ROME — Pope Francis welcomed members of the Order’s General Administration last month in a private audience that was “brotherly and friendly,” according to the current issue of Fraternitas.
During the March 15 meeting, the pontiff reiterated the “urgent and indispensable commitment” of all Friars Minor to bring to the world the mercy of God by bearing witness to the Gospel and, if necessary, using words. Pope Francis also highlighted “the grace of being Friars Minor, which should be expressed in the simple and fraternal way of life through caring for and sharing with everyone, especially the poor and marginalized.”
These are goals that both the Province and the Order are striving for as preparation continues for the Provincial Chapter this June and the General Chapter in 2015.
The April OFM International newsletter also includes an Easter letter from Fr. Michael Perry, OFM, the General Minister since May 2013.
In February, the General Council appointed Fr. Nicodème Kibuzehose, OFM, as the new General Councilor for Africa. He replaces Fr. Vincent Zungu Mduduzi, OFM, who was appointed by Pope Francis as bishop of Port Elizabeth in South Africa.
Fr. Nicodème is a member of St. Francis of Assisi Province, which encompasses Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Mauritius and Madagascar. He has held various leadership positions in both initial formation and parish roles, and has served as a provincial councilor as well as provincial vicar.
The monthly OFM newsletter also reports on:
- The annual meeting of the OFM International Commission of the Service for Ecumenical, Interreligious, and Cultural Dialogue, of which Russel Murray, OFM, is a member
- A letter to all consecrated persons from the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life in preparation for the Year of Consecrated Life in 2015
- The General Minister’s schedule, including visits to Mexico, Morocco, Malta, Sicily and Cortona, Italy
— Compiled by Maria Hayes