The July issue of Fraternitas, the international newsletter of the Order of Friars Minor, features statements by provincial ministers in the United States – including Kevin Mullen, OFM – who have spoken out against systemic racism. The issue also contains an overview of friars around the world helping those in need during the pandemic and details about courses and events.
► This year, the Order continues to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the martyrdom of the first five Franciscan friars in Morocco, and the Franciscan vocation of Anthony of Padua, who was then called Fernando Bulhões. It was the fate of these protomartyrs that led St. Anthony to join the Franciscans. Born in Lisbon in 1195, he died in Padua when he was 36 years old. The Custody of the Holy Land has produced a video on St. Anthony.
► The current issue of Contact, the Order’s quarterly justice, peace and integrity of creation publication, was released earlier this month. This April-June issue offers 39 pages of information about responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, the launch of the Laudato Si’ Revolution campaign, a statement from the Coalition for Migrants, and a recap of a meeting of the Franciscan Network on Migration. The publication also includes a series of interviews with members of the network that address issues of migration, and a theological reflection by Johannes Freyer, OFM, of Missionszentrale, titled “The Coronavirus Crisis – a Turning Point.”
► The community of Franciscan friar scholars called the Collegium Sancti Bonaventurae – an International Center for Franciscan Studies and Research – has moved to St. Isidore’s College of the Irish Franciscan friars in central Rome. Their work through a publishing program called Quaracchi Editions, which refers to the Collegium’s original home in a small town suburb of Florence, provides insight into the diversity of Franciscan writers of the last 800 years who produced works in philosophy, theology, geography, economics, and other subjects. The Quaracchi Editions catalog lists more than 300 titles reflecting a rich Christian intellectual tradition that includes the scholarly writings of John Duns Scotus, Bonaventure, Angela of Foligno, Alexander of Hales, Peter of John Olivi, and other Franciscan thinkers. On June 20, the group launched a new website that contains the Quaracchi Library, a collection of the Quaracchi publications, and their journal, the Archivum Franciscanum Historicum, that can be accessed as a source for research projects on Franciscan history and thought. Bill Short, OFM, director of the Quaracchi Editions and a member of St. Barbara Province, is hopeful that the website would help bring the centuries-old Franciscan tradition into dialogue with today’s globalized and networked world.
► The U.S. Secular Franciscan Order’s JPIC Commission has produced a statement on racism, which reads, in part, “Our Catholic social teaching calls us to respect and honor the dignity of every human life, from the womb to natural death. It makes no exclusions on the basis of color or ethnicity and calls out no other distinction to be excluded. We are called to honor and respect the lives of people we love and people whom we may find it hard to love; people who are like us and people who are different from us.” The full statement can be found online.
– Jim McIntosh is a communications assistant for the HNP Communications Office and webmaster for USFranciscans.org.
Editor’s note: News of the provinces of the English-speaking Conference, to which HNP belongs, can be found on the English-speaking Conference-Order of Friars Minor Facebook page.
- “General Chapter Status and Other News of Order” – June 10, 2020, HNP Today
- Secular Franciscan Order USA website
- “Br. Bill Short Appointed Director of Collegium S. Bonaventurae” — OFM General Curia Website