Order Update: Franciscans Receive Audience with Pope Francis, Other News

Maria Hayes Franciscan World

Members of the Franciscan Families of the First Order and the Third Order Regular with Pope Francis. (Photo courtesy of OFM.org)

The following descriptions summarize recent news from the Order of Friars Minor. Additional details can be found by visiting the links to the news items mentioned as well as following the Order of Friars Minor on Facebook and Twitter for information throughout the month.

  Pope Francis received members of the Franciscan families of the First Order and Third Order Regular during an audience on Nov. 23 in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace. “The ‘Lord Pope,’ as St. Francis called him, welcomes you with joy and in you welcomes the Franciscan brothers who live and work in all the world,” said the pontiff. “Thank you for what you are and for what you do, especially for the poorest and most disadvantaged.” The pope’s full remarks are available on the website of the Order of Friars Minor. Also available is the Franciscans’ reply to the pope, which was delivered by Fr. Mauro Jöhri, General Minister of the Capuchins.

  A Franciscan delegation participated in COP23 from Nov. 3 to 10 in Bonn, Germany. In 2015, the 21st COP (Conference of Parties) in Paris resulted in the Paris Agreement, a landmark international effort to fight global climate change. During COP23, delegates discussed and negotiated details in the Paris rulebook, which will be approved during COP24 in Warsaw, Poland, next December. The Franciscan delegation was planned by the JPIC Office of the General Curia, Franciscans International, and Missionszentrale der Franziskaner. “The objective of the participation was to show Franciscan solidarity with the people affected by climate change, with the civil society, and with other religious communities, to mobilize local Franciscans, and to raise consciousness on the issues regarding climate change within the Franciscan family itself,” according to the Order’s website.

  The Order’s website contains an account of the “Looking to the Future Together: Beyond Ite Vos” Franciscan study day that was held on Nov. 4 at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. Convened in response to Pope Francis’s call for friars to work together for an “authentic and profound reconciliation” of the three branches of the First Order, it was attended by Friars Minor, Conventuals and Capuchins. Organized by Fr. John Celichowski, OFM Cap., Michael Kolodziej, OFM Conv., and Joseph Rozansky, OFM, the list of speakers included Rev. Regis Armstrong, OFM, Cap. Dominic Monti, OFM, and Fr. Jude Winkler, OFM Conv.

  The 2017 meeting of the General Minister, General Definitory and General Visitors was held from Nov. 14 to 16 at the General Curia in Rome. Fr. Michael Perry’s words to the General Visitors at the closing Mass are available on the Order’s website.

  The General Minister has written several letters about timely topics including the first World Day for the Poor, World AIDS Day and Christmas.

Maria Hayes is communications coordinator for Holy Name Province.

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