Comunicato of the General Definitory March 2016

The Minister General and Definitory met at the General Curia for the Tempo Forte of 7th – 18th March 2016.

The Minister and Definitory shared some information on their various activities since the January Tempo Forte, and devoted a lot of time to planning their activities for the coming sexennium, especially the meetings with the individual Conferences. This will be communicated to the Presidents at the meeting in May. A good deal of time was also devoted to the question of personnel in several of the houses and Entities dependent on the Minister General.

In the course of the two weeks, the Definitory managed to deal with more than 121 different files (plichi) covering a whole range of administrative matters that included dispensations from temporary vows, the ratification of extra-capitular elections, and the approval of candidates to be elected in the forthcoming Provincial Chapters.

The Definitory received updates and progress reports from the General Treasurer’s Office, from the General Secretariat for Missions and Evangelisation, from the General Secretariat for Formation and Studies, and from the Office of Justice, Peace, and the Integrity of Creation. In addition, the Procurator General, Br Lóránt Orosz, and the Secretary of the General Procuration. Br Priamo Etzi, presented the annual report of the activity of their office.

During the two weeks, reports were also presented to the Minister General and Definitory by Br Klaudiusz Michalski, Delegate General for the Foundation of St Francis of Assisi, in Russia and Kazakhstan, and by Br Massimo Fusarelli, Delegate General for the six Provinces of Northern Italy which will become a single new Province in May of this year.

Some Provinces have already celebrated their Chapter and the Definitory ratified the election of some new Ministers and Custodes. These included:

  • Br. Algirdas Malakauskis, Minister Provincial of the Province of St. Casimir, in Lithuania.
  • Br. Robert Mokry, Minister Provincial of the Province of Christ the King, in Canada.
  • Br. Gianni Gattei, Custos of the Custody of St. Francis in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

The extra-capitular election of two other new Ministers was ratified:

  • Br. João Amilton dos Santos, Minister Provincial of the Province of St. Anthony, in Brazil, to succeed Br Carlos Alberto Breis Pereira, who had been named as Coadjutor Bishop of Juazeiro.
  • Br. Juan Manuel Muñoz Curiel, Minister Provincial of the Province of Saints Francis and James in Mexico, to succeed the late Br Rodolfo Hernández Medrano, who died unexpectedly in February.

The Definitory elected a number of Visitators General who will visit the Provinces in the coming year:

  • Br Luis Fernando Lapièrre Revuelto, of the Province of the Assumption of the BVM, in Argentina, as Visitator for the Province of Saints Francis and James, in Mexico.
  • Br Greg Friedman, of the Province of St. John the Baptist, USA, as Visitator for the Custody of St. John the Baptist, in Pakistan.
  • Br Daniel Dwyer, of the Province of the Holy Name of Jesus, USA, as Visitator for the Province of Ireland.
  • Br Andrew Brophy, of the Province of the Assumption of the BVM, USA, as Visitator for the Province of the Holy Spirit, in Australia and New Zealand, to replace Br Michael Johnson, who had to withdraw for personal and family reasons.
  • Br Philip Forker, of the Province of Ireland, as Assistant to the Delegate General of the Province of St Thomas the Apostle, in India.

Several Reports submitted by Visitators General were also presented and studied by the Definitory. These included:

  • The report on the visitation of the Province of St. Casimir, in Lithuania, by Br Sandro Overend.
  • The report on the visitation of the Custody of the Sacred Heart, in Brazil, by Br Edilson Rocha.
  • The report on the visitation of the Province of the Immaculate Conception, in Brazil, by Br Nestor Inácio Schwerz.

The General Chapter 2015 decided that study guides be prepared for certain matters. These include a guide to living “as poor and lesser ones” (decision n. 8), and a guide to “the care of creation”: a first draft of each of these two guides was presented and studied by the Definitory. A further draft will be examined in the next Tempo Forte.

In the light of the comments of the Juridical Office, the Minister General and Definitory approved the updated Particular Statutes of the following Entities:

  • The Province of St James of the Marches, in Italy.
  • The Province of Our Lady, Queen of China, in Taiwan.
  • The Province of Our Lady, Queen of the Angels, in Poland.

The Tempo Forte ended on 18th March, just in time to begin Holy Week. Since then, of course, we have celebrated the Sacred Triduum and are now enjoying the light of Easter. May the light of the Risen Christ shine brightly on all the brothers!

31st March 2016

Aidan McGrath ofm
Secretary General