The Minister General, Br Massimo Fusarelli, accompanied by Br Albert Schmucki, Definitor General of the area, visited the Province of Our Lady of Hungarians in Hungary from 22 to 26 May 2023.
At the end of the visit, the friars expressed their joy at welcoming the Minister; among them, Br Lajos Kruppa, a student friar, testified: "We were truly impressed by his closeness to the people. In Br Massimo, we got to know a very open person, noting how the Minister several times left his papers, with prepared speeches, to converse directly with us, listening with great attention".
Another friar, Br Quirin Kóta, was impressed by the dialogue and the topics discussed to "find the meaning of our personal life in ourselves and respond to Jesus according to the Gospel. The clarity of our vocational choice and fidelity can also become important signs for others, as the Second Vatican Council tells us".
The Franciscan presence in Hungary dates back to 1225-1226, and the first Minister Provincial was Blessed Albert of Pisa. The present Province is the result of the merger in 2006 of two Hungarian Provinces. It has 96 friars dedicated to pastoral service in parishes and shrines and education in schools and kindergartens. In addition, the friars are involved in the support centre for autism and for those excluded from society, such as gypsies, and in social services to help the elderly, in charity and care centres for disabled children. They are also active in the world of culture with the Interreligious Theological Faculty affiliated to Sant'Anselmo in Rome. An important commitment of the Province is the mission in Transcarpathia (in Ukraine, with a centre in Vinogradivi). In addition, some friars of the Province serve in the Holy Land, Rome, Peru and Australia.
Special thanks to Br. Jeromos Balázs for the information received and the valuable cooperation provided.