Visit to the friars of Australia and New Zealand

Following their recent visit to Papua New Guinea, Br. Michael Perry, Minister General and Br. Greg Redoblado, Definitor General, went on from there to visit Australia and New Zealand. On the east coast of Australia is Padua College, Kedron, Brisbane, which is a primary and secondary school for 1,300 boys administered by the friars, one of whom still ministers in the school. During the visit of the Minister General the Opening Mass of the Academic Year was celebrated by Archbishop Mark Coleridge, and after the celebration Br. Michael addressed the faculty and students.

Moving south to Sydney, Br. David Leary made solemn profession into the hands of the Minister General at a celebration in St Francis Church, Paddington. While in Sydney Br. Michael also celebrated Mass for the aged, senior and jubilarian friars at Waverley, where the Provincial Curia is also situated, and where Brs. Michael and Greg met with the Minister Provincial, Paul Smith, and the Provincial Definitory. They also met the friars at Boxhill, Melbourne, but not before they had enjoyed visits to the Poor Clare monasteries in the Sydney area.

In New Zealand they met various Congregational Leaders as well as the Apostolic Nuncio and members of the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference who happened to be having a meeting at the Franciscan Retreat Centre in Mount Roskill, Auckland.

Throughout his visit Br. Michael spoke about a number of issues; 1) The general situation of the Order and the signs of growth in the East and South; 2) the Order’s Financial Crisis; 3) the daily challenges of prayer, fraternity, minority, solidarity with the poor and care for creation; 4) Aging friars in Australia and other entities; 5) Vocation promotion; 6) Collaboration between all of the Franciscan entities in Asia-Oceania.

The friars in Australia and New Zealand spoke about being truly inspired by this visit and were grateful to Br. Michael and Br. Greg for spending substantial time in listening and sharing with the brothers.