Mozambique – The fraternal and pastoral Visit of the OFS
The Fraternal and Pastoral Visit of the OFS of Mozambique took place from the 23rd to the 30th of July 2011. The Fraternal Visit was done by Maria Aparecida Crepaldi, the Councillor of the current leadership of the International Council of OFS (CIOFS) and the Pastoral Visit by Fr. Ivan Matić, OFM, General Assistant of OFS-Yufra.
The general organization and progression of the Visit was overseen by two very capable National Assistants of OFS, Fr. Eusébio Pedro, OFMCap and Fr. Orlando Antonio, OFM. Thanks to their kind assistance, the Visitators were able to meet the brothers and sisters of OFS and YouFra; and as a result could know and understand better the actual situation in which they find themselves.
The National Fraternity of OFS in Mozambique has a very large number of more than 15 000 members: professed and those preparing for profession, and yet it has not been officially established. There is also a large number of youth who are affiliated to YouFra, however they don’t know one another because of problems with communication and vast distances that separates them. These are the same problems that are encountered by numerous local Fraternities of OFS scattered in different provinces of the country. Taking all these factors into consideration, this Fraternal and Pastoral Visit was truly a moment of great joy and strong fraternal communion.
The climax of the whole Visit was on the 26th to the 28th of July at Nazarè diocesan Centre, close to Beira. On these days the Visitators, the various representatives of OFS-YouFra from the whole country, together with their spiritual Assistants – in the climate of formation and spiritual communion – reflected together on various themes of crucial importance regarding the life and mission of the Secular Franciscans, especially the journey that must be undertaken on all levels in order to become an officially constituted National Fraternity.
On the 28th July – the last day of the meeting – the new provisional National Council was elected. Its main task shall be to animate and guide the National Fraternity, making sure to organize all what is needed for the official recognition of the National Fraternity in Mozambique.