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JPIC Newsletter: Contact (January-March 2022)

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. Daniel Rodríguez, OFM

Br. Jaime Campos, OFM

JPIC Office


English – CONTACT

Español – CONTACTO

Italiano – CONTATTO

The General Vicar, Brother Isauro Covili Linfati, elected Bishop of Iquique

On 23 April 2022, Pope Francis elected as Bishop of Iquique, Chile, Br Isauro Covili Linfati OFM, until now Vicar General of the Order.

Br Isauro Covili Linfati was born on 22nd March 1961 in Lumaco, diocese of Temuco in Chile. He took the Franciscan habit on 16th July 1981 and professed simple vows on 16th January 1983 and solemn vows on 20th March 1987. His priestly ordination took place on 23rd November 1990.

Br Isauro lived his first years of pastoral service in insertion fraternities in marginal areas of Santiago, devoting himself to evangelisation, including indigenous evangelisation and the animation of justice and peace and the integrity of creation. He has also been a parish priest. In 2010 he published the book Memoria de una Iglesia orante y peregrina.

Since 1997 he has worked in the formation of the temporarily professed, novices and postulants, Moderator of Ongoing Formation and Secretary for Formation and Studies. He was then General Visitator in Peru (2006), Definitor of the Holy Trinity Province(2011-2015), Vicar (2015-2017) and Minister Provincial (2017-21). The General Chapter in Rome in 2021 elected him Vicar General of the Order.

Gathered in the Duns Scotus Hall, after the Angelus prayer on April 23, 2022, the friars of the General Curia in Rome received from the Minister General the announcement of the election of Br. Isauro Covili Linfati as Bishop of Iquique. On that occasion, the following speeches were made.

The words of the Minister General Br Massimo Fusarelli

“I wish to greet our brother Isauro, also in the name of the entire General Definitory, with whom we have shared these nine months of service, very important for the work in favour of the Order. The service shared with Brother Isauro has been very good and fraternal; he has so far had very delicate delegations for the government of the Order, especially in South and Central America, the Holy Land and Morocco. His presence in the General Definitory is positive and constructive. We will feel his absence.

At the same time, as Minister the General Definitory we wish Br Isauro a fruitful episcopal ministry in the style of fraternity and minority of St Francis and the Order. We accept in a spirit of ecclesial co-responsibility this call to serve the Church in Chile at the hour when a new response to the service of the Kingdom of God is required of her.

We are well aware that the Church in Chile is going through a time of great conversion and not an easy one. We are certain that the human, fraternal and pastoral presence of Brother Isauro will be able to give, with God’s help, a valid aid”.

The speech of thanks of Br. Isauro Covili Linfati

To my Brothers of the Order of Friars Minor

May the Lord give you peace!


I begin these words of thanksgiving with the joyful announcement of the Easter Vigil, “Alleluia, Alleluia, The Lord is risen, Alleluia Alleluia Alleluia”. It is the best and most beautiful expression of joy, jubilation and eternal future that the Church has – to express life and to celebrate the Eucharist, the permanent sacrament of the Kenosis of Jesus Christ that permeates all humanity with hope and a new vision.

I would like to share with you the news that – just as my brothers in the last General Chapter have elected me to serve the Fraternity as Vicar General – now Pope Francis, Bishop of Rome and of the Universal Church, is sending me back me to Chile to be Pastor-Bishop for the Diocese of Iquique.

Since the beginnings of my vocation, it has been clear to me that I came among Franciscans to be a friar and that is how I was formed in my Province. I have served with generosity and joy in many offices entrusted to me without seeking them.

I am a Franciscan friar who believes in Jesus Christ, poor and crucified, and a member of the community and fraternity that expresses and announces him in the same way. I have always tried to be attentive to the circumstances of the poorest and to learn to read with others life’s reality with all its lights and shadow

I’ve indeed spent a good ten months in the Curia, I have collaborated with many and learned a lot. I can tell you that the friars who form this international Fraternity indeed cultivate a good fraternal climate of respect, prayer, joy, responsibility and work. We have cultivated good relations and collaboration among us, the Definitors and for me especially it has been very gratifying to work with Friar Massimo, Minister General, in the animation of the Order. With simplicity I have given the best of myself in all that has been entrusted to me.

Having discussed it with the Minister general and prayed over it, I accepted the nomination of Pope Francis. What has helped me is following:

  1. In recent weeks I have prayed before the Icon of the Christ of San Damiano who, as we all know, spoke to our father St. Francis and to us today “Go and repair my Church for it is falling into ruins ” (2Cel 10; LM 2,1; TC 13).
  2. The reality of the Church in Chile with its lights and shadows, especially the issue of abuses that needs to be taken care of while making the path of evangelical life, that of reparation, simplicity and synodality.
  3. Personally, I do not cling to any offices, I accept them and live them in freedom as a gift received to serve. The friars of the General Definitory will know how to provide a new friar to serve the Order as Vicar General.


I can tell you that, from my pastoral experience, and now after this nomination as Bishop, I am encouraged to be a Pastor in the midst of the People of God, walking with all, crossing shores, borders and being a Community called to be configured with the Risen One who has the footprints of the Cross, so that many crucified can be embraced and lowered from the cross with dignified life.

