Today’s Mass commemorated St. Barnabas, the Apostle. Friar Igor SALMIČ, the Minister of the Province of St. Joseph in Slovenia, presided.
Friar Jude gave a homily on the mandate of the Apostles. Jesus asked the Apostles to carry forth his word without possessing human means. Our Chapter must wisely plan our journey for the coming years, yet take into account that God can do everything, that he can work beyond our weaknesses. We must therefore trust in Divine Providence, believing that the will of God can be realized in the intentions of all our brothers, beyond discordant viewpoints.
The Capitulars congratulated the General Delegate for Communications, Friar Ryszard WRÓBEL, for his thirty-six years of priesthood.
Friar Louis PANTHIRUVELIL and Friar Franklin Antonio DURÁN ZAMBRANO, Secretary General and Vice-Secretary for Formation, summarized the contents of Franciscan Discipleship. Its preface and the four parts in which the document is divided were reviewed. In Part I, formation is seen as one being conformed to Christ. Part II deals with the stages of formation. Part III part is about ongoing formation as a continuous formative journey of the friar; and Part IV deals with the competences of the Superiors in the formation field and in the formation of formators.
This was followed by the evaluation of Franciscan Discipleship, which was done by completing a survey on its positive aspects, its critical elements, and offering suggestions and ways to improve the text. To work on this evaluation, the Capitulars were grouped according to Coetus.
In the afternoon, the iuxta modi on some already-approved Motions were voted upon. Motion No. 1, dealing with mission, was given additional material on New Evangelization. The Capitulars intended to move the Order towards Missio ad Gentes as well as the re-evangelization of the de-Christianized West.
Motion No. 11 is about unifying some southern Italian Provinces. The Government of the Order was advised to take into account the experience of unification of some other Jurisdictions in recent years.
Finally, Motion No. 14 was given additional material on the ways to carry out the restructuring of the Federations.
The Secretaries of each Coetus gave a report in the Aula on the reflections that were made about Franciscan Discipleship. Those suggestions shall now pass on to the Steering Committee, which will probably propose a Motion to assign the text to the Minister General and his Definitory for further review.
Friar Aurelio ERCOLI, Chronicler
In the Gospel today, we hear how the apostles are sent out to preach the Good News, but they are not to carry provisions with themselves. They are to trust in the providence of God.
Throughout this chapter, we have been planning our future through statutes and documents and motions. We write six year plans and four year plans. We speak of financial responsibility. When we open a new mission, we study the situation carefully and try to prepare the friars for what they will encounter. We try to be prudent.
But there is also a time to take a risk. At times, the only wrong decision is to do nothing. We have to move forward into the future, no matter what it holds. If we become too careful and try to preserve what we have today, we will pass into insignificance. The wind of the Spirit blows where it will. We can hunker down to hold on to today or yesterday, or we can allow it to carry us into the future.