The General Definitory in Thailand and the Philippines — Meetings with the Ministers and Custodes, Mission Secretaries, and Young Friars of Asia and Oceania

On February 10th-15th, 2019, the Minister General, Michael Perry, OFM and his General Definitory met with the ministers of the two conferences of Asia and Oceania at Baan Phu Waan Pastoral Training Center, Sampran, Thailand. A total of twenty-two (22) ministers came for the occasion, as well as six secretaries and coordinators (Formation & Studies, JPIC, and Missions & Evangelization), representing both conferences. Br. Carolo Ho from the Province of the Holy Korean Martyrs is president of the East Asian Conference (EAC), Br. Yusuf Bagh from the Custody of St. John the Baptist, Pakistan, is president of the South Asia, Australia and Oceania Conference (SAAOC), and the joint conference is known as ‘the Franciscan Conferences of Asia and Oceania (FCAO)’. Our General Statutes mandate that the Government of the Order should meet all the Conferences at least once during its six-year term in order to promote sharing and effective consultation as regards questions of greater importance and the direction of the Order, and to deal with matters that concern the life of the Friars, including collaboration and solidarity among entities (cf. GGSS 202).

After the meeting in Thailand, the Minister General and Definitors proceeded to the Philippines to join in the last two days of the Asia, Australia, Oceania “Under 10” gathering being held at St Paul’s Retreat Center, Alfonso, Cavite, from February 16th-18th. Around 40 young friars from Asia, Australia, and Oceania participated in the meeting. The theme was “Young Asian Friars in a Radically Changing World”. The Minister General gave a talk entitled, “The Franciscan Challenge of Going to the Peripheries”, and there was also time for dialogue and interaction — not only with the Minister General, but also with the General Definitory.

On February 18th, the Minister General and Definitors met with the approximately 60 friars and lay missionaries gathered for the Asian Mission Congress held at the Carmelite Retreat House in Tagaytay, Cavite, Philippines. The Minister General gave an address on “Re-telling the story of Jesus in Asia”.

Finally, from February 18th-20th, the Minister General and the General Definitor for Asia and Oceania made an official visit to the friars of the Province of San Pedro Bautista, Philippines.