I trust that Mary, Virgin made Church, St. Francis, St. Clare and thousands of brothers and sisters of from the past, but also those from the present – faithful disciples of Jesus – will help me to be a shepherd in the style of Jesus.

With eternal gratitude, fraternally yours,


Isauro Covili Linfati, ofm


Important announcement by the Minister General to the whole Order

On Saturday, April 23, 2022, at 12:00 noon (Italian time), the Minister General will make an important announcement to the entire Order. You will be able to follow it by logging on to our Facebook page for the live broadcast at 12 noon or by watching the video that will then be uploaded to Youtube.

The Minister General, moreover, asks the Ministers and Custodes to give maximum diffusion to this announcement, which will be pronounced in the three official languages of the Order, communicating it to the friars of their Entity and through their websites and social media channels.

Br Alard Krzysztof Maliszewski elected Minister Provincial in Poland

The friars of the Franciscan Province of St Hedwig in Poland, gathered in Chapter during these days, elected Br Alard Krzysztof Maliszewski as Minister Provincial and Br Fabian Gerard Kaltbach as Vicar of the Province. Br Wacław Stanisław Chomik, Br Jarosław Marek Zatoka, Br Mateusz Tomasz Fleiszerowicz, Br Marek Baranowicz and Br Kamil Mariusz Tymecki were elected to the office of Definitor.

The new Provincial Br Alard was born in Warsaw, Poland. He made his first vows in 1989, solemn vows in 1994 and was ordained a priest on 3 June 1995.

The Chapter, which concludes on Saturday 23rd, is presided over by Br. Stanisław Mazgaj from the Province of St. Mary of the Angels in Krakow.

New Ministers for Croatia, France and Belgium, Portugal and Morocco

The friars of four entities of the Order gathered in these days for the elective Chapter and elected new friars for the various offices of provincial and custodial animation.

The friars of the Province of St Jerome in Dalmatia and Istria (Croatia) elected Br Tomislav Šanko as Minister Provincial and Br Stipe Nosić as Vicar of the same Province. Br Bojan Rizvan, Br Josip Sopta, Br Leopold Mičić and Br Pavle Ivić were elected as Definitors. The Chapter was presided over by Br Ivan Sesar. It should be remembered that the Province of St Jerome in Dalmatia is the oldest Franciscan Province in Croatia.

The friars of the Custody of the Protomartyrs in Morocco gathered in Rabat, Morocco, elected Br Stephane Delavelle as Custos and Br Franco Drigo as Vicar of the same Custody. In addition, the following were chosen for the office of Councillors: Br Thadèe Musas Kapend, Br Jorge Lázaro De Souza and Br Jean de Dieu Bazibuhe.

The Chapter was presided over by Br Massimo Fusarelli, Minister General. The friars in Morocco, whose presence dates back to the time of St Francis, are dedicated to pastoral service, interreligious dialogue, and spiritual assistance to the Franciscan family, immigrants and prisoners.

For France and Belgium, which form a single Province, Br Michel Laloux was elected Minister Provincial. Br Fernando Valente da Silva Mota was elected for the Province of Protomartyrs of Portugal.

We do not yet have the names of the Definitors for these latter Provinces because the elections are still in progress.


Sri Lanka, Br Prabath: “We continue to pray and hope”.  

They live in the four Franciscan friaries in Sri Lanka and share this time of great economic and social difficulty with the local people. There are nine Friars Minor currently engaged in pastoral activities and supporting the country’s neediest. Following a severe financial crisis and the shortage of diesel, gas and petrol, Sri Lanka is facing a period of widespread poverty and unprecedented street protests. Br Prabath Krishantha, OFM, president of the Franciscan Foundation of Sri Lanka, provides a picture of the difficult situation: “The situation is getting worse day by day. We have frequent power cuts, and there is even a food shortage. People are fighting in the streets for what is available. There are strikes and protests in all the cities: people are blocking the streets, setting fire to things. They accuse the government of not addressing the lack of basic necessities.

The period of severe crisis had already begun two years ago with the arrival of the pandemic, which had hit Sri Lanka’s economy hard, which was dependent on tourism and exports of goods (such as tea, coffee and other local products). “At the beginning of 2022, the crisis deepened further, and the prices of all products rose day by day. – Food, building materials, transport: the costs are rising every day, and it is difficult to make forecasts.

The consequences of the war in Ukraine have added to the current crisis. In fact, 45% of the island’s wheat imports come from Russia and Ukraine, while 50% of imports of soya, sunflower oil and vegetables come from Ukraine (source: AsiaNews).

The result of all this is a country in a critical condition, as Br Prabath recounts: “The price of flour has gone up again and will have an effect on all bakery products. For a piece of bread, last year it was Rs 40, while now it is Rs 110. The same goes for rice, sugar etc.”.

The friar now lives in the friary in Kandy (a large city in the centre of Sri Lanka). His fraternity takes care of the pastoral care of a parish and the formation of young people in the minor seminary.

“Since there is no gas, we had to start cooking with firewood in our kitchen,” says Br Prabath. The scarcity of raw materials makes any activity difficult. “A few days ago, I woke up at 5.30 am because I wanted to bring some construction materials from Colombo to Kandy, but I was four hours in a queue to get diesel. The diesel had run out by the time I completed the queue, and I returned home empty-handed,”says the friar.

