The 202nd Ordinary General Chapter of the Conventual Friars Minor began at 4:30 p.m. in the “papal hall” of the Sacred Convent in Assisi.
The Minister General, Friar Marco TASCA, invited the participants to pray the Our Father. Then Friar Víctor MORA made a presentation on how to operate the tablets that will be used to listen to the interpreters, to vote and to get documents relevant to the discussions. In order to communicate in the different languages of the Order (Italian, Spanish, English and Polish) Friar Victor was assisted by Friar Timothy KULBICKI and Friar Tomasz SZYMCZAK. After the necessary explanations and clarifications were given, the interpreters’ booths began to function properly, to the applause and relief of all the participants.
Friar Victor went on to present a document offering guidelines for the use of social media and electronic devices during the work of the Chapter, and advice for respecting privacy. He also explained how to receive and use various documents, particularly the Directory, which establishes the processes to be carried out each day.
After a short break, the Capitulars elected Friar Emanuele RIMOLI as Recording Secretary; Friar Emanuele made the appeal and officially started the Chapter.
Let me remind you that after the day of prayer, the work is expected to start with an evaluation the Order’s activities and operations over the last six years, in particular by means of the report of the outgoing General Minister.
The new Minister General will be elected on Saturday, May 25, to be followed by the election of the members of the General Definitory.
We will then move to Collevalenza and proceed to the discussion and approval of the General Statutes, Franciscan Discipleship and the Ratio Studiorum.
Finally, today, Friar Timothy gave a presentation on the voting procedures and invited each of the Federations to have a meeting. He reminded everyone that the day would end with Vespers and dinner.
Let me inform you that the Chapter is comprised of 91 Capitulars and 13 auditors (who do not have voting rights).
The Federations represent the geographical and linguistic origins of the Capitulars: AFCOF (African Federation of Conventual Franciscans) 9 Capitulars; CEF (Centralis Europae Foederatio) 11 Capitulars; CFF (Conventual Franciscan Federation) 13 Capitulars; FALC (Federación América Latina Conventuales) 16 Capitulars; FAMC (Federation of Asian Minor Conventuals) 8 Capitulars; FEMO (Foederatio Europae Mediae et Orientalis) 19 Capitulars; and FIMP (Federazione Intermediterranea Ministri Provinciali) 28 Capitulars.
Friar Aurelio ERCOLI, Chronicler