Comunicato of the General Definitory November-December 2015

The General Definitory met between 9th and 20th November, on 7th December, and again between 14th and 18th December. In the aftermath of the General Chapter, this was a period of particularly intense work, with the appointment of many commissions, delegates and other officials. In addition, during the second week of the November meeting, the Definitory met with 25 recently named General Visitators.

In the course of its sessions, the Definitory examined a total of 137 files (plichi) coming from all over the world, and dealing with a wide variety of administrative issues. During the first week of the November meeting, the General Definitory was joined by Br Bill Short, Secretary of the General Chapter 2015. He consigned to the General Definitory the Acts of the Chapter and helped with an initial review of the Chapter. The feedback from the capitulars was shared with the Definitory. This is a theme to which the Definitory will return.

The General Treasurer gave an update on the current financial situation of the General Curia and the houses directly dependent on the Minister General. The major offices for the animation of the Order – the General Secretariat for the Missions and Evangelisation, the General Secretariat for Formation and Studies, and the Office of Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation – all gave updates on their own activities and their programming for the coming years. The Definitory itself devoted quite an amount of time to planning out its own activities – fixing the dates, for example, of the Tempi Forti from 2016-2021.

Among the Commissions that were appointed are the following:

  • The Commission for Recourses to the Minister General: Br Aidan McGrath, Br Jorge Horta Espinoza, Br Priamo Etzi.
  • The Juridical Commission of the Order: Br Aidan McGrath, Br Jorge Horta Espinoza, Br Nikolaus Schöch, Br Priamo Etzi.
  • The Council for Economic Affairs: Br Julio Cesar Bunader, Br Valmir Ramos, Br Antonio Scabio, Br John Puodziunas.
  • The Commission “Prayer and Devotion”: Br Julio Cesar Bunader, Br Gerald Evans, Br Diego Dalla Gassa, Br Emilio Rocha Grande; with consultants Br Eugenio Barelli, Br Andre Cirino.
  • The Council of the Minister General for the dependent houses: Br Sandro Overend, Br Otmar Egloff, Br Ambrogio Nguyen Van Si, Br Eulalio Gómez Martínez, Br Mícheál MacCraith, Br Witosław Sztyk.
  • The Commission for Collegio S. Isidoro: Br Cesare Vaiani, Br Mícheál MacCraith, Br John Puodziunas, Br Johannes Freyer, Br Caoimhín Ó Laoide, Br Valmir Ramos; as consultants: Br Lóránt Orosz, Br Silvio De La Fuente.
  • The Liturgical Commission of the Order: Br Sandro Overend, Br Albert Beckhäuser, Br Ferdinando Campana, Br Francisco Martínez Fresneda.
  • The Commission for Extraordinary Financial requests: Br Franco Mirri, Br John Puodziunas, Br Julio Cesar Bunader, Br Valmir Ramos.

To assist the Minister General, the following Delegates and “links” were appointed:

  • For the Fraternity of the General Curia: Br Julio Cesar Bunader.
  • For the Fraternity of the International College of St Anthony, and the Fraternity of Blessed Gabriele Allegra, in Rome: Br Ivan Sesar.
  • For the Fraternity of the Penitentiaries at St John Lateran: Br Lóránt Orosz.
  • For the Fraternity of Collegio S. Isidoro: Br Valmir Ramos.
  • For the Fraternity of Notre Dame des Nations, Brussels: Br Luis Gallardo.
  • For the Fraternity of the General Secretariat for the Franciscan Missions, Waterford, USA: Br Caoimhín Ó Laoide.
  • For the Custody of the Protomartyrs of the Order, in Morocco: Br Nicodème Kibuzehose.
  • For the Foundation Notre Dame d’Afrique, in the Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville): Br Nicodème Kibuzehose.
  • For the Foundations of Sudan and South Sudan: Br Nicodème Kibuzehose.
  • For the Foundations of Thailand and Myanmar: Br Lino Gregorio Redoblado.
  • For the Foundation of St Francis of Assisi, in Russia and Kazakhstan: Br Klaudiusz Michalski.
  • For the Foundation of Blessed Giles of Assisi, in Palestrina and Istanbul: Br Russel Murray.

The brothers of the Fraternities in the Amazon Project will be accompanied by a Commission composed of the following: Br Ignacio Ceja (Coordinator), Br Valmir Ramos, the Secretary General for the Missions and Evangelisation, and the Director of the Office of Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation. The Pontifical University Antonianum, in Rome, will be accompanied by the Secretary General for Formation and Studies. The Custody of the Annunciation in Albania and Montenegro will continue to be accompanied by Br Lovro Gavran.

The General Definitory elected the following General Delegates for Entities which are facing a change of status:

  • Br Piet Bots, of the Province of the Holy Martyrs of Gorcum, in the Netherlands, was appointed to accompany the Custody of St Francis, Herald of Peace, in Indonesia, in its desire to become a Province.
  • Br Danilo Tremolada, of the Seraphic Province of St Francis of Assisi, in Italy, was appointed to accompany the Province of Saints Peter and Paul (Rome) and Saint Bernardine of Siena (Abruzzo) in their process towards unification.

Br Enzo Maggioni of the Province of St Charles Borromeo, in Italy (Milan), was appointed as General Visitator and President of the Chapter for the Province of St Michael the Archangel, in Italy (Foggia).

In the course of the Sessions, a number of reports were studied. These included:

  • The report of Br Saul Zamorano who conducted the canonical visitation of the Fraternity of Blessed Gabriele Allegra, in Rome.
  • A report from Br Boby Vadakkal, Visitator General of the Custody of St Francis, in Papua New Guinea.
  • The report of Br Giacinto D’Angelo who conducted the canonical visitation of Collegio S. Isidoro.

The internal situation of a number of Entities is causing a great deal of concern. The Minister and General Definitory spent some time reflecting on these situations in dialogue with the respective governments.

The General Chapter made some modifications to the General Statutes of the Order and entrusted the final redaction of the text to the General Definitory. These modifications were promulgated by the Minister General with his decree of 8th December and will come into force on 19th March 2016.

After the final session of the December Tempo Forte, the Minister and Definitory joined the brothers of the Fraternity of S. Maria Mediatrice, along with all those who work with us at the Curia, for Vespers and a celebratory meal.

19th December 2015

Aidan McGrath ofm
Secretary General