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CONFERENCE OF THE GENERAL SPIRITUAL ASSISTANTS TO THE OFS-YOUFRA

2014 - 2    Year 21    n. 82

EVANGELII GAUDIUM

 

TEMPTATIONS OF PASTORAL WORKERS

Br. Martín Pablo Bitzer, OFMConv

 

 PDF,  DOC

Introduction

In the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium, Pope Francis dedicates ample space to the temptations faced by pastoral workers (Cf. nn. 76-109).

From the Gospels we know that before beginning his mission, “Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil” (Mt 4:1).

Before entering into his discourse on the announcement of the Gospel, the Pope helps us to unmask and to recognize the temptations of today that can put the new evangelization in danger.

The Holy Father affirms: “I have not sought to offer a complete diagnosis, but I invite communities to complete and enrich these perspectives on the basis of their awareness of the challenges facing them and their neighbours.” (108)[1]

Three things are striking in Pope Francis’s way of communicating: the novelty of his language (vocabulary), the citations that he uses, and the style by which he makes the discourse more incisive.

 

1. A new language

 

In the language used, not common for a Pope, we find these expressions: “tomb psychology” and “mummies in a museum” (83); “querulous and disillusioned pessimists, ‘sourpusses’” (85) – of note is the Spanish version of the text, “cara de vinagre” (“vinegar face”); “aggressive tenderness” (85) and “revolution of tenderness” (88); “spiritual ‘desertification’” (86); “spiritual consumerism” (89); “spiritual worldliness” (93); “corruption disguised as a good” (97); “excessive clericalism” (102); “‘street preachers’” (106); etc.

 

2. Citations

 

The citations that Pope Francis uses to treat the theme of temptations faced by pastoral workers are also to be considered seriously. Here are some examples: J. Ratzinger, when he refers to “the gray pragmatism of the daily life of the Church, in which all appears to proceed normally, while in reality faith is wearing down and degenerating into small-mindedness” (83); G. Bernanos, in the expression “the most precious of the devil’s potions” (83); John XXIII, when he speaks of the persons that “can see nothing but prevarication and ruin,” that he then defines as “prophets of doom” (84); J. H. Newman, in the image: the Christian world is becoming sterile, and it is depleting itself like an overexploited ground, which transforms into a desert” (86) Thomas à Kempis, in the famous expression Imaginatio locorum et mutatio multos fefellit (“Dreaming of different places, and moving from one to another, has misled many”) (91); John Paul II, in order to recall “that when we speak of sacramental power ‘we are in the realm of function, not that of dignity or holiness’” (104); the Declaration Inter insigniores, of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, when it says that “functions ‘do not favour the superiority of some vis-à-vis the others’” (104); etc.

 

3. Style

 

The style in which Pope Francis offers his reflections seems biblical. He uses the augmentative parallelism of the Psalms and knows how to hammer away without offending in order to make a thought more eloquent.

 

3.1 Seeming like the Decalogue

A simple reading of the contents makes us see that the titles seem to echo the Commandments. In any case, the things to avoid are no more than eight and very current:

No to selfishness and spiritual sloth [81-83];

No to a sterile pessimism [84-86];

No to spiritual worldliness [93-97];

No to warring among ourselves [98-101].

Already in the Second Chapter, when he refers to “Some challenges of today’s world,” he lists another four “no”:

No to an economy of exclusion [53-54]

No to the new idolatry of money [55-56]

No to a financial system which rules rather than serves [57-58]

No to the inequality which spawns violence [59-60]

With these expressions, the Pope teaches us to know to say no, but also how to say yes to that which truly counts, as for example: Yes to the new relationships brought by Christ [87-92].

