ESC Provincials Discuss Reconfiguration, General Chapter at Fall Meeting

Maria Hayes Franciscan World

ESC provincial ministers Canada

The provincial ministers of the English-speaking Conference at Mount St. Francis Retreat Centre in Alberta, Canada. Kevin Mullen is shown at top right.

The following is a compilation of recent news from the website and Facebook page of the English-speaking Conference of the Order of Friars Minor, composed of provinces from the United States, Canada, England, Ireland, Lithuania and Malta

COCHRANE, Alberta, Canada — Earlier this month, the provincial ministers of the English-speaking Conference gathered at Mount St. Francis Retreat Centre for their fall meeting.

Before the ESC gathering, the United States Sub-conference met to discuss the restructuring process. Each province proposed a friar to participate in a discernment process that will be held Oct. 28 to 29 in Chicago. Dominic Perri will serve as facilitator and Fr. Jack Clark Robinson, OFM, of Our Lady of Guadalupe Province will be the Provincials’ liaison to the discussion. During this meeting, the friars will decide which two or three friars, working full-time, will lead the process. The provincials remain the ultimate decision-makers and will meet with the task force at the end of February in Albuquerque, N.M.

Chapter Planning
During the meeting of the entire ESC, the provincials spoke with General Minister Fr. Michael Perry, OFM, who was visiting from Rome, about the 2015 General Chapter and “how each province has been called to prepare,” said Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen, OFM. “Part of the preparation is for provinces to provide videos and photos that exhibit our ministries, to provide representation of what Franciscans around the world do.”

The provincials submitted their nominations for General Minister, General Vicar and General Definitor, as well as names for a lay delegate to represent the conference and an English-speaking friar to be a moderator at the chapter. Fathers Tom Washburn, OFM, and Alvin Te, OFM, of Immaculate Conception Province were charged with providing communications from Assisi during the chapter.

The provincials also discussed accountability reports from various ESC committees, including justice and peace, mission directors, development and communication. Also discussed were reports from the Academy of American Franciscan History, the Franciscan Mission Service and the Monastery of the Holy Land.

This was Kevin’s first meeting of the ESC provincials. In addition to leaders from the U.S. provinces, friars from Canada, England, Ireland, Lithuania and Malta also participated.

During the Oct. 6 to 10 meeting, the friars had the opportunity to visit scenic places in the area, including Banff National Park and Lake Louise, a glacial lake within the park. Kevin complimented the retreat center that hosted the group, saying “The hospitality of the staff was tremendous.”

“These meetings are meant for fraternal support among the provincials and a way to share ideas and developments,” he added.

The ESC’s spring meeting will be in Lithuania.

Other News
The conference recently publicized the following news through Facebook and Twitter:

  • The kidnap and release of Fr. Hanna Jallouf, OFM, of the Custody of the Holy Land. The friar was working as a parish priest in Syria at the time of his capture.
  • The recent appointment of Dominic Monti, OFM, as General Visitor to St. Barbara Province
  • The construction of a $22.5-million dining room at St. Anthony’s in San Francisco, a food center run by SB Province that serves 2,700 meals a day.
  • The appointment of Croatian Bishop Blase Cupich as archbishop of Chicago and his connections with friars in the Croatian Custody of the Holy Family, a member of the ESC

Compiled by Maria Hayes