On February 22-26, 2021, the General Custody of the Sacred Convent of St. Francis in Italy (Assisi) celebrated the first part of its Ordinary Custodial Chapter. The event took place at the Sacred Convent, in compliance with anti-Covid regulations. It was presided over by the Minister General, Friar Carlos TROVARELLI, assisted by the Assistant General for the Federazione Inter-mediterranea Ministri Provinciali (FIMP), Friar Giovanni VOLTAN.
The Chapter began on Monday at 9:30 a.m., with a reflection led by the Secretary General, Friar Tomasz SZYMCZAK, in reference to the synthesis that emerged from the Custody’s pre-Chapter assembly. In the afternoon the Capitulars started in on the work of the Chapter.
On February 23-24, reports were read to the assembly about the charismatic life and activities of the Custody over the last four years. These included reports from the Visitator General, Friar Giovanni VOLTAN; the Vicar Custos, Friar Domenico PAOLETTI; the General Econom, Friar Nicola ROSA; and the Custodial Econom, Friar Mauro SILVA. A report on the mission in China was read by the General Custos, Friar Marco MORONI, on behalf of Friar Paolo Xing Qun LIU. Finally, reports were read by the presidents of the commissions: Finance and Construction, Friar Francesco LENTI; Culture and Communication, Friar Janez ŠAMPERL; Formation, Friar Jorge R. FERNÁNDEZ; and Pastoral Care of the Shrine and Evangelization, Friar Alfredo AVALLONE.
From the afternoon of February 24 until the morning of February 25, the Capitulars worked in three study groups on the evaluation of the last four-year period and on the guidelines for the 2021-2025 Custodial Four-Year Plan.
The fourth Chapter session began on the afternoon of February 25, with the election of the Custodial Definitors. The government of the Custody is composed as follows: Friar Marco MORONI, General Custos, previously appointed by the Minister General with his Definitory and installed on November 12, 2020 (first term); Friar Teofil PETRIŞOR, Definitor and Vicar of the Province of St. Joseph Spouse of the B.V.M. in Romania (first term); Friar Mario CISOTTO, Definitor and Provincial Secretary of the Italian Province of St. Anthony of Padua (Northern Italy, first term); Friar Domenico PAOLETTI, Definitor and President of the Custodial Commission for Culture and Communication, and a member of the Province of St. Bernardine and St. Angelo in Italy (Abruzzo, second term); Friar Wiesław PYZIO, Definitor and President of the Custodial Commission for Finance and Construction and a member of the Province of the Immaculate Mother of God in Poland (Warsaw, first term); Friar Jorge R. FERNÁNDEZ, Definitor and President of the Custodial Commission for the Pastoral Care of the Shrine and Evangelization, and a member of the “Rioplatense” Province of St. Anthony of Padua in Argentina-Uruguay (second term); and Friar Stephen Ochieno OCHWADA, Definitor and President of the Custodial Commission for Initial and Ongoing Formation and a member of the Province of St. Francis of Assisi in Kenya (first term).
Also elected were the Custodial Econom, Friar Mauro SILVA, a member of the Italian Province of St. Anthony of Padua (Northern Italy), and the Custodial Exactor, Friar Wiesław PYZIO, a member of the Province of the Immaculate Mother of God in Poland (Warsaw).
Finally, during the first part of Friday morning, February 26, the Chapter approved a summary of the group work, which will form the basis for the Instrumentum laboris for the second part of the Chapter and for the Custodial Four-Year Plan. With the Minister General’s approval, the Capitulars began a fifth session, in which a draft of the new Custodial Statutes was read and approved. The Statutes shall be adopted ad experimentum for the next four years, subject to the approval of the General Definitory. After the approval of the Statutes, the first part of the Custodial Chapter ended. The second part will begin on Monday, May 17, 2021.
A very welcome addition to the Chapter took place on Saturday, February 27, with a meeting with the Minister General and a Mass celebrated at 11:30 a.m. in the Lower Basilica. The Mass was presided over by His Eminence, Friar Mauro Cardinal GAMBETTI, with all the friars of the Custody attending.
Friar Felice AUTIERI, Chapter Secretary