General Curia’s February Update

Maria Hayes Franciscan World

ROME — General Minister Fr. Michael Perry, OFM, has officially convoked the 2015 General Chapter in accordance with the General Constitutions and General Statutes.

This announcement was made in a letter from the General Minister titled “The Letter of Convocation of the General Chapter.” An excerpt was included in the February issue of Fraternitas, the Order’s newsletter.

The election of the General Minister is scheduled for May 21. “The Fraternity Mass, using the Mass of the Holy Spirit, should be celebrated for this intention in each fraternity of the Order on that date,” wrote Fr. Michael, who has served as leader of the Order of Friars Minor since May 2013. “I invite every friar of the Order to pray intensely, to reflect wisely and to prepare themselves responsibly for this fundamental event of our life and mission.”

The secretariat of the chapter has recommended prayers that are to be inserted in the breviary and offered by friars around the world during each day of the chapter. The prayers can be found on the Order’s website.

“The successful outcome of the General Chapter is linked to, and relies on, the prayers of all the Order, of each fraternity and each friar,” wrote the General Minister.

In other news from the Order, a meeting of the Conference of the Minister Generals of the First Order of Franciscans and TOR, together with the general secretaries for formation and studies and those responsible for communications of the General Curias, was held on Jan. 10 at the general curia of the Capuchin friars in Rome.

The purpose of the meeting was to continue a joint conversation about “the influence of the digital era on our life and mission, particularly in the area of formation and communication.” Sr. Caterina Cangià, FMA, led a reflection titled “The Challenges of the Means of Communications on the Consecrated Life.” The friars then discussed the hopes, concerns and possible limitations and challenges that the digital era and the subsequent cultural changes have had on initial and ongoing formation.

This dialogue was held with “the intention of consolidating our human, Christian and Franciscan identity in the hope that Franciscan formation could respond to the positive and propositional strategies of the new opportunities.”

Other news announced by the Order in its recent newsletter includes:

  • General Visitors for provinces around the world, including Dominic Monti, OFM, who will travel to St. Barbara Province later this year
  • The episcopal ordination of Fr. Vittorio Francesco Viola, OFM, as bishop of Tortona, Italy
  • The appointment of Fr. Fernand Cheri, OFM, as auxiliary bishop of New Orleans
  • The General Minister’s schedule, including fraternal visits to Asia, Egypt and the Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Pope Francis’s intention to canonize Bl. Junipero Serra, OFM, during the papal visit to the United States this fall

Compiled by Maria Hayes