Order Update: Minister General Injured in Biking Accident and Other News

Jim McIntosh OFM Franciscan World

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 FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Pope Francis and the Minister General. (Photo courtesy of ofm.org)

► Minister General Michael Perry, OFM, is recovering from injuries sustained in an Aug. 15 bicycle accident on the lakefront in Chicago. In a letter written to the Order from his hospital bed, he described the details of his unfortunate accident.  After undergoing surgery, Michael was transferred to the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab for rehabilitative care at the renowned Chicago-based physical medicine and rehabilitation research hospital.

Elected to the Order’s Minister General position in May 2015 as the 120th successor to St. Francis, the Indiana native has passed his responsibilities to General Vicar Julio César Bunader, OFM, while he is recovering and rehabilitating. In a press release, Julio said, “Br. Michael asked me to let you know that he will need to withdraw from all activities for a considerable period. During that time, he will devote himself to praying for all those who are in need of prayer, particularly friars who are suffering from illness and uncertainty. Br. Michael also asks us to pray for him – that the Lord may continue to be at his side, granting him the strength and patience to cope with his rehabilitation.”

► Two friars from the Ohio-based St. John the Baptist Province simultaneously released videos about the care for creation. In a video from Franciscan Media, Roger Lopez, OFM, explains that stewardship of God’s creation requires the wise use of our dominion over all creation, as God does so that everyone benefits from it. “This is an important part of our stewardship, that God gives us this responsibility as a gift,” Roger says in the recently released video. “We see it from the very beginning in Genesis, in which God says, ‘I give you dominion over the fish and the birds and all the creatures.’ We have to understand dominion in its right way.”

In his video, Murray Bodo, OFM, describes the meaning of St. Francis’ prayer of praise to God through Mother Earth. He says that the universe that God created is the primary revelation – the primary scripture – to humankind – and that Francis helps us connect again to all creatures and to the earth itself.

► Some interesting reading about the Secular Franciscan Order (known by the inverted acronym OFS) and YouFra (the inverted acronym for Franciscan Youth) can be found in a number of articles in the latest issue of Koinōnia,” the newsletter of the Conference of General Spiritual Assistants OFS-YouFra.  According to one of the articles, the biggest challenge of “OFS and YouFra members is looking at Jesus, and not at themselves.” The mission of this Franciscan movement for young adults seeking to grow closer to God by living the virtues of St. Francis – and information about related events – can be found on its website.

► The current issue of Fraternitas, the international OFM newsletter, was published in August and can be found online. It is published in eight languages.

— Compiled by Jim McIntosh 

Editor’s note: The names of members of the Order of Friars Minor appear in bold.