After a long period of restriction imposed by the pandemic, the friars of the Provincial Custody of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M. in Brazil (Rio de Janeiro) were finally able to celebrate their annual Easter Custodial gathering together.
The fraternal gathering was held April 20-22, 2022, in the city of São Lourenço, Minas Gerais State, Brazil. Those attending included the current Minister Provincial of the Mother Province of Our Lady of the Angels in the USA (OLA), Friar James McCURRY, and the newly elected Minister Provincial of OLA (by letter), Friar Michael HEINE. The gathering was led by the Provincial Custos, Friar Ronaldo GOMES DA SILVA. He and both of the Ministers Provincial also met together for a fraternal conversation of their own. In addition, the friars had time for discussion, recreation and going on an outing.
The members of the Custodial Government, on behalf of the friars of the Custody, thanked Friar James for his eight years as Minister Provincial and gave him a commemorative plaque, highlighting his leadership, humility, joy and fraternity, as well as his love, care and concern for the Custody, as demonstrated by his efforts to strengthen the ties between the Mother Province and the Custody. Friar Michael was also honored with a plaque of welcome. Everyone wished him a fruitful ministry as he takes the helm of the Province for the next four years.
The presence of the Superiors during this Custodial event gave witness to the harmony and synodality that the friars are called to embrace as an ecclesial and consecrated reality. On April 21, Friar James presided over evening Mass during the Octave of Easter. The well-attended Mass was celebrated at the local Basilica of São Lourenço.
During the morning of April 21, the Custodial Definitory met again with Friars James and Michael to discuss administrative matters between the Province and the Custody, talk about ongoing and future projects, and strengthen fraternal bonds.
Thanks to the Superiors and friars of the Mother Province and the Custody, for joyfully showing that the spirit of fraternity is alive and shining in them, in their friaries and in the Custodial Four-Year Plan. They gave witness to this spirit despite the darkness and uncertainty caused by the pandemic, the threat to world peace posed by the war in Eastern Europe and the ongoing “natural” disasters brought on by rain and floods.
This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad!
Friar Carlos Roberto de Oliveira CHARLES, Custodial Secretary