Minister General visits Montenegro and Albania

During these days, the Minister General, Br Massimo Fusarelli, is visiting the fraternities of Montenegro and Albania, following an extensive programme of meetings, listening and contact with the local community.

Br Massimo arrived in Montenegro on 2 May, where he was received by the Delegate of the Minister General for Albania, Br Ivan Sesar, and the Custos, Br Pashko Gojçaj.

The first stop was at the Catholic Spiritual Centre of Sukruq. The visit continued in the premises of St Francis Church, the kindergarten and the rooms for the various meetings. The Minister met with the local community and the Archbishop of Bar, Monsignor Rrok Gjonlleshaj.

On the second day, the Minister General visited the shrine of St Anthony in Laç (Albania), where he led the Mass at 11:00 am. “Visit to the Friars of the Custody of Albania. Yesterday in Montenegro and today in Laç, the shrine of St Anthony: a place of encounter with God for all Albanians” are Br Massimo’s words on the occasion of this memorable trip.

The following day, the Minister visited various places in and around Shkodra. First, Br Massimo visited the Poor Clare Nuns of the Second Franciscan Order (the only Poor Clares working in Albania). After greeting the sisters, he visited the premises of the former prison, where many of the Franciscan martyrs were imprisoned and tortured.

The Minister met the Archbishop of Shkodra-Pult, Monsignor Angelo Massafra, as a sign of friendship, support and brotherhood. He then went with the friars to the “Buka e Shna Ndout” soup kitchen, where, for several years now, the poor have been offered a hot meal every day.

The last stop was at the Custodial Curia in Gjuhadol, where an assembly was held with all the friars of the Custody. Br Massimo invited all the brothers to remember the ideals and messages given by the Seraphic Father St Francis, one of which is harmony and cooperation among the friars, as the only way to advance in holiness and justice and to bear abundant fruit.