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“Friar Pub Ripa” featured on Telepace TV

On one Saturday night a month, a community group attached to the friary of San Francesco a Ripa (Trastevere, Rome) hosts an unusual and enjoyable evening at the Friar Pub Ripa. It features live music, burgers, fries, and beer on tap, and is a fundraiser in aid of the Ripa dei Settesoli project. The project, which began in 2011, helps young people (18 – 35) from a wide variety of nationalities, including Italians. The goal is to assist people at risk of being marginalized to be more part of society and to enter the workforce. The monthly gathering is just one aspect of how the friars share their lives with the people of Trastevere. Journalists from Telepace (a Catholic TV station) visited the Friar Pub Ripa and experienced a wonderful evening with the young people, the volunteers, and the friars who get the party going.

Click on the link for further information (Italian) or to make a booking: www.ripadeisettesoli.org/friar-pub-ripa.





Querida Amazonia: Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation of the Holy Father Francis




  1. The beloved Amazon region stands before the world in all its splendour, its drama and its mystery. God granted us the grace of focusing on that region during the Synod held in Rome from 6-27 October last, which concluded by issuing its Final Document, The Amazon: New Paths for the Church and for an Integral Ecology.


The significance of this Exhortation

  1. During the Synod, I listened to the presentations and read with interest the reports of the discussion groups. In this Exhortation, I wish to offer my own response to this process of dialogue and discernment. I will not go into all of the issues treated at length in the final document. Nor do I claim to replace that text or to duplicate it. I wish merely to propose a brief framework for reflection that can apply concretely to the life of the Amazon region a synthesisof some of the larger concerns that I have expressed in earlier documents, and that can help guide us to a harmonious, creative and fruitful reception of the entire synodal process.
  2. At the same time, I would like to officially present the Final Document, which sets forth the conclusions of the Synod, which profited from the participation of many people who know better than myself or the Roman Curia the problems and issues of the Amazon region, since they live there, they experience its suffering and they love it passionately. I have preferred not to cite the Final Document in this Exhortation, because I would encourage everyone to read it in full.
  3. May God grant that the entire Church be enriched and challenged by the work of the synodal assembly. May the pastors, consecrated men and women and lay faithful of the Amazon region strive to apply it, and may it inspire in some way every person of good will.


Dreams for the Amazon region

  1. The Amazon region is a multinational and interconnected whole, a great biome shared by nine countries: Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Surinam, Venezuela and the territory of French Guiana. Yet I am addressing the present Exhortation to the whole world. I am doing so to help awaken their affection and concern for that land which is also “ours”, and to invite them to value it and acknowledge it as a sacred mystery. But also because the Church’s concern for the problems of this area obliges us to discuss, however briefly, a number of other important issues that can assist other areas of our world in confronting their own challenges.


Read the complete text: Vatican.va

Formation of the Guardians of the Custody of the Holy Land

From 2 to 7 February 2020, a formation meeting was held for the Guardians and Superiors of the Custody of the Holy Land. The meeting, organized by the Moderator of the on-going Formation of the Custody, Br.  Marcelo Cichinelli, took place on Mount Tabor and was animated by Br. Antonio Scabio, General Definitor, and Br. Cesare Vaiani, General  Secretary for formation and studies. The two speakers took turns, proposing a guided reading of the Handbook for the Guardians, applied to the particular context of the Holy Land, and some insights into issues useful for the service of the Guardian and Superior in the perspective of social psychology. On the first day, the Custos of the Holy Land, Br. Francesco Patton, opened the proceedings, inserting this meeting in the ongoing formation of the Custody. The place of the transfiguration of the Lord, with bright days, cheered the participants. The local community welcomed the participants fraternally, with the help of the young members of Mondo X. The participants, in the final verification, underlined the usefulness of this meeting to perform their important service better and better.

Franciscan Youth in India Pledge to be Instruments of Peace

“We, the Franciscan youth pledge that we shall be instruments of peace in our families, parishes and the society”- so took the oath more than 300 youth coming from across different states of India on the occasion of the Franciscan Youth Meet (FRAYME) 2020 which was held from 31 January to 2 February 2020 at St. Sebastian’s Parish in Chennai, India.

This is a new initiative of The Secretariat for Evangelization and Mission OFM India to promote the Franciscan values and motivate active participation in parish life among the youth members of the Franciscan Parishes in India.

The event began with a procession of the Franciscan San Damiano Cross followed by a devout veneration.  On 1 February, the youth assembled in the Church for ‘Praise and Worship’, followed by various talks about the role of youth in the church today.

The participants also marched three kilometres with lighted candles and placards calling for peace and singing the hymns of being instruments of peace in different languages. The sight of more than three hundred FRAYME youth along with many others gave the onlookers an opportunity to ask and know about St. Francis and the need for peace.

Celebrating Consecrated Life on 2 February, Fr. Vincent Chinnadurai, the Episcopal Vicar for Religious in the Archdiocese of Chennai expressed happiness for FRAYME 2020.

Fr. Simon OFM, host pastor, remembering the joy, energetic presence and spirited atmosphere of the 3-day FRAYME 2020, thanked everyone who made the event possible.

JPIC Course 2020: “Promoting JPIC in times of Ecological Crisis”

Dear Brothers,

Peace and all Good!

We are glad to inform you about the international JPIC course 2020. We hold this year’s course in Manila, the Philippines, on the theme of “Promoting JPIC in times of Ecological Crisis” and, as such, are expecting more significant participation, especially from Asia, Australia, and Oceania. We hope this could be an excellent opportunity for the formation of the JPIC animators and building a network of communication. It’s also open to the Franciscan family and other collaborators.

