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Based on the recommendations of the Minister General, the General Definitory chooses a Friar to be the General Delegate to the II Order, to maintain contact with the Poor Clares. Simply put, the responsibility to be fraternal toward them, their monasteries, help out with any difficulties, make our Order present to them for spiritual assistance, and to create a climate of unity.
The Constitutions of the Poor Clares states in n.5: “Our Monasteries exist in close fraternal unity with the Order of Friars Minor Conventual…”; and in n.26: “following the spirit of St. Clare…, we ask assistance for all of our Monasteries from the First Order…” Francis affirms: “I desire and permit, on my part, and the part of all my Friars, to have a special care and solicitude for you as they do for themselves.” (the writings of Francis to Clare of Assisi).
The majority of the Italian monasteries are formed into a Federation as requested by the Holy See. Appointed by pontifical decree, the General Delegate performs the role of a Spiritual Assistant. What does this involve? Making sure the Federation maintains a genuine spirit of contemplative life. To assist, in the spirit of service, in guiding the Federation, concerning any major financial problems, and contributing to the solid formation of novices and professed. The role of the General Delegate also involves visiting the spiritually aggregated Institutes of the Order. Various Institutes (about 38, mostly women) have chosen to participate in the Franciscan experience and Franciscan spirituality in order to translate them to their own institutes.
These are tasks that require making visits and giving assistance whenever various needs may arise, then communicating everything to the Holy See and the Minister General.