18 July 2021, the General Chapter of the Order of Friars Minor will be held in Rome, with the theme of Renewing Our Vision, Embracing Our Future.

The 118 Capitulars who are expected at this celebration of our worldwide brotherhood will gather at the Capuchin International College of St Lawrence of Brindisi, which is located around halfway between Leonardo Da Vinci Airport in Fiumicino, and the historical centre of Rome.

This upcoming historic 15-day General Chapter in Rome promises to be a special one in more ways than one. In the present uncertain times in our world, we Friars Minor give thanks for the gift of Faith and Fraternity that are certain, for experiences of Goodness and Beauty that are all around, and for Hope that springs eternal in the human heart. Let us pray for our Capitulars and our entire Order, that we may respond joyfully to the exhortation of the Epistle to the Ephesians, “Arise…and Christ will give you Light” (Ep. 5:14).

For all General Chapter 2021 information, visit: http://ofmcapgen2021.org/en/