COMPI and the General Definitory meet in Loreto

The President of COMPI, br. Claudio Durighetto, described the week of meetings between the Conference of Ministers Provincial of Italy & Albania and the Minister General Michael A. Perry with his Definitory as “an experience of communion”.  The meeting took place at a Franciscan retreat house, “La terra dei fioretti”, Loreto, from April 9th – 14th, 2018.

The gathering was an important opportunity for the friars to engage in mutual listening and dialogue. The program was wide-ranging, with some topics of particular interest, such as the current reality of the Provinces and Custodies that make up the Conference, as well as presentations of various projects that the Order’s General Government is pursuing.

The conversations took place in a fraternal atmosphere, with some topics attracting more attention and arousing in the participating friars a desire to know more about the current state of the Order. Space was also devoted to listening to reports about important initiatives in the Conference such as: “Abraham’s Tent“, a community in Favara di Agrigento, Sicily, that offers hospitality to refugees; the new hermitage fraternity in Casacalenda di Campobasso, Molise; and the dining room for the poor in Milan. In addition, the Ministers Provincial and General Definitors visited Treia friary in the Marches, a formation fraternity badly hit by the recent (2016) earthquake.

The number of brothers present increased considerably on Friday, when friars of the Conference in Temporary Profession and in the first seven years of Solemn Profession came to meet the Minister General and Definitory. Br. Michael’s presentation emphasized the beauty of discipleship, highlighting the close link between vocation as a personal response to God’s call and life in fraternity. There cannot be an authentic relationship with the Lord without a genuine relationship with the brothers.

In the afternoon the young friars were divided into small groups to share, reflect, and answer the questions that the Minister General put to them: What motivated you to begin living the Franciscan way of life? What robs us of the joy of following the Lord, and what disappointments have you experienced in your personal journey? What, on the other hand, restores peace, enthusiasm, and authenticity? What do you see as the future for your Province and the Order?

The friars’ answers revealed a great sense of belonging to the Order, and a desire to give of themselves in the cause of the renewal of our Franciscan charism.

At the conclusion of the meetings on Saturday, deep gratitude to God was expressed, asking the Lord for the strength to nourish communion so as to continue to walk together as brothers and witnesses to the truth of the Gospel.