The parishioners of Kandy are also finding it difficult to get by, as their salaries are often not sufficient to cope with the exponential rise in prices.

We are all experiencing this time of crisis,” continues Br Prabath, “but we continue to pray and keep hope alive. With the little money we receive from the foundation, we try to make it to the end of the month, looking after only our basic needs. We also try to support the poorest by distributing food to some families”.

Today, Christians in Sri Lanka make up only 6% of the population, of which 5% are Catholics. Yet, despite being a minority, the Church is a powerful voice for the poor. Thus, in the face of the appointment of 17 new ministers by Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa – in an attempt to appease the population’s protests against the prohibitive cost of living – the Cardinal of Colombo, His Eminence Malcolm Ranjith, invited the current leadership to resign. Last week, the diocese itself called for a silent, peaceful protest, to which all religious congregations were invited. The Friars Minor of Colombo also participated, including Br Patrick of the Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation Commission (JPIC) OFM.

The consequences of such a severe economic crisis usually affect only the poor and the marginalised,” said Br Prabath, “but the middle class and the rich have also been affected this time. The lack of basic necessities, gas, diesel, petrol and rising inflation, in fact, unfortunately, affect all Sri Lankans. Businesses without electricity cannot open and go ahead; hotels remain closed because they have no gas for cooking,” explains the Franciscan friar. This is why people are in the streets protesting. There is also a minority that continues to support the government, but the majority of the population is unhappy. We, friars, continue to pray”.


Beatrice Guarrera

Minister General: “Easter reaches us where we allow ourselves to be touched by the wounds of life”.

A few hours after returning from his trip to Romania, Ukraine and Poland, where he brought his support to the people suffering the consequences of the war, the Minister General Br Massimo Fusarelli celebrated Easter Mass in the General Curia church in Rome. We cannot live our lives as if Jesus had not preceded us,” he said in his homily. “We live because He, Christ, was born, lived, loved, cried, smiled, knew our suffering, died and rose again. In him, we can live in such a way as to become a living proclamation that life has meaning. That is, it has a direction if it is lived in him, for him, with him”.

The first proclamation of the resurrection must then take place with our risen life. While the disciples were locked in the Upper Room, “in a sort of lockdown”, Mary of Magdala came running to announce the resurrection. “Easter cannot be announced from the comfort of our sofas,” said Br Massimo. Easter asks us to go out, sweat, and toil in this race. And a Church that does not run is not the Church of Jesus”.

The General Minister then spoke about the past few days:

“I returned last night from a pilgrimage between the borders of Romania, Western Ukraine and Poland, and I touched – or rather I was touched by the wounds of Christ’s passion, especially meeting refugees, women with children, orphaned children, elderly people. I met an elderly woman in Ternopil in the large school hall where 107 refugees are housed. She had next to her the only thing she had managed to take away: a cage with a small parrot. For her, it is a sign of life, a companion, for a lonely woman who finds herself hundreds of kilometres from her home that no longer exists. I was touched by the wounds of Christ, and I was drawn – through the people I met – to the proclamation of Easter, through the dignity, the desire for life for their children, the hope for their people to have a home again, to start living again.

The proclamation of Easter reaches us where we allow ourselves to be touched by the wounds of life, without anaesthetising ourselves, without staying too much in a wellness centre, which deludes us into thinking that life is something harmless, which never questions us. From there, we can welcome this proclamation of life, of hope. It is Easter in the world; it is Easter even where there is war. It is Easter for that elderly Ukrainian woman who has only her parrot left. It is Easter for those children who saw the horror and suffered it in their innocent flesh. It is Easter for us, if we allow ourselves to be set in motion, if we leave the Upper Room, if we allow the new life of Christ to explode in us”.



Updates from Ukraine: Minister General continues his visit

The Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor, Br Massimo Fusarelli, is currently visiting Romania, Ukraine and Poland, accompanied by the Minister Provincial of Assisi, Br Francesco Piloni.

The Minister General is representing his entire Franciscan family, consecrated brothers, friends of the lay family and all volunteers. He is present in the area of conflict and neighbouring countries to listen, welcome and be a sign of solidarity for all those who today are experiencing and suffering the deep wounds of war.

From 10 to 12 April, the Minister General was part of an international delegation of religious leaders for an “Interfaith Pilgrimage of solidarity with the Ukrainian people”. The mission’s ultimate goal – organised by the Peace Department and the Elijah Interfaith Institute – was to demonstrate by example that in times of war and division, we can and must continue to appeal to the highest values of humanity.

The public event, concluding the inter-religious pilgrimage, took place on 12 April in the main theatre of Chernivtsi in Ukraine. Here you can watch the event and listen to the words of the Minister General (58.00 mins).

The Holy Father sent Br Massimo Fusarelli a letter for the occasion. In his message (read the full letter here), the Holy Father reiterates that “this time we are experiencing leaves us dismayed because it is marked by the forces of evil”. At the same time, citing the encyclical Fratelli Tutti, he explains that “the atrocious and painful events we have been witnessing for too many days now confirm that war is a failure of politics and of humanity, a shameful capitulation, a stinging defeat before the forces of evil”. He then launched a new appeal: “May the leaders, especially those who appeal to the sacred principles of religion, listen to the Word of God which says: I have plans for peace and not for disaster”.

