Minister General: Back in Rome after Recovery

My dear Brothers,

May the Lord give you peace!

I wish to confirm reports about my return to the General Curia. It is good to be back “home” and to once again resume the duties entrusted to me by the Lord and by you my brothers.

Throughout the period of my rehabilitation, I felt strongly the presence of you my brothers who were praying for me constantly. Thanks to those brothers in the General Curia, and all who reached out through emails, letters, and fraternal visits. I fear I have not responded to all those who wrote to me. Please accept this note as a sign of my gratitude for your loving care for me.

I also wish to thank the Poor Ladies (Poor Clares), the Conceptionists, and members of the Franciscan family for your prayerful support. May God bless each of you as you follow the evangelical vocation to which you have been called.

A special word of thanks goes to Br. Julio Bunader, the Vicar General of the Order, who together with the General Definitory provided guidance to the Order during my absence. May God bless each of you and strengthen always our collaboration and communion as we serve the Order.

The doctors in Chicago did an excellent job putting the pieces of my bones back together. I am now walking with a cane, which is only temporary. I have been able to walk for up to three hours at one time, exercising and stretching the muscles in the left leg, which bore the brunt of the impact of the bicycle accident. It is my hope that soon I will be able to walk without any assistance, and, eventually, to get back to riding a bicycle.

Yes, I am still a bit ‘crazy’.

The time of rehabilitation provided me an occasion to reflect on my own life and vocation, on the life of the brothers of the Order, the Church, and world, and to ask questions about where we are heading as a band of Lesser Brothers in radically changing times. I was able to meet with several friars, a biblical scholar and a theologian, to begin to lay out a plan for preparing what is entitled the “Report of the Minister General to the Brothers of the Order.” It is my hope that this report, which I plan to forward to the Order by the end of November 2020, will provoke serious reflection, analysis, discussion, the emergence of ideas and concrete proposals to help prepare us to embrace the future with intelligence, courage, hope, and joy, in the spirit of Laudato si’. Clearly this involves reflecting on an integral, ecological vision grounded in relationship with God, the brothers, with all of humanity, and with the created universe. To this end, I urge all brothers of the Order to continue to study and dialogue about the materials contained in the various documents that have been produced during these past nearly five years, most especially on the Final Document of the 2018 Plenary Council that took place in Nairobi, Kenya.

May God bless each of you, my brothers, as you strive each day to live in deep friendship with God; as you express in simple, concrete ways your commitment to the values of fraternity and mission; and as you – as we – dream together the dream God has for the future of the Order of Friars Minor.

 

Rome, 27 January 2020

 

Fraternally yours in Christ and St. Francis,

Br. Michael A. Perry, OFM
Minister General and Servant