The meeting of the CECOC (The Capuchin Conference of Central and Eastern Europe) took place from May 31 until June 4, 2021 at the retreat house of the Capuchin Friars in Tenczyn, Poland.
The members of the CECOC gathered on Sunday evening, with everyone taking special note of the great joy that came with finally being able to meet face to face after several previous meetings that took place online. The meeting was centered on a fraternal sharing among the provinces and custodies of the Conference regarding the impact that Covid-19 has had on them. The various participants described the heroic acts of their confreres, who courageously served on all fronts where help was needed due to the pandemic.
A meeting on formation in the Order, particularly in the CECOC, took place the following morning, chaired by Br. Tomasz Protasiewicz, member of the General Formation Commission.
The Vice-Procurator, Br. Alfredo Rava of the General Curia, in various of sessions offered guidance to the new provincials (and review for those who were veterans in leadership) on how to address various difficulties concerning fraternal life in concordance with Canon Law and with the Constitutions. He brought up examples like expulsion from the Order (votes from provincial council, rights and duties of the provincial minister and custos, etc.). He then patiently fielded many questions that were put to him by the friars.
Thursday is usually dedicated to an excursion, but in Poland, June 3rd is the national holiday of Corpus Christi. Therefore, we participated in a great procession organized by the Capuchin Friars of the parish of Tenczyn. It was a powerful experience for everyone to see the devotion of the Polish people in the presence of Christ in the Eucharist. During the procession, the children scattered flower petals before the Blessed Sacrament. The procession was punctuated by music played by the fire brigade, while people sang. Afterwards, all were invited to a festive dinner as one family in faith.
Meeting participants: Br. Aleh Shenda (Belarus), Br. Marcin Grec (Bulgaria), Br. Witold Wisniewski (Latvia), Br. Piotr Komorniczak (Lithuania), Br. Marek Miszczyński (Poland-Krakow), Br. Łukasz Woźniak (Poland, Warsaw), Br. Leon Budau (Romania), Br. Dismas Tomaštík (Czech Rep.), Br. Primož Kovač (Slovenia), Br. Norbert Pšenčík (Slovakia), Blažej Suska (Ukraine and Russia), Br. Marco Faccioli (Hungary), Br. Piotr Stasiński (General Councilor of the CECOC) and Br. Bonaventura Zmatek (CECOC secretary).
For various reasons, Br. Ryszard Zielinski (Sweden) and Br. Juro Šimič (Croatia) were not able to attend.
Hopes are that the next meeting will take place in Częstochowa, Poland.