Friar Ángel Mariano GUZMÁN LUDEÑA, the Minister Provincial of the Province of Our Lady of Monserrat in Spain, presided over today’s Mass commemorating St. Justin Martyr.
Friar Jude WINKLER gave the homily, recalling that in Baptism we are all part of the Trinitarian life. As Franciscans we must ask ourselves: how can we live this within our fraternities? Certainly we are called to personal holiness, but as a community we must also show that we are one, as Christ is one with the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Today we congratulated Friar Dariusz HARASIMOWICZ, the Custos of the Russian General Custody of St. Francis of Assisi, on the 23rd anniversary of his priesthood.
In the Chapter auditorium, Friar Giovanni VOLTAN presented the “Caritas Sant’Antonio ONLUS” [St. Antony’s Charities— Non-Profit Organization for Social Use]. It is an organization which continues the testimony of solidarity of St. Anthony of Padua around the world. Friar Giovanni invited the friars to collaborate with this organization and help promote it.
Next, Friar Ryszard WRÓBEL, the General Delegate for Communications, addressed the Capitulars. Friar Ryszard talked about the statistics of the Order. After viewing a PowerPoint presentation on the number of our fraternities in the world, the Capitulars paused to ask for clarification. One important statistic should cause us to reflect and spur us to pray. It shows that our numbers have decreased in countries containing our more ancient, traditional Franciscan presences, while our numbers have increased in the places where we have more recently arrived.
A vote was taken on an alternative text for an article in the General Statutes. It concerned safeguarding the assets of entities of the Order that are closed. Another vote was taken on a iuxta modum which required newly established Provinces to guarantee a minimum degree of economic self-sufficiency.
The work of the Chapter continued with the presentation of the first motion, by Friar Vincenzo MARCOLI of the Italian Province of St. Anthony of Padua (Northern Italy). His proposal asked the Order to encourage twinning between Jurisdictions in order to promote the consolidation of existing missions, the study of Franciscan models of mission ad gentes, and the strengthening of the General Secretariat for Mission Animation (SGAM).
After a discussion on topics concerning the mission, the day concluded in the afternoon, with the first meeting of the new General Definitory. For the record, the new General Definitory is comprised of
Friar Carlos TROVARELLI, Minister General;
Friar Jan MACIEJOWSKI, Vicar General;
Friar Tomasz SZYMCZAK, Secretary General;
Friar Anthony Bezo KUTIERO, Assistant General for the AFCOF Federation;
Friar Benedict BAEK, Assistant General for the FAMC Federation;
Friar Dominique Joseph MATHIEU, Assistant General for the CEF Federation;
Friar Giovanni VOLTAN, Assistant General for the FIMP Federation;
Friar Jude WINKLER, Assistant General for the CFF Federation;
Friar Rogério PEREIRA XAVIER, Assistant General for the FALC Federation; and
Friar Tomáš LESŇÁK, Assistant General for the FEMO Federation.
Friar Aurelio ERCOLI, Chronicler
In today’s First Reading, we hear about Apollos who did not know about the baptism of Christ. He knew about the baptism of John which brought forgiveness of sins. But Christian baptism brings much more. In that baptism, we enter into the life of God, of the Trinity. That is why when Jesus is baptized, we hear the voice of the Father and see the Spirit appearing in the form of a dove. The whole Trinity is present.
In the Gospel we hear Jesus say that whatever we ask the Father in his name will be granted. A couple of years ago I did a study on prayer in the Gospel of John. In that gospel, prayer is not a question of asking for things. It is a manifestation of a rapport of love. If, in baptism, we have entered into the life of the Trinity, then of course God will give us that which we need to live that life fully. We ask to express our trust in a God who loves us within limit.
We pray in these days for an outpouring of the Spirit upon this chapter. We trust that God, who has invited us into the very mystery of his glory, will grant us this gift in abundance.