From 13 April, the Minister General continued his journey, visiting a house of the friars of the Greek Catholic rite and two houses of the friars of St Michael’s Province. He also met there with refugees and people in need of assistance.

“This morning (12 April), we entered Ukraine very early and already at the border, we saw many people lined up with children, old people, women and men ready to leave their country to seek refuge in the West. When we arrived in the city of Chernivtsi, together with other religious representatives, I met children orphaned by the war and other refugees from the Kyiv area in two centres. Compelling meetings from an emotional point of view and very important. We spoke with the people who accompany the children and the refugees; we listened to stories of war and of interminable journeys to save themselves, structures steeped in pain and a desire for peace”. These are the words of the Minister General, who continues: “Sowing peace even towards those who raise their hand against a defenceless people: this is the message we left to individuals we met and in the inter-religious gathering. May the Almighty and Giver of all good accompany us and bless every effort for peace”.

Following the minister’s words, Br Francesco Piloni, who was present at the visit, said: “Our Ministers reached Ternopil this morning (13 April), where they met the Greek-Catholic fraternity, founded in 1993 and currently made up of twenty friars. After lunch with them, accompanied by the Ukrainian Minister Provincial Br Danyil and Br Cristian, they reached Zbarazh. They met the mayor and visited the Franciscan parish and a school used to welcome refugees. After Mass, they had a moment of prayer for peace with Protestants, Orthodox and Greek Catholics”.

The Minister General will conclude his visit to Poland by meeting the friars and the many refugees in Kalwaria. Br Massimo Fusarelli wanted to undertake this journey in the name of all the friars of the Order to be close to this land and to all the people wounded by the consequences of the conflict.

The pro Terra Sancta Collection returns on Good Friday

“This year on Good Friday, please remember us, your brothers and sisters who live in the Holy Land. Help us according to the generosity of your heart, remembering the words of our Lord Jesus: There is more joy in giving than in receiving (Acts 20:35)”. These are the words of Brother Francesco Patton, OFM, Custos of the Holy Land, a few days before the pro Terra Sancta Collection, traditionally held on Good Friday.

The Custody of the Holy Land, thanks to the collect of the offerings, is able to sustain and continue the important mission and vocation it owns: to keep and custody the Holy Places, the stones of the memory and preserve the christian presence, the living stones of the Holy Land trough many solidarity activities

The Custos of the Holy Land, Br Francesco Patton, explains why it is important to donate: “In an unprecedented situation like that of the last two years, we Franciscans of the Custody of the Holy Land have tried to continue our mission: in the shrines without pilgrims, and above all we have intensified our prayers, giving voice to the cry of all humanity. In the parishes we have continued to celebrate and to be close to the people, local faithful, migrant workers and refugees. In our schools we have tried to educate in an environment of fraternity and hope. In our study centres we have welcomed and trained young friars, priests, men and women religious and lay people from all over the world. With difficulty we have tried to support materially the weakest communities: the community of Bethlehem and that of Jerusalem, with no more pilgrims and no work; the communities of Lebanon, devastated by an increasingly economic and political crisis; those of Syria, which remains like a prisoner of a war that seems to never end”.

What will be the purpose of the donations collected with the Colletta pro Terra Sancta? Br. Ramzi Sidawi, Bursar of the Custody of the Holy Land, answers: “We have 15 Custody schools for the poor and local people. Another social work is the houses that we offer for very low rent to those who are most in need. The Custody has at least 1,000 people employed in the different activities. The Good Friday collection is the main resource of the Custody of the Holy Land and with it we cover at least 70% of the expenses: the works of the custody, the maintenance of the sanctuaries and social works”.

The collection “pro Terra Santa” held every year on Good Friday, can be a gesture of closeness and consolation for the Christians who live in those places. This is the message at the center of the Letter released by the Dicastery for the Oriental Churches. Read it here.

(Thanks to Christian Media Center)

Pope Francis receives the leaders of the “St Francis Farm” project

“St Francis Farm” seeks to implement the values of the encyclicals Laudato Si’ and Fratelli Tutti in a village in Mozambique. The project was conceived by the Friars Minor of the Custody of St Clare of Assisi in Mozambique to transform a large piece of land owned by the Franciscans into a place of agricultural production and a professional school for the local community. After an exchange of letters with Pope Francis – who showed great appreciation for this project – a delegation of the leaders of “St Francis Farm” was received privately by the Holy Father on Thursday, 7 April, for a meeting lasting about forty minutes.

“We went there to thank him for his support and accompaniment on this journey that he himself invited us to undertake when he spoke of the Church going out to the existential and geographical peripheries of the world,” said Br Jorge Alberto Bender, in charge of the project. He was joined by two other Mozambican friars and three benefactors.

Of Argentinean origin, Br Jorge knew the Holy Father from his days as a student at the seminary in Buenos Aires, where Bergoglio was a teacher at the time. He remembered me and joked that I was a very good football player when we played between religious colleges,” said Br Jorge. “We thanked the Pope also because we had the opportunity to present this project at the Vatican last September”.

