OFM Leaders Prepare to Select New General Minister

Maria Hayes In the Headlines

ROME — In anticipation of the election of a new General Minister, which takes place later this month, the Order’s General Council has distributed a prayer to friars, asking them to pray for the brother electors as they begin the discernment process. The prayer is included in an April 18 letter to the friars from the General Council, which also asks friars to celebrate the votive Mass of the Holy Spirit on May 22, the day of the election.

In accordance with Article 201.1 of the General Constitutions, the friars who are electors — General Councilors, presidents and vice-presidents of the 13 OFM conferences — will gather at the General Curia May 21 to 22.

The election process will begin with a day of reflection and prayer, according to the letter. A specialist in Franciscan spirituality will lead the brother electors in reflection on the role of the General Minister according to Franciscan sources, after which they will discuss their expectations of the new General Minister and propose the names of the friars they feel are capable of the position.

On May 22, the brother electors will gather in prayer before beginning the process of electing the new General Minister. In the event that the General Vicar is elected to serve as General Minister, the General Council will elect a new General Vicar to serve until the next General Chapter, which will take place in 2015. If a General Councilor is elected General Minister, the General Councilor will elect a new General Councilor after consulting the Provincial Ministers of the affected conference.

The ordination of Fr. José Rodríguez Carballo, OFM, as the titular archbishop of Ballicastrum will be on May 18, the Vigil of Pentecost, in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, Spain. He will be ordained by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, secretary of state of the Vatican.

Biographical information about Fr. José is included in the May issue of Fraternitas. The Order’s monthly newsletter also provides information on the following:
• This year’s ecumenical training program in spiritual direction
• The appointment of Br. José Antônio Cruz Duarte, OFM, as general spiritual assistant to the Secular Franciscan Order
• The spring meeting of the English-speaking Conference in Malta, attended by Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM

 Maria Hayes is communications coordinator for Holy Name Province.