21 Oct From the Minister General: October 2019 Update of Progress to Recovery
My dear Brothers of the Order,
May the Lord give you peace!
I am pleased once again to have the opportunity to write to you to provide an update regarding the rehabilitation process in which I am involved. On October 15, I visited the orthopedic surgeon who performed the initial operation to reconstruct part of my pelvis, the acetabulum. According to the X-rays, the bone is slowly knitting itself back together, thanks to your prayers and support, to a program of rest and non-weight bearing for the left leg, and, of course, to the thirty-one screws and two plates that help hold everything together. I must continue to avoid putting weight on my left leg at least until the end of the month of November. If all goes well, I should be able to slowly increase weight on the left leg through the month of December. I continue to go to physical therapy three times a week to work on muscle strength, flexibility, and overall strength.
One concern remains: whether there is sufficient cartilage in the joint of the left hip to allow for free movement of the head of the femur in the pelvic joint. There are no tests to determine this. It will be revealed as I put increasing weight on the left leg and slowly recover the ability to walk without the assistance of a walker or crutches. There is a possibility that at some point I might require a second surgery to do what is called a total hip replacement should the cartilage have been severely compromised. Please keep this special intention in your prayers.
During this time of convalescence, I have received so many messages of support and care from you my dear Brothers, from Brothers of the other First Order, from our dear Poor Ladies of the Second Order, and from members of the Order of Secular Franciscans. I am so grateful to each of you, and to others who have expressed concern and offered spiritual support to accompany my rehabilitation.
As we follow the Special Synod of Bishops on the Amazon, let us remember to keep the people of the greater Amazon basin region in our prayers. While the Church discusses issues vital to the future survival of indigenous peoples, of the environment in the region and the global implications of not taking care to protect it, and the future of evangelization and the Church’s mission, detractors continue to challenge the orthodoxy of Pope Francis, the local Church in the nine countries, and that of the people of God who have, despite all of the obstacles they face, remain faithful to the teachings of Jesus Christ handed on to us through the Apostles. Let us pray that God who is all merciful and gracious might help all who profess faith in Jesus Christ, who are members of the Church, and other Christians to move from a mere verbal profession of our faith to actually putting it into practice in our lives. Pope Francis’ encyclical on integral ecology, grounded in a biblical and theological vision consistent with the teaching of the Church, continues to inspire even as it challenges. This is especially true for those of us who profess faith in Jesus Christ and who follow the example of St. Francis of Assisi who recognized the inter-connectedness of all things that begins and is sustained by God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a relation of Trinity expressed, according to our own St. Bonaventure, in and through the created universe.
Let us also pray for our Franciscan members, for the Church and for the people of God in countries where civil unrest and conflict are dividing people, resulting in the destruction of life and property. Let us remember in a special way Haiti, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, South Sudan, Egypt, Sudan, Benin, the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong, Syria, and other parts of the world in need of our prayer and our solidarity.
May God continue to bless each of you my dear Brothers of the Order, and all members of the Franciscan family. Let us pray for one another as together we strive to put into practice our faith. I wish to once again express my deepest gratitude to Bro. Julio Bunader, Vicar General who is acting in my place, to the members of the General Definitorium, to the secretary general and to all Ministers (Provincials, Custos, Presidents) who daily lay down their lives for their Brothers.
Wishing you all of God’s spiritual blessings!
Chicago, October 18, 2019
Fraternally yours in Christ and St. Francis,
Br. Michael A. Perry, OFM
Minister General and Servant
Prot. MG 150/19