The Holy Father, in a series of handwritten letters, expressed his full support. “I like the project you are carrying out, inspired by the encyclicals Laudato Si’ and Fratelli Tutti,” he wrote in 2021. “The hope is that the people there and here in Europe will understand the scope and significant benefit of this project and become active and participate with prayer, good intentions, and economic collaboration. I urge them to do so. Be courageous!”.

The Franciscan friars have been present in Mozambique since 1898. In these 123 years, in the most varied and challenging social and political situations, they have always sought to promote the integral formation of the human person.

The farm site is located near Jécua, in the Manica province of central Mozambique, on a 206-hectare plot of land, strategically situated on the national road linking the city of Beira with Zimbabwe.

“With this project, we aim to enhance the value of work as a source of fulfilment and dignity for individuals and families,” explains Br Jorge. “We want to break with the mindset of paternalistic assistance, creating solidarity structures to empower the individual and avoid emigration to the big cities and other countries”.                                          Br Jorge, recently elected Vicar of the Custody of St Clare in Mozambique, now divides his time between manual work in the fields of the Franciscan friary and work in the parish, which includes some 74 rural communities in the surrounding area. “Africa does not need me; it is I who need Africa,” he says. “Meeting this people has changed my outlook and always pushes me to real conversion, to Franciscan life. Their liturgies are very long, but the people are happy to sing, dance, participate, and celebrate Mass, even with a few objects. What always strikes me is their joy”.

Beatrice Guarrera

Press Release: Minister General Visits Ukraine to renew his Closeness

From 10 to 16 April the Minister General, Br Massimo Fusarelli, accompanied by the Provincial Minister of Assisi, Br Francesco Piloni, will make a visit to Romania, Ukraine and Poland.

The Minister General, representing his whole Franciscan family, consecrated brothers, friends of the lay family and all volunteers, will be in the territory of the conflict and neighboring countries to listen, welcome and be a sign of proximity for all those who today they live and suffer the deep wounds of war.

From 10 to 12 April the Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor will be part of an international delegation of religious leaders for an “Interfaith pilgrimage of solidarity with the Ukrainian people”. The ultimate goal of the mission – organized by the Peace Department and Elijah Interfaith Institute, drawing inspiration from Glocalities – is to demonstrate by example that in times of war and division we can and must continue to appeal to the highest values of humanity that unite us. and which unite all religious faiths.

The delegation of religious leaders – who will make this crucial visit to the refugee camps and the city of Chernivtsi – will be composed of: the Archbishop of Canterbury (emeritus), Rowan Williams (Anglican, United Kingdom), Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg (Jew, United Kingdom), Grand Mufti (Emeritus) Mustafa Ceric (Muslim, Bosnia), Archbishop Nikitas Lulias (Orthodox Archbishop of the United Kingdom), Grand Imam Yahya Pallavacini (Muslim, Italy), Swami Sarvapriyananda (Hindu, India / USA) and Abbess Sr. Giác Nghiêm (Buddhist, France).

Highlight of the delegation’s visit will be a public event to be held on April 12, in the main theater of Chernivtsi in Ukraine. The words of the delegation participants will be accompanied by the testimonies of refugees. This will be the first public event allowed at the theater since the beginning of the war. It is an event and occasion that is of historical importance. James Sternlicht, founder of the Peace Department, said: “Right now, in a world gripped by deep darkness, we must unite to heal humanity,” echoed by Rabbi Goshen-Gottstein, founder and executive director of Elijah. Interfaith Institute, who said: “As far as I know, this is the first time ever that an interfaith delegation has embarked on a mission of friendship and solidarity, entering a country at war. This is all the more remarkable when one considers the high level of religious representatives. ”

The event can be accessed via live video streaming on a page that will be available on the day of the event, at www.FaithinUkraine.com/Stream

The delegation will then make a brief visit to the Franciscan Friars of Transylvania in the Marian shrine of Csíksomlyó and then to Suceava in Romania and then to Chernovtsy in Ukraine.

From 13 April, the Minister General will continue his visit by visiting a house of the friars of the Greek Catholic rite and two houses of the friars of the province of San Michele, also meeting refugees and people in need of assistance there. He will conclude his visit to Poland by meeting the friars and the many refugees who have found hospitality there in Kalwaria.

Friar Massimo Fusarelli accepted this invitation to draw close, in the name of all the friars of the Order, to this land and to all the people wounded by the consequences of the conflict.

For contacts and information:

Fr Evodio João: communication office director, ejoao@ofm.org either comgen@ofm.org

Francesco Stefanini, communication area volunteer, fstefanini@ofm.org telephone +393293393506

Easter 2022 greetings from the Minister General

“I hope this Easter wish of mine can help us recognise that the Passover of the world passes within the turmoil of history” reads the Letter that the Minister General, Br Massimo Fusarelli, wrote to the Franciscan Family on the occasion of the approaching Easter of the Lord.

Download the letter

La Verna welcomes Franciscan Ministers General and Definitors for their retreat

From 4 to 9 April, at the Franciscan Sanctuary of La Verna, in Arezzo (Italy), the spiritual retreat of the Ministers General and the friars of the General Definitories of the Franciscan First Order: Order of Friars Minor (OFM), Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, Order of Friars Minor Conventual and Third Order Regular (TOR) is taking place.

