Upcoming General Chapter to Focus on the Fraternal Life

HNP Communications Franciscan World

ASSISI, Italy – “Missionaries in the Heart of the World as Friars Minor Focused on the Lord” is the guiding theme of the General Ordinary Chapter, which takes place at Domus Pacis in Saint Mary of the Angels here, May 24 to June 20, 2009.

The last ordinary Chapter was held in  2003 at which new leadership was elected for the Order.  An extraordinary Chapter was held  in 2006  to inaugurate the Order’s 800th aniversary celebration.

The General Minister officially convoked the Chapter on Nov. 1. In the letter of convocation, Jose Rodriguez Carballo, OFM, whose term of office ends next year, said the Chapter will reflect on what it means to be persons living with a radical relationship to God.

“It is through this means that we may become proclaimers of the Gospel in the whole world after the manner of St. Francis with a special focus on dialog,” Fr. Jose wrote, as reported in Fraternitas, the publication of the Order of Friars Minor Communications office in Rome:

“We are talking about a choice of merit in a particularly delicate time of the life of our Order,” he continued. “On a theoretical plane, the Order has exerted a lot of effort to clarify our charismatic identity. Never have we had in our times, within hands-reach –- since the times of St. Francis -– inspirational texts as clear and beautiful as that of the last 30 years.”

“Take, for example, the publications of the writings and Franciscan biographies, the General Constitutions, and the amount of documents just flowing from the Order.”

He continued: “On the existential plane, on the other hand, the disparity between values professed and those lived out is profound, and the crisis is manifested in all its width and breadth as a profound crisis of faith, formation, minority and proclamation.”

“The General Chapter that we will celebrate is, therefore, both a very special and meaningful event for the life of our Order.”

In other OFM news reported in Fraternitas, several other Chapters and  meetings have taken place recently. The publication also provides information about:

  • The General Chapter of the SFO re-elected Encarnacion del Pozo as General Minister.
  • Provincial ministers of the Conferences of both North-Slavic and South-Slavic met in Prague, Czech Republic, in October.
  • The International Council for Evangelization met in Manila/Tagaytay in October.