 

3.2 Watch out for thieves!

One thing that draws our attention in Evangelii gaudium, regarding the theme of the temptations faced by pastoral workers, are those phrases that refer to “not letting yourself be robbed,” which we find at the end of certain numbers. It is a true and real list of seven for the missionary disciple, as if to indicate the completeness and totality of that of which we must not let ourselves be robbed:

                        Let us not allow ourselves to be robbed of missionary enthusiasm! (80);

                        Let us not allow ourselves to be robbed of the joy of evangelization! (83);

                        Let us not allow ourselves to be robbed of hope! (86);

                        Let us not allow ourselves to be robbed of community! (92);

                        Let us not allow ourselves to be robbed of the Gospel! (97);

                        Let us not allow ourselves to be robbed of the ideal of fraternal love! (101);

                        Let us not allow ourselves to be robbed of missionary vigour! (109).

Conclusion

 

I hope that these brief observations on the language, the citations, and the style in which Pope Francis “would like to call attention to certain particular temptations which affect pastoral workers” (77), can be an invitation to read numbers 76 to 109 of the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium.

 

NEWS-CHAPTERS-VISITATIONS-MEETINGS

 

Colombia – National Elective Chapter of the OFS

The national fraternity of the OFS of Colombia celebrated the elective Chapter from March 21 to 24 at the “Santa Maria de los Farallones” retreat house in Calli. Present were 55 brothers and sisters. Ana Raffo Laos, national Minister of the OFS of Peru, presided as delegate of the General Minister of the OFS. The elections were carried out in a fraternal spirit, in the presence of Br. Alex Arias OFM, National Assistant to the OFS of Venezuela, as delegate of the Conference of the General Assistants to the OFS-YouFra. Sara Isabel Ruiz Manjarrez was elected National Minister and International Councilor. Idahar Escalante Márquez was elected Vice National Minister and International Councilor in substitution.

 

Peru - National Elective Chapter of the OFS

The national fraternity of Peru celebrated the national elective Chapter from April 11-13 in the “San Francisco Solano” house of spiritual exercises in Lima. Bernardo Rada, National Minister of the OFS of Bolivia, presided as delegate of the General Minister of the OFS. The elections were carried out in a fraternal spirit, in the presence of Br. John Fredy Marin Rengofo, OFMConv, National Assistant to the OFS of Colombia, as delegate of the Conference of General Assistants to the OFS-YouFra. Anna Raffo Laos was reelected National Minister and International Councilor. For his part, Vicente Larrea was elected Vice National Minister and International Council in substitution. Br. John Fredy presided at the concluding celebration of Mass.

 

Halle, Belgium – Elective Chapter of the OFS of Flemish Belgium

The OFS fraternity of Flemish Belgium celebrated its elective Chapter on April 26, at the School of the Sacred Heart in Halle. Tibor Kauser, International Councilor of the Presidency of CIOFS, presided as delegate of the General Minister of the OFS, accompanied by Br. Amando Trujillo Cano, TOR, General Assistant to the OFS-YouFra. Present at the Chapter were 15 Secular Franciscans and 8 Spiritual Assistants of the OFM, OFMCap, and OFMConv. After the greetings from the departing Minister, Louise Degreef, and the explanation of the electoral process given by Tibor Kauser, the elections were carried out according to the General Constitutions and the Ritual of the OFS. Elected were the following sister and brother: Anny Mortier, Minister; Johan De Ridder, Vice Minister.

 

Philippines – Fraternal and Pastoral Visitations to the OFS

The OFS National Council of the Philippines received the Fraternal and Pastoral Visitation of the Presidency of CIOFS in two times: April 30 to May 1 and May 5-6. The Fraternal Visitator was Doug Clorey, Vice General Minister of the OFS and delegate of the General Minister, and the Pastoral Visitator was Br. Amando Trujillo Cano, TOR, General Assistant to the OFS-YouFra. The Visitators met the National Council at the OFS National Center in Sampaloc, Manila, and did the review of the books and registers. Then, they met with the following major superiors: Br. Francis Victor Mateo, Custos, OFMConv; Br. Greg Redoblado, Provincial Minister OFM; and Br. Jonecito Saguban, Minister of the TOR delegation. There were carried out other meetings with the spiritual assistants at various levels and with the members of some fraternities of YouFra. There was also a visit by Bishop Reynaldo Evangelista, DD, OFS, of Cavite, and a supper with the local OFS fraternity of St. Anthony in Manila, and a visit to the local OFS fraternity of St. Peter Baptist at Frisco, Quezon City. Beyond this, the program included a meeting with Sr. Mayette Vega, OSC, President of the Federation of the Poor Clares of the Philippines. The Eucharist was celebrated each day in a different place. The Visitators attested to the vitality of the National Fraternity of the Philippines and made, at the same time, some observations and recommendations to the National Council which will be incorporated into their report.