Together with the four Ministers General – Br Massimo Fusarelli, OFM, Br Roberto Genuin, OFM Cap, Br Carlos Trovarelli, OFM Conv, and Br Amando Trujillo Cano, TOR – 26 friars who are part of the Definitories of the First Order have come to La Verna.

On the first three days, the meditations were led by Br Antonio Ramina, OFM Conv, Rector of the Basilica of St Anthony in Padua, and on the last two days, by Br Francesco, OFM, in charge of the Hermitage at La Verna.

The retreat will end on 9 April with the Conference of Ministers General meeting.


The Tempo Forte sessions were held from 7 to 17 March 2022. Br Vjekoslav MILIĆEVIĆ was entrusted with introducing the work with a meditation in the context of a special Eucharistic celebration of prayer for peace, which is unfortunately trampled by several conflicts in many countries of the world, including Ukraine.
During this Tempo Forte, the General Definitory met with all the officials of the Curia for what has now become a fixed appointment for exchange and discussion to increase collaboration. One working session was devoted to a meeting with Br Francisco GÒMEZ VARGAS, Secretary General for Missions and Evangelisation, Br Darko TEPERT, Secretary General for Formation and Studies, and Br Jaime Andrés CAMPOS FONSECA, Animator of the JPIC Office, who recently went to Colombia to visit the Friars and to meet the Ministers and those responsible for the various sectors of the Bolivarian Conference.
On Wednesday, 9 March, the Procurator General, Br Claudio DURIGHETTO, presented the changes introduced in the Code of Canon Law to the General Definitory. On Monday, 14 March, the General Bursar, Br John E. PUODZIUNAS, presented the final balance for the year 2021 to the General Definitory for approval. Other economic and operational issues of the General Bursar’s Office, including the role of the Council for Economic Affairs (CAE) and the International Commission for Economic Affairs (CIRE), were also discussed at this meeting and will be addressed in the next meeting with the Conference Presidents.
The General Minister reported on his recent fraternal visits to the different Entities of the Order, particularly to the Province of the Holy Family, in Egypt. He also informed the General Definitory about the Canonical Visitation conducted with the Friars of the Custody of the Protomartyrs in Morocco, dependent on the Minister himself.
Many other issues were discussed, including the urgency of accompanying the growing number of Entities facing more or less drastic downsizing processes and the need to find more personnel for the Houses and missionary projects dependent on the Minister General.
Br Isauro and Br Albert reported on the first meeting of the International Commission for the Safeguarding of Minors and Vulnerable Adults held on 22-24 February. At this meeting, it was also decided to contact all the Order’s Entities with a questionnaire to collect information on what is being done in the Order in this challenging area.
On 11 March, the General Definitory elected Br Antonio IACONA, of the Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus, in Italy (Sicily), as Secretary General, who will replace Br Giovanni RINALDI on 1 September.
During the present Tempo Forte, the lists of candidates for the service of Minister Provincial and Custos of the following Entities were approved: Province of Blessed John Duns Scotus in France and Belgium; Salerno-Lucana Province of the Immaculate Conception, Sannito-Irpina Province of Santa Maria delle Grazie and Province of St Michael the Archangel, in Italy; Province of the Holy Martyrs of Morocco, in Portugal; Custody of St Clare, in Mozambique; Province of the Holy Spirit, in Canada; Province of the Immaculate Conception, in the USA; Province of St Peter Baptist, in the Philippines; Province of the Most Holy Saviour, in Slovakia; Dalmatian Province of St Jerome, in Croatia; Custody of the Protomartyrs, in Morocco, dependent on the Minister General.
Election acts were ratified:
• of the Minister, Vicar and Definitors of the Holy Cross Province, in Brazil;
• of the Definitors of the Queen of China Province, in Taiwan;
• of the Capitular Congressus of the Custody of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Brazil;
• elections outside of Chapter of Definitor of St Francis Province, Italy; of the Secretary of the Province of St Bonaventure, Italy; of some Guardians in the Provinces of St Bonaventure and St Francis, Italy, of St Anthony, Brazil and Holy Faith, Colombia.
The General Definitory, having examined the Report presented by Br Paul SMITH, President and General Delegate for the St Francis Foundation in Papua New Guinea, dependent on the General Minister, has decided to confirm Br Paul in his office.
Following the Canonical Visitation conducted by Br Jason WELLE to the Brothers present in Turkey, Br Eleuthere BAHARANY MAKUTA was elected Guardian of the House in Istanbul, dependent on the Minister General. Other posts were also assigned for the Guardianate in Istanbul and the filial Houses in Izmir.
The Concluding Report of the Canonical Visitation of the Custody of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Brazil was also analysed.
The following cases of separation from the Order were dealt with:
 Dispensation from temporary vows: 1
 Extension of the indult of exclaustration: 1
 Dispensation from solemn vows: 7
 Transfer to another Institute: 1
 Secularisation ad experimentum: 1
 Secularisation pure et simpliciter: 2
 Dispensation from the obligations of the clerical state and leaving the Order: 8
 Dismissal from the Order: 2
Penalties were imposed for two cases of graviora delicta.
Visitators General were elected:
o Br Mario Wilson RAMOS NOVOA, of the Province of the Holy Faith, in Colombia, for the Province of St Francis Solano in Peru;
o Br Alan T. BRZYSKI, of the Province of St Hedwig, in Poland, for the Province of the Immaculate Conception BVM, in Poland (Kalwaria);
o Br Sergiusz (Marek Adam) BAŁDYGA, of the Province of the Assumption BVM, in Poland, for the Fraternity of St Mary Mediatrix – General Curia;
On 15 March, the Definitory met with the Visitator General for the Custody of the Holy Land, Br Julio César BUNADER, former Vicar General of the Order, who presented a report on the visitation carried out so far.
The next Tempo Forte is scheduled from 9 to 21 May 2022, during which the meeting with the Conference Presidents will also take place (17-20 May).
To the praise of Christ and the Poverello of Assisi. Amen!
Rome, 1 April 2022
Br Giovanni Rinaldi, OFM
Secretary General

