On May 22-24, 2024, the Ministers Provincial and Custodes of the Conventual Franciscan Jurisdictions in Brazil met at the Senhor do Bonfim Friary in Santo André, State of São Paulo, Brazil.

The meeting was convened by the Custos of the Provincial Custody of St. Bonaventure in Brazil (Maranhão) and President of the Union of Conventual Franciscans of Brazil (UCOB), Friar Roberto HONORATO OLIVEIRA DOS REMÉDIOS. Others participating included the Minister Provincial of the Province of St. Francis in Brazil (São Paulo), Friar José Hugo da Silva SANTOS―whose Province hosted this fraternal meeting; the Minister Provincial of the Province of St. Maximilian M. Kolbe in Brazil (Brasilia), Friar Gilberto DE JESUS RODRIGUES; and the Custos of the Provincial Custody of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M. in Brazil (Rio de Janeiro), Friar Carlos Roberto de Oliveira CHARLES.
Friar Carlos Roberto was chosen as the UCOB Secretary for this meeting.
The reasons and motives for this meeting were to strengthen the fraternal bonds between the Ministers Provincial and Custodes; to discuss and share issues regarding their respective Jurisdictions; and, in particular, to talk about the common novitiate located in the Province of St. Francis in Brazil, which opened many years ago to serve both the UCOB and the Federación América Latina Conventuales (FALC). It is hoped that in future, responsibility for this common novitiate will be assumed and shared by all of the Jurisdictions in Brazil in a more concrete, effective and legally formalized way.
To this end, the Superiors previously studied the FALC formation directory regarding the novitiate level, the formation directory of the host Province responsible for the common novitiate, and the documents and guidelines of the North American experience of the common novitiate, provided by the President of the Conventual Franciscan Federation (and person directly in charge of formation in the USA) Friar Michael HEINE, a member of the Province of Our Lady of the Angels in the USA.
The Superiors agreed on the fact that the common novitiate, which canonically belongs to the Province of St. Francis, can, with the commitment of the Jurisdictions, become effectively communal, shared and participatory, with presences directly active and involved in the formation process. The Superiors concluded that the first step toward achieving this is to create a draft that will later be transformed into a Statute for the UCOB common novitiate, open to the FALC, where decisions can be fraternally shared in common as to the composition of the formation community, its structure, functioning, content and financial maintenance. The Superiors of the UCOB have worked extensively on this document. After it has been digitized, revised and shared with the Order’s higher authorities, it will also be reviewed by the Provincial Definitory of the host Province, which is legally responsible for the common novitiate, until final approval is granted.
May the Blessed Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, our Seraphic Father St. Francis, St. Bonaventure and St. Maximilian continue to be steadfast intercessors for Conventual Franciscan discipleship in Brazil, especially at all stages of initial formation.

Friar Carlos Roberto de Oliveira CHARLES, UCOB Secretary