 

Philippines, Tagaytay City – 11th National Chapter of the OFS

The 11th National Chapter of the OFS of the Philippines was held from May 1 to 4 at the St. James Retreat Center in Tagaytay City. There were present 110 capitulars in addition to some observers and spiritual assistants. Bishop Reynaldo Evangelista, DD, OFS, of the diocese of Imus, presided at the opening liturgy. On the second day of the Chapter, Br. Greg Redoblado, Provincial Minister of the OFM, presided at the Eucharist, with Br. Eugene Janilo Lopez, Custos of the OFMCap, Br. Francis Victor Mateo, Custos of the OFMConv, and Br. Jonecito Saguban, Minister of the Delegation of the TOR, present. Bishop Francisco de Leon, DD, OFS, auxiliary bishop of Antipolo, presided at the Eucharistic celebration on the third day. There were three reports given by: Doug Clorey, Rev. Ed Coroza, OFS, and Br. Amando. The elective session was held on May 3, and Maria Ivonne Lanuza was reelected National Minister and International Councilor, while Luz Hernandez was elected Vice National Minister and Councilor in substitution. On May 4 the capitulars voted on the priorities for the next three years. The newly elected received their charge from Doug Clorey during the concluding Eucharistic celebration, at with Br. Amando presided.

 

Madrid, Spain – Fraternal and Pastoral Visitations

The National Council of the OFS of Spain received the Fraternal and Pastoral Visitation on May 9-11, by Encarnación del Pozo, General Minister, and by Br. Amando Trujillo Cano, TOR, General Assistant. The visitations took place in the context of a meeting of the National Council, held in the Spirituality Center of the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of the Mother of the Divine Shepherd, in Madrid. Br. Enrique Herrero, TOR, Secretary of the Conference of National Assistants, presided at the opening celebration. The Visitators met with the National Council and the representatives of the regional Fraternities. Encarnita and Br. Amando presented a reflection on the purpose and importance of the Fraternal and Pastoral Visitations, followed by a shared dialogue with the assembly. The Visitators then examined and signed the book of the acts and the registers of the National Fraternity, as well as the reports of the National Council and of the regions. An important aspect of the Visitations was the realization of separate meetings with the representatives of certain regions and with the YouFra and Social Action commissions. Br. Armando presided at the concluding liturgy. The Visitators presented their preliminary observations and recommendations to the whole assembly and then met with the National Council to address certain final questions. On the evening of Sunday, May 11, Encarnita and Br. Amando visited the monastery of TOR nuns in Fuensalida, where they participated in a Holy Hour of Eucharistic adoration for vocations and then held a brief meeting with the local OFS fraternity.

 

Bosnia and Herzegovina – Fraternal and Pastoral Visitations

The Fraternal and Pastoral Visitations to the National Fraternity of the OFS of Bosnia and Herzegovina was done in two parts: the Fraternal Visitation on May 10-11 and the Pastoral Visitation on May 15-16. The Visitators were: Ana Fruk, as delegate of the General Minister and Br. Amanuel Mesgun, OFMCap, General Assistant to the OFS-YouFra. The Pastoral Visitator met Br. Ljubo Kurtović, OFM, National Assistant to the OFS and Br. Danijel Rajić, OFM, National Assistant to YouFra, as well as with Br. Lovro Gavran, Provincial Minister of the OFM in Bosnia. The spiritual assistance to the National Fraternity is well-organized and complete. YouFra, more numerous than the seculars, is very active with much promise for the future. The weight of all the spiritual assistance is borne by the OFM, who have many vocations. The National Fraternity of the OFS includes: two Regional Fraternities (Bosnia and Herzegovina), 30 constituted Local Fraternities and 15 emerging Local Fraternities. The brothers and sisters are 1551. The friars of the two Provinces of the OFM (Bosnia and Herzegovina) who are assigned to assistance are 101 friars (56 for YouFra and 45 for the OFS)

