Franciscans in Russia: Celebrations of the 25th Anniversary of the Franciscan-Catholic School

From 11-15 November 2019, the friars of the St Francis of Assisi in Russia Foundation, dependent on the Minister General, gathered together in Novosibirsk, in the centre of Siberia, to share some days of deep fraternity. This is something which rarely happens because of the immense distances between the Fraternities of the Foundation (which are located in St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk and Ussurijsk). The friars dedicated the first days to a retreat on the theme of ongoing formation: “The identity of our charism”. Then, half a day was given over to proposals for the revision of the “Particular Statutes” of the Foundation and, above all, to the celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the “Birth of the Lord” Franciscan-Catholic School directed for twenty-four years by Brother Corrado Trabucchi.

There are only two Catholic schools in the whole of Russia, and one is from our Order. In addition to the friars of the St Francis of Assisi Foundation in Russia, the celebrations were also attended by the Bishop of the “Transfiguration” Diocese of Novosibirsk, Monsignor Joseph Werth, many religious men and women, the teaching and non-teaching staff, some parents, some former students and, of course, the students of the current classes. And it was these students who staged a beautiful show about St. Francis that opened the festivities.

Several people sent their best wishes to the School, including the Bishop and the friars of the Foundation. During the final moment of prayer, the President of the Foundation, Br Stefano Invernizzi, read out a beautiful message of good wishes sent for the occasion by the Minister General, Br Michael A. Perry and Monsignor Werth gave all those present the seraphic blessing of the Minister General.

The Bishop presided over a solemn Mass in the parish of the “Immaculate Conception”, not far from the School, to thank the Lord for these ‘first’ twenty-five years. His Excellency, Monsignor Werth, thanked the friars for their presence in the Diocese and Brother Corrado for his commendable work in the School.