From the end of May until the end of June of 2018, Friar Joaquín AGESTA CUEVAS, the Assistant General for the Federazione Inter-mediterranea Ministri Provinciali (FIMP) and Delegate of the Minister General, conducted a general canonical visitation to the “Rioplatense” Province of St. Anthony of Padua in Argentina-Uruguay.

The Province is celebrating seventy years of existence. It started first as a mission of the Italian Province of Saint Anthony of Padua (Northern Italy—formerly the Province of Padua), then became a Custody and finally, starting in the 1990s, it became a Province.
The “Rioplatense” Province has about forty friars, the majority of whom are Uruguayan and Argentinian. The rest come from Italy and are among the oldest friars in the Province. The Province has eight communities: two in Uruguay and six in Argentina. The friars run seven education centers, with varying levels of responsibility. Next to these schools there are several parishes operating many outpost chapels that provide pastoral care to the poorest rural areas and to the suburbs of the big cities like Buenos Aires. The chapels are located in areas of true poverty and delinquency. The friars serve in these places with courage and dedication and are well-liked by everyone.
The Province is elated about the upcoming beatification of Friar Carlos De Dios MURIAS. He was assassinated during the military repression of the 1970s, along with Bishop Enrique ANGELELLI and two other companions. The Decree of Beatification has already been signed by Pope Francis.
The “Rioplatense” Province, like many Conventual Provinces in Western Europe and beyond, is experiencing a period of rethinking and necessary restructuring due to declining numbers and lack of vocations.
The witness and valuable missionary service of many friars from the old Province of Padua should be recognized. They gave their lives for the founding, consolidation and development of the Order in this land, a land rich with many human, social and spiritual possibilities.

Friar Joaquín AGESTA CUEVAS, Assistant General for the FIMP, Visitator