ROME — Christmas reminds us of the need to be the bearers of the Good News to all people, near and far. So says General Minister Fr. José Rodríguez Carballo, OFM, in his Christmas 2012 letter to friars.
“Whoever has met Christ can do nothing but proclaim the truth, as did the Samaritan woman (cf. Jn 4, 28-29),” The General Minister wrote. “Whoever has found in Christ the treasure of life cannot fail to share this discovery with others, like the woman who found her lost coin (cf: Lk 15, 8ff) and like the shepherds who met Christ (cf. Lk 2, 16ff).”
The Order’s December issue of Fraternitas highlights a fraternal and formative meeting of houses dependent on the General Minister, which took place on Nov. 10 at the Antonianum auditorium in Rome. It was attended by roughly 130 friars and was a special celebration at the conclusion of the 800th anniversary of the consecration of St. Clare. Sr. Angela Emmanuela Scandella, president mother of the Poor Clares of Umbria, gave a talk titled “What Does St. Clare Have to Say to Franciscan Friars of Today?”
After a reflection, Fr. Jose and the guardians and members of the various dependent houses celebrated Mass in St. Anthony Basilica.
The current issue of the monthly newsletter also reports on:
• The General Minister’s schedule, which includes visits to the provinces of St. Francis de Porto Alegre, of the Holy Cross in Belo Horizonte, and the Custody of the Sacred Heart in Brazil; meeting with the provincial ministers and councils of the United States provinces, including Holy Name Province; a meeting of the General Council in Rome, and Christmas celebrations in Rome
• An interview with internationally renowned Franciscan scholar Br. Thaddee Matura, OFM
• The General Council’s upcoming meeting with the Service of Fidelity and Perseverance, which was created to study the causes of and reasons for defections
• “St. Bonaventure’s Commentary on Luke’s Gospel: Thirty Days of Reflection and Prayer,” written by Fr. Robert Karris, OFM, of Sacred Heart Province, and published by Franciscan Institute Publications in Allegany, N.Y.
• The appointment of Br. Nil Yuriy Lushchak, of BVM Province in Poland, as bishop of the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Mukacheve in Ukraine
• A Mass of Thanksgiving for the beatification of Br. Gabriele Maria Allegra, held Nov. 11 at St. Anthony Basilica
• Recently appointed general visitors and new provincial ministers in provinces throughout the world
Information about the Order is provided in three languages on its website. News can be found on its Facebook page — Ordo Fratrum Minorum – ofm.org.
— Compiled by Maria Hayes