Beyond the PCO —What Next?

It’s hard to imagine that only two days remain before the Plenary Council comes to an end! So the big question as we leave Nairobi is, what comes next?

The purpose of the Plenary Council, as expressed in article 194 of the General Constitutions, is to provide assistance to the Minister General and his Definitory in governing and inspiring the Order, to encourage deeper relationships and communication between the General Curia and the Conferences (and between the Conferences themselves) and to help prepare the next General Chapter.

The Minister General, on behalf of the General Definitory, assured the Council Members that the work of re-examining all of the reports from the Conferences, as well as the plentiful and valuable material that emerged during the PCO, would begin immediately following their return to Rome. Having studied all of the documentation, the General Definitory will then prepare a Plenary Council document for the entire Order.

It is quite likely that the General Definitory, drawing on the deliberations of the Plenary Council, will propose several initiatives for Order-wide implementation (e.g. responses to the reality of migration, to the challenges presented by Laudato Si, to evangelization and mission, etc.). These will help create a deeper sense of belonging to a worldwide brotherhood that is called to live and act as sharers of our Common Homeand missioned to promote integral human and spiritual development in a manner consonant with the Catholic Franciscan tradition and charism. Each of the delegates is also expected to be an ambassador of the PCO experience and to share the fruits of the gathering in their respective Conferences and entities.

“We must remind the friars that we are on a journey; itinerancy is not only a means for renewing our lives; it contains the seeds for this very renewal” said Minister General Michael Perry. “Without movement, whether internal (spiritual) or external (structural), there will be no conversion. It is that simple!”