Bolivarian Conference in Assembly
The Ministers of the OFM Entities of the Bolivarian region met in Lima, Peru, from June 25-27, 2012. In attendance were the Provincial Secretaries for the Missions and Evangelization, Formation and Studies, and the Coordinators of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation as well as of Pastoral Education. Another guest was Br. Eugenio Ortiz, Guardian of the Missionary Fraternity of the Amazon Project, present in Requena. Br. Nestor Inacio Definitor Schwerz was also in attendance. The President of the Conference, Br. Mario Ortega Liroy coordinated the assembly, having booked the first morning for reflection and study on the text of the Minister General, entitled, “Strong in Hope.” In the morning, Br. Nestor addressed the topic of Franciscan identity, introducing the handbook that the General Definitory is about to publish, thus setting a time of dialogue in the Plenary Assembly.
The first afternoon was a good time on the agenda to discuss about the Amazonia Project in Capitular Mandate 24. Br. Eugenio Ortiz shared about the journey made by the fraternity since the beginning of its constitution, the drafting of the project of life and mission, and the future prospects, thus drawing particular interest on the part of the Assembly. We then continued with the presentation of the different speeches in the sectors of Coordination of the Conference. In the following days, the Assembly dealt with the task at hand entrusted by the Commission of “Service, Loyalty, and Perseverance” with the creation of the website of the Conference, the development of the programming activities of the Secretariats and sectors, the review of the statutes of UCLAF, a series of information about life and program of the Order, and scheduling the same conference in the coming years. Chapter members were reminded of the Capitular Mandates that fall under the responsibility of the Conferences and Entities.
Among the programs for the near future worth noting in the Conference are the creation of a fund for the Amazon Project from the collections in the communities served by the Friars; a formative meeting of the Professed in Requena; formative meeting of leaders, friars, and lay people of JPIC in Bolivia; participation in the Congress of Franciscan Educators in Quito, in the Second Missionary Congress in Latin America and the Caribbean in Canindé, Brazil; meeting at the Conference of Franciscan Educators; proposed meeting of the Vicars and Ministers and missionary brothers of the different Vicariate in the Amazon region of Iquitos; and organizing a formation course for Guardians. Amid this intense program of work, we prayed, celebrated the Eucharist daily, reserved free time in recreation, and visited the museum of the Convent of St. Francis and of the city of Lima around tables full of delicious food. The next ordinary meeting of the Conference is scheduled for March 24-26, 2013.