On September 20-24, 2021, the Province of St. Francis of Assisi in Brazil celebrated its twelfth Ordinary Provincial Chapter. The event took place at the São Francisco de Assis Retreat Center in Campo Largo, State of Paraná, Brazil.
On the fourth day of the Chapter, the friars gathered at 7:30 a.m. for Mass and Morning Prayer. Friar Rogério PEREIRA XAVIER, Assistant General for the Federación América Latina Conventuales (FALC), gave the homily and presided over the Chapter. Friar Rogério presented a reflection about power, recalling the myth of the ring of Gyges, taken from the second book of Plato’s Republic: “The illusion of power,” said Friar Rogério, “can lead us to no longer fear the law, to believe that we are above everyone and everything. It seems to me that in our lives as Franciscans, we have no room for this illusion. Pope Francis, a Jesuit who bears the name of our Seraphic Father, reminds us that the only way to exercise power in the Church is through service.” Friar Rogério said that perhaps the greatest sin for a consecrated person is to fail to seek and see Jesus Christ. Therefore, he urged everyone: “May these small words shock us, set us in motion and send us on a quest, so that we can say, not like Herod, but like St. Francis, that we always want to meet Jesus.”
After the Mass, the Capitulars resumed work and listened to the summaries of various reports. At 10:30 a.m., they began voting for the new Minister Provincial. The voting ended around noon with the election of Friar José Hugo da Silva SANTOS as the new Minister Provincial.
In the afternoon, the Capitulars took a break from the work of the Chapter so that the Minister Provincial could speak individually with some friars about being members of the Definitory. He also spoke with others for advice about decisions pertaining to his role as coordinator. In the evening, Friar José Hugo presented the names of the friars he had chosen as members of the Definitory. Then, the following Definitors were elected: Friars Josemar Bertes MACHADO, Vicar Provincial; Alexandre Patucci de LIMA, Provincial Secretary; and Wilmar Villalba ORTIZ and André Luiz Ferreira MACHADO, Provincial Definitors.
Daniel BANDEIRA, Head of Communications
Translation: Friar Aloísio Antônio DE OLIVEIRA