Election of the Minister General of the OFS

The XVI General Chapter of the Secular Franciscan Order was held in Rome from 13 to 21 November. Then, on 17 November, in the presence of Brother Massimo Fusarelli, OFM Minister General, the new OFS Government was elected for the next six years by the 57 Capitulars.

During the celebration of Mass, Brother Massimo began his homily by saying that “the Collect Prayer, which opened our celebration, asked for the grace to recognise Christ in the poor and needy: to be able to recognise is a gift that comes from God, as St Francis says in his Testament: ‘the Lord granted to me…’. He added that the cry of the Gospel on the feast day of St Elizabeth made the Chapter members remember that ‘being blessed means receiving a grace, among others also that of being able to recognise Christ in the needy’.

Concluding his homily, Brother Massimo invited the Chapter members to be passionate about Christ, love reality, listen to the voice of God and “allow themselves to be transformed by the presence of the Lord….. in prayerful listening to the word of God: it is here that we can be gradually transformed by the power of the Spirit to become diligent and tireless in charity.

For the next six years, the Chapter elected Tibor Kauser, Hungary, and Mary Stronach, USA, to serve as Minister General and Vice-Minister General, respectively. Together with them were elected the Councillors of the Presidency: for Asia-Oceania Francis Park, for Francophone Africa and Islands Adolph Assagba, for English and Portuguese Africa Eremenciana Chinyama, for Northern Europe Dina Shabalina, for Southern Europe and Mediterranean Noemi Paola Riccardi, for North and Central America Ana Maria Raffo, for South America Noemí Diana Silvia and for YouFra Luis Feliz Chocojay.

With the theme of the General Chapter “to animate and guide with a leadership of service”, the new Minister and his Council commit themselves to the mission of animating the great Secular Franciscan Fraternity in the world by living “the Gospel in the style of the Poverello, in the world, sine glossa and taking the Gospel as the form and rule of life”, as Pope Francis urged when he received all the Capitulars in audience on 15 November 2021.