The following descriptions summarize recent developments throughout the Order of Friars Minor. Additional details can be found on the OFM website and by following the Order on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
► To commemorate the Aug. 11 Feast of St. Clare, Minister General Fr. Michael Perry, OFM, wrote a letter to the Poor Clares with a message titled “Dialogue: A Characteristic of God, a Virtue for every human being.” The message to the religious order of sisters was divided into five sections: you are dialogue; the Word becomes flesh; Communion with the Word of Life; we proclaim this also to you, so that you may have fellowship with us, and dialogue and our history. In his letter to the second Franciscan Order to be established, Fr. Michael stated, “The solemnity of St. Clare of Assisi brings an opportunity to continue a dialogue that can become ever deeper and more wide-ranging. I would like this to be an expression of a fraternal dialogue… given that this is the year in which the Franciscan Order commemorates the meeting between St. Francis and al-Malik al Kamil. Dialogue has to do with who God is, because God is communion.”
► The 2021 OFM General Chapter will be held in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, from May 1 to 29, according to an announcement last month by the General Council of the Order of Friars Minor. The venue was inspired by the 500th anniversary of Christianity in the Philippines – as the Franciscans were among the pioneering religious orders that helped spread the faith in the archipelagic country in the western Pacific Ocean. Other factors that played a role in the decision of the General Council included the provisions of the Order’s General Constitutions, and recommendations of the presidents of the conferences during their meeting this spring at the General Curia in Rome, according to the July 22 announcement.
► The Curia’s Special Commission for Dialogue has released a publication titled “St. Francis and the Sultan, 1219-2019: A Commemorative Booklet” – which is designed to recognize the continuing relevance of the encounter between St. Francis of Assisi and Sultan al-Malik al-Kamil. The booklet is a collection of informative articles explaining the historical encounter from the perspective of the lives and faiths of St. Francis and the Sultan. It also explores their meeting through the eyes of an artist and film director and provides a Muslim viewpoint on interreligious dialogue. A series of articles from the booklet, which was prepared by the editors and staff of Franciscan Media USA, will be published on the Order’s website.
► The 2019 edition of Acta Ordinis Fratrum Minorum is available online. Two copies of this annual resource have been mailed to each province and custody of the Order.
► The August-September issue of the international OFM newsletter, Fraternitas, includes the schedule of the Minister General, as well as articles about a number of topics and events, including:
- the Under-Ten Chapter of Mats for friars, professed nine years or less
- a report prepared by the Commission for the Service of Fidelity and Perseverance on a trend in which friars are choosing to leave the Order.
— Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas
- “Order Update: African Formators Meet and Other Curia News” – July 10, 2019, HNP Today
- “2018 Snapshot of Order of Friars Minor” by Dominic Monti, OFM – Sept. 5, 2018, HNP Today
- “Order’s General Chapter Concludes in Assisi” — June 10, 2015, HNP Today