Order Celebrates North American Franciscans

Maria Hayes Franciscan World


The OFM community in Canada celebrates the 400th anniversary of the friars’ arrival in Canada with a Mass presided over by the Archbishop of Montreal and the Bishop of Trois-Rivières. (Photo courtesy of the Franciscans of Western Canada)

ROME — The historic contributions of the Franciscan friars in North America are the focus of this month’s Fraternitas, the Order of Friars Minor’s monthly newsletter.

The Canadian provinces of St. Joseph and Christ the King, as well as the Foundation of the Province of the Immaculate Conception, the Croatian Custody of the Holy Family and the Lithuanian Franciscan friars of Toronto met with General Minister Fr. Michael Perry, OFM, and General Definitor Fr. Caoimhín Ó Laoide, OFM, from Sept. 21 to 22 for an interprovincial Chapter of Mats.

The gathering “celebrated their diversity of culture, but even more their communion” and was an opportunity for the friars “to share their stories and their common evangelical zeal.” The bilingual chapter was organized around the theme “Sharing Our Histories/Partager nos Histoires” and aimed to build fraternal relations, as well as help the Canadian friars “in their journey toward the restructuring and renewal of their life and mission in the land claimed by Champlain and at the service of the Canadian people.”

This year, the 400th anniversary of the friars’ arrival in Canada was marked with a symposium at Laval University in Quebec, a Mass presided over by the archbishop of Montreal and the Bishop of Trois-Rivières, and conferences on the Friars Minor Recollect presented by Br. René Bacon, OFM, in Trois-Rivières and Montreal. Br. René made significant contributions to a biographical dictionary of the Recollect missionaries in New-France, published in 1996.

Fraternitas also featured the St. Junípero Serra’s Canonization Mass, celebrated by Pope Francis on Sept. 23 in Washington, D.C., and the Mass of Thanksgiving, celebrated by the General Minister on Sept. 24 at the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land.

The November issue of Fraternitas also contains news about:

  • Br. Sebaldus Linders, OFM, a Dutch Franciscan who hid Jews in his parish of Alverna in Wijchen and in other surrounding areas during Word War II. His actions saved at least seven children and an unknown number of adults.
  • A day of study on “The Franciscans and the First World War,” held on Oct. 24 in Florence, Italy
  • The General Minister’s schedule, including a visit to Mexico to celebrate the 450th anniversary of the founding of the Province of Saints Peter and Paul, a meeting with the General Visitors in Rome, and the beginning of the celebrations of the 800th anniversary of the founding of the Dominican Order at their General Curia in Rome

Additional information about the Order can be found on its website and social media accounts.

Compiled by Maria Hayes

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