Bosnia and Herzegovina – National Elective Chapter of the OFS

On the afternoon of May 17, at Rama, the electoral session began with Ana Fruk presiding. After a brief explanation of the elective process: appointed secretary (Mirjana Cavar) and the two scrutineers (Ivana Baban, Branka Barisic), the elections began. The capitulars by right were 44, with 28 present. The small number of those present was due to flooding in the north and center of the nation. Here are the results of the election: National Minister: Matea Galic; International Councilor: Ivana Vidovic. Br. Danjel, OFM, National Assistant to YouFra, presided at the evening Mass. Br. Amanuel gave the homily.

 

Romania – National Elective Chapter of the OFS

The Elective Chapter of Romania was celebrated from May 22 to 25 at the Franciscan friary of St. Mary at Oradea. On May 23, under the presidency of Isabella Di Paola, OFS, and in the presence of Br. Loreto Fioravanti, OFM, delegate of CAS, the elections of the National Council were held. The Secular Franciscans of Romania gave a truly incredible welcome. Celina Frâncu was reelected National Minister and Butnaru Anton was elected International Councilor.

 

Sicily – Formation Meeting

On Sunday, May 18 there was a seminar organized by the OFS School of Formation of Sicily at Pergusa, at the Franciscan Oasis. In the morning, Br. Amando Trujillo Cano TOR, General Assistant to the OFS, presented on the theme, “The origins of the Secular Franciscan Order,” followed by work in groups and a sharing in the hall. The celebration of the Eucharist followed, at which Br. Amando presided and Br. Antonio Panzica, Regional Assistant to the OFS-YouFra, concelebrated. In the afternoon, Anna Pia Viola, OFS, presented a reflection inspired by the proposal of Pope Francis: “To reach all the peripheries that have need of the light of the Gospel.”

 

Netherlands – Fraternal and Pastoral Visitations

The Fraternal and Pastoral Visitations in the Netherlands were carried out on May 23-25 by Ewald Kreuzer, delegate of the General Minister, and by Br. Amanuel Mesgun, OFMCap, General Assistant to the OFS-YouFra. The Visitators had a meeting with the departing National Council and with the Ministers of the local Fraternity at Denekamp. At the end of the Visitations, they presented the new National Council to His Excellency Ted Hoogenboom, auxiliary bishop of Utrecht. The General Assistant met Br. Rob Hoogenboom, Provincial Minister of the OFM, and Br. Wim Pot, OFM, National Assistant. According to the National Statutes (cf. art. 59,1), the Conference of Major Superiors, in agreement, delegates the National Assistant to one Major Superior, and he appoints one National Assistant. There are not regional fraternities in the Netherlands. The most significant aspects of this Fraternity are: 1. Numerical growth and rejuvenation of the Fraternity in the last six years; 2. A very good communion and reciprocation with the friars of the First Franciscan Order; 3. Good and sufficient spiritual and pastoral assistance offered by the friars of the First Order; 4. Reactivation of the national website; 5. Concord and harmony in the National Council and good communication with the local fraternities. The principal challenges are: 1. Difficulty in finding seculars available to serve the local fraternities; 2. Absence of YouFra at the national level; 3. Seculars (82) left without any fraternity, because their older fraternities have dissolved for various reasons; 4. Little social involvement of the seculars; 5. Foreseeable aging of the local assistants. The National Fraternity has 239 seculars, divided in 12 juridically erected local fraternities, and one emerging fraternity. The Fioretti Masanga constituted fraternity, of Paramaribo in Surinam, is part of the national fraternity of the Netherlands.

