The following is a compilation of this month’s news from the website and Facebook page of the English-speaking Conference of the Order of Friars Minor, composed of provinces from Canada, England, Ireland, Lithuania, Malta and the United States.
Pope Francis has appointed Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa, OFM, to succeed Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal of Jerusalem as the apostolic administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
Fr. Pierbattista will serve in this position until the appointment of a new patriarch and will be elevated to archbishop, according to the Vatican. His episcopal ordination is planned for September.
Patriarch Twal, who has served as head of the Latin Patriarchate since 2008, stepped down for reasons of age. Fr. Pierbattista is familiar with the region, having served as custos of the Holy Land for 12 years. The custody includes Israel, the Palestinian territories, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Cyprus, Rhodes, and the friary in Cairo.
In a message to the diocese, Fr. Pierbattista wrote that he “returned to Jerusalem, primarily with the desire to serve the local clergy and the whole community, asking all of you for understanding, friendship and collaboration.”
He continued, “Accepting the invitation of Pope Francis, I would like to share from Jerusalem, from this holy and wounded city for us and for the whole Church: the ability to meet and greet one another, build roads and bridges and not walls between us and the Lord, between bishops and priests, priests and laity, between us and the other churches, between us and our Jewish and Muslim brothers and friends, between us and the poor, between ourselves and those in need of mercy and hope. Only in this way can we fully respond to the special universal vocation of the Church of Jerusalem, the Church of the Holy Places.”
In other news from the English-speaking Conference, several friars from provinces were ordained priests. St. John the Baptist Province celebrated the ordination of three friars earlier this month. Fathers Clifford Hennings, OFM, Colin King, OFM, and Robert Lopez, OFM, were ordained on June 11 at St. Clement Church in Cincinnati. On June 24, Our Lady of Guadalupe Province witnessed the ordination of Fr. Jorge Hernandez, OFM, at St. John the Baptist Church in Roswell, N.M.
Other news from the English-speaking Conference includes:
- The first anniversary of “Laudato Si’,” Pope Francis’s encyclical on the poor and the environment
- The U.S. provincial ministers’ call for responsible gun reform
News about English-speaking provinces can be found on the ESC website.
— Maria Hayes is communications coordinator for Holy Name Province.
- “Six OFM Provinces Unify in Northern Italy, Other News from Order” — June 12, 2016, HNP Today
- “Immaculate Conception Province Elects New Provincial, Other News from ESC” — May 18, 2016, HNP Today
- “Franciscans Welcome ‘Laudato Si,’” – June 24, 2015 HNP Today