Fraternal visit to the Province of Saints Francis and James in Mexico

From 25 to 31 May, the Minister General Br. Michael Anthony Perry made a fraternal visit to the Province of Saints Francis and James in Mexico, accompanied by the Definitor General Br. Ignacio Ceja.

Br. Michael firstly visited the brothers who are present among the indigenous peoples, Huicholes, Coras, Tepehuanes and Mexicaneros, in the heart of the Western Sierra Madre. In Santa Clara Mission, he spoke with eighteen of the brothers and with the missionary volunteers, as well as with other local lay people, with whom he shared the Eucharist.

The Minister General then met with the rest of the brothers of the Province in two groups, one at the headquarters of the Province in the city of Zapopan and another in the northern zone in the city of Monterrey.

Beginning with the words of Jesus in the Gospel of St. John, “remain in me, as I remain in you”, Br. Michael invited the brothers of this Province which is the second largest in the Order, with many young friars, to revitalise their consecration as a contemplative fraternity in mission every day. He also spoke to them about the situation of the Order in the various regions in which it is located, and the impetus given by the recently celebrated Plenary Council of the Order. He urged them to renew their consecration by keeping God at the centre of their lives, not moving away from the spirit of minority, living a poor, simple lifestyle, with a constant attitude of solidarity with the poorest and most excluded. He asked them to pay close attention to the theme of ongoing and initial formation today, inviting them to include a special year of missionary immersion in their initial formation programs. He asked for particular and constant attention to the emotional life of the brothers, strengthening fraternal bonds, to the accompaniment of the brothers on the part of the guardians and of each one of the brothers of a fraternity. Finally, he asked for the support of some brothers for the missions of the Order.

During his presence in the various places, the Minister General was able to greet and dialogue also with the friars in initial formation and with other members of the Franciscan Family: The Poor Clare Sisters, the Brothers of the OFS and YouFra and with representatives of congregations and movements of Franciscan inspiration.

On the last day of his visit, he greeted the President of the Mexican Episcopal Conference, Archbishop Rogelio Cabrera López, of Monterrey and met with the Provincial Definitory. He shared comments on some issues raised during the visit with the members of the Definitory, and on the lights and challenges that the Province faces. Br. Michael noted that during his meeting with the friars, he could feel their generosity, but also their thirst for a more profound spirituality and a more authentic fraternal relationship and mission.

We thank the Minister Provincial Br. Ángel Gabino Gutiérrez and the other brothers of the Province for their hospitality and warm fraternal welcome to us.