Minister General’s call to prayer for all suffering peoples

A few days before the beginning of Holy Week, listening to the cry of suffering of the people in so many nations of the world, where the Franciscans of the Order of Friars Minor work, the Minister General, Br Massimo Fusarelli, launches an appeal for prayer and support for all people in difficulty.

We are aware of difficult social, political, and economic situations that afflict people from various parts of the world. Our friars are there and remain close to the people in many ways. Let us remember them and stay close to them in fraternity: our thoughts go to Haiti and Cuba, where poverty and insecurity prevail. We still look at Nicaragua, Central America and Mexico and Venezuela. We move to Asia, to Sri Lanka and Myanmar, not forgetting other countries. Syria and Lebanon are always in our thoughts, together with the Democratic Republic of Congo, especially in the Kivu region. We also do not forget Sudan and South Sudan, and other countries of this immense continent. We are friars in the world and for the world, in the Order and for the Order. While we remain close to our brothers in Ukraine and Russia, let us also remember many other situations this Easter.

 Br Massimo Fusarelli

Minister General

The Minister General celebrates in the Basilica of Our Lady of Graces in Benevento

It was 3 April 1723 when, in Benevento Cathedral, Cardinal Vincenzo Maria Orsini adorned the statue of Our Lady of Graces, carrying the baby Jesus in her arms, with two golden crowns. The figure of the Virgin – the work of the artist Giovanni Meriliano da Nola (1476/78 – 1553), which can still be seen today – was solemnly displayed in the cathedral until the following 6 April, when the procession wound its way through the main streets of the city.

In preparation for the celebrations of the third centenary of the coronation of Our Lady of Graces statue – which will fall on 3 April 2023 – the Minister General, Br Massimo Fusarelli, presided at a Eucharistic celebration on Saturday 2 April. Welcoming Br Massimo to the Basilica of Our Lady of Graces in Benevento was Br Antonio Grimolizzi, Minister of the Franciscan Province of Sannio and Irpinia, dedicated to Our Lady of Graces.

“The gesture of crowning images of the Mother of God expresses the faith and love of the Holy People of God for her whom we invoke as Mother of mercy, the face of the Father’s tenderness, the icon of the Church, minister of forgiveness and mercy”, said the Minister General in his homily. “We crown Mary, and we say to her once again: Hail Queen, Mother of Mercy!”.

Br Massimo invited the faithful to believe that this year will be a time of mercy, of hope: “Pandemics and conflicts have marked this last period of our history and continue to mark it. It is difficult to see a viable way of mercy in the violence and conflict inflaming Europe today. Yet, this year can be an opportunity, especially for this Benevento Church and the friars of this Province. A chance to rediscover the reasons for hope in the sign of the Mother of Mercy”, said the Minister General. The people of Benevento, too, so devoted to Our Lady, are called to experience the Virgin’s love for all humanity, “especially for peoples overwhelmed by war, which is always sacrilegious, never just”.

Br Massimo invoked Mary so that she might intercede for the whole fraternity of the Minors: “May this hour enable us to welcome the radical beauty and charism of St Francis in the sign of mercy and a more convinced, more visible and concrete poverty, more solidarity. This sets us free, gives wings to our future and frees us from the burdens of a past and a present that are often heavy”.

At the end of the celebration, the Minister General renewed the act of consecration to Our Lady of Graces and asked for the gift of peace for all humanity: “Silence the absurd voice of arms, infuse projects of peace in the powerful of the earth, in the parents who mourn their children, in the women and children endangered in the flight from their homes; look at the fathers who fight and are separated from their families. Support peace negotiations for the common good; reach out to the hardness of hearts, even Christians, who are unable to have thoughts of peace according to the Gospel in this dramatic hour”.

Beatrice Guarrera

Br Lino Gregorio Redoblado elected Minister Provincial

The friars of the Franciscan Province of San Pedro Bautista, in the Philippines, gathered in Botolan, Zambales, from 28 March to 1 April, elected Br Lino Gregorio Redoblado as Minister Provincial and Br Reu Jose Galoy as Vicar of the same Province. The following were elected to the office of Definitor: Br Joel Sulse, Br Eduardo Armenta, Br Cristino Pine and Br Baltazar Obico.

The new Provincial, Br Greg, as he is called, was born in Tacloban, Philippines. He made his first vows in 1988, solemn vows in 1992 and was ordained a priest on 22 October 1994. He received his Doctorate in Philosophy from the Pontifical Antonianum University in Rome in 2005. In the Province, Br Greg has already held the offices of Guardian, Definitor and Minister Provincial, while in the previous sexennium, 2015-2021, he served the Order as Definitor General.