In the links below, you will find the letter of convocation of the Vicar General, Br. Julio Bunader, OFM, the program and practical information: EnglishEspañolItaliano

The participants should register by April 26, 2020.

May the Lord bless all of you!



Br. Jaime Campos, OFM
Director, JPIC General Office – Rome

Communique from the General Definitory – Tempo Forte of January 2020

The Tempo Forte took place from Monday 13 to Friday 31 January 2020. On Thursday 16 January the Vicar General and some General Definitors attended the Feast of the Pontifical University Antonianum and, on the same day, the Minister General returned to Rome, after a long period of rehabilitation following his bicycle accident on 15 August 2019. Also, from 21 to 30 January the Minister General and the General Definitory met twenty-nine new Provincial Ministers and Custodes elected in recent months.

During the sessions of the current Tempo Forte, numerous dossiers were dealt with, including the awarding of some scholarships, obedience to formation experiences and missionary service, the erection of some Commissariats of the Holy Land, the suppression of some religious Houses, and the ratification of several acts of election that took place both at Provincial and Custodial Chapters and at Chapter Congresses.

Br Lovro GAVRAN, OFM, was elected Visitator General for the Custody of the Annunciation of the BVM in Albania. The General Definitory approved the Candidates for Minister Provincial and Custos for Entities that will celebrate their Chapter shortly (Province of St. James of the Marche, in Italy; Province of Our Lady of Hungary; Custody of St. John the Baptist, in Pakistan) and ratified the Ratio Formationis and the Ratio Studiorum of two Entities. They also laid out the broad programme for the Meeting with the Conference Presidents, which will be held at the General Curia during the Tempo Forte in May.

Reports after the Canonical Visitations of the Custody of St. Benedict of the Amazon in Brazil and the Province of St. Michael the Archangel in Indonesia were examined.

Several dossiers falling within the competence of the Procurator General’s Office were addressed:

  • information on allegations of graviora delicta (4);
  • dispensation from celibacy and the obligations of the clerical state (4);
  • dispensation from solemn vows (2);
  • secularisation pure et simpliciter (1);
  • indults of exclaustration (7);
  • dispensation from temporary vows (2).


Three requests for readmission to the Order and three requests for transfer to the Order from other Congregations were accepted.

Some personal cases and questions of changes in the juridical status of a couple of Entities were examined.

With the help of Br. Sergio GALDI D’ARAGONA, OFM, the appointments of several officers and commissions for the General Chapter 2021 were decided. Moreover, possible themes for the Chapter as well as its methodology were discussed.

The next Tempo Forte will take place from 16 to 27 March

To the praise of Christ and the Poverello di Assisi. Amen!


Rome, 4 February 2020


Br. Giovanni Rinaldi, OFM
Secretary General

A Laudato si’ “Revolution”

The third meeting of Serata Laudato si’ took place together with the seventh celebration of the Franciscan Youth Missions in the city of Xaxim. It was promoted by the Franciscan Province of the Immaculate Conception of Brazil, bringing 800 young people together for five days to reflect on the care of our Common Home (from 29th January to 2ndFebruary 2020).

This year, a group of friars from Argentina and Rio Grande do Sul, led by friars from the Province of St. Francis of Assisi, were present in addition to the young people of the Province. There were five days of great energy in this event which was evangelising, cultural, formative and celebratory. Numerous workshops dealt with themes related to the ministry of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC), with questions of ecology, justice, migration, respect for nature, good living and simplicity, values so characteristic of the Franciscan charism, which is much needed in our times.

The prayer times recalled and decried the neglect of Mother Earth by humankind. In the evening prayer, on the first day, three young people lay down in the mud in a makeshift pool to remember the tragedies produced by the mega-mining in “Mariana” and “Brumadinho”. With movements, they showed desperate people in search of rescue. “This tragedy, which has victimised so many families, is synonymous with murder. It is synonymous with greed, which has generated so many deaths. It is synonymous with bodies that are not buried by their families,” said Br. Diego Melo, Promoter of Vocations and JPIC.

The training in the first days was intense. Br Jaime Campos, director of the General Office for JPIC, showed how this service is structured in the Order and all the Conferences in the world. He explained how it works to build a world where everyone can live as family, in love. Br. Jaime also spoke of the “Laudato si’ Revolution”, an initiative that will involve the whole Order throughout the world.

The anthropologist and lay Franciscan, Moema Miranda SFO, who was at the Synod for the Amazon held in Rome, also spoke about Laudato si’ for our days, as well as its practical consequences in our lives. The youth coordinator in Brazil of the World Catholic Climate Movement, Igor Bastos, who is also a member of YouFra (Franciscan Youth), spoke about the importance of youth leading evangelisation.

On Friday and Saturday, the 800 young people were divided into family homes in 38 communities. They were able to experience hands-on practice of the themes chosen for this Mission: “And God saw that everything was very good” and “Guardians of relationships with God, with others and with our common home”.

The young people met again on Sunday at the closing Mass. The Vicar Provincial, Br. Gustavo Medella, presided over the celebration and, in sending the young people home, asked them to be the presence of the “Jesus of the people”. In the ceremony, a young person shaved the head of another, to indicate the evil generated by pesticides. A wooden cross near the church was set on fire and, according to Br. Gustavo, “It is also our request for forgiveness. Christ was again crucified for our actions that destroy and attack our common home”.

There were acknowledgements, emotions and much gratitude, especially to the people who received the missionaries with great affection. According to Br. Diego, a tree is known for its fruits. “The Franciscan tree is filling this world with fruit”.