Discussions Continue Regarding New Pontifical Franciscan University

Maria Hayes Franciscan World


The general ministers of the First Order of Franciscans and the general minister of the Third Order Regular. Michael Perry, General Minister of the Order of Friars Minor, is on the far left. (Photo courtesy of OFM.org)

ROME — The three general ministers of the First Order of Franciscans and the general minister of the Third Order Regular met with professors at the Antonianum and Seraphicum last month to discuss the friars’ intention to establish a new Pontifical Franciscan University.

The idea of a single Franciscan university was first presented by the general ministers in a letter distributed to friars on Nov. 29.  During the March meeting, the general ministers outlined the process and reasons that pushed them to consider one Franciscan school.

After hearing their presentation, attendees divided into small groups of professors and lecturers from the various religious families and academic entities to answer several questions provided by the ministers. They shared their feedback with the ministers toward the end of the meeting.

The attendees’ responses were collected and presented to the Commission for the Franciscan University, which will review them and will propose a synthesis, possibly with a project, for the next gathering, which is set for Sept. 30 at the Seraphicum.

“The gathering took place in a calm and cooperative manner and gave us something of a foretaste of the future university, a sign of unity, of academic growth and care for the intellectual heritage of the whole Franciscan family,” according to a report on the Order’s website.

This month’s issue of Fraternitas, the Order’s monthly newsletter, contains further evidence of increased collaboration among various branches of the Franciscan family.

On March 12, the OFM General Curia hosted members of the OFM Conv. General Curia for evening prayer and a fraternal meal, followed by recreation. “It was just the sort of meeting to help build bridges and to develop relationships that are essential to future dialogue and to working jointly as members of the Franciscan family,” reported the newsletter.

Fraternitas also mentioned a new endeavor to help facilitate interaction and dialogue among the friars and Poor Clares. The Office for Nuns (Pro Monialibus) has added the cTc (Communion and Communication) newsletter to the OFM website. The publication contains articles, reflections, news and translations from Poor Clare Sisters and Friars Minor from all over the world.

Other news from the Order includes:

  • The General Minister’s visit to the friars of Australia and New Zealand n
  • Information about a course on “Laudato Si’” that is being offered by the Order’s Office of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation
  • The General Minister’s schedule for April, including visits to Chicago, Cuba, Bolivia and Venezuela
  • Recommendations of books, including The Wandering Friar by John Anglin, OFM

Compiled by Maria Hayes

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