WASHINGTON — Last month, the Franciscan Missionary Union directors of the English-speaking Conference met at the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land at a gathering organized by Thomas Cole, OFM, to discuss ways to work more cooperatively.
From Oct. 23 to 27, the FMU directors and secretaries for the missions and evangelization met with Fr. Fabio Massimo Tedoldi, OFM, and Fr. Arturo Rios Lara, OFM, general animators for the Order’s missions and evangelization in Rome. Tom, the Province’s FMU director, and Russell Becker, OFM, secretary for missionary evangelization, represented Holy Name.
Representatives from the American provinces of Assumption, Sacred Heart, St. Barbara, St. John the Baptist, and Guadalupe, as well as the Montreal-based St. Joseph Province, and the Franciscan Mission Service also participated.
“The purpose of the meeting is so the Interprovincial Secretaries for Missionary Evangelization of the English-speaking Conference and the General Secretariat for the Missions and Evangelization can spend time together in fraternity and discuss the state of missions and evangelization of both the provinces and the Order,” said Tom, guardian of St. Stephen of Hungary Friary in New York City. “Two years into their six-year mandate, Massimo and Arturo are in the middle of visits to all conferences of the Order.”
At the end of the gathering, “all present committed to better communication and a desire to work together in the promotion of the projects of the Order,” said Tom, adding that the ISME meets in the spring and the fall.
On World Mission Sunday on Oct. 23, Tom, Fr. Massimo and Fr. Arturo were welcomed by Jacek Orzechowski, OFM, guardian of St. Camillus Friary, to participate in the multi-cultural liturgy at St. Camillus Church in nearby Silver Spring, Md. They also visited Holy Name College in Silver Spring.
“One of the highlights of the gathering was an evening visit to the FMS office,” said Tom, who with Kim Smolik, executive director, shared the history and work of Franciscan Mission Service, which is based in Washington.
Tom is shown in the photo above in the back row on the far left.