General Minister Visits the Province of San Felipe de Jesús in Mexico

From July 6 to 9, the General Minister, Br. Michael A. Perry visited the brothers of the San Felipe de Jesús Province, in southeast Mexico, accompanied by Br. Ignacio Ceja, General Definitor.

The Province was born in the year 1996 when it separated from the Province of the Holy Gospel. It has 52 solemn professed, 21 temporary professed and 9 novices. The General Minister met with the brothers in the cities of Cancún, Izamal and Tenosique. He was able to dialogue with the provincial Definitorium, the guardians and temporary professed Friars and their formators.

In the city of Izamal, on June 7, he met with the solemn professed brothers. There he received the official welcome by Br. Fidel Ojeda, provincial Minister, and after listening to some facts about the history of the province and of the challenges it faces, he spoke with the brothers about the current state of the Order, changes that are taking place in the world and the Order, and the challenges posed by such changes to our lives. He urged them to live in faith: “We, Friars Minor, do not always act as if our lives, our communities, our Church and the world that surrounds us, belong to God and are blessed and guided by the Holy Spirit.” They warned the brothers of the temptation of the appropriating things, people, places, roles; he admonished them against clericalism which does harm to the Church and also the life and service of the brothers. He reminded them of our call to live in ongoing conversion, our vocation to service, to going out to the margins, to the meeting of the poor. He also asked them to put their daily relationship with the Lord at the center of their lives, to nurture the quality of brotherly ties and their mission as brothers of one family.

At night, Br. Michael presided at the Eucharist and gave the habit of St Francis to a group of six candidates who entered the novitiate as well and welcomed 12 young people who began their postulancy by giving them the Tau.

On July 9, in the town of Tenosique, near the border with Central America, the General Minister visited the home-shelter for immigrant People called The 72, which, since its foundation in 2011, has welcomed more than seventy thousand people. He greeted immigrants present there, and spoke with the directors and other volunteers. He also heard some testimony of the painful experiences of the immigrants. He commended the volunteers for the work they do, encouraging them to continue knowing that, with their determination, in addition to the support of so many people they are laying the foundations of a new civilization of love. Finally, he underlined the importance of The 72 as a place privileged for the training of the Friars Minor and, in dialogue with the provincial Minister, he agreed to propose it as a space for formation and service for the brothers of the various entities of the order.

Finally, to conclude the visit to the brothers of the Province, in the agro-ecological farm, dependent on the Home for migrants, the general Minister planted a ceiba tree sacred to the ancient Maya, whose height and large roots, make it a symbol of the union of the Sky with the Earth and sign of life of greatness, goodness, strength and union.