TECHNY, Ill. — The members of the seven OFM provincial administrations in the United States are meeting this week to discuss the four models for provincial realignment. During this gathering, the leaders are expected to either select one plan to be presented to all of the OFM friars in the United States for their approval, or to determine another way to move forward with this process.
More than 50 friars are participating in prayer and discussions — both formal and informal — to continue the renewal/restructuring conversations that have taken place for several years.
Detailed reports from each day of the Techny meeting — whose agenda includes a Wednesday address by General Minister Fr. Michael Perry, OFM — are provided in the “Friars Only” section of USFranciscans.org.
In other news from the English-speaking Conference, the 2017 Interprovincial Retreat, “Change for the Sake of God’s Reign: Sources of Resistance, Resources for Renewal,” will be held in two locations: from Jan. 9 to 13 at the Franciscan Renewal Center in Scottsdale, Ariz., and Feb. 6 to 10 at San Pedro Center in Winter Park, Fla. Friars are welcomed to choose the date that works best for them.
The retreat directors will be members of the Franciscan Interprovincial Team: William Beaudin, OFM, Fr. Richard McManus, OFM, and Fr. Page Polk, OFM. The retreat will focus on the fundamental Gospel summons to change “to reform your lives and believe in the Good News.” It will examine the dynamics of change through three lenses: the Word of God, the writings of St. Francis, and the deep structure of the human psyche. The retreat will follow a rhythm of presentations, faith sharing, and liturgical prayer, and will also provide ample time for quite, contemplation and personal reflection, according to the retreat’s description.
These retreat opportunities are being jointly sponsored by the OFM provinces of the United States and friars from any OFM province are welcome to attend. The cost for the retreat registration is free — the only cost will be transportation to one of the retreat sites. The deadline for registration is Dec. 19.
Other recent updates from the ESC are:
- Updates to the “Friar” mobile app, including the ability to comment on prayer intentions, email other users, see more easily the people who have joined, commented on, or lit a candle for a prayer, and other features.
- The solemn professions of friars from St. Barbara and Our Lady of Guadalupe provinces. Photos can be found on the English Speaking Conference Facebook page.
- Upcoming events, including study weeks, seminars and formation courses being offered in various countries in Europe. The events include a symposium on “Spirituality and Identity” and a conference on “The Friars Minor and the Reform — Past and Present,” among others.
- The appointment of Dr. Monica Orozco as the first lay executive director in the 230-year history of Old Mission Santa Barbara
— Maria Hayes is communications coordinator for Holy Name Province.
- “U.S. Provinces Approve four Restructuring Possibilities” – Sept. 2, 2015, HNP Today
- “Franciscans Launch Plan for Revitalization” — March 4, 2015, HNP Today
- “U.S. Friars Find Common Ground at Interprovincial Gatherings” — July 27, 2016, HNP Today