The First Gathering of European Capuchin Post-novices and Students
“Concordes Spiritu Volabimus”
Rome. “It would be really great if all of our young post-novices and students in Europe could spend some days together.” These words of the General Minister, uttered during the September 2016 meeting of the General Council, were the inspiration of the first gathering of all the post-novices and students of Europe, which saw the participation of about two hundred young friars in formation, together with their formators and coming from almost every Capuchin circumscription of Europe. The meeting took place from July 8 to 12, 2018 at our International College ‘San Lorenzo da Brindisi.’ The motto of the gathering: Concordes Spiritu Volabimus – “In the Spirit we shall soar in harmony.”
The meeting was prepared by representatives of the post-novices and students themselves from the various European circumscriptions. With orderliness, creativity, and youthful enthusiasm they identified the points that characterized the gathering: prayer, listening, sharing, witness, ideas for the future. Each was treated in an atmosphere of fraternal joyfulness.
On Sunday, July 8, the day for arrival, right away it was clear how well things were going. Following vespers, all gathered in the piazza of the Collegio to offer one another a delicious supper made up of foods that each group had brought from their own land.
On Monday morning the General Minister, Br. Mauro Jöhri, recounted different episodes from his twelve years of service. He brought us from the island of Cape Verde to Kenya and then back to Austria. Br. Mauro told us about how the friars, by their life and work, witness to the strength and beauty of a life given to the Lord and the brothers.
In the afternoon Brothers Charles Alphonse and Jaime Rey presented on the Ratio formationis, highlighting the points of interest to young men in formation. Then Br. Pio Murat, General Council, presented on the ‘Fraternity for Europe’ Project and the criteria of its inspiration. Two friars from the fraternity of Spello (a small town about 10 km from Assisi), which is part of the Project, also spoke. Br. Ivan Scicluna introduced the young friars to the fraternity and Br. Wojciech Głowacki, the guardian, shared on what it has meant for his own vocation to live there.
On the morning of Tuesday, July 10, the group made their way to Assisi. There, in the city of St. Francis, Br. Štefan Kožuh, General Vicar, presided at the Eucharist in the Shrine of Renunciation. Then almost everyone went together to venerate the tomb of St. Francis and to pray for all the brothers of the Order. Then the Provincial Minister of Umbria, Br. Matteo Siro, welcomed everyone to a nice lunch at the Domus Laetitiae. The pilgrimage concluded with some time for prayer at the Portiuncula.
On Wednesday, July 11, Br. Hugo Mejía Morales, General Councilor and General Secretary for Missionary Animation, spoke on the theme of evangelization ad gentes. He also presented the initiative of ‘Capuchin Volunteers,’ which calls volunteers to work with our friars in mission lands. Br. Paweł Szymala, Delegate of Turkey, spoke on our presence in that country, where the Church is not recognized and is subject to various restrictions and control. Br. Carmelo Saia, chaplain of Ucciardone prison in Palermo, spoke and presented a video on what it means to bring the gospel to the incarcerated. The morning concluded with a Mass at which Br. Francisco Neri, Rector of the International College, presided. In the latter part of the day there was some time to visit the Eternal City.
For the final half day of the gathering on Thursday, July 12, the friars gathered in groups to make an evaluation of the meeting. The General Minister presided at the Mass.
Our special thanks go to the friars of the International College for their cooperation and generous assistance in the preparation of the event.
The days of the meeting
Conferences and homilies
- 9 VII 2018 – Br. Mauro Jöhri - conference
- 9 VII 2018 – Br. Charles Alphonse and Br. Jaime Rey – Ratio formationis
- 9 VII 2018 - Br. Pio Murat – Fraternity for Europe
- 10 VII 2018 – Br. Štefan Kožuh – homily
- 11 VII 2018 – Br. Hugo Mejia Morales – Missioni
- 11 VII 2018 – Br. Francesco Neri – homily
Br. Pietro Paolo Sarraco OFMCap
Br. Jakub Haracz OFMCap
Br. Piotr Zachciał OFMCap