ROME — More than 150 friars, sisters and laypeople from 100 entities of the Order and 50 countries gathered this spring for the first international Congress for missions and evangelization.
Holy Name Province friars Thomas Cole, OFM, director of the HNP Franciscan Missionary Union, and Joseph Rozansky, OFM, director of the Order’s Office of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation, were in attendance at the event held at the Carmelite Friary in Sassone, Italy. Other participants from the English-speaking Conference included representatives from the provinces of Assumption, Christ the King, England, Ireland, Sacred Heart, St. Barbara and St. John the Baptist. Also participating were Kim Smolik and Bridget Higginbotham of Franciscan Mission Service.
The theme of the Congress, “Go! Repair My Church!,” was discussed through a series of presentations and workshops. As a member of the planning committee, Thomas served as moderator for the day dedicated to evangelization in the world of today. Joe spoke about JPIC initiatives and Smolik and Higginbotham gave a presentation on the Franciscan Mission Service.
“We were guided through the congress by the words of St. Francis, Pope Francis and Giacomo Bini, who was to be a speaker, but died a week before the congress,” said Tom of the late former General Minister.
The congress was a joyful event, according to the latest issue of Fraternitas, the Order’s newsletter. “There was joy especially during the sharing of life and pastoral work in so many different contexts, which was a great resource to be shared among all,” according to the newsletter. “The abundance of photos and video of the Congress found on the Order’s website testifies to the richness of this great event.”
Friars and their partners-in-ministry are encouraged to put into practice the abundance of information shared during the congress.
In other news from the Order, the General Definitory announced that, in preparation for the General Chapter of 2015, preliminary materials will be made available in electronic format. Links to the material will be sent to the provincials and custodies of the entities of the Order for distribution. The material includes a letter from the General Minister, the lineamenta for the chapter and a synthesis of the report on research on the state of the Order. Questions may be sent to the secretary of the General Chapter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional news from the June issue of Fraternitas includes:
- New provincial ministers of provinces in Croatia, Hungary and Italy
- The General Minister’s schedule, which includes visits to Ireland and the United Kingdom, as well a trip to La Verna, Italy
- The upcoming canonization on Nov. 23 of Blessed Ludovico of Casoria, OFM, founder of the Gray Friars of Charity and the Gray Sisters of St. Elizabeth
— Compiled by Maria Hayes