Second Franciscan Encuentro Set for Oct. 20

Jocelyn Thomas In the Headlines

SILVER SPRING, MD — The Province’s Segundo Encuentro Franciscano — a day to celebrate the blessings of Hispanic ministry — is just five months away. The HNP Hispanic Ministry Committee has announced that the Oct. 20 event, which translates to “second gathering,” will include prayer, praise, music, theater, Mass, talks and group reflections.

The event, planned for St. Camillus Parish, will feature Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, and Lawrence Hayes, OFM, of Durham, N.C., as well as participation by all attending ministries.

Lawrence, a parochial vicar at Immaculate Conception Parish, will deliver a keynote talk titled “How to Build the Perfect Fraternity.” It will be followed by discussions and testimonies from parish representatives. The Encuentro is being held from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. at St. Camillus Church and neighboring St. Francis International School.

“We are delighted to invite all HNP friars and lay partners-in-ministry to our second Franciscan Encuentro,” said Christopher Posch, OFM, chair of the HNP Hispanic Ministry Committee. “More than 900 people celebrated the first Encuentro, or gathering, in 2009,” he said last week in a note to friars. “The feedback was extremely positive.”

The committee encourages each Provincial ministry to appoint an Encuentro coordinator to assist with local registration. Ministries are asked to email the names of site coordinators to Gonzalo Torres, OFM.

The Hispanic Ministry Committee asks attendees to consider preparing one or several of the following for use at the Encuentro: a banner representing the parish or ministry, digital photos, music, a brief testimony describing how actions at the Church level affect the lives of immigrants, as well as undocumented, ill and marginalized people.

Information about overnight lodging can be obtained through Erick Lopez, OFM. Details about the event are available on a document distributed last week by the HNP Hispanic Ministry Committee to the friars. Questions can be directed to Christopher at and to committee member Ana Schmitt at 302-484-0733.

Though admission to the event is free, a $5 donation is requested for the cost of refreshments.

In the fall of 2009, the Hispanic Ministry Committee launched a blog called Encuentro Franciscano.

Several Provincial events are scheduled before October. They include:
· Jubilee celebration on June 21: open to friars and the public
· Solemn profession of four friars on Aug. 25
    · Wellness workshop for friars on Sept. 22

— Jocelyn Thomas is director of communications for Holy Name Province.