25th Assembly of UCLAF, on its 50th anniversary. Memory and prophecy

From October 28 to November 2, the Friars of UCLAF (Union of Latin American Franciscan Conferences) met in Buenos Aires (Argentina), to celebrate their 25th Assembly on the theme: “50 years of UCLAF: Memory and Prophecy“.

The Bolivarian, Brazilian, Guadalupana and Southern Cone Conferences that make up UCLAF were represented by Ministers Provincial (18), Custodes (3) and one Vicar Provincial. The reflection was accompanied by brothers who helped us to recall the last 50 years and to carry out a prophetic reading of the present: Br. Francisco Javier Mac Mahon (who attended the first Assembly in 1968), Br. Guido Zegarra Ponce (who presented a document with a brief history of UCLAF), Br. Edgar Santos (who delivered an excellent presentation on “the identity of the prophetic charism of Medellin – memory”), and Br. Jaime Campos Fonseca (an invitation to become involved with JPIC issues).

These were days in which the Latin American and Caribbean contribution to the Order and to the Church were celebrated, and it was possible to dream with bold answers to the present situation. The presence and much appreciated closeness of Br. Michael A. Perry (Minister General), Br. Julio Bunader (Vicar General), Br. Ignacio Ceja Jiménez (Definitor) and Br. Valmir Ramos (Definitor) encouraged the work and provided a context from the whole Order.

Within this framework of celebration, of prophetic memory and openness to the future, work was carried out on various topics, including the Amazonia project, the formation of missionaries, situations in difficult contexts such as Venezuela and Central America, the issue of apostolic vicariates, the situation of the Conference in the Southern Cone, and the experience of the PCO 2018.

The work of UCLAF whose president was Br. Juan Medina (Holy Gospel, Mexico), ended with a final message for the participants which reported on what was agreed.

The challenge to the movement, to going forth, to prophecy, to a return to our first love, a grateful looking back over 50 years of history, and trust that the Lord is calling us to walk with the people, opens a new phase of the story of UCLAF.

To read Br. Julio Bunader’s Homily for the Celebration of UCLAF’s 50th Anniversary (in Spanish), click here.