ROME — The March issue of Fraternitas, the monthly newsletter of the Order of Friars Minor, reported on a variety of gatherings around the world. They include:
• The Franciscan Solidarity Seminar, Jan. 17 through Feb. 2 in Brazil. The meeting was coordinated by Mission Central of Germany and the Justice, Peace & Integrity of Creation/OFM office of Rome.
• World Social Forum from Jan. 27 through Feb. 2 in Brazil. The gathering was attended by more than 120,000 people. The topic, “Environmental Justice,” focused on the connection between human rights, human development and respect for the environment.
• European Franciscan Gathering for young adults, ages 18 to 30. This gathering, created so young people can rediscover the Franciscan roots in Europe and bear witness to the hope that comes from the Gospel, will have its second meeting this August in Spain. The first meeting, held in Assisi in August 2007, was attended by 1,000 young adults from 19 countries.
• The upcoming V European Franciscan Youth Congress Lithuania. The theme of the August gathering is “From Martyrdom to Resurrection.”
The newsletter also featured a testimony from the General Vicar, a recap of the Course of Formators of Asia in Bangalore, India, information about two new Franciscan bishops and a provincial minister in Korea.
This month, the General Minister is visiting provinces and custodies in Turkey, Canada and Portugal.