 

Netherlands – National Elective Chapter of the OFS

Also at Denekamp, the morning of May 24 was dedicated to the presentation and discussion of the triennial report of the National Minister. After the approval of the report, there were presented suggestions and recommendations for the new National Council, which will be composed of the following members: National Minister: Michel Versteegh; International Councilor: Mariette Fleur. The new National Council was confirmed by Ewald Kreuzer, OFS, during the Mass at which Br. Wim Pot OFM, presided and at which Br. Thijs Moans, OFMConv and Br. Amanuel Mesgun OFMCap, concelebrated. Br. Amanuel gave the homily.

 

Italy – National Elective Chapter of the OFS

The National Fraternity of the OFS in Italy celebrated the elective chapter in Assisi on June 5-8, coinciding with the solemnity of Pentecost. Tibor Krauser, as delegate of the General Minister, and Br. Amanuel Mesgun, General Assistant to the OFS-YouFra, participated. To prepare adequately for such an important event, the National Fraternity wanted to precede it with two assemblies: the first held in Assisi from February 7-9 and the second celebrated in Naples from April 25-27, 2014. Bishop Domenico Sorrentino presided at the opening Mass of the Chapter. In the first morning of the capitulars’ work, Tibor Krauser presented a report entitled: “The OFS for universal health: You yourselves give them something to eat.” On the same day the capitulars by right and the observers listened to the report of the National Minister, of the Treasurer, of the President of CASIT and of YouFra. The first day concluded with the penitential celebration held at the church of St. Francis in Foligno. Remo di Pinto was elected National Minister. On Sunday, June 8, after the concluding Mass, at which Br. Amanuel Mesgun presided, an assembly was held during which the new National Council was confirmed.

 

Hong Kong/Macau – National Elective Chapter of the OFS

On June 8, at the St. Bonaventure College, Tsz Wan Shan, Hong Kong, in the presence of the General Minister of the OFS, Encarnación del Pozo, of the Councilor of the Presidency, Michele Altmeyer, and of the Delegate of CAS, Br. Joseph Ha OFM, the 87 Secular Franciscans of Hong Kong and Macau met in regional chapter; among them, 75 perpetually professed, of which four are of the Fraternity of Macau, and twelve temporarily professed. For many of the brothers and sisters of Macau it was the first participation in a regional meeting. The total number of brothers and sisters is 150 professed. With the presence of 87, the Chapter can be celebrated legally according to the Statutes of the Regional Fraternity. The General Minister suggested that in the next three years the Statutes be revised regarding the quorum of the Chapter, as foreseen by the General Constitutions. Stephen Yuen was elected National Minister. The Chapter concluded with a Eucharistic celebration at which Don Stephen Chan, president of the OFM Foundation in Hong Kong presided and Br. Joseph Ha OFM concelebrated.

 

Thailand – Fraternal and Pastoral Visitations

The OFS in Thailand received the fraternal and pastoral visitations from June 10-16, by Encarnación del Pozo, General Minister of the OFS, and Br. Amando Trujillo Cano TOR, General Assistant to the OFS-YouFra. The Visitators met all seven local fraternities, constituted and emerging: St. Anthony in Bangkok; St. Francis at Chiangrai; St. Padre Pio at Nongbuathong; St. Louis King of France at Bung Mai; Mother of Peace at Ban Nong Din Dam; Holy Family and St. Elizabeth of Hungary at Chanuman. The Secular Franciscans shared the history and the present of their fraternities with the Visitators, as well as their activities, challenges, and hopes. Encarnita and Br. Amando were struck by the witness to the faith of the brothers and sisters and by their commitment in living the Secular Franciscan charism in the world and in the Church. Three local fraternities celebrated their elective chapters, taking advantage of the presence of the Visitators, who met with Br. Gregorius Alforinus Pontus OFM, President of the Franciscan Foundation of Thailand, to discuss the canonical erection of certain local fraternities and the service of spiritual and pastoral assistance to them. They also spoke with Br. Walter Morgante, Superior of the OFMCap Provincial Delegation in Thailand concerning the canonical erection of the fraternity of St. Padre Pio. The Visitators checked the books and the registers of the fraternities and left observations and recommendations. Encarnita and Br. Amando are very grateful to both the Secular Franciscans and the friars of the OFM and OFMCap, and to the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception who welcomed them and assisted during the visitations.

