At 7:30 a.m., the friars celebrated Mass presided over by the most senior member of the Chapter, Friar Wayne HELLMANN, the Minister Provincial of the Province of Our Lady of Consolation in the USA.
Friar Jude delivered the homily. In it, he reminded the Capitulars, that today, more than ever, they need to listen to the Holy Spirit, so that the Minister General may be chosen according to God’s will.
Friar Jobe ABBASS was congratulated on the 34th anniversary of his priestly ordination as was Friar Jan MACIEJOWSKI, the Minister Provincial of the Province of St. Maximilian M. Kolbe in Poland (Gdańsk) on the 23rd anniversary of his priestly ordination; and Friar Tomasz WĘZIK on the 17th anniversary of his priestly ordination.
The Chapter assembly began with the reading of a message of best wishes from the Mayor of Assisi, Mrs. Stefania PROIETTI. Then, Friar Wayne HELLMANN started the voting to elect the 120th Minister General.
Friar Carlos Alberto TROVARELLI, the current Assistant General for the Federación América Latina Conventuales (FALC) was elected Minister General on the third ballot. Friar Carlos belongs to the religious “Rioplatense” Province of St. Anthony of Padua in Argentina and Uruguay. He was born in Cinco Saltos (Rio Negro), Argentina, on June 22, 1962. He made his solemn profession on October 4, 1990, and was ordained to the priesthood on March 25, 1995.
The newly elected Minister General accepted the office and took the floor to ask the Lord and the confreres for help in carrying out this weighty commitment.
The friars sang the hymn of thanksgiving “Te Deum” as they solemnly processed to the Tomb of St. Francis of Assisi. There, the newly elected Minister General made his profession of faith and swore obedience to the Pope and the Holy Church. As a sign of obedience to Friar Carlos, the friars each embraced him, wishing him Peace and All Good. Finally “Salve Sancte Pater” was sung and the Minister General gave his solemn blessing while holding a relic of the Seraphic Father.
In the afternoon, the Capitulars returned to the Chapter auditorium. The Minister General asked the Coetuses to meet and choose three friars from each Federation to propose for the office of Area Assistant. The three friars should be equally qualified and belong to separate Jurisdictions. These three proposals will create a wider pool of suitable friars from which to choose. It will make it easier for the Minister General to form his new General Definitory. The Capitulars will vote on the General Definitors on Monday.
Friar Aurelio ERCOLI, Chronicler
Later today we will choose our Minister General. I will base this reflection on the first reading and not on the Gospel because the message, that we will be hated, even if it might be true, is a bit too negative for today.
In the first reading, we hear how the Church is growing under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Paul even hears the voice of that Spirit in a dream in which he is called to proclaim the Gospel in Macedonia. He responded immediately and sailed to Greece.
I am not saying that we should vote for the one about whom we had a dream last night. But we must read all of the signs that the Spirit is giving us. I will repeat something I said six years ago on the day when we re-elected friar Marco to be the Minister General. We are not choosing. It is the Spirit who is choosing, and our duty is to discern that choice and embrace it. This week we have discussed the Order and where it is today. We have spoken among ourselves about what the Order needs for the future. Now, listening to the Spirit speaking in our hearts, to our true Minister General, the Holy Spirit , we entrust our Order to his guidance.