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CIOFS> Meeting of the Conference of the Franciscan Family

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  • Richard C. ofs
    SECIOFS wrote:À: ciofs-en@yahoogroups.com De: SECIOFS Date: Fri, 05 Nov 2004 10:48:08 -0500 Objet: [ciofs-en] ENGLISH: CIOFS-L, Year 10,
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 5, 2004
      SECIOFS <ciofs-l@...> wrote:
      À: ciofs-en@yahoogroups.com
      De: SECIOFS
      Date: Fri, 05 Nov 2004 10:48:08 -0500
      Objet: [ciofs-en] ENGLISH: CIOFS-L, Year 10, N. 45, 2004

      C I O F S LIST

      SFO International Council - Weekly edition

      Volume: 10 - N. 45 - 2004 - November - I

      From: CIOFS Bulletin, 2004, N. 6

      The Franciscan Family
      Meeting of the Conference of the Franciscan Family
      The Conference of the Franciscan Family
      Executive board meeting of the C.F.F.



      Encarnacion del Pozo

      The Conference of the Franciscan Family (CFF) met from the 2nd - 4th April 2004 for its normal Easter session. This time it coincided with the Holy Year of Compostela. We met therefore in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, thus bringing an atmosphere of penance and pilgrimage to our work. We were welcomed with brotherly generosity by the OFM Province of Galicia and its Minister, Fr. Jose Gonzalez.

      This year we had a little more time at our disposal which allowed us to renew personal acquaintances, to pray together, to live in fraternity, and to face our responsibilities with less anxiety and stress.

      At our meeting we received the Statutes of the Conference of the Franciscan family, approved by the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life. By this the Conference was awarded with recognition and its own juridical personality in the Church.

      The Secretariat of the CFF underwent some changes, as agreed upon. The former Secretary, Brother Mario di Capua SFO, has been succeeded by Fr. Stefano Recchia, OFM.

      This year's President, Fr. Ilija Zivkovic TOR, reported on the first and satisfactory meeting of the Executive Council whose aim is the implementation of the decisions taken by the Conference. The Council is made up with a representative of each one of the components of the Conference. Representing the SFO are Alfonso Petrone or Antonio Barone. Taking into account our secularity, they will alternate in order to facilitate our presence.

      The CFF :

      • was informed by Sr. Carola Thoman, President of the CFI – TOR and by Fr. John Corriveau, Minister General OFM Cap, of their meeting with the Executive council of Franciscans International in Geneva during the time of the plenary assembly of Human Rights. They showed their satisfaction for the way in which the new Council is working, the relationship and understanding they have among themselves, and the solidity of their plans. All of this merits our confidence in them. They pointed out some of the things which must be improved in the future. The energy of Franciscans International must not be expended solely on the UN, but must especially be used for animating the Franciscan Family in the field of Human Rights and in matters of Justice and Peace. It must simplify its structure and have only one center of reference, it must diminish its functional expenditure.
      • approved a letter of greeting and support for the SFO on the occasion of the twenty fifth anniversary of the approval of the Pauline Rule.
      • initiated the drafting of a letter for the closing of the 750th anniversary of the death of Saint Clare.
      • will sent out a circular to the leaders of the nations and to all men and women of goodwill, inviting them to live and to promote the values which are fundamental to peace, reconciliation and forgiveness. The date set for this initiative is October 4, 2004.
      • agreed to make a pilgrimage to the Holy land, possibly at Christmas time 2005, with the purpose of supporting our Brothers who are there offering the Franciscan testimony of their own lives. It will also be a sign that making a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, which is so afflicted in these concrete moments of our history, is to open the pathways of love, hope and pardon. With these sentiments we propose to follow the “Map of redemption” (Paul VI) in a spirit of penitence and also of celebration, friendship and fraternity.

      We closed our meeting with a celebration of the Eucharist in the tiny chapel where the remains of the apostle are kept. We did this in an intense spirit of prayer and spirituality. It was here that we had the opportunity to thank the Lord for the blessings we had received during this gathering and for the spirit in which we had lived it.


      Santiago de Compostela, 5th April 2004

      To the Brothers and the Sisters
      of the Secular Franciscan Order

      Dear Brothers and Sisters,

      May the Lord give you peace!

      The reason for sending you this short message is the coming 25th anniversary of the approval of the Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order by Paul VI. It was on the 24th June 1978, in fact, that the Pope signed the Apostolic Letter «Seraphicus Patriarcha» through which he approved the new Rule of the SFO, one of his last official acts before his death.

      In remembering that extraordinary gift of the Pope, we wish to express to the Lord our gratitude and joy for the many gifts generously given to the Secular Franciscans of the whole world, who have accepted and lived the charism of the Seraphic Father.

      The SFO is living a new spring today: it is more aware of belonging to the Church, to its own Order, to the Franciscan Family and to the world, where it is called on to give, through its life, active and coherent witness to the charism received.

      We live in a time torn apart by social, political and religious divisions and many peoples suffer war, terrorism and violence and do not find a way of peace: the Secular Franciscans, in these our times, are precisely called to be witnesses to communion, solidarity, hope and peace, to be men and women capable of «courageous choices» in order to give to the world a radiant face that can only be constructed by beginning again from Christ.

      During this significant 25th anniversary of the Pauline Rule, we wish you, Brothers and Sisters of the Secular Franciscan Order, a new beginning from Christ in walking in unity under the guidance of the one Spirit, in opening up to dialogue and the acceptance of all and in rediscovering the «fraternity» as a privileged place and springboard for a commitment in the world.

      Each Secular Franciscan should be aware of his/her mission and of being, personally, a sower of Peace and a witness to true Fraternity.

      Fr. Ilija Zivkovic' - Minister general TOR - President
      Fr. José Rodríguez Carballo - Minister general OFM
      Fr. Joachim Giermek - Minister general OFMConv
      Fr. John Corriveau - Minister general OFMCap
      Encarnación del Pozo - Minister general SFO
      Sor Carola Thomann - President CIF - TOR


      Antonio Barone

      The first reunion of this new board took place on March 5, 2004. The board was established with the new Statutes of the CFF (Conference of the Franciscan Family). The meeting was chaired by the President of the Conference, Fr. Ilija Zivkovic, General Minister TOR. After prayer and the welcome remarks from the General Minister, the order of the day followed: Visibility must be given to the CFF by publishing texts, letters, documents. Mario Di Capua, former executive secretary of the CFF delineated the functions of the Executive Council, explaining the absence of Poor Clares in the CFF due to the lack of a centralized structure that can represent them, beyond the issue of the papal enclosure. Regarding the calendar of the initiatives to be carried out, the importance was emphasized, in this first phase, to know and to make communion between us, and then going on to the next operating phase. The role of the Executive Secretary, who must act as liaison between CFF and the Executive Council, is very important. It will be more beneficial to carry ahead a small number of concrete initiatives, like letters of congratulations to the SFO for the 25th anniversary of the Rule, and to the Poor Clares for the centenary of St. Clare. After finishing the arguments of the day’s agenda, the delegates closed the meeting with a supper, in a climate of fraternal sharing, thanks to the fraternal welcome given by all members of the General Curia of the TOR.

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