Franciscan Friars in Chapter

Franciscan Friars in Chapter was jointly created to prepare for and re-experience the centuries-old events that led to the Pardon of Assisi (celebrating its 800th Anniversary in 2016) and the Papal Bull “Ite vos” (celebrating its 500th Anniversary in 2017), with the goal of planning an even more significant future together.

This initiative was accepted and disseminated by the four Ministers General of the Order. It is being proposed simply as a possible pilot experience for friars who might want to organize similar courses around the world.

We are now at point where we hope everyone is convinced that an authentic and profound reconciliation between the Franciscan families will let us more powerfully and clearly give witness to the charism of Francis and Clare.

Continued meetings, dialogue and prayer between all of the Friars Minor will yield the fruit of peace and evangelization. By taking this path, we hope create space for prophetic prospects and initiatives that can specifically be developed into one (or more) “missionary” realities which can be lived in communion.

Enlighten the Darkness of My Heart

Ite vos: An inhabited memory for walking together towards the future



  1. The text A Path for Walking Together and Growing in Common Vocation and Franciscan Mission (2015/2018). These are the guidelines for 2015-2018, set forth by the Franciscan Friars in Assisi Coordination Group. Its ultimate goal is increased creative fidelity to the charism together with a more powerful and affirming way of giving witness.
  2. The text of Ite vos. Since it is not believed to have ever been translated into Italian, we think we have done a commendable cultural service. Our warmest thanks go to Friars Bruno Pennacchini and Umberto Occhialini from the St. Mary of the Angels community, for undertaking the not so enjoyable task of translating the text from Latin.
  3. A historical study entitled Retracing the Events of ITE VOS. Hopes Dashed by the BULLA UNIONIS, written by Friar Luigi Pellegrini, OFM Cap. We asked Friar Luigi to give us a summary of the events which played a role in the Order’s situation in 1517 and their consequences; whether they are recognized as factors of success or failure.
  4. A theological study entitled The Essential Elements of the Theology of Vita Consecrata Today for a Re-reading of History, written by Friar Alceo Grazioli, TOR. This is the summary of a joint effort started by a group of theologians: the Most Reverend Paolo Martinelli, Auxiliary Bishop of Milan; Sr. Simona Paolini, FMGB; Friar Domenico Paoletti, OFM Conv.; and Friar Giancarlo Rosati, OFM. We asked this committee to show us the essential elements of the theology of Vita Consecrata today, beginning with the vision of Vatican II, of which we are all children. It is through these qualifiers that we want to look and interpret the facts of the past.
  5. These two studies are followed by a guide sheet for group discussion. It indicates the areas of discussion we will confine ourselves to in order to keep debate focused on the two historical and theological essays.
  6. Another essay included in the folder is an article by Fr. Luciano Bertazzo, OFM Conv., called: For the Vocation and Mission of the Franciscan Friars in the Church and in the Contemporary World: An Inhabited Memory. Friar Luciano prepared the article as a summary of a joint effort started by a group of historians: Friar Luigi Pellegrini, OFM Cap., Friar Giuseppe Buffon, OFM, and Fr. Mario Sensi. It offers a useful avenue for interpreting the facts of the past from a theological perspective, for understanding their meaning in our lives, their role in the development of our charism and the possible paths we might take. In fact, as we have indicated in the subtitle of our assembly: An inhabited memory for walking together towards the future.
  7. Based on that essay, we ultimately decided to offer Guidelines for a Common Path. We want to initiate a process of reconciliation between us. With suitable preparation, we will testify to our fraternal love on July 11, 2016, five-hundred years after the publication of the papal brief Romanum Pontificem (July 11, 1517). We have selected three moments that local Franciscan communities from the same ministerial territory can share together over one or more days: The Three Stages of the Memory.

“Generalissimo” Chapter of the Franciscan Friars in Umbria


The two important anniversaries in Franciscan history that are coming up, the 800th anniversary of the “Pardon of Assisi” – which we are presently celebrating and which will close on August 2 of this year, and the Fifth Centenary of the Bull of Pope Leo X Ite vos of 1517, also called Bolla unionis but which instead produced our separation, gave further impetus to the desire to walk together and grow in our common vocation and mission.

In 2015 – the year dedicated to consecrated life – the friars in Umbria began a journey of four years that proposed to the friars the first step of memory, to highlight and better understand the meanings of events, even conflicting events. But above all to arrive in 2016 – Jubilee year of forgiveness – to a mutual request for forgiveness and joyful welcome in mercy. The event celebrated with all General Ministers last July 11, commemorating 500 years of the publication of brief Romanum Pontificem (July 11, 1517) was a concrete manifestation of reconciliation and testimony of brotherly love.

This year the journey continues with a sort of “Synod” of the Franciscan Families. From May 29 to June 2, 2017, there will be a “Generalissimo” Chapter to symbolically fulfill, 500 years from Ite vos, the convocation of the chapter – never celebrated – contained in the 1517 letter of Pope Leo X.

Representatives of the Franciscan Friars of Umbria (Minors, Conventuals, Capuchins and TOR) will participate at the event, an experience of brotherly communion aimed at growth in creative fidelity to the charism that the Lord has given to the Church through Francis of Assisi, and combined with increased common witness to the Gospel in today’s world. The program involves talks including those of the Bishops of the Dioceses of Umbria and the important participation of the Ministers General of each of the four orders.


Colle Cappuccini, 10 – Foligno (PG)
Tel. +39 0742 350262

For the detailed program of the “Generalissimo” Chapter:

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