On May 8, 2022, at the Capuchins’ Seminário Santo Antônio, Serra de São Pedro (state of São Paulo - Brazil), the First Pan-American Meeting of the Capuchins was brought to its conclusion. In a mood of emotion and gratitude, the General Minister Br. Roberto Genuin, with a majority of the General Council, blessed the 80-plus participants including provincials, custodes, delegates and other participating friars, sending them back to their circumscriptions with a renewed commitment to "rekindle the flame of the Capuchin charism in the Americas" as the powerful experience of these days of encounter had testified. The commission was symbolized by the lighted candle that each one carried in his own hands.
There were eight days of vibrant fraternity and prayer, of reflections and decisions that will surely yield a strong impact on the American continent and throughout the Order. The proposals approved in relation to mission, formation, and collaboration between circumscriptions will be pivotal toward a much more pronounced presence, which will undoubtedly have a strong impact on the service we render to the Church, as well as to the promotion of vocations due to our present-day efforts of living our Capuchin charism with greater authenticity. This meeting was the culmination of a journey of more than three years, with local chapters, online and face-to-face meetings that involved the circumscriptions and conferences throughout the Americas.
Ultimately, it involved almost all the brothers and gave everyone the opportunity to express their feelings, desires and suggestions. During the process in fact, the first results began to appear: although the pandemic forced us to revise our calendar and tailor our approach, it proved to be an opportunity for ripening and deepening the adopted themes. It was very important to see over the border that separates North and South America – both the linguistic and cultural barriers – and to discover that we are brothers of the same charism, with similar challenges and with a great desire to collaborate in our Capuchin Presence, even if at times in smaller ways, always with greater meaning and authenticity in the Church of this immense pair of continents.
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