 

Warin Chamrap, Thailand – I National Elective Chapter of the OFS

On June 16 the OFS in Thailand celebrate its first National Chapter at the central house of the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception at Warin Chamrap. Twelve capitulars participated from the four local Fraternities as well as some spiritual assistants and observers. After a general introduction, Encarnita announced that the OFS of Thailand will be declared a national emerging Fraternity and explained the steps necessary to then reach the recognition of a constituted national Fraternity. The results of the elections were the following: National Minister: Sujittra Phongvivat; Vice Minister: Supanee Khamwan; Secretary: Wanida Panthong; Formator: Khaimook Swatbhakdi; and Treasurer: Pairin Bauphan. The General Minister confirmed the elections. The participants then went to the parish church to celebrate the Eucharist, at which His Excellency Philip Banchong Chaiyara, Bishop of the Diocese of Ubon, presided. During the liturgy, Encarnita installed the new Minister and National Council. The Chapter concluded with a fraternal agape.

 

Yangon, Myanmar – Fraternal and Pastoral Visitations

From June 17-19, the new reality of the OFS in Myanmar received the fraternal and pastoral visitations from Encarnación del Pozo, General Minister of the OFS, and Br. Amando Trujillo Cano TOR, General Assistant to the OFS, in the city of Yangon. The work was carried out in the convent of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary (FMM) in Tarmway, Yangon, and was coordinated by Br. Soosai Raj OFM, Spiritual Assistant, and by Sr. Josephine Valence, FMM, who has generously promoted the OFS in various regions of the country, with the support of Br. John-Francis OFM, President of the OFM Foundation in Myanmar. At the beginning, there was a formation meeting with the nine temporarily professed of the existent OFS in the country and about forty sympathizers, among which there is a bishop, two diocesan priests, and various Franciscan sisters. Then, the Secular Franciscans renewed their promise of the evangelical life before the General Minister of the OFS. At the end of the day, all the participants had a fraternal supper organized by the FMM sisters. The next morning, Br. Amando met with the group of sympathizers coming from the state of Chin, to whom he presented the first chapter of the OFS Rule. In the afternoon, there took place another formation meeting with the professed. The Eucharist was celebrated with both the groups, followed by a formation session for young people on the theme of Franciscan Youth. On Thursday, June 19, Br. Amando celebrated the Eucharist with the community of the FMM, thanking them for their support of the OFS and for their generous hospitality during the Visitations. Following, Br. Amando met with Sr. Josephine, with the pastor of the place, with the aspirants of the state of Chin, with Br. John-Francis, and with Br. Soosai. To these last, he gave various documents in digital format relative to the OFS and YouFra. This experience was very gratifying for the Visitators because it allowed them to touch the new and promising reality of the OFS in a nation with unique challenges and opportunities, which demands an attentive accompaniment by the Presidency of CIOFS.

 

Argentina – Fraternal and Pastoral Visitations

From June 20-23, in the city of La Falda, Cordoba, the Fraternal and Pastoral Visitations were held with the National Fraternity of the OFS in Argentina, conducted by Higinio Díaz, National Minister of the OFS in Paraguay, delegate of the General Minister of the OFS, and by Br. Martín Bitzer, General Assistant to the OFS-YouFra. The Visitations were carried out in the setting of the fraternal National Chapter (of formative character), centered on the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium of Pope Francis. The Visitators met with all the members of the National Council separately and then together in two very dynamic sessions in which various problems were faced and where various results obtained in recent years were considered. The Visitators were able to ascertain the vitality of YouFra, the commitment made in the area of formation and also in the sphere of spiritual assistance. There were present the National Spiritual Assistants (OFM and OFMConv) and some regional assistants

 

