‘As Capuchins in the service of the Church’ was the theme that guided the meeting of fifty-six Capuchin bishops, invited by the General Minister to Assisi, and held from September 12 to 15 at the Domus Laetitiae. All the brothers of the General Council also participated.
The first day opened with the presentation of the participants. In addition to the statistical data from their dioceses, the brother bishops also shared on the challenges that face them in their pastoral ministry. The witness of the bishops highlighted the significant work going on in various parts of the world, where the announcement of the gospel has to deal with secularization, poverty of every kind, violence, and corruption. The General Minister concluded this first part of the meeting by noting that our bishops too continue to do what Pius XII said of the Capuchins: “They go where nobody wants to go.”
Br. Mark Schenk, General Councilor, presented on the statistics of the Order as well as on certain issues of an economic kind that affect what is being done in the areas of solidarity and formation.
The topics that were offered inspired interest and participation. Fr. Dario Vitali, professor at the Pontifical Gregorian University, treated, “On the way toward rewriting Mutae relationes”, emphasizing how the ecclesiological aspect is fundamental for setting up right relations between bishops and religious. On the second day, by the expressed will of the General Minister, there was a roundtable on the theme, “Ius Commissionis – What is the future for the vicariates entrusted to the Capuchin Order? This topic was enriched by the interventions of Bishop Paul Hinder (Vicariate of Southern Arabia), Bishop Angelo Pagano (Vicariate of Harar, Ethiopia) and Bishop Ernesto Romero (Vicariate of Tucupita, Venezuela).
Paolo Martinelli, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Milan, offered a reflection entitled, “Religious in the particular Church.” The first part of the talk described the consecrated life in the Archdiocese of Milan and was followed by a sharing on certain theological and pastoral questions regarding the relationship between religious and a particular church.
The Eucharist was celebrated in places that are meaningful for our history. Mass on the first day was celebrated in the Shrine of Renunciation in Assisi, recently entrusted by the bishop to the Capuchins of the Umbrian Province. The Provincial Minister of Assisi, Br. Matteo Siro, presided. On September 14, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, the group traveled to La Verna, where they were welcomed fraternally by the OFM, who organized a guided visit to the Shrine. Cardinal Seán O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston, presided at the Mass. On the final day the General Minister presided at Mass at the Basilica of St. Francis.
The atmosphere of the gathering was fraternal and cordial. Many of our brother bishops expressed a lively gratitude to the General Minister for having called them together in Assisi for this moment of listening and fraternal sharing, and asked that the initiative be repeated regularly in the future. The hospitality of the personnel of the Domus Laetitiae was attentive and friendly. Particular thanks go to the General Secretary, the brothers of the General Curia, and the translators, whose work made the meeting a success.
Watch the videos:
- Opening of the meeting – General Minister
- Pilgrimage to La Verna
- Mass at the Basilica of St. Francis
- Meeting of Capuchin Bishops – Assisi 2017
Message of the Capuchin Bishops to young Capuchin friars
- Card. Sean Patric O’Malley OFMCap - In English
- Thaddaeus Ruwa’ichi OFMCap - In English
- Calogero Peri OFMCap - In Italian
- In Spanish
Text in Italian – Homily of Cardinal O’Malley – Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
Download the text
- Shrine of Renunciation
- 2017.09.14 – 15.
- La Verna – the Mass
- La Verna - Visit
- Basilica of St. Francis