“Life Goes On” in the Fraternity of Palestrina

Palestrina, Italy, 15.11.2015

The “European missionary community” of Palestrina (Rome) – which is part of the “Bl. Giles of Assisi” Foundation for Dialogue and Mission – currently consists of six brothers, four Italians and two Croatians (Friar Jacopo Pozzerle, Friar Paul Iorio, Friar Arturo Milici, Friar Maurizio Pagliari, Friar Drago Vujevic and Friar Marinko Klaic). Living with us, at the moment, are two brothers: a really nice Argentinian Friar Ariel Federico Amato, who is spending his sabbatical with us and Friar Antonius Duma from Indonesia, who is waiting for his visa to go to perform his service in the other “lung” of the Foundation, which is the community of Istanbul in Turkey. Friar Duma, in fact, is completing his thesis in Islamic studies, in order to engage in dialogue with Islam.

After the death of Giacomo Bini, we talked a lot among ourselves and we recovered our balance, so that the Palestrina community can continue its path, according to the mandate received by the Order at the time of its founding that of being a missionary community in secularized Europe.

To this end, we are thinking of two itinerant missions for next year. Together with the Minister and his Definitorium, we are also discerning the possibility of opening of a new presence linked to Palestrina outside Italy.

On Sunday, November 15, we had the joy of receiving the fraternal visit of Friar Michael A. Perry with whom we have had a very concrete and enlightening conversation. The Minister was accompanied by Friar Ignacio Ceja, General Definitor and Friar Alvin Te, of the Communications Office of the General Curia.

In one of the pictures you will notice the presence of a young Syrian couple (the wife is a Christian and the husband is Muslim) with their child. They were with us for a month and a half and now have left for another European country where they found work. Let me share with you the message which her husband sent us. I think they are words that can affect all of us, Friars Minor. These are the words of a Muslim, who does not know the “technical” definition of our charism as “brothers”, but has gathered the facts. His words we had an impact on us! Here they are: “Thanks to all of you. You are like my family. Thanks for always giving us your smile. I, now know new brothers. True brothers. I have spoken of you to my family in Syria. And they pray for you. ” As Giacomo said before he died … “life goes on!

Friar Jacopo Pozzerle
on behalf of the entire community