Jakarta, Indonesia – Fraternal and Pastoral Visitations

The Fraternal and Pastoral Visitations to the National Council of the OFS in Indonesia was conducted from June 28 to July 6 by Lucy Almirañez, OFS, delegate of the General Minister of the OFS, and by Br. Amando Trujillo Cano TOR, General Assistant. The Visitations began with a course for the spiritual assistants, animated by Br. Amando on the days June 28-29 at the Griaya Alam, in Ciganjur, Jakarta-Selatan. Ten friars and give sisters participated in the course. Group and individual meetings with the members of the departing National Council followed on the days of June 30-July 1, held at the same place. By means of the conversations, Lucy and Br. Amando became aware of the principal activities and challenges that have marked the service of the National Council in the course of the last three years. The Visitations continued with the celebration of the National Elective Chapter (July 1-4), including two meetings with local associations of the Franciscan Family of Jakarta and Bogor-Jawa Barat (July 5 and 6). The Visitators presented their observations and preliminary recommendations to the Council and to the National Chapter.

 

Jakarta, Indonesia – National Elective Chapter of the OFS

On July 1-4, the National Fraternity of the OFS in Indonesia celebrated its IV National Elective Chapter, in Griaya Alam, in Ciganjur, Jakarta-Selatan. Lucy Almirañez, OFS, delegate of the General Minister of the OFS, presided at the Chapter, accompanied by Br. Amando Trujillo Cano TOR, General Assistant. There were present 48 capitulars: 42 Secular Franciscans and 6 Spiritual Assistants, in addition to 20 observers. The reports of the National Council, the Treasurer, and of the Spiritual Assistant were presented, and a reflection on the part of the Visitators on the nature and importance of the Fraternal and Pastoral Visitations. In addition, there were other formation sessions and a report on the International Course for formators held in Hong Kong last June and organized by the CIOFS Presidency. The Capitulars dedicated time to discussion and to the approval of priorities for the National Fraternity for the next three years. The elective session was held on July 3 and the results were the following: National Minister: Hendro Setiawan; Vice Minister: Felly Kama; Formator: Niklaus Namai; Secretary: Anastasia Rokhini Khayati; Treasurer: Sulastri Pasaribu; International Councilor: Hendro Setiawan; and International Councilor in substitution: Frans Indrapradja. On July 4 Br. Amando presided at the closing liturgy, during which Lucy installed the new Council and National Ministers.

 

Cape Verde – Fraternal and Pastoral Visitations – I National Elective Chapter of the OFS

On June 28 and 29, at San Lorenzo, on the island of Fogo, in Cape Verde, Noemi Paola Riccardi, delegate of the General Minister of the OFS and Br. José Antonio Cruz Duarte OFM, General Assistant to the OFS, carried out the Fraternal and Pastoral Visitation and presided at the first Chapter of the National Fraternity of the OFS in Cape Verde. The Secular Franciscans in Cape Verde have done all that was asked by the General Minister of the OFS in the visitation on 2013. The participation of all the brothers and sisters in the preparation for the Chapter was fantastic. In the days of the Chapter, many were present. The involvement of all the spiritual assistants was also noteworthy. Saturday, after the opening of the Chapter, Br. José Antonio Cruz Duarte OFM, held a conference on the theme: “In the world and for the world: engaged by the Gospel.” After the presentation of reports by the departing National Council, Noemi Paola Riccardi illustrated the importance of the Chapter and of the elections. The Chapter Assembly chose the logo for the OFS of Cape Verde and approved the form of support for the National Fraternity. After lunch was the election of the new Council. Maria Josepha Gomes Correia was elected National Minister and Vicente Ramos Bonaventura International Councilor. The new Council was sworn in the celebration of the Eucharist at which Br. José Antonio Cruz Duarte OFM, presided. Sunday, the Capitulars worked in groups to set the lines for the next four years: to organize formation, consolidate the existing fraternities and make a gradual expansion of the OFS on the islands that don’t yet have a fraternity, create civil juridic personality, and set up a more effective communication between the members of the OFS and of YouFra. The first National Chapter of the OFS in Cape Verde concluded with the Eucharistic celebration at which Br. Gilson Frede Barros Pina, National Assistant, presided.



[1] The numbers in parentheses refer to the text of Evangelii gaudium.