Comunicato of the Tempo Forte July 2012
The MINISTER GENERAL and Definitory met in Tempo Forte from 9th – 20th July 2012. In the course of these two weeks, the Definitory spent some time away from the Curia. First of all, the members participated in a three-day seminar at the Pontifical University Antonianum on post modern culture, ethics, and the Franciscan way (11-13 July). This seminar was organised by the Commission for the Interdisciplinary study on the situation of the Order as part of the response to Mandate n. 14 of the General Chapter 2009. On Monday 16th July, the Definitory moved to the Community of Mondo X at Cetona in Tuscany to continue its work, while celebrating three notable events: the 800th anniversary of the foundation of the friary (according to Wadding, this was the first friary founded by St Francis), the 50th anniversary of the foundation of Mondo X, and the 81st birthday of its founder, P. Eligio Gelmini.
During the first week of the Tempo Forte, at the Curia, a meeting took place of representatives of the three Portuguese-speaking Entities in Africa (the Custody of St Clare, in Mozambique; the Custody of St Francis in Guinea Bissau, and Foundation of the Immaculate Mother of God, in Angola). The goal of the meeting was to explore the possibility of establishing a single Portuguese language novitiate for all of Africa. When free, the MINISTER GENERAL and the General Definitor for Africa took part in the meeting, which was also attended by the Secretaries General for Formation and Studies, and the Missions and Evangelisation.
This Tempo Forte saw a heavy workload for the Definitory in terms of administrative matters: over 103 files (plichi) from around the world, dealing with a wide variety of matters, were considered for decision, along with almost 70 requests for scholarships, and several other requests for financial assistance.
The Definitory ratified the election of a number of Ministers Provincial:
- BR. GIUSEPPE TOMIRI, of the Province of St Michael the Archangel, in Italy;
- BR. CARLOS RAMÓN GARCÍA, of the Province of Blessed Juniper Serra, in Mexico;
- BR JOŠKO KODŽOMAN, of the Province of the Most Holy Redeemer, in Croatia,
- BR CARMELO GIANNONE, of the Province of St Francis, in Africa, Madagascar, and Mauritius.
The Definitory appointed a number of Visitators General:
- BR EUGENIO MARTÍNEZ MANJÓN, of the Province of Our Lady of the Rule (Granada), Spain, for the Province of St Joseph, Spouse of the BVM (Valencia), also in Spain;
- BR RENATO BERETTA, of the Province of St Charles (Milan), in Italy, for the Custody of the Holy Land;
- BR VALMIR RAMOS, of the Custody of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in Brazil, for the Province of St Francis, also in Brazil;
- BR MIGUEL DE LA MATA MERAYO, of the Province of Santiago de Compostela, in Spain, for the Betica Province (Seville), also in Spain;
- BR ANDREW BROPHY, of the Province of the Assumption of the BVM, USA, for the Province of the Holy Spirit, in Australia and New Zealand;
- Br ANTONIO SCHAUERTE, of the Province of Our Lady of the Assumption, in Brazil, as Assistant Visitator for the Foundation of Our Lady of Graces, in Brazial, dependent on the Province of Our Lady of Graces (Benevento), in Italy.
Other Visitators had been nominated during the month of June, at special sessions of the Definitory. These included:
- BR JOSÉ ÁNGEL EGIGUREN, of the Franciscan Province of Arantzazu, in Spain, for the Custody of the Holy Protomartyrs of the Order, in Morocco;
- BR AGOSTINO BUCCOLIERO, of the Province of the Assumption of the BVM (Lecce), in Italy, for the Province of Our Lady of Graces (Benevento), in Italy;
- BR FRANCESCO DE LAZZARI, of the Seraphic Province of St Francis of Assisi, in Italy, for the Province of the Seven Holy Martyrs (Calabria), also in Italy;
- BR MASSIMO FUSARELLI, of the Province of Saints Peter and Paul (Rome), in Italy, for the Province of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Naples), also in Italy;
- BR MASSIMO RESCHIGLIAN, of the Seraphic Province of St Francis of Assisi, in Italy, for the Province of St Bernardine of Siena (Abruzzo), also in Italy.
With a view to the future, the Definitory discussed the Plenary Council of the Order which will take place in November 2013. The major theme identified for the Council is that mandated by the General Chapter 2009, namely the number and manner of election of General Definitors (cf. Mandates 45 and 46). Other themes will be determined during the Tempo Forte of September. Names for members of various commissions were considered. The Definitory appointed as Secretary of the Plenary Council BR SINIŠA BALAJIĆ, of the Province of the Holy Redeemer, in Croatia, currently the Rector of Students at the Fraternity of Fr Gabriel Allegra, at the International College of St Anthony, in Rome.
The Definitory made other decisions concerning personnel, appointing two new Guardians for fraternities in Rome:
BR DONATO SARDELLA, of the Province of St Michael the Archangel, in Italy, as Guardian of the Fraternity of Santa Maria Mediatrice, the General Curia;
BR EULALIO GÓMEZ MARTÍNEZ, of the Province of Saints Peter and Paul, in Mexico, as Guardian of the Fraternity of the International College of Saint Anthony, in Rome.
Other appointments included:
the membership of the Commission for “Sinica Franciscana” to prepare for publication the historical documents relating to the presence of the Order in China;
an Assistant with special reference to Islam, for the General Secretariat for the Missions and Evangelisation, and the Commission for the Service of Dialogue.
Decisions were taken concerning the presence of the friars in Sudan (Khartoum), the projected new presence of the friars in South Sudan, and an invitation for the friars to open a presence in Camerun.
A number of texts were approved for publication and dissemination. These included the Letter of the General Definitory to the Order for the Feast of St Francis, criteria to guide the presence of friars in the territory of other Provinces, and a study guide on our Franciscan identity for the use of the friars in their fraternities.
The Definitory examined the reports of several Visitators, including the following:
- the report of BR EULALIO GÓMEZ MARTÍNEZ, concerning the Province of B. Juniper Serra, in Mexico;
- the report of BR DARKO TEPERT, concerning the Province of St Jerome, in Croatia.
The Definitory also heard reports from BR RICHARD DZIERZENGA, Visitator General of the Province of St Benedict the African, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and from BR RENATO BERETTA, General Delegate for Economic affairs of the Province of St James of the Marches, in Italy.
In response to the Letter for the Feast of St Francis 2011, the Minister General received a number of contributions on the theme of the role in the Order today of the lay friars. The Definitory devoted quite a bit of time to reflecting on these responses and on the suggestions that were put forward. This reflection will continue.
The General Secretariat for the Missions and Evangelisation submitted a proposal for a course for the Animators of the Missions. This proposal was examined and approved.
25th July 2012
Aidan McGrath OFM