The following descriptions summarize recent news from the Order of Friars Minor. Additional details can be found by visiting the links to the news items mentioned as well as following the Order of Friars Minor on Facebook and Twitter for information throughout the month.
► General Minister Fr. Michael Perry, OFM, and members of the Order’s administration shared an update on the finances of the Order of Friar Minor in a Dec. 17 letter published on the Order’s website. The friars reported that PricewaterhouseCoopers conducted “a serious global review of the economic-financial activities of the General Curia and of the houses dependent on the General Minister, whose accounting is managed centrally by the Economo. This revision covered the accounting structures and procedures, the working methods, and the internal control system. The audit process did not identify any issues or misrepresentations in the economic-financial reports; the suggestions proposed were to develop a continuous positive culture of controls, to create clear and precise guidelines for operations, to centralize banking and cash management, and to review accounting software and increase security of our computer systems and banking procedures.”
► The November 2017 Tempo Forte – the meeting of the General Council – was held from Nov. 6 to 17. Among the items the General Councilors discussed were the animation guidelines of the General Council for 2018 and 2019. The Council members hope that “the whole Order may in some way join the journey of preparation and eventual celebration of the Order’s Plenary Council, which will be in June 2018. We invite every local community to devote some time to examine the realities of the world, of the Church, and of the Order.” A summary of the entire Tempo Forte is available online.
► Fr. Francesco Bravi, OFM, 61, former General Vicar and former provincial minister, died on Dec. 28 in the friary of Sabbioncello of Merate. The funeral Mass was celebrated on Dec. 30 in the Church of San Angelo in Milan.
► The most recent edition of “CONTACT,” the Order’s justice, peace and integrity of creation newsletter, is available online. This October – December 2017 issue includes updates from around the world – from Laudato Si’ events in Hong Kong to pastoral ministry for the refugees of Rhodes and Kos in Greece. It also provides information about the 2018 JPIC course, “Migration: Causes, Walls and Franciscan Perspectives,” which is being held in April in Mexico.
► The General Minister sent a letter to the friars regarding the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which is observed from Jan. 18 to 25. This year’s theme is “Your Right Hand, O Lord, Glorious in Power.” The text of the General Minister’s letter is available on the Order’s website.
► The 130th anniversary of the establishment of the Basilica of St. Anthony of Padua on the Esquiline and the Pontifical University Antonianum was celebrated with a Mass on Dec. 4, the anniversary of the consecration of the church. The Mass was celebrated by Bishop Gianrico Ruzza, auxiliary bishop of Rome, with Fr. Alfredo Silvestri, OFM, rector of the basilica, and Fr. Agustín Hernández, OFM, vice-rector of the university, concelebrating.
Additional information about the Order can be found on its website OFM.org which contains Fraternitas, the monthly newsletter.
— Maria Hayes is communications coordinator for Holy Name Province.
- “Order Update: Franciscans Receive Audience with Pope Francis, Other News” – Dec. 6, 2017, HNP Today
- Justice and Peace page of HNP website
- “Antonianum Partners with Research University to Expand Franciscan Scholarship” – May 5, 2016, HNP Today