The Mass today was presided over by Friar Leo PAYYAPPILLY, the Minister Provincial of the Province of St. Maximilian M. Kolbe in India.
Friar Jude centered his homily on the fact that sometimes even Jesus experienced being misunderstood by his disciples. Therefore, it is even more fitting that we accept misunderstandings and when we hear others criticize the way we speak or act, we should experience it a something to offer up.
In the Chapter auditorium, the work began with discussion on Motion No. 9. The General Chapter decided to erect the Provincial Custody of St. Francis of Assisi in Kenya, of the Province of St. Maximilian M. Kolbe in Poland (Gdańsk) as a Province.
Friar Kazimierz SZULC, the Custos of Kenya, gave a brief report on the status of his Jurisdiction. Kenya has around forty solemnly professed friars and six friaries; the Jurisdiction is enthusiastically involved in pastoral activity, caring for the poor and promoting vocations.
Friar Jan MACIEJOWSKI, the newly elected Vicar General, gave his support to the Motion as the former Minister Provincial of Kenya’s Mother Province. The newly elected Assistant General for the African Federation of Conventual Franciscans (AFCOF), Friar Anthony Bezo KUTIERO, gave his approval to the Motion. Friar Tadeusz ŚWIĄTKOWSKI, also gave his support in the name of the outgoing Definitory.
There were enthusiastic speeches in the Aula about the journey of our confreres in Africa. We give thanks to the Lord for the progress we have made and for what we can do in the future. The Capitulars voted by acclamation and unanimously approved the Motion.
Then, Friar Maximilianus Kalef SEMBIRING, the Custos of the Provincial Custody of Mary Immaculate in Indonesia presented Motion No. 10. The General Chapter decided to erect the Provincial Custody of Mary Immaculate in Indonesia, of the Italian Province of St. Anthony of Padua (Northern Italy) as a Province.
Indonesia has eight friaries and around seventy-five solemnly professed friars. It is engaged in many pastoral-charitable activities and the prospects for the future there are very promising.
The Vicar Provincial of the Mother Province, Friar Roberto BRANDINELLI, and the former Minister Provincial of the Mother Province, Friar Giovanni VOLTAN, now the newly elected Assistant General for the Federazione Inter-mediterranea Ministri Provinciali (FIMP), gave their approval and thanked the friars of the Custody for their work. Friar Benedict Seung-jae BAEK, the Assistant General for the Federation of Asian Minor Conventuals (FAMC), also offered his assent to the Motion.
The discussion further highlighted the fine progress made by the confreres in Indonesia. We thank the Lord for the gifts we have received and for those yet to come. At the end, the Motion was unanimously approved.
Today’s work ended at lunchtime. In the afternoon, there was an optional trip to the city of Todi (Province of Perugia) Italy.
Friar Aurelio ERCOLI, Chronicler
In the Gospel today we hear about the Beloved Disciple. Peter asks whether he would still be alive at the second coming. Jesus answers him by telling him it is none of his business. Notice, the community misunderstands what he is saying and think that he promised that he would still be around. Jesus never said that. He only said that it was none of Peter’s business.
We who exercise authority in the Order and the Church will be misunderstood. Even if we try our best, some people will question our motives. At times, they will say lies about us.
This reminds me of when I had a very difficult time with someone who was saying lies about me. It hurt me deeply. I went to a counselor to work out my feelings. He asked me what I was most afraid of. I prayed about it, and told him I was afraid of losing my good name. He laughed and said, “Jude, you’re a Franciscan, you don’t have the right to have a good name.”
It made me realize, I had promised to live sine proprio, but I was holding what others said of me as my own possession. If others say bad things about us, don’t let it get to you. Be a friar of integrity, and the truth will eventually be discovered. And if in the meantime you have to suffer from what they are saying, be grateful that now you can suffer for the truth, for that suffering will certainly purify your heart of whatever is not from God.