17 Jul Franciscan Conference of Asia and Oceania (FCAO) Ministers Meeting 2017
The meeting of Provincial ministers, Custodes, Foundation Presidents and Secretariat for Formation and Studies, Mission and Evangelization and JPIC of the Franciscan Conference for Asia and Oceania was held at Casa Monte Rosa, Puncak, Indonesia on July 10-14, 2017.
The meeting was graced by Lino Gregorio Redoblado, OFM, Definitor General for Asia and Oceania. The Minister General shared a message that was read by the Definitor General at the beginning of the gathering.
The Opening Liturgy was presided by Adrianus Sunarko, OFM, the Minister Provincial of Indonesia and bishop-elect of Pangkal Pinang.
One of the main agenda of the meeting is to select the delegates for the Plenary Council of the Order to be held in Nairobi, Kenya in June 2018. During the separate meeting of the conferences, the East Asia Conference ministers has selected Francis Lee Yong Ho, OFM (South Korea) and Reu Jose Galoy, OFM (Philippines) as councilors to the upcoming Plenary Council of the Order. Meanwhile, the South Asia, Australia and Oceania Conference has selected Anthoni Selvaraj, OFM and Johnson MV, OFM as their representatives for the Plenary Council of the Order.
The EAC website was also launched during the meeting.
At the end of the gathering, the 38 ministers and secretaries delivered this statement:
We, Provincial ministers, Custodes, Foundation Presidents and FCAO Secretariat for Formation and Studies, Mission and Evangelization and JPIC, thank the Lord for gathering us together in this beautiful mountain resort to deepen bonds of fraternal solidarity, to analyze the changing realities in Asia and Oceania, and to creatively explore new avenues for collaboration in order to respond to our “call to craziness,” as articulated by our Minister General, with creativity to a world and a Church desperately in need of dreamers, lovers, and prophets.
We formally embarked to reflect on the theme of the upcoming Plenary Council of the Order in 2018 which is “He who has ear, let him hear what the Spirit says…to the friars minor today” (cf. Ap 2, 29) as we also chose the councilors for this momentous event in the life of the Order.
We recognize that our primary identity as Franciscans is to live the Holy Gospel as a Fraternity in Mission. We want to give real witness through our communities to the fact that we are all brothers. We support the General Curia’s effort to formally acknowledge this reality by declaring our Order as a Mixed Institute.
Thus both ongoing and initial formation must focus on living our Franciscan life joyfully. The purpose of Formation is the development of our Franciscan identity as lesser brothers, rather than the clerical state.
We recognize that Mutual Accompaniment is a must for both ongoing and initial formation. We recognize that there are issues of loneliness, alcoholism and sexual abuse. Ongoing Formation is an integral part of our growth and that will make our Initial Formation more effective.
We recognize that the possibilities for mission in Asia is still large. We have thus far supported and continue to support the different missions in Asia such as Thailand, Myanmar, Laos & Cambodia.
RESOLUTIONS AS FCAO
As FCAO, we are resolved as follows
- To host the Mission Congress for Asia 2019 and to task the secretaries for Mission and Evangelization to commence the planning for this event.
- To create a blueprint for submission in the next EAC and SAAOC Meetings in 2018 regarding the feasibility of an Asian Franciscan Centre for Studies, Research and Missions. The committee will comprise the Conference Presidents and Secretaries of Formation and Studies, Mission and Evangelization.
- To revitalize our presence by supporting our own entities that are suffering from a lack of vocations (especially Taiwan, Japan, Australia-New Zealand) or that are in a fragile state, such as by exchange programs, with suitable selection and preparation of friars.
- To further our collaborations and to share resources in programs for ongoing accompaniment, esp. human growth & development/ wholeness & healing.
RECOMMENDATIONS TO PCO/ GENERAL DEFINITORY
- For there to be a careful feasibility study before engaging in any new projects of the Order, e.g. language, society and culture.
- For there to be a careful process of identification, selection, and preparation of missionaries for projects of the Order.
- To review the implementation of Ratio Formationis Franciscanae which emphasizes our Franciscan Identity as being primary to our vocation, and a movement away from clerical formation and ministries as being the default option.
As we end this gathering, we thank Br. Michael Perry, OFM, Minister General, for his message. We also thank Br. Lino Gregorio Redoblado, OFM, the Definitor General for FCAO, for his fraternal presence and contribution to our gathering. Finally, we feel very grateful to Br. Adrianus Sunarko, OFM, the Minister Provincial of Indonesia and bishop-elect of Pangkal Pinang, and the members of the Province of St. Michael the Archangel, for their hospitality and generosity to us in our gathering here in Indonesia.