15 May The OFM Fraternity in Numbers (Year 2016)
The number of Friars Minor, as of December 31, 2016, are 13,302. Some details: Postulants, 608 (not counted above); Novices, 385; Temporary Professed, 1496 (fratres cum optione clericalei: 1129; fratres sine optione clericali: 150; fratres sine optione: 217); Solemn Professed, 11,300 (Priests: 8977; Permanent Deacons: 62; Friars with Clerical Option: 410; Lay Friars: 1851). Our Cardinal brothers (4) and Archbishops / Bishops (117) are 121. The number of friars who died during the course of the year, 303.
The Friars Minor have presences in 119 countries and are distributed thus: Africa and the Middle East: 1,234; Latin America: 3,257; North America: 1,194; Asia-Oceania: 1,487; Western Europe: 3,712; Eastern Europe: 2,418.
The Universal Fraternity is structured in 93 Provinces and 8 Autonomous Custodies; 8 Entities dependent on the Minister General; 19 Dependent from the Provinces; 14 Conferences of Provincial Ministers and 3 Conference Unions (Asia / Oceania: FCAO; Latin America: UCLAF; Europe: UFME).
Numbers do not constitute the most important element for assessing the quality of life. They cannot be considered “as something negative. In facing (this situation), we are invited to dig deeper into the roots of our vocational identity. We need to evaluate the way we are living the charism and how we are working with the laity so that we can continue to transmit the message of the Gospel.” (Fr. Michael A. Perry, Meeting in Aleppo, April 7, 2017)