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Joint CIME-CEME meeting in Turkey, 26 May - 2 June 2024

Br. Dennis in Istanbul to prepare the conference on the Ratio Evangelizationis of the Order

04 January 2024

From December 24 to 30, 2023, the General Animator for Missions, Br Dennis Tayo, went to Istanbul, Turkey to prepare for the convoked joint meeting of the International Council for Mission Evangelization (CIME) and the Executive Commission for Missions and Evangelization (CEME). This joint CIME-CEME meeting will be held from May 26 to June 2, 2024. With a theme “Having the Spirit of the Lord and His holy operations (Reg B 10:8) – an invitation to reflect on the proposed Ratio Evangelization for the Order (REO), given one’s context,” it aims to continue the synodal process of crafting the REO according to Mandate 20 of the 2021 General Chapter..

The joint CIME-CEME meeting will be held in Santa Maria Draperis, Istiklal Caddesi n. 215-P.K.243 34433 Beyoğlu – Istanbul, Turkey. Br Dennis Tayo with Br Eleuthere Makuta, Guardian of this Franciscan International Community, identified and discussed important concerns and needed preparations for this gathering. 

Istanbul is ideal because it is located midway from the places of origin of the thirteen Secretaries for Missions and Evangelization of the Conference (SMEC) and CEME members, who will be attending this landmark gathering. Moreover, our presence here being at the service of ecumenical and interreligious dialogue, fosters an avenue for the participants to witness dialogue with people of other faiths and religions. Hence, we agreed to conduct pilgrimages to mosques and churches, and exposure visits to the friars’ existing ministries (as pastoral care in the diocese, ongoing support for prisoners, Caritas, or other church-based charitable organizations, etc.) during this assembly, promoting “dialogue” as a way of doing missionary evangelization. Likewise, the needed amenities and facilities to accommodate all the participants considering the international nature of this gathering are well provided (due to its existing annual missionary formation courses), particularly with the availability of translators that can facilitate in-depth discussions.

Furthermore, the drafting of the REO is a dynamic, participatory process best expressed by the phrase, “a document in progress on a journey”. From a series of CIME-CEME meetings, and consultations from the different entities, the General Definitory approved the REO working structure draftedby the REO Commission of Experts. A questionnaire was already sent to the SMEC to solicit contributions from the friars in all the entities, based on this working framework. 

Therefore, we heed each one’s participation in answering the animation questions that will be forwarded to each entity's respective Secretary for Missions and Evangelization, through the SMEC. The ultimate goal of the REO  is to strengthen our unique charismatic identity by reinforcing shared values and principles, we identify and accept collectively as a universal “evangelizing missionary fraternity.

In the light of these shared thrusts that we hold important as an Order, each Entity or Conference, in turn, will make a particular statute that embodies them in the distinct contexts of its reality. The REO hopes to strengthen the different dimensions of our missionary evangelization. It challenges and appeals for a renewed impetus to do evangelizing missions, distinctively in the ways of our Seraphic Father Francis, always dialogical and responsive to the signs of time and the needs of the marginalized. In a milieu where dialogue flourishes, we hope to realize the important elements of the REO in Istanbul, Turkey.                           

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