Interprovincial Gatherings Another Phase of Revitalization /Reconfiguration Process

Lawrence Hayes, OFM Friar News

At the recent fall fraternal gatherings, we had the opportunity as a province to discuss together the merits, possibilities, limitations and challenges of the four “models”— devised by the Franciscan Interprovincial Team friars and approved by the provincial councils of the seven U.S. provinces — that represent possible blueprints for the future of Franciscan life in the United States.

We will have the opportunity, once again as a province, to gather regionally this spring 2016 to prioritize these models as we move toward a provincial consensus on the one model we will propose to the next interprovincial meeting of provincial councils in August 2016.

But before the provincial definitoria members meet again next August, we will also be participating in four interprovincial gatherings of friars in June and July 2016. At each of those gatherings, seven friars from each province (i.e., roughly 50 friars) will have the opportunity to discuss the four models and to analyze which model might best serve our Franciscan life and mission in the years ahead.

Getting to Know One Other
These meetings will not only provide another chance to analyze models. Equally importantly, if not more so, they will be a time to get to know friars of the other provinces. As we share fraternal time together, the work of reconfiguring will take on a much more human and Franciscan flavor!

The dates and locations of the four interprovincial gatherings are:

June 6-9, 2016 San Damiano Retreat, Danville, Calif.
June 13-16, 2016 Siena College, Loudonville, N.Y.
June 20-23, 2016 Franciscan Retreat, Albuquerque, N.M.
July 18-21, 2016 Cenacle Retreat House, Chicago


Choosing Meeting Participants
Each provincial council will be choosing four groups of seven friars from their provinces — one group for each these four gatherings, with different friars in each group. We will be seeking to select a mix of friars who represent both the younger friars (i.e., newer to religious life) as well as those whose years of fraternity and ministry have instilled in them a wisdom that comes from lived experience.

We encourage all interested friars to sign up for these gatherings. The Provincial Administration will be distributing a registration form in December on which those friars desiring to attend one of these gatherings can indicate all the dates they are available and their order of preference for the meetings. In the meantime, please save those dates in your calendars until the selection of friars has been made (near the end of February 2016).

— Fr. Larry was elected Provincial Vicar in June 2014. 

Editor’s note: Updates from the seven provinces in the United States can be found on

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