During the November Tempo Forte, which took place from 3 to 19 November 2021, the General Definitory also met with many Brothers who are serving as Visitators General (15-19 November).

During the first session of the meeting, Br Francisco GOMEZ VARGAS, General Secretary for Evangelisation, offered a reflection entitled: “Franciscan Evangelisation and the Synod”. This was inspired by the document prepared by the same Secretariat, “The Kingdom of God is at hand: guidelines for Franciscan missionary evangelisation”. Br Francisco recalled that “the strongest and most decisive element of the Franciscan concept of evangelisation is its intrinsic union with evangelicalism. Being evangelical is a sine qua non condition for effectively spreading the Gospel”.

During the Tempo Forte, the General Definitory appointed Br Vjekoslav MILIČEVIĆ as personal secretary to the Minister General and the members of the following Commissions and Councils:

  • Juridical Commission of the Order, Br Claudio DURIGHETTO (President), Br Chryzostom FRYC and Br Nikolaus SCHÖCH;
  • Commission for hierarchical appeals to the Minister General, Br Claudio DURIGHETTO (President), Br Chryzostom FRYC and Br Michele SARDELLA;
  • Commission for Prayer and Devotion, Br Fabio César GOMES (Coordinator/President), Br Hieronimus DEI RUPA, Br Gerard EVANS, Br Emilio ROCHA GRANDE, Br Antony JUKES and Br Paolo ZAMPOLLINI;
  • Commission for the Service of Dialogue, Br John WONG (Coordinator/President), Br Eleuthere BAHARANY MAKUTA, Br Alberto MARFIL, Br Stéphane DELAVELLE, Br Lorenzo RANIERO and Br Alberto Joan PARI;
  • Commissio Internationalis de Re Œconomica (CIRE), Mr Wilmer SMEENK (President), Mr Les QUICK, Br John PUODZIUNAS, General Bursar, Br Jimmy ZAMMIT, General Definitor and Br Trevor D’SOUZA, OFM, (Province of St Thomas Ap., India);
  • Management Board of the OFM Fraternitas Foundation Br Giovanni RINALDI, President, Br Franco MIRRI and Mr Marco LOMBARDI (JonesDay, Milan).

Assisting the Guardian of the Casa Santa Maria Mediatrice, Br Maciej OLSZEWSKI, Br Salvador BURGOS LEÓN was elected as Vicar and Br Claudio DURIGHETTO, Br Evodio JOÃO and Br Alvin PARAS as Discreets. The General Definitory is still looking for new personnel for some services to be carried out in the Houses dependent on the Minister General and motivated volunteers for service in the Projects of Life and Mission dependent on the Minister General.

In collaboration with the General Secretaries for Formation-Studies and Mission-Evangelisation and the JPIC Animator, the document Let us begin, Brothers! Guidelines for the sexennium 2021-2027 was drafted, and the specific Statutes of the General Office and the International Commission for the Safeguarding of Minors and Vulnerable Adults were approved.

In dialogue with the General Bursar, Br John PUODZIUNAS, the Definitory analysed the budget for the year 2022 and dealt with the various economic and financial issues that need to be reviewed and decided.

The General Definitory welcomed and listened to:

  • Br Markus HEINZE, Executive Director of Franciscans International, who presented the nature, activities and objectives of the non-governmental organisation for human rights of the Franciscan Family (;
  • Br Siniša BALAJIĆ presented the work of the Development Office of the General Curia, whose working method has been fully revised and reorganised since July 2020;
  • Br Franco MIRRI, Director of the OFM Fraternitas Foundation, briefly outlined the nature, purpose and functioning of the newly established Foundation while presenting the report of the fundraising activities carried out so far and the six-year budget forecast drawn up in 2019. In particular, Br Franco focused on the final balance to September 2021 and the forecast for 2022.

On 6 November, the General Definitory studied the UNIFRA Project, that is, a single Franciscan University in Rome. Participants included Br Agustín HERNANDEZ, Rector of the PUA, Br Stephane OPPES, Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy, Br Giuseppe BUFFON, Dean of the Faculty of Theology, Br Carlo Esteban SALTO SOLA, AVEPRO Project coordinator for the PUA and Br Darko TEPERT, Secretary General for Formation and Studies.

The Candidates for the service of Minister for the following Provinces were approved:

  • Immaculate Conception BVM, in Brazil;
  • Holy Cross, in Brazil;
  • Saint Casimir, in Lithuania.

Br Fuad Miguel HILAL, of the Province of San Francisco Solano, Argentina, was elected Visitator General to the Missionary Province of St Anthony in Bolivia.

The Reports on the conclusion of the General Canonical Visitation to the Provinces of Arantzazu, Spain, and St Leopold, Austria and Italy, were presented and studied.

The following cases of departure from the Order were dealt with:

  • Indult of exclaustration for one year: 1
  • Indult of exclaustration for three years: 3
  • Dispensation from temporary vows: 1
  • Dispensation from solemn vows: 6

Information concerning a case of allegations of graviora delicta was forwarded to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

From 15 to 19 November, the General Definitory met with the following friars who are serving as Visitators General: Jerry BLEEM, Fabio CATENACCI, Paolo FANTACCINI, Marcello GHIRLANDO, Jozafat Roman GOHLY, José GONZALÉZ Gwidon, Grzegorz HENSEL, Thomas HRASTNIK, Francesco IELPO, Jeronym Frantisek JURKA, Stanislaw Josef MAZGAJ, Noël MUSCAT, Miro RELOTA, Ivan SESAR, Angelo Maria SOLINAS, William SPENCER, Marcel TSHIKEZ KANGWEJ, Boze VULETA, Alojzy WAROT. The meeting was rich and fruitful and helped us overcome the fears we all have in this pandemic.

From 13 to 17 December 2021 and from 10 to 28 January 2022, the General Definitory will meet for the Tempo Forte sessions scheduled in the six-year calendar.

To the praise of Christ and the Poverello of Assisi. Amen!


Rome, 9 December 2021

Br Giovanni Rinaldi, OFM
Secretary General