General Minister Fr. Jose Rodriguez Carballo, OFM, has sent a letter of appeal to all provincial ministers of the Order — including John O’Connor, OFM — calling for friars to fill an “urgent need for new missionaries in the missions of Morocco, a Custody directly dependent on me.”
Members of the Custody of Morocco serve in the dioceses of Rabat and Tanger. The spoken language in Rabat is French, and in Tanger, Spanish. “In both places, the brothers carry out important social works among the local Muslim population and assist religious sisters engaged in service of the Moroccans,” Fr. Jose wrote in the Jan. 6 letter.
The custody is currently made up of 16 brothers of different nationalities, “thus making the fraternity international and pluricultural,” he noted. However, “this short number of friars along with aging brothers both make it increasingly difficult to continue our presence there, eventually leading us to diminish our pastoral service to the small Christian communities and the locals.”
He continued, “To shut down our presence in Morocco would not only mean to cease our spiritual assistance to the Christians of those churches, but also to relinquish a ‘patrimony.’ The Order cannot afford this to happen if we wish to remain faithful to the Grace of the Origins.”
Fr. Jose, leader of the Order of Friars Minor since 2003, closed his appeal with this thought: “Remember that there is greater joy in giving that in receiving and that if there is a brother out there who, led by the Holy Spirit, want to go among the Muslims, you must not impede him. … Be generous and the Lord will be generous with you.”
Holy Name Province friars who are interested in serving in Morocco should contact John O’Connor or Provincial Secretary Michael Harlan, OFM.