Br Jerry Bleem, Visitator General of the Sacred Heart Province in the United States, presided over the Chapter.

JPIC Animation Committee held its annual meeting

The JPIC Animation Committee met in person and virtually on 22 – 25 March. Br Jacek Orzechowski, OFM from the United States, Br Daniel Rodríguez, OFM from El Salvador, and Br Francesco Zecca, OFM and Jaime Campos, OFM took part in person in the General Curia in Rome.

Among the functions of the Animation Committee is to assist the Animator of the JPIC Office in implementing the projects and suggestions proposed by the IJPICC Assembly and approved by the General Definitory (SS 6,1). During our meeting, we discussed and made some decisions on the following topics:

  1. Shema Meetings

In collaboration with JPIC Media, the JPIC Animation Committee will join the organisation of three online meetings for dialogue, reflection, prayer and action. With simultaneous translation and parallel rooms per language in zoom. This will allow for sharing among all participants.

3 September: During the Time of Creation

23 September: In preparation for the World Day for Migrants and Refugees

22 October: In preparation for the celebration of the Spirit of Assisi

  1. Laudato Si’ Week

The JPIC Office, as part of the Laudato Si’ Week Committee, together with the Laudato Si’ Movement, will collaborate in the organisation of one of the global events on the theme of “ecological education”.

  1. JPIC, Formation and Studies

The Animation Committee met with Br Darko Tepert, OFM Secretary General for Formation and Studies. From orientation 27 of the General Chapter, a dialogue was initiated to foster collaborative work, enabling the values of JPIC to be more incarnated in the processes of initial and ongoing formation. From this dialogue, two paths emerged for the coming years: formative experiences and a re-evaluation of the theological content of formation from the perspective of integral ecology (for example: the Diploma and Licentiate in Philosophy with a specialisation in integral ecology).

  1. JPIC, Missions and Evangelisation

The JPIC Animation Committee participated in the International Council for Missions and Evangelisation meeting. They discussed how JPIC values – the values of the Kingdom – can be more present and at the service of the Missions and Evangelisation. Furthermore, the progress made by the Franciscan Network of the Mediterranean was shared as a meeting point. Finally, some criteria for the creation of the Ratio Evangelizationis were presented.

  1. Brazil-South Cone Conference

The JPIC Animation Committee, together with the Vicar General, the Secretary General for Formation and Studies and the Secretary General for Missions and Evangelisation, participated virtually in the meeting of the Brazil-South Cone Conference. This was attended by Ministers Provincial, Secretaries for Formation and Studies, Missions and Evangelisation and JPIC animators from all the entities belonging to the Conference. The guidelines for implementing Orientation 27 and Mandate 28 (JPIC) of the General Chapter 2021 were presented.

  1. Franciscan Networks, mandate 28 General Chapter 2021

Franciscan Network of the Mediterranean: Br Francesco Zecca, OFM, gave an update. The Conference of Ministers Provincial of Italy and Albania (COMPI) decided to create a fraternity in Taranto (southern Italy) to carry out the project “OIKOS” (Integral Ecology Centre for the Mediterranean). This project will be the “motor” of the network. The projects are currently in progress:

  1. Oikos – youth: 6 youth groups have been formed in Taranto, Scutari, Beirut, Cairo, Marrakech, Palma de Majorca.
  2. Oikos – Integral Ecology: In October 2022, the third edition of the diploma course will start at the Pontifical Antonianum University (1 year – virtual), with two specialisations: Business and Mediterranean. The aim is to train facilitators who will then be integrated into the various projects of the network. Information will be sent in due course.
  3. The proposal on the organisational structure of the network was discussed.

Franciscan Network for Migrants: Br Jaime Campos, OFM, presented an update on the organisation: houses of welcome and work teams. The strengthening of the national teams (6 countries) and the new areas that the network has been implementing: advocacy team, section “for migrants,” and the training plan for members of the network.

  1. COP27 – November 2022

Based on the project presented by the JPIC Office, the decision was taken to carry it forward, in collaboration with Franciscans International, in two phases:

  1. Preliminary events: The Franciscan Network of the Mediterranean will organise meetings on climate change in the cities of the “Oikos-Youth” project.
  2. Official Event: Br Jacek Orzechowski, OFM, will represent the JPIC Office at the COP27 in collaboration with Franciscans International.
  3. International JPIC Meetings

International JPIC Council 2022: The possibility of holding the IJPICC meeting towards the end of this year (November) was discussed. Two countries are proposed as possible venues for the meeting. Br Jaime will consult with the friars of these countries to explore the opportunities. The JPIC Animation Committee will meet immediately after the IJPICC in the same city.

VI Continental JPIC Meeting of the Americas and Intercontinental Asia/Oceania Meeting. During the International JPIC Council in November 2022, the place and date for each of these meetings will be decided. Therefore, both would be in 2023. It will be opportune to rethink these meetings, their dynamics, scope, means in the post-pandemic.

  1. International JPIC Course

We discussed the need to evaluate the format of this course. It was recalled that it began in 2008, and some 450 friars have participated. Therefore, it was agreed to bring this issue to the following International JPIC Council.