News from the General Curia in Rome

HNP Communications Franciscan World

ROME — The presidents of the Order of Friars Minor conferences met last month at the General Curia here.

Fourteen presidents participated in the annual meeting, including English-speaking Conference president Ft. Caoimhin O Laoide, OFM, of the Province of Ireland, who succeeded Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM.

From May 17 to 19, the conference presidents met with the General Minister Fr. José Rodriguez Carballo, OFM, and the General Definitorium.

A photo of Fr. Caoimhin with General Vicar Fr. Michael Perry, OFM, and General Definitor Fr. Francis Walter, OFM, appeared in the May 21 e-newsletter of Immaculate Conception Province.

Soup Kitchen Inaugurated
In other news, Fraternitas, the Order’s monthly newsletter, reported in the June issue that a soup kitchen at St. Anthony’s College in Rome was inaugurated on May 19.

With seating for 120, the soup kitchen was inaugurated in the presence of the General Minister, the General Definitorium, the conference presidents and guests. It was recently renovated and will provide a daily meal and a shower, clothing and medical attention twice a week. Renovations were paid for by Fr. Bob Van Laer, OFM, provincial minister of Belgium, according to Fraternitas.

Unlike other soup kitchens that require identification, this one requests no ID. “We have chosen not to ask for identifications,” the article in Fraternitas read, “thus granting them free access to our facility.”

The soup kitchen is directed by Fr. Antonio Clemenza, OFM, and run by a group of volunteers called Opere Antoniane Onlus.

Formation Course Offered
The Commission of Service for Dialogue, in collaboration with the General Secretariat for Evangelization, offers an ongoing formation course in Istanbul, Turkey, on ecumenical and interreligious dialogue.

The six in a series, the course, “Formation to Dialogue in the Franciscan Charism, Ecumenical, Islamic-Christian, and Judeo-Christian Dialogue,” takes place Oct. 18 to 29. Its cost is $500. Time is set aside to visit the places that marked the “churches of apocalypse.”

For more information, or to register, contact Fr. Ruben Tierrablanca, OFM, at