I have now returned from a meeting of the English-speaking Conference of Provincials (ESC) and from a fraternal visit to our ministries at Atlanta, Athens and Anderson. I will visit our parishes in Greenville and Columbia in the next few months.
The members of the ESC met in Victoria, British Columbia. It was a very fruitful meeting at which we addressed several issues. One full day was devoted to a discussion of the finances of the Order, and the operation of the treasurers of the General Curia. The General Treasurer and his assistant joined us for that part of the meeting.
Other issues discussed during the week included the upcoming Extraordinary Chapter of the Order, guidelines for accountability, reports of the different committees of the ESC, the Franciscan Liturgical calendar and a report of the conference on the Franciscan Intellectual Tradition.
We also spent several hours sharing our experiences as Provincials. Since we are dealing with many of the same issues as Provincials, this session always proves to be very enriching.
Brother Andrew Brophy, OFM, from the Assumption Province, was elected as the lay friar delegate to the Extraordinary Chapter from the ESC.
As a result of a recent meeting that I had with the Custos of the Pakistan Custody, I have proposed to the Council that our ministries consider twinning with the ministries of the Pakistan Custody. As you remember at our last Chapter, the issue of twinning was presented as a priority under our justice and peace initiatives. The needs of the ministries in Pakistan are great, as the country is poor and Christians are a persecuted minority. In addition, I believe this initiative would place us in a position to become involved in the very important Christian-Muslim dialogue. The Council supports this proposal, and we will be working with Russ Testa and the JPIC directorate to implement it. More details will be forthcoming.
The Provincial’s Schedule
Here is my travel schedule for the next few weeks:
- April 30-May 2: St. Petersburg for a Jubilee celebration
- May 3-6: Washington, D.C., for the meeting of the Washington Theological Union Trustees
- May 6: Woodbridge, Va., for the 40th anniversary dinner of the Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue
- May 7-9: Holy Name College, Silver Spring, for the Provincial retreat
- May 13-14: Butler, N.J., for a fraternal visit with the friars at our parish
- May 18-19: St. Anthony’s Shrine for the Jubilee celebration of 50 years professed
- May 19: Siena College for the meeting of the Board of Trustees
- May 21: Paterson, N.J., for the meeting of the compliance board
- May 22: Provincial retreat at St. Bonaventure University
- May 27-28: Fraternal visit with the Friars at Beach Haven, N.J.
- June 2: Meeting with the Bishop of Camden, N.J.
- June 3: Simple Profession, Wilmington, Del.
- June 10: Ringwood, N.J., for a Jubilee celebration
- June 15: Paterson, N.J., for a Jubilee celebration
- June 17: New Rochelle, N.Y., for the 150th anniversary celebration of the Ursuline Sisters Community
- June 19: Siena College for the Provincial retreat
- June 23: Washington, D.C., for the retirement ceremony of Lou Iasiello