PDF – No 232 (05. 2016)
The International Board of Directors of Franciscans International (FI) held its semi-annual meeting at the Geneva office of FI from April 22-25, 2016.
Bo. Joe Rozansky, OFM, was elected as the new President of the Board. In September 2015, he finished up ten years in Rome as the director of the OFM Office of Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation (JPIC). Joe succeeds Doug Clorey, the previous representative of the the Secular Franciscan Order (OFS) on the Board, who just completed his four-year term as President of the Board.
The Minister General, Br. Michael A. Perry, and General Definitor, Br. Valmir Ramos, have made a fraternal visit to the friars in Bolivia. They were hosted from April 18th to 24th by Br. Orlando Cabrera, Minister Provincial of a fraternity that began in 1985, and is made up of 121 friars from Bolivia and abroad.
The Province headquarters is situated in Cochabamba, but the friars are located throughout Bolivia, and are responsible for parishes, schools, two shrines and three Vicariates.
Br. Michael began his visit in St. Anthony Friary, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, meeting the brothers who live in the north and east of Bolivia. These friars, although ageing and being few in number, faithfully serve the mission in those areas. He then took time to share the vision and plans of the entire First Order with a group of Conventual and Capuchin friars. Before leaving Santa Cruz, Br. Michael met with the eight Franciscan Bishops in Bolivia, three of whom are responsible for Vicariates.
On April 25th, an important National Meeting of the Franciscan Family took place in Alenquer, Portugal. Several hundred people who share the charism of the “Poverello of Assisi” gathered from all parts of Portugal in a friendly and fraternal environment. In a way, it was a “return to the origins” – a reminder of the days when St. Francis of Assisi met his brothers at the famous “Chapter of Mats“.
This event marked 800 years of Franciscan presence in Portugal, which began in the village of Alenquer with the arrival in 1216 of Brs. Walter and Zacharias, who first stayed in the Hospice of St. Catherine and, years later, founded the Friary of St. Francis. Since that time, Franciscans have communicated a message of peace, with the hope of sowing peace in the hearts of men and women.
From 14 to 17 April the general Minister Br. Michael Perry visited the brothers living in Cuba, accompanied by Br. Gerardo Vargas, Custos of the custody of Santa María de la Esperanza of the Caribbean, to which Cuba belongs. He was also accompanied by Br. Juan Mari Martínez Ilarduia, Minister of the Province of Arantzazu to which custody is dependent, and Br. Ignacio Ceja, general Definitor.
There is a single community of our order, which lives in the friary of San Antonio de La Habana in Cuba. This comminity is constituted by five Cuban brothers: Br. Frank Dumois 86 years old, Br. Félix Padrón 75, Br. Frank Miki 45, and two temporary professed brothers, Br. Luis and Br. Maikel, 40 and 36 years of age, respectively. Also living with them is a young aspirant named Yosvany.
PROMULGATION OF DECREES
On 26 April 2016, the Holy Father Pope Francis gave a private audience to His Eminence Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. During the course of the audience the Pope authorized the Congregation to promulgate decrees regarding:
The martyrdom of the Servants of God, Msgr. Vincenç Prennushi, OFM, Archbishop of Durres and Primate of Albania, and his 37 companions, killed in Albania out of hatred of the faith between 1945-1974.
The heroic virtues of the Servant of God, Sosio Del Prete, a professed priest of the Order of Friars Minor, founder of the Little Servants of Christ the King, who was born on December 28th, 1885 in Frattamaggiore, in the Diocese of Aversa, Province of Naples, and who died in Naples on January 28th, 1952.
THE OFM UNIVERSITY AND THE SAPIENZA – UNITED IN SCHOLARSHIP
The Pontifical University, Antonianum, and the Sapienza University of Rome have signed an important cultural and scientific cooperation agreement. Using approaches such as the interchange of professors and researchers, this will bring about joint research projects, courses, study days, and seminars on issues related to the following areas:
- Classical studies, Archeology and Franciscan Art;
- Science and Faith;
- Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation.
As regards the first area mentioned – Classical Studies, Archeology and Franciscan Art – two research projects will be developed, studying biblical history, and that of Francis of Assisi and the Franciscan Order. One will be concerned with non-material cultural contexts – memories, stories, traditions – and the other with material aspects – architecture, landscapes, exhibits. As well as archaeology and art history, a wide range of disciplines will be common to both avenues of research: textual criticism, biblical exegesis, philosophy, philology, linguistics, and patristic theology, all under the supervision of Professors Paola Carafa, Marco Guida e Caterina Papi.
Rome – The meeting of the International Council for Missions and Evangelization (CIME) began on April 18th, 2016, taking place at the OFM General Curia. Br. Luis Gallardo welcomed the participants, who were then introduced by Br. Russel Murray
The meeting will continue until April 22nd, concluding with Mass and Morning Prayer on that day. The gathering aims to discuss the the various ministries and missions of the Order, to plan for the future, and to make a revision of CIME’s statutes.
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