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Meeting with the friars of Asia and Oceania (FCAO)

Manila (Philippines), 7 – 13 April

09 April 2024

History is taking place in Manila, Philippines. In an unprecedented moment for the Franciscans in Asia and Oceania, the General Definitory led by our Minister General, Br Massimo Fusarelli, OFM, and the Officials General of Formation and Studies, Missions and Evangelization, and Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) meet the friars of the Entities of the Franciscan Conferences of Asia and Oceania (FCAO). 

The FCAO is a group conference for the East Asia Conference (EAC) and the South Asia, Australia, and Oceania Conference (SAAOC). Representatives of the general animation offices actively participate in the meetings with their corresponding provincial and conferential counterparts within FCAO.

The Philippine Province of San Pedro Bautista, with support from the EAC and SAAOC Entities, is hosting this gathering from April 7 to 13, 2024. The purpose of the week-long event is to encourage collaboration and joint discovery of the Order’s strengths in administration, formation, mission, and justice in this part of the world. To achieve this objective, the assembly will feature a range of activities and meetings, both formal and cultural.

On April 7th, the fraternal occasion opened with a glimpse of the exciting days to come, staying true to its world-famous brand of Filipino hospitality. The Minister Provincial of the host Province, Br Gregorio Lino Redoblado, OFM, presided over the opening Mass, which fell on the 2nd Sunday of Easter, designated as Divine Mercy Sunday by the Church. 

In his homily, Br Gregorio emphasized the dynamic relationship between our missionary activity and the peace-making effort in the context of Asia and Oceania, saying, “…as Franciscans and especially here in Asia, where there are obvious cultural and religious differences, divisions, conflicts, and violence due to economic inequality and ecological exploitation, our mission is one of peacemaking (shalom) and reconciliation (hesed).” 

After the Mass, the participants were provided with a program and orientation to inform them about the activities that would take place in the coming days and to give them an idea of the comfort that comes with Filipino hospitality. The best way to experience this hospitality was through a fraternal dinner, a blend of Filipino and Western cuisine. The food tasted even better with the friars’ smiles, endless conversations, and laughter. They made the event enjoyable, fostered camaraderie, and created fraternal connections.

This gathering has been witnessing the magnificent power of fraternity, unity, and collaboration, which can pave the way for a brighter future for our Order in this part of the globe.

With the contribution of Franciscan Communications Philippines

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