Meeting of OFM Conference Presidents

From 17 to 20 May 2022, the General Definitory’s meeting with the Presidents of the OFM Conferences is taking place at the General Curia in Rome.

The day began with the Eucharist presided over by Br Alirio Urbina Rodríguez, President of the Bolivarian Conference, who invited the brothers to have hope, commenting on the day’s readings. “Dear brothers, today we celebrate the liturgical memory of St. Paschal Baylon, a saint much loved and appreciated for his humility and love for the Eucharist. This Word illuminates our meeting of Conference Presidents. It gives us a good dose of hope amid situations of pain and harsh trials experienced in certain parts of the world where our friars are present“.

After Mass, the Minister General, Definitory and Presidents gathered in the Duns Scotus Hall to open the meeting with the presentation of the participants. Moderated by Brother Cesare Vaiani, General Definitor, the Presidents shared the life of the conferences, touching on the themes of initial formation, evangelisation and mission, restructuring and the safeguarding of minors and the vulnerable.

In the afternoon, the Minister General, as scheduled, presented the theme of the Chapter of Mats and Synodality: “We have a journey ahead of us, not to standardise our languages but to learn to listen to each other, welcome each other in our difficulties, and find and rediscover a common code to express the essence of our vocation today. Synod means walking together and listening to each other’s point of view: in the Order at the universal level to learn from each other. We want to listen to all voices, we want to do it with women and men of goodwill, with Franciscan women religious, with people who are also on the margins of the Church’s life or outside it, with people of other beliefs and faiths”.

The following Presidents are participating in this meeting:

Br Thomas NAIRN for the English speaking Conference – ESC, Br Lino Gregorio REDOBLADO for the EAC Conference, Br Fritz WENIGWIESER for COTAF, Br Paolo QUARANTA for COMPI, Br Teofil CZARNIAK for the NORTH-SLAVIC Conference, Br Marko MRŠE for the SOUTH-SLAVIC Conference, Br Francesco PATTON for the CUSTODY OF THE HOLY LAND, Br Daniel FLEITAS for the BRAZILIAN and CONO SUR Conference, Br Joaquín ZURERA RIBÓ for the CONFRES, Br Flavio CHÁVEZ GARCÍA for the Conference OF MEXICO, CENTRAL AMERICA AND CARIBBEAN, Br Alirio URBINA RODRÍGUEZ for the BOLIVARIAN Conference and, remotely, Br Siphelele GWANISHENI for the African Conference.