ROME — In recognition of the feast of St. Francis, the General Council released a statement addressing the Order’s role in the current economic and financial crisis. The council called on friars to act in solidarity and to reexamine their ability to share with the poor and marginalized.
“The suffering of so many, especially the most vulnerable, is a source of concern for us, who are eager to continue to be friars of the people,” the 11-member council wrote.
The council urges friars to raise awareness and educate those with whom they interact, as well as give priority to the weak and needy. Friars should encourage parishes, shrines and convents to “become places of welcome and gathering, where volunteers can meet the poor and show solidarity,” according to the council.
The Order’s October issue of Fraternitas highlights the Sept. 29 beatification of Fr. Gabriele Allegra, OFM, who is remembered for his great love for three things — the Church, Sacred Scripture and the Order of Friars Minor. Fr. Gabriele dedicated his life to translating the Bible into Chinese from both the Greek and Latin texts. Pope John Paul II called him “a man of dialogue between Christ and China.”
Pope Benedict XVI also granted the rite of beatification for 14 Franciscan friars who were tortured to death in Prague in the 17th century. The beatification will occur Oct. 13 at a 10 a.m. Mass in Prague. It is the first beatification to take place in the Czech Republic.
The current issue of the monthly newsletter also reports on:
• The General Minister’s schedule, which includes participation in the Synod of Bishops in Vatican City, acknowledging the beatification of the 14 martyrs in the Czech Republic, and attending the beginning of the academic year of the Antonianum University in Rome
• The Union of Franciscan Conferences of Latin America and the Caribbean’s 22nd assembly in Brazil, whose topic was “Living the Gospel as Minors in both Latin America and the Caribbean”
• Recognition of the 800th anniversary of the founding of the Poor Clares, which included the Transitus of St. Clare, celebrated by Fr. José Rodríguez Carballo, OFM, General Minister of the Order, in the Basilica of St. Clare in Assisi
• A new logo for the Franciscan presence at World Youth Day, that will take place in July 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
• 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, as well as its Facebook page.
— Compiled by Maria Hayes