NEW YORK — Eight friars from Holy Name Province will travel to Assisi, Italy, next month for the International Chapter of Mats. They will gather from April 15 to 18 with more than 1,500 Franciscans from around the world representing the three branches of the Order — OFMs, Conventual and Capuchin friars.
The gathering is being called to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the foundation of the Order by St. Francis of Assisi in 1209.
Last month, the participating friars received the first of several letters with Chapter details. It said that the large number of registrants confirms that the response to the General Minister’s proclamatory letter has been unanimous and has given great significance to the event. “The joyful experience lived by St. Francis and his brothers eight centuries ago is not just a past memory, but with your active participation, will become a new experience of fraternal communion,” the letter read.
Holy Name friars who will attend this important gathering are Russell Becker, OFM, of East Rutherford, N.J., Brian Belanger, OFM, of Loudonville, N.Y., Thomas Conway, OFM, of Beach Haven, N.J., Francis Di Spigno, OFM, of Silver Spring, Md., Gary Maciag, OFM, of Boston, Mark Reamer, OFM, of Raleigh, N.C., and Michael Harlan, OFM, and Brian Smail, OFM, of New York.