November 29, 2023, marked exactly eight hundred years since the Later Rule of the Friars Minor was confirmed by Pope Honorius III in Rome. The document established our way of life according to the holy Gospel of Christ, governed by obedience, chastity and the renunciation of possessions. It also directed us to respect Pope Honorius and his elected successors as well as the Roman Church.
On December 6-8, 2023, the friars of the Provincial Custody of St. Bonaventure in Brazil gathered at the custodial headquarters to celebrate this anniversary by devoting some time to reflect on, and study, the Later Rule. The Provincial Custos, Friar Roberto HONORATO OLIVEIRA DOS REMÉDIOS, opened this wonderful event by inviting the friars to renew their fidelity to the legacy of the Later Rule in the Church. He also presented the friars with two main objectives during this formation meeting. The first was to renew the evangelical life of the friars so that they might better conform themselves to Christ and respond to today’s challenges with creativity and courage. The second was to strengthen our bonds of fraternity in a concrete way, as Jesus Christ did and our seraphic father St. Francis as well. On same day, three simply professed theology students renewed their vows. In addition, the Custos spoke about our presences and confirmed Friar Carlito NASCIMENTO SILVA as the Pastor and Friar Francisco SALES ARAÚJO as the Associate Pastor at the mission in Nova Timboteua, in Pará State. He also approved five postulants for the 2024 novitiate year. Later that evening, Friars Lucas DOS SANTOS SILVA and Henrique SANTOS DE LIMA received the Ministry of Acolyte, thus allowing them to assist the priests at the altar and to distribute the Eucharist.
The formation session was conducted by Friar Aloisio DE OLIVEIRA from the Province of São Paulo. During the session, the friars of the Custody reread the Later Rule. Commenting on fraternal life, Friar Aloisio stressed that we are an “Order because we are brothers, so in any undertaking, at any level, our fraternal nature will always take precedence.”
This wonderful and fraternal formation event concluded with Mass at our Santo Antônio Parish in São Luís, Maranhão State. The Custos, Friar Roberto, presided, with all of the friars concelebrating. The philosophy and theology students also attended the closing Mass.
Friar Henrique SANTOS DE LIMA