The intense meeting sessions of the General Definitory took place from 1 to 20 September 2021.

The first three days were intended to assist the members of the Definitory in getting to know each other, with the facilitation of Dr. Raffaele Mastromarino. Br. Aidan McGrath contributed to deepening our understanding of the tasks of governance and animation.

As of 6 September the planning work for the six-year period began, through an in-depth study of the definitive drafting of the Final Document of the 2021 General Chapter and of the Mandates and Orientations entrusted by the General Chapter to the General Definitory for processing. Some operational guidelines have in fact been drafted that will be shared with the Secretariats and Offices of the Curia, in order to be able to further define them during the Tempo Forte of November and thus be able to offer them to all the Friars of the Order.

The Definitory met with all the staff of the Secretariats and Offices and, as already announced, carried out the elections of the three Secretaries, the Procurator and the Guardian of the Curia, and to the appointment of other staff for the Offices of the Curia, confirming other personnel. The process for the restructuring of the Communications Office was also initiated, within the broader project for the reorganization of the infrastructure of the General Curia.

Each Definitor has been assigned responsibility for Conferences of the Order.  A Definitor or each house dependent upon the Minister General and for the Missionary realities dependent upon the Minister General has been named.

The General Office for the Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Adults was established. Br. Albert SCHMUCKI, Definitor General, was named Director.  He will be joined immediately by Br. Isauro Ulises COVILI LINFATI, Vicar General.  It is foreseen that other members will be called to serve in this Office.

Provision was made for preparing the work for the final drafting of the General Statutes, including the amendments approved by the General Chapter. The text will be promulgated starting from 29 November 2021.

The acts of the elections that took place both during the Chapters of some Provinces and the respective Capitular Congresses, and in extra-chapter sessions were ratified.

The following general Visitors were elected:

– Br. Edwin de Jesús ALVARADO SEGURA for the Province of San Felipe de Jesús, in Mexico;
– Br. Marcel TSHIKEZ KANGWEI for the Province of the Incarnate Word, in West Africa;
– Br. Darko TEPERT for the Pontifical Academy Mariana Internationalis, in Rome;
– Br. César KÜLKAMP for the International College of Saint Anthony, in Rome;
– Br. João Carlos KARLING for the Custody of Saint Benedict of the Amazon, in Brazil;
– Br. Valmir RAMOS for the Province of San Francisco de Quito, in Ecuador;
– Br. Noel MUSCAT for the Province of St. Thomas the Apostle, in India; who will be joined by Br. Michael D’CRUZ, as Assistant.

The Minister General will go to the Custody of the Martyrs of Morocco and personally carry out the canonical visit to the Friars of this Entity dependent on him.

Furthermore, Br. Caoimhín Ó LAOIDE was appointed Delegate General for the unification process of the six US Provinces, while the Vicar General, Br. Isauro Ulises COVILI LINFATI as General Delegate to follow and offer support to the Province of San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador.

On the basis of the positive experience of the General Chapter and after evaluating all the different aspects, it was decided to hold in person meetings at the General Curia both with the General Visitors, from 15 to 19 November 2021, and with the new Provincial Ministers and Custodes, from 19 to 28 January 2022.

The following cases of separation from the Order were handled:

– Indult of exclaustration for one year: 2
– Indult of exclaustration for three years: 2
– Dispensation from temporary vows: 1
– Dispensation from solemn vows: 4
– Secularization ad experimentum: 2
– Dispensation from duties deriving from priestly ordination: 5

The information concerning two cases of accusations of graviora delicta was forwarded to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The celebrations at La Verna on the occasion of the Solemnity of the Stigmata of St. Francis, were attended by the Minister, the Vicar and three Definitors. Then on the 18 and 19 September the General Definitory went to the House of Franciscan Religious of Sant’Antonio at Ariccia, for a fraternal meeting for feedback on the most recent session of Tempo Forte. The brothers were also able to celebrate the first Vespers of the 25th Sunday of ordinary time with the Poor Clares at the Monastery of Albano.

The last working session took place on 20 September 2021. The focus of this meeting was to address outstanding administrative matters.

On October 13, an extraordinary meeting of the General Definitory will take place. The next ordinary session of Tempo Forte will be held from 3 to 19 November 2021, and will include an “in person” Meeting with the General Visitors at the General Curia (15-19 November).

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


Rome, 5 October 2021

Br. Giovanni Rinaldi, OFM
General Secretary