The General Definitory met with the Provincial Ministers of COTAF

At the Ohrbeck retreat house in Germany

23 March 2024

From the 18th to 21st March 2024 the General Definitory met with the Provincial Ministers of COTAF at the retreat house in Ohrbeck in Germany. The Definitory thus continues the series of meetings with the Provincial Ministers of the various Conferences of the Order. 

On the 18th March in Düsseldorf there was a meeting with the local fraternity and with the Firminus Haus solidarity work, accompanied by Br Jürgen and the other friars of the house. During the meeting with the conference, the General Definitory was able to learn about the reality of each Province and the prospects for the future. 

Br Cornelius Bohl presented the social and religious reality of Germany in particular, with elements common to the rest of Central and Northern Europe. The process of post-secularization is greatly accelerated and propels the Churches and religious life to a profound revision of its life and mission.

We recognized this as a providential way to continue to live the Gospel in these realities. There was also talk of the possible future prospects of Provinces that are aging rapidly and that must think of new ways to continue the life of the Order in these lands. It was recognized that for this reason boldness is needed to open new paths, beyond the simple maintenance of what exists. 

In his homily on Wednesday morning to the Provincial Ministers, the Minister General recalled how the heart of the animation and governance to which we are called remains the Gospel and the charism of St. Francis: this is the centre that helps to discern the choices to live today as Friars Minor in their respective realities. 

During our visit to the city and the Archdiocese of Hamburg, we were able to deepen this thought and also share the mission of a Church that wants to continue to look to the future that the Spirit inspires. The path of dialogue and collaboration between the Conference and the General Government of the Order continues with these steps towards the future.

Download the Minister General's speech.

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