General Curia’s April Update

Maria Hayes Franciscan World

ROME — Preparation for the General Chapter is the focus of the new issue of Fraternitas, the Order’s monthly newsletter.

All friars are strongly encouraged to sign up for email updates from the General Chapter. These updates will be written in the three official languages of the Order — English, Italian and Spanish — and will be distributed by the OFM Communications Office.

The OFM Communications Office announced that it will live stream significant moments from the May 10 to June 7 chapter, allowing friars around the world to witness events as they are happening. The video recordings will be archived and posted on the Order’s website for future viewing.

“Alongside all the technological initiatives, however, we still count on the ancient, but effective, Franciscan means of communication,” remarked Br. William Short, OFM, chapter secretary, Br. Sergiusz Baldyga, OFM, vice-secretary, and Fr. Joseph Magro, OFM, director of the OFM Communications Office. “The constant prayer of the many friars and sisters around the world will support the work of the chapter members.”

Friars are invited to send letters to those participating in the General Chapter at: “Domus Pacis,” Piazza Porziuncola, 1, 06081 Santa Maria degli Angeli, Perugia PG, Italia. Messages of encouragement can also be emailed to the friar delegates at

Holy Name Province friars will receive a prayer card that should be used prior to and during the General Chapter. These cards were mailed just before Easter with a message from Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen, OFM. 

In other news from the Order, John O’Connor, OFM, and Br. Mario Dicicco, OFM, executive assistants to the General Minister for the office of development and fundraising, met with the General Secretariat for Mission and Evangelization and the General Secretariat for Formation and Studies last month in Rome. The meeting’s goal was to “obtain direct knowledge of the mission and formation projects of the Franciscan Order, which are financially helped through the secretariats; to know the practices of presentation and evaluation of the processes of the ordinary and extraordinary projects, especially the accompaniment of their implementation, for the purpose of coordinating the initiatives of fundraising in the various charitable institutions which can help us.” Photos of the March 10 meeting can be found on the Order’s website.

In Venice, Russel Murray, OFM, participated in a Feb. 16 to 21 seminar on ecumenical dialogue at the Institute for Ecumenical Studies. Held at St. Francis Friary, the event focused on “ecumenism in view of inter-religious dialogue.”

“The seminar helped to deepen and understand better the diversity and richness of the Eastern Churches and of those derived from the reform of Martin Luther,” reports Fraternitas. “During our meditation, we prayed with the enrichment of the spirituality of Islam and Buddhism. There was an opportunity to experience the possibility of allowing oneself to be introduced to the mystery of God through the faith of non-Christians.”

Other recent news from the Order includes:

  • The story of 10 friars from different branches of the Order, who traveled on foot from Assisi to Rome as part of a pilgrimage. The journey, “Con san Francesco da papa Francesco,” was divided into seven days and included meetings and prayer.
  • The General Minister’s schedule, which includes the April 7 to 8 Chapter of Mats of the six provinces in northern Italy, a visit to Chicago from April 9 to 19 and preparation for the General Chapter from April 23 to 30
  • Courses on Gregorian chant and the hagiography of St. Bernardine that are being offered at the Pontifical University Antonianum in Rome
  • The appointment of General Visitors for eight provinces and fraternities around the world

Compiled by Maria Hayes