On June 14-17, 2022, Ana Maria RAFFO, a member of the International Council of the Secular Franciscan Order (CIOFS) and Delegate of the OFS Minister General, Tibor KAUSER, made a fraternal visit to the OFS National Fraternity in Argentina. She was accompanied by the General Spiritual Assistant to the OFS, Friar Alfred PARAMBAKATHU, OFM Conv., who conducted a pastoral visit.
The visit began during the afternoon of June 14, with a meeting with Argentina’s two Ministers Provincial of the Order of Friars Minor (OFM). The meeting took place at the San Francisco Friary in Buenos Aires. The visitors also stopped at the office and archives of the OFS National Fraternity, located in the crypt of the same friary. The following day, Friar Alfred and Ana Maria went to the city of Corrientes, Argentina, to the Casa de la Merced Spiritual Retreat Center run by the OFM friars, in order to celebrate the OFS Chapter and finish the rest of the visit. They met personally with all of the members of the National Council and some Regional Ministers. Next, they met with the three National Spiritual Assistants: Friars Fernando LAPIERRE, OFM; Raul LOMBARDINI, OFM; and Gonzalvo CARO, OFM Cap.
The elective Chapter began during the afternoon of June 17. The theme of the Chapter was “Let No One Depart without Your Mercy” based on St. Francis’ A Letter to a Minister. On Saturday, the members of the outgoing National Council made various reports. There was also a presentation of the priorities selected for the next Triennium. The elective session of the Chapter was held Sunday morning. Santiago NEGRO, who had formerly served as National Minister, was elected National Minister and International Councilor. Although there were some heated discussions, particularly about the financial status of the National Fraternity, the Chapter as a whole was conducted in a very fraternal and peaceful manner.
Friar Alfred PARAMBAKATHU